Richard Sjunnesson

Official blog of Richard Sjunnesson (The Unguided)

It is the fool who puts faith in false saviors

Kategori: Allmänt


I’ll just cut the crap and spare you from any massive wall of texts in this blog entry, and give you the video you all have been waiting for, enjoy!:

(If you can’t watch the movie in your country for any reason, there’s a direct download link here 516mb)

I’m sure you have a lot of questions, questions that the not-so-secret entity (anymore) is willing to answer and his e-mail address is here: [email protected]

I found it pretty damn funny to see that the TheUnguidedTV YouTube channel received subscription awards before we even released any videos on it, haha. You guys rock! I also think I can, with clean consciences, promise to have two songs mixed and ready to be unleashed upon you in January from The Unguided. So you finally can hear what this madness is all about. The website is still being manufactured; together with artworks for future merchandise, also a symbol for the band is being created as we speak. The web team is being very busy. Keep up the good work!

The Heaven Shall Burn, As I Lay Dying, Suicide Silence, and Adept gig last week was really intense--as all of you following me on twitter already know. I’ll make sure to attend the Caliban, Soilwork and All That Remains, and  show coming up next week in Gothenburg as well! Can’t wait :)

"Where's your heart?"

FAQ Mark IV:


Q: I seems in your video Enclave, that you were singing cleans, but I'm not sure?
A: It’s good to know that I have a career in miming if The Unguided would fail!

Q: What accessories do you prefer?
A: My Achilles heel, when it comes to accessories, is the Italian brand POLICE. I’ve been wearing their gear on the last couple of videos and band shots. If there’s a store with the brand, I just can’t restrain myself from NOT buying something new!

Be younique or I´ll handcuff you!

Q: Will you have another take on the music genre with The Unguided? Please not hip hop like “Turn it up” :(
A: I can assure you that The Unguided will be a light year (if not more) away from an abomination like that.

Q: The “scuba gear” part in Mission: Undertaker, was it you or Roland who came up with that? =D Interesting lyrics haha.
A: Hehe, yeah I came up with that. Irony is the fuel of life right?

Q: As you confirmed that “Tunes of Silence” was, as a matter of fact, an active pre-Sonic Syndicate band, is there any chance you ever made a demo/ep/album that you would have a spare of for sale? Will there eventually be places on the Internet where I could listen to this “Reality into Fantasy” album? That would be really cool.
A: Nope. Nothing was ever printed with that. I made a cover artwork. But we never used it because the band disbanded before we recorded our first demo. There were, however, some rehearsal recordings somewhere. I just can’t seem to find them :(

Q: Do you have Fallen Angels demos that you could be interested in selling? I have the whole 'main' Sonic Syndicate collection; want it to be complete...
A: Unfortunately I’m not selling. As stated before, they have great sentimental value for me. I’d advise you to keep your eyes open on eBay!

Q: As you confirmed earlier, both you and Nathan wrote the lyrics. When I listen to “Black and Blue,” which, in all honesty, is an awesome song (even though it has a major lack of screaming)… but the lyrics... “Black and blue I bled for you?!” I mean... even MY lyrics are better, and that's just... strange...
A: Yeah I find it strange as well!? The national Swedish flag color is yellow and blue, as we all know, I guess it somewhere got lost in translation. However I didn’t write the lyrics for Black & Blue. I would write “black and black I bled for you,” obviously cause I’m cool like that!

Q: Did the exclusive maxi single for “Heart of Eve” reserve special artwork like all the singles as well? Could you post it on your blog, like you've done with pictures of “Tunes of Silence” and “Fallen Angels?”
A: Your wish is my command!

Sweden Rock Magazine #74 CD

Q: The artwork you posted on your blog for the Extinction demo is different from the one I’ve found on the Internet... Is that the right one? And the one with the child with tattoos and knives fake?
A: That was a little scheme from my side to test your state of awareness! You passed the test, GOOD JOB! I wouldn’t want you to mindlessly drone through my blog so sometimes I find it necessary to set boogie traps. The real artwork is the one with Abbadon embracing him with an impressive kitchen tool, yes. The artwork was created by the very talented, J. A. Aranguren, who also did the Eden Fire artwork. Somehow Mr. Aranguren strangely disappeared shortly after pre-production of Only Inhuman. He did, however, put out an Only Inhuman early artwork suggestion sketch which was never used (or completed because he literally vanished from the face of the earth). If someone could solve this mystery please contact me! It’s such a perfect Jack Bauer case. “The Extinction” artwork I posted on my blog was an early suggestion made from another artist from the same concept, which we never used.

