Richard Sjunnesson

Official blog of Richard Sjunnesson (The Unguided)

I'll return to the scene of the crime

Kategori: Allmänt


Sorry for the radio silence! I can assure it was due to good reasons. And, to be fair, I don’t exactly know where to start in this mess. My life has been washed over by a tidal wave of chaos (as a friend nicely put it to me) and I’ve been going through countless amounts of changes in the last few weeks. To be more specific on some subjects, I broke up with my girlfriend, was robbed of my iPhone and digital camera, and found love again in a new relationship. (Live fast, die young, eh?) And somewhere in between all this, I lost my very mind I guess, hehe. I’m slowly getting things into perspective, and to tell you the truth, it feels like this is a really interesting turn in my life. I’ve come to embrace it full-heartedly.

I have no problems with getting down and dirty with you and expose myself so this will be pretty personal, hope you don’t mind.

First things first! Relationship: I came to realize that Caroline and I were in very different stages in our lives. This was something that was easily ignored during my time on tour and constant absence from home. However, when I quit the band I began spending more time at home than I’ve done in years. It eventually caught up with me in full force. As far as functionality and time went, there was not enough of either to be able to put priority on a very demanding relationship. Instead, I was spending all existing free time on THE UNGUIDED. And on top of that, I received a promotion at my daily place of work, which asks for even more responsibility. It made me plunge into a very stressful situation, and I had to let go of something in my life in order to avoid a total burn out. And in this case, it was the mind-exhausting element that was working the least successfully in my life, in which I decided to disconnect myself from. This sounds very objective and cold—putting other peoples’ lives in formulas like this but when it comes down to it, this is the only life I will ever get, and therefore I’m very careful to not get into a crippling situation that makes me unhappy when I am certain there is a pathway out of it. I really appreciated and treasured the time we had together, though. It’s not like I don’t care anymore because I do. I wish you all the good in the world. I’m eternally grateful for the support you have given me, and on top of that you always believed in me and stood behind me in all my decisions. And for that, I’m in debt and it’s also something I will never forget. Caroline was also the owner of Rocco, so the chances are slim that he will ever appear in any upcoming footage. I am, however, very determined to get some kind of hamster-squirrel-rat-ape type of animal to make up for that.

Sam, substitute for Rocco?

New relationship?; Correct! It’s not new in all senses though. It was actually a flame from the past that was reawakened (or was never soothed?). After the separation I found myself in control by forces I could not master and was launched into a situation that now appears to be a very convenient development in my life. You can say I decided to freefall and follow my heart. It’s a long distance relationship (500km), which is an optimal format for both of us, seeing that we are both extremely busy and ambitious in our daily lives. The selected time we have at hand will therefore be more precious and special I believe. We both kind of were in the same situation, so it was easy to merge it into something beautiful. The duration between the two unique relationships may seem surprisingly little, and I would have to agree on that but it’s never something I will stop to reflect on because when love comes knocking, it’s more about getting on that train and seeing how far it goes. As a matter of fact, I’m very much in love and I only see good coming out from this and the future. And the fact that I’m smiling like a silly donkey writing this makes me even more certain I’ve once again made a very good decision in my life, even if it’s a radical change.

Robbery?; Yes! I ventured to Stockholm to rendezvous with friends and of course the “love of my life Bergshamra”. We had a delightful evening at St. Eriksplan with wine, good food and good company! However, on the subway train back to her place we both managed to fall asleep. When we woke up a couple of stations (and hours) past our waypoint, my pockets were emptied shockingly enough. My precious iPhone 3GS and Canon Ixus100is were both nowhere to be found. Luckily for me, the insurance covered my stupidity, and I have an iPhone 4 dropping down in my mailbox any day now. I also bought myself a Canon Ixus130is, which was a surprisingly big upgrade from its successor. I embrace this development as well, except for the fact that I currently have a SAMSUNG from early Jurassic period in my artillery. Also keep an eye out on Google for upcoming naked pictures featuring myself from the stolen digital camera, most exciting times!

Canon Ixus130is

Strong winds of change are blowing through my life, as you come to realize reading this. In addition to these changes, I’ve been extremely dedicated to my training and kept a very strict diet as of late. I feel like I’m in better shape than I’ve been in years, and it’s really motivating. I also dyed my hair back to black, which became very fond of. However, I need to go abroad to get some sun for a couple of weeks because my skin is close to being transparent as of now. The black hair didn’t tone down that fact in any sense. The relentless training, however, gave me a very bad cold, which decided to claw itself into my throat. So, I haven’t been able to do anything vocally significant as of late, unfortunately. Writing this makes me feel much better, and in a couple of days I think I will start to track some vocals again.

