(I suggest reading the first post before you read on because this will make very little sense without the background information.)
First off, WOW!!! My jaws literary dropped to the ground when I checked my mail the morning after the blog was published. I’m completely amazed by the huge support you guys are giving me! The endless stream of mails flooding my mailbox with your care, well-wishing, and individual thoughts on the subject means the world to me. It is truly inspiring! It’s also really heartwarming to see that this had such a big impact. I really didn’t expect to get that much of a response. You proved me wrong ten times over! Likeminded fans, old friends (even foes and other very unexpected persons alike) from all over the globe have voiced their honest opinion to me, and obviously I’m far from the only one thinking things have progressed into a downward spiral as of late. You guys blow my mind!
I CAN’T THANK YOU ENOUGH!!!
All I was pursuing was for people to know the truth. I didn’t even bother publishing it at any public place. However, the people who were searching for the truth, and knew something wasn’t quite right, were able to find this information! I’ve put my heart into replying to every single one of you, and sincerely apologize for the time delay—it was quite a process. Unfortunately, I’ve come to realize that I can’t answer all the questions for various reasons. However, I will answer most of them as precise as possible. Hypothetically speaking, if the official band statement were accurate to begin with, I would never have to go this far into detail anyway.
I apologize for any of the possible offensive, or aggressive, undertones that were in the original blog post. I was planning to write in a more professional format but then again, I wanted my disappointment to resonate as well. So, I was like, “Fuck it.” The first official post I can write in years and stick entirely to the truth? Yes, that’s exactly what I’m going to do! I don’t really care if a lot of personality did shine through.
You know I never was any good at shutting up anyways; I’m more of a screaming kind of guy ;) Also, I was never very good with straying from the truth. I would like to think that was the reason why I was never handed many interviews the past few years. My painfully honest words were not washed and filtered enough to fit the commercial thinking of the band’s attitude toward the media. (Either that, or I suck at them, hehe.)
I’ve received a few disturbing mails about fans selling their tickets, and I’d like to make my stand here: Please DON’T sell your tickets for the current tour. I’m positive that you will be very captivated by the live show, and we all know there was never a problem regarding live performances. The new material actually comes across heavier live, and there is a lot of old stuff in the set as well (at least during my last batch of shows). Christoffer is also a really talented replacement that has been working hard all his life to be in the position that he currently is in. In my book, Sonic Syndicate is still one of the leaders in live performances out there, in terms of energy and adrenaline. Just because the band and I walk two different paths now doesn’t necessarily mean there needs to be any hatred involved. See it like you will get two quality bands, instead of one. More is more ;)
Keep in mind this is my personal reflection of the topic. My story. It seems like a lot of you are aligned with that mentality BUT there are always two sides to a story. Please hear the band out as well before you get your definitive opinion. I guess there are only so many versions of the truth, though. But still, Roger and John are two members in the band I respect with all I have. I wasn’t being sarcastic when I wrote that I wish them all the good in the world.
I utterly believe that you receive what you give! I’m just delivering back what I have been through in the last year. Just in a tiny bit more spiked packaging I suppose.
There also have been many flattering mails including pictures of fans and I together, and I’d like to encourage all those people to send in more of that for my own sentimental reasons. I would definitely make sure to post a few of them here in upcoming entries together with your name. Please send those to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m also planning to put together a web team: webmaster, graphic artists, promoters etc. If you feel you have any qualities that would be helpful in the new project, don’t hesitate to mail me. Everyone is welcome to chip in with whatever area of expertise you may have.
Let’s make this together and make it right this time around!
I’ve received a lot of questions about interviews, and yes, I’m very open to doing interviews--whether it is via e-mail, phone, or actual meeting. Just mail me and we can figure out what works best for you! A recent interview from the local newspaper, HALLANDS NYHETER, can be found here.
Local Hero! \o/
Q: Why no official counter statement?
A: Honestly, I don’t know. I would love to believe that they are mature enough to just let it blow over. Seeing a counter statement will give this blog even more publicity but my better knowing tells me that this is not the case ;) However, they would be wise to not take action with more slander because that would very well push the lid off of Pandora’s box. Fortunately, I’m not sitting with just one card up my sleeve. Probably more like an entire deck. In any case, I’m not going to provoke anymore, so I hope we can leave it at that. (No, the truth is not in any sense provoking. It only is if your conscience allows it to be.) And yes, the silence makes me think better of them because in some weird way it seems like they accept what has been written, which grew a spine or two in that camp. But I’m sure they are plotting ways to undermine me, so don’t you worry about that! ;) After all, this is not the first vocalist change in that band. I got to witness that firsthand, and it’s an ugly process.
