Richard Sjunnesson

Official blog of Richard Sjunnesson (The Unguided)

What bridge to cross and what bridge to burn...

Kategori: Allmänt

(If you’re here to find out about the current development in Sonic Syndicate, I recommend you to read the original before you read on)


So, I’m going to make it official as of now, the new band name will be *drum roll*:
“The Unguided”
It just went through all legal necessities over at the patent and registration office, and I have a letter in my hand stating that we own the name from now on.

We also have a logo made in vector graphics by the very talented and upcoming artist, Leah Eropkin. Which I played around with in Photoshop to give you this:

The Unguided
You can´t blind the blind 

For whoever has been following this blog, it’s not hard to understand that the name can easily be applied and attached to the current situation. So, I do think the name itself is very self-explanatory. I made it very clear in an interview that in this project we will spend less time staking out a path of where we/external opinions want to take this, and spend more time on writing what we feel. Even with that said we are still very interested in hearing what kind of favorite songs/lyrics you have been having in Sonic throughout the years. I’d love to work more closely with you, and of course I’m very open minded when it comes to suggestions from the fans, as you all can see from all the replied e-mails.

So, please send in your favorite Sonic Syndicate song/titles/lyrics to [email protected] and write a couple of lines as to why, and what elements in the song/title/lyrics made you like it in the first place. Chop it up in album sections to make it easier to overview as well. Please don’t write essays! It’s very time consuming to review everything. Just try to make everyone happy and write a short comment to every song.

Other trivia about the band name is that “The Unguided” is also the religious fanatic faction in the real-time tactics game, “Syndicate Wars,” back from 1996. How awesome (and nerdy) am I!?

There has been a 100% positive response in all e-mails/comments! I might just have to exit my defensive stance and file down my thorns because there has been NO negative response whatsoever--I mean, come on, not even one single negative e-mail!? Only huge support and care so far from your side towards the current development. Couldn’t be happier! I love reading your daily mails. I got a very good view of where a lot of the fans stand, and what you want to experience regarding an upcoming project. Also, the blog has been up for more than a week, and every single day reaches a new record in viewers. Makes me a happy pony!

Surfing around on some YouTube clips from the current live shows (sounds really good, good job Christoffer and S-Team!) I was still able to hear some backtracked vocals from me, which ironically put a big smile on my face. I wonder if that means there will be a percentage of money in the bank for my participation when the tour is over. I’ll let you know!

I’ve also received reports from fans that are unable to comment on the latest clip from the SonicSyndicateTV YouTube channel. Very disturbing! I took matters into my own hands and investigated this myself. Unfortunately it seems like my browser is bugged as well; the comment field simply doesn’t show up? If anyone knows how to fix this problem, please advise the official Sonic MySpace for technical support! And yes, I’m being sarcastic. I’m such a jerk… sorry.

Anyways! The web team I’ve tried to assemble the past week is now 25 people strong and growing (!!!). People with different areas of expertise and skills have rushed to my aid in order to help out with whatever necessities I’ll be unable to focus on myself during the creative process. I’m still looking for qualified resources; so don’t be afraid to mail! I am looking for someone in particular with experience in Flash. A website is also being developed as we speak, which will be up in a couple of weeks. Progress!

A couple of days ago I started to shoot a new “SonicTV” type of video episode for an upcoming blog entry. This video will reveal the secret person involved in the project. So stop all your speculations and just have patience. The answers will come! And yes, Rocco will be a star actor in the cast once again, hehe.

Oh, and if you want to subscribe to the blog, from what I understand, this will help you:

Some love from the fans:

I´ll miss you :,(

Here are some links tied to the current development:

Calon FM/ Metalheadz
Skype Interview:
Part I
Part II 

Backstage Forum

Written interview:

English version
Portuguese version






FAQ Mark II:

All answered questions on the last FAQ seamed to generate even more questions. I’ll try to address them here:

Q: Official band statement removed?
Well, some people deny the holocaust. Doesn’t change the fact that it still happened.