*Tech Geek Warning START *
Other new gear is my Golden age pre73 preamp. It’s a welcome addition to my home studio! I was never fond of the converters in the mbox2 to be fair, and wanted something more vintage and warm sounding. The Golden age does just that! (It sounds a bit like Neve, only a gazillion times cheaper.) Also, the Shure SM7 has to gain ~60db to get a proper signal from it, and I certainly did NOT want to put more pressure on the mbox2 to get an even more digitalized, destroyed signal. So, I compensated it with software compressors, which was also never an optimal solution. Now, however, I got another problem! I turned the mobox2 mic input signal down to zero, and compensated the preamp to use the mbox2 converts as little as possible. But the signal coming from the preamp going into the mbox is currently too hot, and makes the input peak without even getting significant volume in the software. I’m pretty sure it’s just a software preference that I missed but if anyone has an idea about the matter, feel free to email me.

Golden Age Pre73

I also invested in a new printer so I can print all my lyrics directly at home, instead of running over to my dad’s all the time. I was always a laser kind of guy, so I bought a color laser printer with WiFi. Now I can easily place it anywhere. (In the bathtub? Why not!) Sure makes life easier!

Next stop will be to buy myself a Distressor compressor. I have to save some money for that, though. There are no shortcuts when it comes to that sound, unfortunately.
*Tech Geek Warning END*

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Dominik and Joana for sending me a parcel from my favorite band, Blind Guardian! This bag of goodies included a signed drum skin, three picks, a shirt, and a personal letter. It seems to me X-mas came early for this boi! I’m SO grateful you put time and effort into this, and I hope to repay that in any way possible soon. You are the best! (F.Y.I Dominik worked as guitar tech at the Blind Guardian EU/US tour and also worked for In Flames during our Europe tour with them.)

Thanks Dominik & Joana + Hansi & Gang!!!

The tattoo competition is still going! We got a lot of pictures from you insane guys! Unfortunately a lot of them were fake submissions. (What happened to honesty guys? Hehe.) Our web team is currently doing a closer investigation on cases that are hard to define when it comes to the reality of the tattoo. Uncertain cases will receive an email from them, and to advance in the awards you will have to provide them for what they ask. This one, however, decorating Alexander Nilsson, is certainly NOT fake, and I think we have ourselves a winner regarding the first award. It looks stunning, and we all love it. Getting a tattoo from a band that hasn’t even released any songs yet is utterly crazy. We will be sure to take very good care of you. Your dedication is an honorable thing, and we may even add additional awards to your extreme decision. I’ll be in touch!


We have also which two songs we will record and release in January. As of now, our focus is set on making these two songs perfect. The artwork for the single is ready, save for the logo/ title, but I will try to show it to you soon. As for the video I promised for Xmas, it may not be so possible now due to the series of events that occurred in my life. However, I think you will all be quite understanding of my reasons. I will try my hardest to at least get an Xmas greeting up for you, though. I’m really far behind when it comes to mail replies but I will try to get on top of that in the coming days. When it comes down to it, I guess you would prefer to get the two songs out in January over getting your mail reply. So, it’s not a top priority for me now. Same goes for Cataclysm, (and yes, authenticator was on the iPhone that got stolen, so it was kind of hard to get into the game anyways.) I’m really tempted to try it out but I know if I do, I won’t get anything else done. So, I just have to step away from that and focus on what is really important at the moment. I bet you all are 85 as of now, which is good because you can power level me once I get on it again, hehe.

FAQ you!

Could you name the demo titles by Sonic Syndicate? Like, Trigger and Breaking Benjamin’s Leg. Would it hurt if you could tell if the original demo version was different from how it turned out on the album? Don't to forget to mention which song you’re talking about, like: “Breaking Benjamin's Leg (Demo version of Contradiction.)”
A: Roger has really peculiar demo titles for his songs, if not obscene. Here’s a collection of some:
Bandit = Mission: Undertaker
Blame Canada = Affliction
Bullet my asshole = Encaged
Export = Damaged control
Finnish = Jack of Diamond
Kjellgren = Powershift
Panic = Freeman
Mandelägg =Rebellion in Nightmareland
Fuck face = Only inhuman
Big Brother = My soul in #000000
Fanny = Freelancer
Dicke = Break of Day
Blöjskit = Blue Eyed Fiend
For a friend = Denied
Sälen = Double Agent 616
Voxpop = Miles Apart
Gaymin = We Rule the Night
Bögslaget = Dead and Gone
Fläskfärs = Plans are for People
Blonde stains bög = Heart of Eve

Q: Were there ever any songs made (besides “Heart of Eve” and “Freeman”) that didn't make it to the records? If yes, then why?
A: Well, we had a batch of songs for the BTC/RINL era that never got studio recorded since we only picked two for the EP and decided to write new material for WRTN. But they were still complete songs in their final stage. Much of them we even had rehearsal pre-production recordings of. A few names I remember from that were: Phoenix Down, Assassination of a Martyr, Burnout, Waiting for You to Wake. But there was nothing studio recorded and not released such as the case of Freeman.