Q: Long posts?
A: This blog is currently a place for information, not entertainment.
Q: Is Roger leaving as well?
A: Roger is NOT leaving Sonic Syndicate, and is happy with his position in the band. I’ve linked his blog so if you have further questions please contact him.
Q: Any reaction at all from the band?
A: Nope. The overall vibe I got, however, was: “We shall show him!” So, maybe this is the catalyst of something good? I really hope it works as a wakeup call, and that the world will now finally be spared of further musical sludge from that camp. Maybe it will even bring them back to what they are good at in a future release? A lot of fans seemed to think WRTN is a partially decent album if they look at it as an effort from another band. But in the bracket as a Sonic Syndicate album, the fans expected something with much higher musical quality and standards. A fan said to me in his own words: “It´s just a shadow of its former glory.” couldn´t agree more. Personally, I’m a sucker for strong reactions, I especially liked this from the management:
A strong reaction
Q: Do you consider this as the beginning of the end for the band?
A: No, I think they will be just fine!
Q: Who is this secret friend of yours?
A: Johnny Cage from Mortal Combat
Q: Why now, in the middle of a tour, way past production and release of the latest album?
A: It’s complicated! This was a band I deeply rooted myself into for seven years. You simply cannot decide to throw in the towel all of a sudden in a day. Especially not when my own flesh and blood in the form of a brother was wrapped around the same pivot. Remember that I was planning my leave since the writing of WRTN. The situation started to become progressively worse, and more unbearable over the past year. It’s not hard to understand that these kinds of things take time. I needed this duration of time to adapt to a “band-less” existence in my head as well. I also had to secure my financial ground before I ultimately disconnected any ties since the band was my main source of income at the time.
Q: It sounded like you didn’t like the album from the beginning but you still made it anyways?
A: If I could go back and do it all over again, I would never agree to record that album, let alone participate in it. I probably would have left the band way earlier if I knew what the outcome would be. I was naive, too kind, and forgiving for my own good.
Q: “Turn it up,” WTF?
A: Yes... “Turn it up,” WTF?!
Q: Who/Whom did this to you? We want names!
A: You will not get any names, sorry. I’ve been very careful to refrain from namedropping, simply because it doesn’t matter. It happened. That’s what’s important! And after this experience, it won’t happen to me again. I also hope that with this, I can inspire other people to stand up for what they believe in and stay true to oneself.
Q: Come on who/whom are responsible for the change?
A: SIGH! Father Christmas?!
Q: Not afraid to get in trouble?
A: I’m not violating any contract regulations. I’m in the Swedish music union with good security, and I have connections to legal representatives and lawyers. As a matter of fact, I sleep awfully calm at nights. I’m also still a shareholder in the band’s company, which I have no intentions of signing over if there are any inconvenient complications. It’s Goliath vs. David indeed, just that David came armed with a shotgun instead of rocks this time.
Q: Are all Sjunnessons in the band brothers because I’ve read that you’re not?
A: Roger is my brother, and Robin is my cousin.
Q: How will this affect the Sjunnesson family?
A: My love and care for my brother Roger is endless. I have yet to see a person who has more of a pure heart than he does. I also really hope I eventually can bury the hatchet with Robin. The family is currently going through a very rough period, which overshadows everything. In fact, it makes this look like a sandpit fight. I hope in time we can think beyond our own egos.
Q: I’ve spotted a significant change in the way the lyrics were written on WRTN, could you please explain why?
A: I wrote all the lyrics on Eden Fire, Only Inhuman, Love and Other Disasters, and for the following songs on the Burn This City EP and We Rule The Night: Rebellion in Nightmareland, Break of Day, Heart of Eve, Dead and Gone, We Rule the Night, and Plans are for People. I also did most of my own parts on Beauty and the Freak. (It actually impressed me how a fan was able to spot my writing style in that song, in addition to extracting my exact words, yielding an accurate result. Kudos to that!) So yes, there was a significant change because there were simply two lyricists on We Rule the Night and on the Burn This City EP.
Q: Karin wrote an E-Mail to me and she said, in contrast to you, you were leaving because you weren't allowed to decide everything on your own anymore. But I read your blog and now I'm confused?
A: First off, I'm trying hard to not point any fingers here but with further lies, I unfortunately have to enforce a necessary evil with this question. Someone is obviously living in a very confused little world, and I'm surprised this someone is actually the one with the most dirty laundry in the clothes basket. Personally, I would be more careful, and strongly suggest sticking to the truth in the future. To be quite frank with you, there's a silly amount of hits on this blog, and I do think lying for the fans will backfire in a very unpleasant way eventually. To answer your question, I'll refer to my original blog entry.
