Time is a strange thing is it not? Sometimes it feels like there’s a vast ocean of it and sometimes it appears as a drop that rapidly dries out and disappears on the surface it’s placed. A bit less than 4 years ago we did a fundamental change to our brotherhood. Roland stepped down and Jonathan took his place. It feels like yesterday but if you lift your eyes a bit a lot has actually happened since then. We released “And The Battle Royale” (2017) album and the “Royalgatory” (2019) EP. We’ve played around 50 shows, which is—by our band’s measure—over average in said time. We’ve done support shows for both Soilwork and Arch Enemy included, some great festivals, and even our own headliner tour “And The Tour Royale” in 2018 with some great Swedish bands and friends. We broke new ground by making our first live appearances in Japan. We’ve also done 4 music videos for you to enjoy and even a live DVD titled “Eon’s End,” presenting Roland’s emotional farewell show. So even if the years and time move swift, we’ve been productive. The band has continued to stay healthy making great progress coming out from that uncertainty by the end of 2016 to say the least.
So why are we saying this? Well, as the clock’s cogs and gears grind on, things tend to not stay the same. Once again time is changing the band’s destiny. And it’s for the same reason our path changed 4 years ago—namely, the lack of it. Our brother and bass man, Henric Liljesand, is by far the most talented and versatile bass guitar player we know. He’s been on this journey with us for almost as long as it’s taken. But he is also by far one of the busiest individuals we know, which might have struck you—the fans—as well since he has been sitting out on quite a few shows and tours over the years. Henric’s skills, both socially and musically, is an asset to any band. They have undoubtedly been a great one for us with both writing and co-writing music and recording the bass for our albums, and occasionally slinging it live since we started with the follow-up to “Hell Frost” (2011). There’s a lot of material that has Henric’s name written all over it in The Unguided and we’ve been truly blessed with having his skills, sense of quality, and his great character and friendship in our midst. But sadly part of it will come to an end with this coming album…
Henric has a busy life and multitude of projects. He realized that he will not have the time needed to line up with the ambition level of the remaining four of us regarding the band. And he has come to the conclusion he won’t be able to deliver enough time to support The Unguided fully for this upcoming album cycle. This is not a bolt from a clear blue sky, it’s rather something we’ve had a dialogue about for quite some time. It’s just that the gap has widened a bit as years passed and now is the time to address it properly. But even if his time has been limited and responsibilities in our band are changing, our friendship with our brother is as strong as ever. We went into the writing and recording process for our upcoming album knowing this fact. Even so, Henric co-wrote a song and recorded all the bass on the upcoming album with the same professionalism and motivation as he always had. And if we got to decide, we would love for it to stay that way in the future as well for coming albums. As stated previously this is not only a band, it’s a family. And Henric will always be a part of it as both Roland and John are in their own way.
The Unguided - Crown Prince Syndrome, Produced by: Patric Ullaeus
Going forward, we are not looking to replace Henric for this upcoming album. The remaining four of us have grown together too tightly and we don’t want to meddle with that dynamic. We will continue as a four piece and we are in no rush to find a replacement. We’ll figure out the formula as we go and see what will work and try to keep an open mind about it. We are sad to see Henric go but we know we have a friend for life. We are also very grateful that we got to know him and spent this past decade with him. We will always be thankful for the good times we got to experience with him. (Thank you, Roland, for introducing us!) We are also super eager and excited about releasing this coming album where you once again get the opportunity to hear Henric’s second-to-none baselines through 14 massive metal tracks together with the four of us beating, screaming, singing and riffing the living crap out of the new songs.
Thank you for everything Henric and good luck with all your involvements!
/Richard, Roger, Richard and Jonathan
Photo: Patric Ullaeus
Before the first EP was recorded in 2011, Roland called me to ask if I wanted to be a part of the new band he put together with Richard and Roger. We talked about playing together for years and now it was finally time! A lot has happened since and I cannot thank Richard, Roland, Roger, Richard, Jonathan and John enough for these awesome years of making a lot of cool music and memories that I will bring with me as long as I live. Big thanks to you guys who supported us since day one and made it all possible, for that I cannot say, “Thank you,” enough!
Why am I leaving the band? The reason for this is simple: Time. I don’t have enough of it. Being out touring like The Unguided wants to do is hard for me. I have another band called Night Crowned that takes a lot of my spare time. I write songs for Solution .45 as well as some other artists. But the biggest reason for my exit is my family and work situation. So I will be writing and playing music more from home.
But I am sure we’ll see each other sometime in the future as I have not closed the door to this unguided chapter just yet. I co-wrote a song with the guys and recorded the bass on this new, awesome album that will be released soon! You might see me pounding the bass on some selected gigs as well.
Stay safe and thank you!