Q: Is it true that the demo title for, “Blue Eyed Fiend” is called “None?”
A: Incorrect.

Q: I know that I'm supposed to send this to Roland's mail but... when Roland left Sonic Syndicate he told Heavy Hell that he was working on a side project with Jesper Strömblad from In Flames. Do you know what happened there? Is he going to be a part of The Unguided?
A: You probably should send this to Roland indeed because I know very little about the topic. There are no plans at this time to include Jesper in the lineup of THE UNGUIDED. It would simply not work since his name doesn’t start on R ;) hehe. No seriously, I think it would be awesome if he did show interest though, since he is an amazing song writer, and guitarist. I certainly have a great deal of respect for him.

Q: Is it still Roger the one who composes the songs for Sonic Syndicate, or is it more Robin now? Could you tell me track by track (album by album) who composed and wrote lyrics for all their songs?
A: I’d say WRTN was 50/50 from Roger/Robin in the song composing division. Roger wrote: We Rule the Night, Heart of Eve, Dead and Gone, Plans are for People, Miles Apart, Break of Day, and Rebellion in Nightmareland. Robin wrote: Beauty and the Freak, Revolution, Baby!, Turn it up, Black and Blue, Burn This City, My Own life, and Perfect Alibi. I wrote lyrics to all of Roger’s songs, save for, Miles Apart, which Nathan wrote. Nathan wrote all lyrics to Robin’s songs save for, Beauty and the freak, where I wrote most of my own parts. However, Roger wrote keyboards to all tracks. Leave Me Alone was written by Peter Tätgren.

On LOAD Roger wrote everything except Hellgate: Worcester, Contradiction, My Escape, Ruin, and Fallout, which was written by Roland, and partly by Robin, if I recall it right. Power Shift was written by Jonas Kjellgren, re-arranged and Sonic Syndicatealized by Roger. Not sure if Jonas ever was credited for it through. I wrote all the lyrics for LAOD.

On OI Roger wrote everything except from Enclave, which was written by Roger and Robin. Unknown Entity was written by Niklas Fagerström but Syndicatealized by Roger. I wrote all lyrics for OI except, Unknown Entity, which was written by Niklas Fagerström and me.

On EF Roger wrote everything, and I wrote all the lyrics.

Q: Something I've been asking myself for a while... WHAT THE HELL happened to the beautiful logo of Sonic Syndicate? I know they kind of kept the symbol, but where is your God damn hot logo... Why did you decide to renew it?
A: I love the original Sonic Syndicate logo as well and was very sad to see it go. It was made by a very talented artist over at the Gfxartist community and later enhanced a bit by J.A.Aranguren. So it had some history to it. I guess a lot of changes came with the latest album and the logo was one thing that was connected with the “old” sound and mentality that was the sound certain people wanted to leave behind, so that was what happened. The moon on the WRTN cover artwork, for example, had the Sonic symbol attached to it originally but that was also something people wanted to move away from, so it was also removed. In terms of functionality, the old logo was sometimes hard to fit it on merchandise and backdrops etc. so that was another reason it was revisited.

Old SKOOL Vs. New School

Q: What's up with Red Eyed Friend and Blue Eyed Fiend? Connection?
I like to tie stuff together and found that to be a good back-to-back title word game. As far as lyrical content goes, there is not much connection. Red Eyed Friend is about your conscience while Blue Eyed Fiend is about a girl. There may be more *Put random color here* eyed songs in the future.

Q: Will The Unguided also have “ballads?”
A: In the batch of songs we have now there aren’t any ballads, but if we feel like a ballad would pump up the vibe and dynamic on the album we are not afraid or against putting one there.

Q: Are you guys planning to release a single prior to the albums release? Maybe a music video? That would be awesome...
A: Most definitely yes.

Q: When are (IF you are…) planning to begin touring? And how will Roland face it?
A: I think I’ve mentioned it before but I’m not afraid to do so again. THE UNGUIDED won’t be a touring band in the terms of what Sonic Syndicate was. We will focus on random gigs and festivals when it comes to live shows. Touring was what made Roland quit in the first place, and I have no intensions of letting history repeat itself.