Q: Some arguments sound like a good cop / bad cop kind of deal?
A: Yes some questions are more infected than others.
Q: Who did the clean vocals and solo on Eden Fire?
A: The clean vocals on the songs: Jailbreak, Enhance My Nightmare, History Repeats Itself, and Lament of Innocence were performed by Roland Johansson. The additional female vocals on Enhance my nightmare and Lament of Innocence were by Karin Axelsson. The solo in Soulstone Splinter was written and performed by Robert Sjunnesson, which is an uncle of mine. Not everything you read on the Internet (or Wikipedia) is true, you know.
Q: What will this new project sound like?
A: Most likely classic Sonic with whatever experience we’ve gained throughout the years. What I’m looking forward to most is to write without limitations. All doors will be wide open during the writing process.
Q: Is the musical project you are working going to be a solo singing project of a duo?
To the batmobile!
Q: Will there be any more members other than Roger, the old friend, and yourself?
A: We three will write the album, and then we’ll see what happens.
Q: Is this blog the best place to find info about your new project? I am really interested in it and want to be kept up-to-date.
A: That’s correct, for now.
Q: Is this the same reason why Roland left?
A: No, Roland left because he was sick of the touring life.
Q: Any name for the project yet?
A: It’s a secret project name as of now.
Q: Important persons for your vocal/lyrical career?
A: Roger Sjunnesson, Manne Engström, Alexi Front, Roland Johansson, Jonas Kjellgren, Mikael Stanne, Leah Eropkin, and Toby Wright. They all pushed/helped me in one way, or another, to be a better vocalist and lyricist. Most of them made me think in directions I never would on my own. As of vocal/lyrical influences: Mikale Stanne, Dani Filth, Anders Friden, Johan Lindstrand, Tompa Lindberg, Hansi Kürch, and Ville Laihiala. All of them had their fair share of impact in different turning points regarding my development.
Q: What happened/changed between EF/OI with you vocals?
A: During writing and recording of Eden Fire, my favorite band was The Crown, and Deathrace King especially, which I do think had a lot of influence on my vocals. Also, we started to play live shows a lot more during this time period. Along with that came vocal warm-ups, so my technique developed to be less exhausting for my vocal chords, which progressively made it slightly higher in pitch as well. Back then I was trying too hard to sound like someone else, rather than listening to how I sounded myself. So, I think that my mentality was the biggest change. I simply figured out what was the most natural and persistent state for my own vocal performance to endure the amount of rehearsals, live shows, and tours we had. This certainly hit me back in 2009 when we did the, “Spreading Love and Other Disasters…” tour and we decided to do the Contradiction/Prelude to Extinction back-to-back kind of deal. It took some time to adapt to the “old” style of singing but I really enjoyed it. I think it was an awesome live track.
Q: Is there an old pre-production demo before Only Inhuman for a song called “Presence of Mind?”
A: No, there are only three pre-production songs from that era. Psychic Suicide, Callous, and Blue Eyed Fiend. All can be found at YouTube, as far as I know.
Q: Are you a Christian?
A: No, I’m very neutral toward religions--an atheist, if you will. If you suggest I have a lot of biblical references in my lyrics, that’s very observant of you! But the bible is also the most quoted compendium in the world. I’ve read it but I see it as any other fictional book.
Q: Do you plan on trying to reclaim the rights to the songs from Eden Fire?
A: Not really, although I don’t see any reason why there couldn’t be certain live covers from EF, OI and LAOD in the future.
Q: What about the Sonic Syndicate name?
A: Won’t bother. I want to start with a clean slate even if I actually came up with the name back then.
Q: Isn’t there any chance that you can reason with the band, come back, and it’ll be all good again?
A: Not in its current state, no.
Q: It feels like Sonic Syndicate has progressively become a lot softer on every consecutive album, how come?
A: Eden fire -> Only Inhuman -> Love and Other Disasters was a natural development of the band. We Rule The Night was, in my view, forced. However, that answer is very relative in terms of whom you ask.
Q: Was this “cleaning out the screams” witch-hunt in the run already on LAOD?
A: Maybe on a smaller scale but it didn’t bother me as much when I got to write all the lyrics. Roland and I always had a united front toward certain demands, and if something was over the line, we simply wouldn’t do it. Also, I was a huge fan of Roland’s voice, so I loved working close to him anyway. I never felt it to such an extent in the past when I was able to work with Roland.
Q: A band going from melodic death metal to all the way pop, is a pretty big leap, could you explain how this happened?
A: Money and fame.
Q: Why was there less balance between the amount of screams and clean vocals on WRTN?