Only Inhuman
Only Inhuman!?

Q: It's said on the Internet that the track “Mæstitia...” (From the Fallen Angels demo tape Black Lotus) is used as an introduction on some rare printings of Eden Fire, true or false?
A: False, as far as I know.

Q: Have any of the bands you’re close with, such as In Flames and Dark Tranquility (I assume), said anything about the band’s recent changes? Did they like, or not? Because I remember one of the reasons why I bought Only Inhuman was because it stood on a big yellow sticker that Anders Fridén, from In Flames, personally thought it could be the album of the year... and man was he right.
A: I’ve received a lot comments from many different friendly bands around the globe but not DT or IF, no.

Q: Some people on YouTube are wildly claiming things like: Nuclear Blast FORCED you to get long hair, WTF?
A: I grew out my hair of own free will. No one had anything to do with it. Well, except my girlfriend, who possibly told me to cut it once or twice, hehe. I had short hair for a couple of years so I figured I wanted to try something new, and I just let I grow. However, I went back to short hair since I shaved it off after I announced to the band that I would leave as an act of freedom! ;)

Long hair
My own choice :o

Q: What band influenced Sonic Syndicate's sound the most? In Flames, Soilwork, Killswitch Engage, or Dark Tranquility? And why?
A: For me personally: Dark Tranquility, In Flames, Soilwork,  and Killswitch Engage (in that order actually), all influenced me vocally or lyrically. Everyone else in the band has listened to the bands pretty actively as far as I recall. I also think Atreyu had their fair share of impact for the band as well. In our early days, if someone found a cool album or band, it ended up spreading like an epidemic to the other members. However, most recently our personal musical preferences, and tastes are very different from each other.

Q: Can you point out some of the highlights about that band?
A: Ehm, somehow when I think back on things like this I always tend to remember the most negative stuff, while the positive and fun parts are left out in the shadow. But the US tour with Nightwish, and the European tours with In Flames and Deathstars were big highlights for me. The live show, in general, is what I remember being the most joyful part.


Q: You said that it was a must for the bonus tracks by Sonic Syndicate to be killers... but what happened with “Heart of Eve” and “Perfect Alibi?” HoE, I know the answer to, though... I mean PA is a nice song as well... it’s just... not really Sonic Syndicate material at all, at least not bonus Sonic, ‘cause those always used to kill my mind!
I was hitting you with a big hammer of irony stating that all the Sonic bonus tracks MUST necessarily be the album’s best tracks. It was NEVER intentional. It’s just the reaction we got afterwards that the bonus tracks on the album was the most likable in a lot of situations. I think after an album is recorded, it’s really hard to be objective, and know what songs are good. And what is not so good. It comes into perspective a lot later.

Q: Will The Unguided follow the bonus track thingy?
A: No, all tracks will be equally awesome ;)

"You're awesome!"

Q: THE NAME! The Unguided... Won’t it bother you knowing that the entire band name is dedicated to your old band in a way? Like the band, We Are the Fallen (former Evanescence members), which was ‘forged’ after the release of Evanescence, the major debut album Fallen...
A: Since I came up with the names for both Sonic Syndicate, and The Unguided, I will have little problem with walking down that very same road. I’m proud of what we archived in Sonic, and this is just a continuation of all the things I enjoyed in the band.

Q: How did you manage to keep on top of WoW, tour, and record albums?
A: It’s all about prioritizing. Every sane man knows EPICS > ALL ;) hehe. Nah, I mean being on tour there’s a lot of time to be killed, and Wi-Fi in combination with games is a good tool to literally annihilate any spare time. For example, I’ve probably seen Roger online on REAL ID more now when they are on tour than any other occasion since SC2 was released, coincidence? I THINK NOT! Most of the venues backstage areas around the world are equipped with Wi-Fi, and whenever there was a direct connection I made sure to sport that instantly, hehe. While recording albums, it’s even easier! Just sinister strike between the vocal takes, it’s really not that hard to make your way through with a two button class as rogue. 