Q: Do you think The Unguided will “fight” with Sonic Syndicate for fans? Do you think that the bands will be “enemies?” Because of messages with one member of SS I think yes. What’s your opinion?
A: Clearly we won’t have the same fan base, so I don’t see any reason why there would be friction there. Our intension is not to “steal” any fans. I think people will come naturally if they like what we do, and it’s not like we can force anyone to listen to us. It’s up to everyone’s personal preference, really. THE UNGUIDED is what it is, three people that are down with the same music and love to create it together. It’s mostly for our own sake. If, however, you guys will enjoy it, it is of course a huge plus and a great deal to us. I do think there will be some rivalry between the bands, unfortunately; but I’m positive and really HOPE it will die out in time. I see no point in walking around being angry at each other forever. The fact is, I’m having a more diplomatic view of the matter now than ever and I really hope further misunderstandings won’t change this. 

"The first rule of Fight Club..."

Q: I’d like to know how do you do live shows with synths underneath the music? I suggested to my band members that we should do it, but they said it’s impossible... etc. I told them that some bands do it and they said it’s bullshit. Can you please explain it to me? Thanks.
A: Sonic uses Digital performer as the software to playback the synths through a MacBook via a soundcard. It’s really not rocket science in any sense. The drummer plays after a click track aligned with the pre-recorded synths / vocal harmonies. As long as the rest of the band play tight with the drummer and the drummer plays tight to the click track everything will be fine. Seeing that no human factor is affecting the synths, they will always be tighter than the rest of the band, which is unfair I guess, hehe. In the early days we used an mp3 player to playback pre-recorded keyboards, and used the stereo function to have the click track panned to the left and the synths to the right. Used the left signal to the drummer and the right signal to a DI-box, and then to the front of house mix. Only con here is that you get mono synths. But it’s still a cheap way to solve the problem.

Q: I was just wondering about your relationship with the rest of the guys? I don’t mean to intrude but with your statement, it seemed like there may be some bad blood?
A: It’s not just bad blood—as of now it’s more like blood that has been soaking the worst diseases known to man, laced with lethal potassium chloride, unfortunately. I speak with no one but my brother. Christoffer and I are also on good terms. I think he’s doing an awesome job and he has my full support.

Bad Blood
Bad Blood?

Q: The song Zion Must Fall...the electronic-guitar intro is AWESOME! But why...why only in the beginning, it’s like 22 seconds and no more...I so love it, stinks of power and epicenes...So...why? And will be there more like it? (Longer than 22 seconds.)
A: Why don’t you contact Roger and ask him firsthand about it? I’m sure he has some kind of explanation and that it was intentional. His mail is here.

Q: Sonic Syndicate is a long name to type out, so a lot of people abbreviate it to SS (as you probably know.) So on my Facebook before I put loving the SS, then I realized what I put (it was a shame I had to delete the status before I probably got killed otherwise I would have sent you a screen print of it) ... did this thought cross your minds?
A: I don’t think it crossed our mind when we first came up with our name because we probably would reconsider then but it certainly did a while after. Then again, there’s no relation so who cares really? If the combination of the two letters is just going to stand for just THAT and will be stained by that fact until the end of time, that’s only because humanity led it to be that way. I guess Scar Symmetry has the same problem. If there’s a musical discussion and someone mentions SS, I’m pretty sure a mentally capable person would not think of some evil police force in Germany–unless they are trolling of course.

Gegen Nazis

Q: Have you ever considered comedy? I’ve been reading your blog for about an hour an a half and I honestly can’t stop laughing. I’m even considering making a twitter account just to read what you put.
Jerry Springer called and asked if I could be his sidekick. I replied I’d love to help but was busy “backing” his wife :S Glad you like my sense of tasteless humor. I’m surprised so many appreciate it. Most of the time I just think I’m a jerk but I like the fact there are likeminded people giving me new hope for a jerk infested world, hehe.

Peace buksvåger!

Q: I like this band you may have heard of called, Hollywood Undead (they’re like poppy rap, don't ask me why I like them, they are just catchy) but their lead singer just got kicked out of the band, and he made a song called, “Story of a Snitch,” which if you listen to, the lyrics are a 100% massive fuck you to the former band. Just wondering if you were considering doing anything like that? (Minus the poppy rapness.)
Actually, we had the opportunity to tour with Hollywood Undead in Europe. I like the band and the guys are cool as fuck. I think unconsciously there will be stuff like that, yes. I have a very hard time writing stuff that I’m not emotionally attached to, and I’m not trying to hide the fact that what happened to the band and me was a big deal in my life. It wouldn’t be possible for me to mask it up to the degree it wouldn’t shine through at all in the lyrics I’ve been writing lately. Somehow I enjoy writing about negative feelings rather than positive. I think they are more inspiring and make me travel deeper into myself.