A: Money and fame.
"Your Name Here"
Q: In your eyes, when did the band first start going downhill?
A: Roland’s departure.
Q: What is your favorite Sonic album?
A: Could you not have asked for the worst, and allowed my life to be more simple? ;) I think EF, OI and LAOD are all fairly even on my, “favorite album” scale, leaning somewhat in favor of LAOD. Mostly because I think I developed as a lyricist very noticeably during OI -> LAOD, and to me it’s our best sounding record up to date. It also it includes my all time favorite song, which would be, Red Eyed Friend.
Q: What is your favorite Sonic Syndicate songs?
A: EF: Prelude to Extinction, OI: Double Agent 616, LAOD: Red Eyed Friend, BTC EP: Rebellion in Nightmareland WRTN: Heart of Eve.
Q: Why were the songs, Heart of Eve and Dead and Gone, which clearly were better than a lot of songs on the album, bonus tracks?
A: Because bonus tracks have to be better than album tracks. That is the first rule of Sonic Syndicate.
Q: Do you play World of Warcraft?
A: Yes Harbinger (main) and his accomplice Killbinger (alt) on Outland EU. Expansion looking pretty fucking sweet ;) Just joined a guild called <Affliction> convenient enough, hehe.
Q: Have you guys ever thought about touring in South America? The band was getting some fans and... Well, I'm just curious?
A: What do you think of Rolands new band DODGE?
Q: Well, it´s not Roland's new band, rather the band he had back in 2003-2004 before he even joined Sonic. And as far as I know, their current status is inactive.
Q: Can we play Starcraft 2 together?
A: My real ID is tied to the mail address you have been sending your questions to (please don’t spam me, hehe). As far as SC2, I’m not even through the campaign, and haven’t played one single multiplayer game yet. So, if you want to carry a noob sure! (I had mad skills in the original one through, can I still zergling rush? :S)
Q: Is there a way to subscribe to your blog so that we get e-mails to know when there are new subjects and news in your blog?
A: Is there? I’m not sure :( Just put it as your start page in the browser and you’ll be fine! ;)
Q: How do I scream/growl like you?
A: Eat hand grenades for breakfast, and use Zen of Screaming as warm-up. Saved me many times!
Q: With this new project will there be Sonic TV types of videos?
A: Yes, I just got Adobe Premiere as well. Bye-bye, Sony Vegas!
Q: Karin was talking about her tattoos, and she explained how you designed the dragon/rose tattoo. It’s so cool! Have you done any other designs? I’d love to see them if you have!
A: I’ve done quite a few tattoo designs for friends before my musical career. I was a huge art fan back then, and still am today. It was just that the band was so time consuming, I kind of put that aside for the music. I did manage to do a few cover artworks for various demo bands back then. Two of them could be viewed on the Fall from Heaven, and Black Lotus Fallen Angels demos. Other than that, I haven’t kept track of what happened to what I did back then, or where it could be viewed unfortunately.
Q: What can we expect from you in the future?
Headache due to headbanging
Q: What microphones studio/live do you prefer for your vocals?
A: In the studio I absolutely love the Shure SM7 (even have one at home in my home studio). EF, OI pre-production, and WRTN were recorded with one, and I love what it does for my voice. For live shows, I’ve been using an AKG D5 during the last two years. But I can’t help to think Shure SM58 is just a little bit crisper and needs less EQ to sound good.
Q: Is there any proof that this blog is not fake?
A: Is there any proof that aliens do not exist?
Q: Any chance you have a PS3?
A: Ask me after X-mas! My girlfriend is on the breaking point as we speak! *hint* *hint*
Wrote a comment back on my last blog post if someone missed it:
“Hey people! Sorry for the radio silence ;) I honestly did not believe in my wildest dreams I'd receive mails in this quantity and they just keep flooding my mailbox as we speak. So the whole answering process will be somewhat delayed until the steady flow of incoming mails will calm down. There's numerous of really interesting questions which will all get their own unique answer and as promised a FAQ will be included in the next post which I'm currently working on (expect it to be up next week). You will all get your private reply of whatever mail you have sent in so please just be patient and let me get on top of this mountain of mails :o Also keep in mind once the FAQ have been written and the mails have bin answered I will care little for questions about Sonic so if you have something grinding Your gears about the subject, ask sooner rather than later. No question is stupid or too irrelevant in My book. Huge thanks for the support! Yours sincerely /Richard - richardsjunnesson.blogg.se 2010-10-31 @ 08:10:16”
RIGHT! That’s all for now. I’ll let this sink in a couple of days before I torture you with any further information. I hope to have more details about the new project in the next blog entry!