Q: Were you guys playing those cellos and fiddles in My Escape, or just faking?
A: I thought the fact that we look like a bunch of retards trying to molest these instruments gave it all away BUT just to make it clear: We were faking the shit out of those scenes! If anyone that actually had talent on these instruments would see that footage, I’m pretty sure their very eyes would bleed heavily. And fact is, the people who walked by when we did that shot instantly bled from their ears…


Q: I recall seeing you with In Flames, and you only played Jack of Diamonds from the LAOD record. I found that odd.
We released LOAD during the In Flames tour. First off, we probably didn’t know how to play that stuff because it was not rehearsed. And the LOAD album was written on tour. Secondly, we saw little meaning in playing songs from a record that people had hardly heard anyway. Let’s face it; people were there to see In Flames, not us. We wanted to gain fans, and that would not happen with playing songs we hardly knew how to play. So we played safe!

Q: Will you do a remake of the songs from Fall From Heaven? I would really love it, and I'm sure other fans, too.
A: I’d like to do it at some point. But I don’t think that time is right now.

Q: Will there be keyboards be like in EF on The Unguided?
A: Sure hope so Roger! *hint* *hint*

Q: How old were you when you started writing lyrics/poems/whatever?
A: I wrote my first lyrics to a song in 2000, 16 years old. I never wrote a poem. I guess lyrics are a sort of poetry, though. I did write a lot of fictional stories during my school years. My teachers thought I was mentally unstable because they were often pretty gory and detailed… in the wrong way, hehe. I did my first whatever… whatever.

Q: I feel that I am very talented in writing poems, but I know that it can’t be my future job because I can't earn money with that. I don’t want to be in a band just to let the world know my poems because a band is far more complicated than lyrics. However, I want to show my talent to others but I don't know how. Maybe you’re not the best person to answer my question well, but you are a big ideal to me even in lyrics, so I would like to hear your suggestion.
A:  WRONG! I’m the best person to answer your question ;) I would suggest writing a book, or to expose your poetry to people through a website of some sort. If it’s good enough, with proper promotion, you will be recognized. And even if it doesn’t, still do what makes you feel happy. That’s all that matters in end, not the quantity of people attracted to your work. If you do something that makes you feel happy, and you love it to bits, that’s all that matters. Who cares if not a single person likes it really?

Q: Do you think that it is Nathan’s fault that Sonic Syndicate is where they are today?
A: That they are in Southend-on-Sea in England today? I think it’s more the booking agents fault to be fair.

Q: You have a couple tattoos, right? So, do any of them have a significant meaning? Like different parts of your life, etc.? If so, which ones, and what do they mean? (Pictures too if possible.)
A: So exactly where on my body are these tattoos located? I haven’t seen any the past 26 years in my life. And that’s probably because I don’t have any. Do you have any idea how unique it feels to walk around completely tattoo-less in the metal community?

Blank body

Q: If you could go to any point in time, be it the future portrayed in a movie, or something from our past, where would you go, and why?
A: I was always very fascinated by dinosaurs when I was little, and I do want to see those kinds of massive creatures. So, 65 million years ago would be an optimal time to travel to. I’d be sure to have meteor protection!

Q: What do you think of newer metal bands? I read you like the Irons, Metallica, and of course heavier stuff, but from older bands. Any new hopes?
New hopes? They are all just copies of these bands anyways ;) No I listen to all sorts of metal actually! Steaming fresh, ancient, and everything in between. I have a hard time to select bands because there are so many. My all time favorite band is Blind Guardian, through. I don’t think today’s bands can outgrow or be equally as big as Iron Maiden, or Metallica, but I sure think there’s hope all right in the new generation of bands!

Q: When can we hear The Unguided?
Hopefully January!

Q: I’d like to know what “Soulstone Splinter” means. I’ve been wondering what it was for a loooong long time :D
A: I tend to write the meanings of the soul, mind, and heart, and how they are all connected. “Soulstone splinters in my heart,” was a subjective take on this. I mean, get the image in your head that shards from your very soul are piercing your pounding heart. Now that’s pain! And that was what I wanted to portray with the lyrics, and title of that song.

Master Splinter

Q: I’m very bad at English, and I sometimes have a hard time understanding your blog. Where did you learn all these complicated words?
A: No worries! You’re not the only one, most of the time I don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about either. But I guess watching movies and series without subtitles when I was growing up had a big part in my English vocabulary. Also, reading English books and being involved in my gaming helped a lot, too.

What record setup do you have?
A: For vocals I use a Shure SM7 through a Golden Age Pre73 preamp, and then into a Digidesign Mbox2 and Protools 8.0LE. AKG K-240 STUDIO headset, and a pair of YAMAHA HS50M monitors.