Q: I'm nearly 18. Any chance Roland, Roger, and you could play in my bedroom for my 18th birthday? I honestly think my heart would stop if you did :) I know he answers more than lightly no but hey, you don’t ask, you don’t get. ><
A: I’m slightly suspicious about why you picked the bedroom. I’d just like to inform you that we are all tied up into relationships. If you suggest a more casual room, I’m sure it could be arranged. Maybe we can bring a CPR person in case your heart stops as well.

Roland McDonald?

Q: Who is going to do what in the band? What I mean is Johnny and you are obviously going to sing and Roger is a guitarist but what about the other things you do? Is Mr. Cage going to play guitar? Is your brother Rogue going to play instruments other than guitar, or maybe sing? Let us know some of these things, please. =]
A: Rogeo on guitar, Cage on vocals and guitar. (Not discussed how that will be treated live just yet.) Then I will be doing vocals. I might even pick up the bass, I mean if girls can figure it out I’m pretty sure I can! And then a bunch of session musicians for live purposes. Most likely the London Symphony Orchestra. (Sorry for the girl burn to all female readers of this blog, I’m on your side as long as you don’t get involved in sports…)

Q: Is your brother open to answering questions about the new project, or should I ask you? Does he bite?
A: He does bite, yes. If you agree with the hazardous risks, feel free to fire questions at him.

Friend of Cujo!

Q: (If anyone) Who is the Blue eyed fiend?
An Ex-girlfriend.

Q: Are you going to direct some clips for The Unguided? The video about you and Cage was awesome—you’re good!
A: Do you mean actual music videos? In that case: HELL NO! I leave that to professionals. But of course I will edit and direct simpler video clips like that episode. I really enjoy editing but it’s really time consuming.

Q: What type of underwear are you currently wearing? (Just joking. You don’t need to answer me.)
A: Red / White pair of Salming this time around. You dirty, dirty boy!

Q: Are you going to post the questions I ask Roland too, or only the ones that are addressed to you? (Not that I won’t see that but I’m an annoying mother fucker.)
A: Language young man! I’ve asked Roland to assemble a FAQ as well, which I will be hosted on my blog. Don’t know when that will drop in. However, I’m greatly looking forward to it!

Q: And one from my girlfriend who is shy to write you: Is it a tradition or something to name people in your family with “R?” You have Richard, Roger, Robin, Robert... Or did it just happen like that?
A: I do think it’s some kind of conspiracy, yes. I’m not exactly who is behind the scheme on that one, though. My mom and dad named me Richard, after Richard Gere. Roger was named after Roger Moore because they are gay like that, and into stupid movie stars. I’m not even sure why I told you that because it’s really nothing I’m too proud of, but I had to release my heart of that burden. So, there you go! I know when my little sister was on her way, there was talk about naming her Rebecca but then they strangely changed it to Jessica, which makes no sense at all. Why break a perfect circle? Clearly it’s another conspiracy.

Cast: Richard Gere, Jessica Alba & Roger Moore

Q: I believe you remember a song called, “Unknown Entity” from the Only Inhuman record, and that’s my personal favorite from the SS production. But my question is, will these kind of progressive and amazingly inspirational riffs be used in the new project? Might sound a bit too specific but that song is really damn good. : )
A: Glad you like that! We didn’t even write it … hehe. But I’m sure you will find a lot of amazing, inspirational riffs. Everything sounds progressive if you play it enough, and we can try to lock that in live if you want.

Q: Another thing I wanted to ask you is about the days back in Sonic Syndicate. When LAOD came out it seemed like Karin was getting a lot of magazine photo sessions, where she's half naked or something. My point is that a lot and by lot I mean L-O-T of people (generally men ofc) was like really getting into the band just because of the beautiful bass player. That thing was really annoying, though she is a beautiful woman, but there were a bunch of forums who were dedicated to her, instead of your music which is not the point of a metal band I think. But that commercial change changed the majority of fans into some kind of pervert kids who actually wanted to see Karin playing. It's okay to have a personal fan base but wasn't that too much? Or you and the other guys’ in the band never felt of being disrespected because of her? And if I'm not to irritant already may, you tell me was that her own choice or she was forced to do so much single photos. Because, for me she had to stay a stable bass player not a model because to the big net community that underestimate your band was "The guys with the slutty bass player" and that's not nice at all.... So was this of any importance to you back then, or you didn't cared a lot?
A: Karin who?

Q: What’s the deal with Roger live almost always putting the guitar between your legs and playing? Every time you look shocked, like you are going to slap him? Haha.
A: It’s his trademark guitarcock move. Unfortunately he couldn’t execute it alone so I had to play along. It was confusing and conflicted with my balance at times but I never intended to hit my brother because of it, hehe.

TM Roger move

Q: The song Double Agent 616—Does the title refer to anything? I know in the Marvel universe (Oh boy... Inner geek coming out here) our version of Earth is Earth 616. Any relation?
A: The number refers to a news post I read in some science magazine where someone figured out the number of the beast (being 666) was inaccurate. Instead, it was 616, for some mathematical reason. The number combinations are special to me now. Now if I sleep at a hotel I always try to get the room 616, hehe. I also have a photo with the crew person 616 at Download Festival. If you watch the “My Escape” video, you can see a clip where that the clock is set to 6 and 1. I am also featured in the scene as well.

Q: Everyone keeps asking me, “What’s the difference between “My Own Life,” and “My Escape,” “Contradiction,” and "Enclave.” I know there’s a huge difference, but being so untalented musically, I can't articulate it into words. How would you put it?
A: Well, I would say the biggest difference is that Enclave, Contradiction, and My Escape rules, while My Own life sucks!

Q: Is Roland going to continue singing in Dodge?
A: Ask Roland.

Q: Now that Roland is in the band, does that mean you’re not going to do a lot of live shows since that’s the reason he left SS?
A: Correct! Also Roger is still in Sonic, which makes things even harder.

Q: Have you ever thought about making a cover-version of a song? Which song would it be, and why didn’t you do it?
A: Since the dawn of time there has been talk about doing a cover version for Culture Beats – Mr.Vain. We even performed it live back with Fallen Angels, and I can assure you it sounds a to the awesome as a metal version. Maybe we can try to record it for the album.

Eurodisco -> Melodic metal

Q: I have a question about the logo. It's all symmetric, except for the center... What does the center mean/ stand for?
A: It’s something subjective made by the artist. To me, it looks like either some kind of moon, or a fetus, though. But that’s not what it stands for because at this point it doesn’t stand for anything. I’m sure I will blow meaning in the shape later in time through. It’s like Christianity. A wooden cross wouldn’t have any meaning without the religion backing it. It would simply be just that, a wooden cross. Just like the Sonic “fire” shape in the Sonic symbol was something made for Eden Fire. My original idea was that the middle shape was to change for every album in order to be connected with the title. But as I got less and less to say about things like that, over time that never happened, obviously. I mean the fire shape had little to do with Only Inhuman or Love and Other Disasters.

I saw that you erased the “Sonics” like Karin, Robin, and Nathan from your top friends, except for John. Do you have still contact to him? Are you both still friends?
A: From my side we are. From his I’m not sure. We have no contact.

Q: By the way, I want to ask you about who the designer of the Sonic Syndicate logo was, and what does it actually symbolize? I wear this tattoo on myself for a year and a half now, and I could not figure it out exactly up to the point.
A: J.A. Aranguren, who also did artwork for Eden Fire and the Extinction demo, created the logo. It first appeared in a very early stage on the Extinction demo, where he did a variety of different versions. Later on, he made one that connected to the Eden Fire artwork (the one with the fire in the center), which was the only one that stayed as the band symbol throughout the years. The meaning of the symbol is just as much as a mystery as J.A. Arangurens disappearance, really. When he sent the files, he called them “solar symbols.” The actual meaning, however, is still a secret that will only be revealed if Arangurens makes a return, I’m afraid.

Variations by J.A.Aranguren

Q: During the time you and Roland were in Sonic, you wrote all the lyrics. I’m just asking if that will be the case with THE UNGUIDED as well, or will everyone in the band provide lyrics?
A: I think Roger and Roland trust me in doing a good job with the lyrics. So, that’s nothing we have discussed.

When Roland left the band in 2009, how come you didn’t leave if you also knew the new Sonic music would turn into pop. Wouldn’t you have left the same time as Roland, then?
A: I think I already addressed this in earlier blog posts but I’ll try again! When Roland left it was never decided what direction we the music was going to take in the future. I had to wait it out. If I could see ahead into the future, I would have left instantly with Roland also. No new material was written during Roland’s departure, so it was really uncertain as to where we would take the music. It was also very dependent on whatever singing we decided to add to the new line-up.

Q: You said that you recorded WRNT with all the screaming and shit... do you own this? And would it be possible for it to accidentally slip onto the internet? Obviously without your knowledge ;) haha, naah seriously, I want hear it in its purest form :)
A: Even if there are a few songs like that, I have my boundaries. Also, what you are implying is quite illegal. The police department and I work on the same side of the law… mostly.


Q: I never met any of you but I was just wondering which one is like the nice guy, and which one is like the clown like with winding the others up? :)
A: We are equally not nice, and there are clowns everywhere. No to be fair, I’ll just have to dodge this bullet because I don’t feel like doing a deeper analysis of people who have made me feel bad in the past. Wasting thoughts on that just winds me up, and makes me annoyed anyway. So, I rather just pass. Sorry!