Shure sm7
Shure SM7

Q: How in the world do you find time for everything? Everything with the band and blog, whilst you raid in WoW, and on top of that have a relationship? I raided myself 3-4 days a week and my girlfriend wasn’t all too happy about that.
Any tip?
A: I don’t :(  I did solve the raiding issue neatly through! I got her into the game and started to raid with her, hehe. I think WoW is surprisingly female friendly, especially basic classes like… ehm, mages for example? (Says the rogue woopsie). A simple class in combination together with the blood elf character creation is like poison to them! You know where they can fix their characters hair and such, you insist on that its bit like Sims but only better of course. You can also lie and say they get to select colour of their nail polisher once they reach lvl 80, and I’m pretty sure you’ll have a solid case! I told my girlfriend she’ll get a magical horse when she reaches 80, and so she did…TRH as a matter of fact. Then she wondered why everyone did /spit on here in Dalaran :( Bless her <3

That Retarded Horse

Q: Your favorite band?
A: B to the LIND to the G to the UARDIAN. Does it echo in here?

Q: What happened to the song Breaking Benjamin’s Leg?? And also I heard on sonic TV where you announced Nathan as the new singer during 1:44 , and during the making of we rule the night during at 10:31, and why weren’t these songs included on any albums or anything?
A: Breaking Benjamins leg = Contradiction. It kind of got an extreme makeover in the studio through. 1:44 is early middle eight of Rebellion in Nightmareland. 10:31 is Sevendust – Home, Produced / mixed by Toby Wright. He used something he was familiar to sound wise as reference to examine the monitor sound.

Q: I love the song "Enclave" a lot. It is in my top 5 Sonic songs, so my question is that I've seen live footage of you doing back up screams for the song. Is there a reason why you never put screaming vocals in the studio version?
A: It was intended for radio usage. Screaming vocals is not from what I’ve heard.

Q: Sorry if this is a question you get a lot,  but I’ve found a good technique in my screaming practice. However, my scream is kind of fading. I don’t feel like I’ve got the full control over it, you know? So my question is, is there anything drinkable you’re using for your throat, or just a common drink to keep your screams steady?
A: Live, I think warm water or water with room temperature is optimal. I think any other fluids just pass your vocal chords, while water actually hits them full on. Cold water is nothing I would recommend because, to me, it seems like I lose a bit of control over my voice when my cords are cold, while warmer water does the exact opposite. In the studio I try to coat my throat with chocolate or bananas, however weird that may sound. The amount of Reisen I ate during recording of WRTN is ridiculous, haha.

Q: I know it doesn't matter at all, but have you ever heard of a band called “Bleeding Through?” Sorry but I'm curious ;)
A: I’ve heard about them but can’t say that I listen to them frequently.

Q: Why are all your band names made up of some people's character?! There are members of a Sonic Syndicate, some Fallen Angels, and now The Unguided. Why don’t you call that band kind of like, “The Ultra-Brutal Llamas?” Waaah, sounds creepy, I'm sorry.
A:It makes perfect sense to me now why I´m coming up with the band names and you are not. :(

An ultra-brutal Llama

Q: I’ve found an acoustic version of Denied with both Roland and yourself on vocals?
A: Sounds about right. It was for a Swedish TV show back in 2007. Don’t remember channel or name of the show, through.

Q. I want to play guitar in your new band. Is it possible to make some kind of audition or something? Or do you already have a full band for the new project?
A: That’s nothing we are looking for at the moment, sorry. There will be three core members, and the rest will be more like hired guns for studio recordings, or live setup. We’ll think twice about letting people into this band. When I make a mistake, I learn from it, you know?

Q: I’m wondering how it’s possible that your English is so good.  Are you sure you’re Swedish?
A: If my mother didn’t have any affair with the postman or chimney-sweeper, I’m afraid I am :E


Q: And I would really like to know how Sonic Syndicate uses the synthesized sound live? I’ve seen them twice and I didn’t see a keyboard player or anything?
A: That’s probably because it’s play backed from a computer. The band is playing in synch with a click track aligned with the keyboards / vocal harmonies on a backtrack.

"Keyboard player"

I've got just one question, and I got tired these last two years, because of asking more than 100 people and there’s still no result: The question is how to learn growling, screaming etc.... I searched for any growl lessons in Berlin, no result :(
A: I started with normal singing and then picked up screaming vocals as I discovered it. I learned it at home through trying to mimic singers I thought were good. Sounded horrible in the beginning but kind of improved rapidly day by day.