Q: I know Sonic Syndicate has some songs that never were played live. What about Dead Planet, Mission Undertaker, or Freelancer? They are all my favorite songs but I can’t find any video of them on YouTube. So did you ever play them live, or does no record exist?
A: We never played any of them songs live, unfortunately.

In The Unguided, will you guys have solos because in Sonic you guys didn’t really have any (except in Soulstone Splinter and Red Eyed Friend.)
A: There will be solos and major shredding, all right! Roland will make sure of that, whether we want it, or not, hehe.

Steve Svaj

Q: The band changed when Roland left. Was the only reason the touring? If so, I can understand but you stated shit started before Nathan entered the band.
A: Roland’s only reason, as far as I know, was touring—yes. We had other problems pre-Nathan–communication was a big problem. We also had our differences when it came to musical preferences, which started to show early. These are two examples that address your question.

Q: Was Nathan picked/favored by the record company?
A: Not picked, probably favored.

Q: What was your reaction to the final mix of WRTN?
A: In terms of instrumental mixing, I was satisfied. In terms of vocal balance, I was pissed off.

pissed off

Q: I know you had a current fight with Robin, and you are in contact with Roger and John. Does that mean you have a problem with Karin, Robin, and Nathan? (I am in doubt of Karin since you saw a show with her boyfriend recently.)
A: We are not fighting; we simply just ignore each other. And I didn’t see a show with Karin’s boyfriend. I work the same shift as him in my daily job, so we listened to his band’s latest effort together. 

Q: I have a question about Soulstone Splinter. It’s my favorite song with Sonic Syndicate for over four years now. I’ve checked the music video you did under the name Fallen Angels. I really want to know exactly what the songs lyrics are about. From my perspective I think it’s dealing with losing someone you love, Am I right or wrong?
A: It’s about losing someone you love, that’s correct. The whole Black Lotus demo was written during a time where a close friend of mine lost her dad to a hemorrhage. This affected me a lot, as I was the shoulder she cried on. The forces grabbed me and inspired my lyrics. All three songs on the Black Lotus demo were about losing someone, or something, that you love from different perspectives. Soulstone Splinter was about losing someone you love to death, and the injustice of it. Whoever has the Black lotus demo knows it’s dedicated to the memory of her father.

Q: When my friend and I saw the logo that was designed for The Unguided, we noticed that an element of the old logo for Sonic Syndicate was included. So we were wondering if that was an intentional thing?
A: I might have asked the artist to make something hinting on the Sonic symbol yes, but don’t tell anyone.

Q: How much was your average payment when you were playing in Sonic Syndicate?
A: For legal reasons I can’t give you any exact figures. But if I say I earn three times more now working as an electrician, I guess you can figure the rest out from that.


Q: How often do you practice with The Unguided?
A: It’s not like we rehearse. We rehearse while we record rather. I try to record and do some vocals everyday to keep it up.

Q: How did you become a musician (e.g education)?
A: I have no musical education whatsoever. I don’t even see myself as a musician. I like to express myself vocally and lyrically, and that’s what I’ve been doing for ten years. If that makes me a musician, that’s on you! Lyricist sure.

Q: How did Sonic Syndicate get a contract?
A: First contract we got was through our Fallen Angels – Extinction demo on the American label Pivotal Rockordings. Second contract we got by sending in a pre-production of Blue Eyed Fiend, Callous, Psychic Suicide and the album version of Jailbreak.

Q: How long did it take, for Sonic Syndicate to get a contract?
A: Three demos from Fallen Angels over the duration of three years, and we got our first contract. Two years later we got our second.

What were you all doing when you were on tour with Sonic Syndicate besides the performing?
A: Killing time with whatever tools provided. Roger and I liked to discover the cities, for example.

Killing time
Killing time

Q: Where have you toured with Sonic Syndicate?
A: Europe, US, Russia, and Asia.

Merry X-mas and happy New Year to all blog readers from us in THE UNGUIDED! I hope you all will be as excited as we are to venture into the new year!

Sincerely yours,


  • Lara säger:
    2010-12-22 | 16:54:46

    I can understand that you don't want to play in any bedrooms :D But next year in february I'm going to be 18 and it would be damn great if you would play at my birthday party in a bar!! :) Then I could die happily! :D

    Byebye, Lara :)

    PS: Wrote you an e-Mail long ago because of a tattoo, didn't get an answer yet :'(

  • Johan F säger:
    2010-12-22 | 18:12:56

    Skönt med ett nytt inlägg!

    Tråkigt att höra att det tog slut med bruden men samtidigt kul att höra och veta att du är på benen igen och mår bra!

    Och tack som fan att du du svarade på mailet, det betyder och att du tyckte om min paint bild!

    Håller på med en ny som jag kmr lägga ner mer tid på. : >

    God jul och gott nytt år Rich och hälsa din bror och Rolle !

  • Nils säger:
    2010-12-22 | 18:39:55

    woohoo, Hur kan man inte älska din humor?!:) det ger mig alltid ett leende på läpparna när man läser dina blogg inlägg =)

    "I’m slightly suspicious about why you picked the bedroom. " = LOOOOOL :D

    Wow, Du har verkligen varit upptagen men skönt att det mesta har löst sig nu!

    Jajja, Kämpa på!

  • Ryugu säger:
    2010-12-22 | 19:33:29

    Reading through your not-so-small-wall of text. i simply have to say, i do admire your way of standing on your feet in life. I'ts not an easy feat to cope with changes in life, yet you seem to be doing quite nicely. That together with the sheer fact your this honest with people you've (mostly) haven't even met or know. Makes you a very inspiring individual.

    oh yeah, first thought while reading teh epicwave of crap = huggles!

    p.s. didn't that sam dog die a few years ago?

  • Cat säger:
    2010-12-22 | 22:24:54

    Few things I want to mention...

    First, if you're feeling happier now with the new relationship, that's good enough for me XD

    Second, stupid assholes that rob you...grrr

    Third, I didn't like that tattoo contest... what about the other people that don't want to make tattoos?? I like tattoos...just on others =P You should be a little more considerate about your other fans that want to get some presents XD (just kidding)


  • sanna säger:
    2010-12-22 | 23:12:39

    Brilliant Richard!

    Och jag är inte alls avundsjuk gällande Blind Guardian prylarna, nejnej för fan.

  • Vigaren säger:
    2010-12-22 | 23:39:46

    Är skitpeppad på nya låtar! Också skitpeppad på att se er live någongång!

  • Renata Pieni säger:
    2010-12-23 | 12:26:56

    "Love is a hard thing to come by, you shouldn't throw it away because it's a bad idea" ;-) Go ahead and good luck!

    On "Only Inhuman", "enclave" came listed as written by Robin and Roland, not Robin and Roger =/

  • Magda säger:
    2010-12-23 | 16:20:48

    Haha herregud jag dör alltid av skratt när jag läser din blogg Rich. Den sarkistiska humorn jag ofta ser här är jag uppväxt med.

    Ditt liv har verkligen varit upp och ner, men bra att du verkar hålla humöret uppe iaf. Jag vet hur det suger att få saker stulna. Min kamera blev stulen för några veckor sen och hade inte hunnit ha den en vecka ens. Idioter det finns.

    Kommer sakna Rocco ju ;( han var det sötaste som fanns typ. Videon med han var bland det sötaste och roligaste jag sett. Du får kanske säga åt Carro att hon får se om han kan bli en filmhund haha. Synd att det tog slut men lycka till med nya tjejen. Finns inget bättre att vara nykär ( även om det var en miljon är sen jag senast var det haha)

    Haha blev visst ett litet meddelande. Var inte alls meningen. Skulle bara önska dig GOD JUL och ett gott nytt Unguided 2011 år (hoppas vi på) krama om Roger med och kram till dig med.

    Följ mig på twitter förresten precis skaffat det hahaha (heter Girlinheaven där)

    Stay metal! //Magda

  • David säger:
    2010-12-23 | 19:45:10

    Älskar din humor jag med "I’m slightly suspicious about why you picked the bedroom." det gjorde min dag!^^

    Tråkigt att höra att det tog slut med bruden. dock glad att du är på benen igen. Kämpa på! Kan it vänta tills de nya låtarna kommer ut! God Jul Till dig, Rolle och din broder! ;)

  • Dave McKee säger:
    2010-12-24 | 03:09:42

    How come whilst touring you never came to Ireland, or even Northern Ireland, for example NI is part of UK... just annoying that everyone 'dodges' us because they think we're terrorists. What I'm really saying here is when you tour with The Unguided would you please come to the Emerald Isle, I know a lot of people that would pay hundreds to see you HUNDREDS. Tack

  • Anonym säger:
    2010-12-24 | 04:12:33

    Roland hasn't been answering his mail. its been 3 weeks since I sent him a message and have not gotten a reply.

  • Tommi Tuominen säger:
    2010-12-29 | 02:05:45

    I was shocked when i heard that you left the SS. I found SS at 2008 and and i love it immediately. First album that i buy is LAOD and then i buy EF & OI. WRTN was not been SS, it was something strange. I say it was SS with mainstream popsounds and without screaming. I have over 5000 plays at my itunes library, mostly of OI, EF and LAOD. This autumn i was in nosturi and i finaly saw you live, without Roland but I had to accept it. But finaly i wait The Unguided new material and I wish you luck in the future.

    Tommi Tuominen

    Helsinki, Finland

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