Q. I just saw this video on YouTube of you singing Jack of Diamonds while the rest of the band was playing Denied here. At what point did you realize you were singing to JoD? I must say, your ability to cover up your fail impresses me.
A: OH, Jack of Denied, that farce was clearly intentional ;) Ehm, what I think happened was that I introduced Jack of Diamonds when we were supposed to play Denied. So that, in combination with heavy LSD (lead singer disease), made me so confident that it was Jack of Diamonds and nothing else. In the end, I kind of pulled Nathan with me down that hole. I mean most of the time I was in my in-ears-monitor-Richard-world anyway, so if the band played another song, who cares? Haha. Not so professional, maybe.


Q: If I want to buy another album of “old SS,” like OI, will any profit go to you at all even though you are not in the band anymore? ‘Cause it is something that you made, and some profit should go to you even though you’re not in the band anymore. Is it so, or not?
A: Nah, not really. The band is not earning any money from album sales either because it’s recoupable money that goes into covering tour support we received from the label. So, it’s not until we break even that the band would actually make anything on album sales. I do, however, earn a small percentage of money every time a song is played live, on the radio, or on Spotify, etc. 

Q: Sun, 21 Nov 2010 16:11:23 Why the F*ck was your blog down? :,(
A: sucks. I´ll migrate soon enough.

Q: Please don’t let the negative experience you’ve had with the outside forces influencing you towards softer music to push you away from it entirely, or make you ignore something that you do have a talent for, which is making great music, even if sometimes it appeals to a more general audience.
I’ve taken your words into consideration, but keep in mind on this project we will write what we feel like. If we feel for a soft song, we’ll write a soft song. But no one is going to be able to go in and say to us WRITE US A SOFT SONG SO WE CAN PUSH IT ON RADIO! Very much like what happened in Sonic. It will come naturally. I don’t hate soft music; I love all kinds of music. And I sure like Enclave, Contradiction, and My Escape, for instance. Time will tell :)

Q. How did use go from masterpiece albums such as Only Inhuman to… (I shall not mention its name; it makes me sick)?
A: It’s beyond me as well. :(

There is one main question I haven’t bothered to ask Sonic about, but would prefer to ask you now. Why was it stated on the website before We Rule the Night was released, that Sonic Syndicate was planning to tour in Australia during 2010 but never seemed to do so? Just wondering if you knew anything about it.
A: From what I know there is nothing planned yet for Australia. Seeing that we were playing in Japan this year, we were looking into booking something in Australia as well. But in the end we set focus only on Japan. It would be smart to do it together with a Japan tour of some sort, though, so I guess that is what will happen. Whenever it DOES happen, I have no idea.

Land Down Under

Q: I found acoustic versions of Enclave and Denied on Youtube! Are they real? I already know there are acoustic versions for Contradiction and Jack of Diamonds, but are there more from OI or LAOD?
A: That’s real, yes. But that should be all acoustic versions for the songs from OI / LOAD, as far as I know.

Q. Is it right, Robin and Roger want to leave Sonic too?
A: Not as far as I know.

Q: Have you had any contact with Sonic members recently? Or do you not talk to them anymore?
A: No contact with anyone, save for Roger.

Q: They are many Profiles from Sonic syndicate and members on MySpace and Facebook, you know? Are they real, or is it all a fake? Managers normally create Profiles on Communities, but I don’t know if I can believe something like this, and if the real person reads the comments, or something like that.
A: Every single one of them has their own MySpace and Facebook (save for John on FB), and should be operating them themselves. But I’m sure there are a lot of fake profiles as well, through.

Q: I really wanted to join you in WoW but the realm you are on is full
!! Now how are fans able to play with you?
A: Start to level! ;)
Sorry this one was bad :(

Q: Anyways I was wondering what your opinion was on that “Turn it up” video because from where I'm standing (no offense) it was a disgrace, and I wanted to know how anyone in the actual band could have said, “Yeah, that’s good, let’s go with it.”

I think it was awkward, and we weren’t told anything about what we where supposed to do in the video, or how it would project us until the actual recording day. Guess the intention was to do a Rammstein--do something really controversial, so to speak, for newspaper headlines. Which was weird because WRTN was aimed at such a young audience. The fact that the video counteracted that audience with something that was clearly out of their age was hard to defend from an ethical standpoint.

That’s that!
Till next time…