Q: Do you have a twitter account?
Yes! Find it here. Follow away!

Q: When do you think the name of your secret project will be revealed, and when will this old friend of yours be mentioned with a name?
A: Band name in this blog, secret entity in the next one IF the video is ready by then.

The Riddler

Q: Will you play live/tour with this new project?
The focus for now is on recording an album. We’ll take stand on a possible live setup later in time.

Q: Do you like touring?
A: I love it! When a lot of people go out on a tour, all they see is the inside of a tour bus. But when I go out on tour I really try to experience the new cities and countries. I guess there are a lot of “third world country” problems on tour. For example, that guaranteed shower at home is not always going to be guaranteed on tour. But you have to be extra clever and invent new ways of hygienic thinking. Like the water bottle shower, or the fearsome sink shower!

Q: Are you open for guest vocals?
I guess I am if I can record them at home. At the moment, I have no time in the world to travel anywhere for a guest appearance.

Q: How much do you workout, and how do you plan your gym time?
In a perfect world I try to do biceps, back, stomach first day. Triceps, shoulders second day, and cardio/running third day (~10km). And then repeat the cycle. No resting day, I try to get a good night’s sleep and as many hours I can get for recovery, using soya gainer (protein/carbs) after every session. I try to stick to this when I’m in my prime. But as of now, I don’t have any time for this schedule. Also, I’m not too fond of any workout theories, (I believe there are as many theories as there are people working out.) I just go to the gym because I think it’s fun, and it makes me stay healthy. Also, I’m not saying what I do is optimal in any way but it makes me feel good about myself and keeps me motivated to proceed with it.

Healthy workout

Q: Thank you for yesterday’s performance! I have pictures if you want me to send?

A: Clue up?

Q: Why WoW?
A: First of, I was attracted by the charm and magic of it, like in every Blizzard game. Lately, I’ve become very fond of the number hunt behind it--the math and mechanics really interest me. I spend almost more time in spreadsheets and optimizing gear, thinking out new rotations, than actually playing the game (Reforging was ACE! I spent so much gold on it). And when it comes to Warcraft, I’m a bit of a lorewhore as well, playing the classics, and a big fan of Blizzard games in general. When Roger and I were growing up we played the original Starcraft and Diablo A LOT living at our parent’s house, driving them insane at nights! The day I downed Arthas, a tiny piece of my soul died through :,(

Q:  Did you grind High Warlord by yourself, if so how much of an insomniac were you?
A: It was a personal challenge for me (and quite a challenge indeed!). No, I didn’t sleep very much during the time, and put a lot of effort into it gaining more than 1 million honor/week just to get standing 1 the last 7 weeks in a row for the final push. This was necessary because the competition on Bladefist was ridiculously INSANE! It was hardcore and STUPID at the same time, and nothing I would consider doing again (yes I know rated battleground coming up…). But I’m proud of it and don’t regret it! After all, two shooting Paladins before the melee mechanics nerf with the HWL daggers was good fun, hehe. Couldn’t have done it without my fellow hardcore people in <Callous> though, HAIL and KILL!

High Warlord Harbinger
"High Nerdlord"

Q: Who is “Ikkiku” on Youtube? They seem to be on a crusade about you?
A: Unknown vigilante it seems to me. I do value his work though, and would love to work more closely to him.

Q: Have you ever listened to Disarmonia Mundi? If so, what is your favorite song?
A: Yes! “Oceangrave,” by far! I’m a proud owner of, “Fragments of D-Generation,” and “Mind Tricks,” which are in my LP collection.

Q: *Insert Turn it Up lyrics* WHO?!? WHAT?! WHY?!?!?! /head explosion
A: /corpse explosion

Q: Tips on how to write good lyrics?
A: I’d love to do an in-depth tutorial, but I simply don’t have the time at hand as of now. In rough lines of how I work: I listen to the song; try to get a feeling for it and what emotions it provokes in me. Set up a fixed theme/story out from that emotion. I have a very clear theme before I write anything about what I want to deliver with my words so it doesn’t come out too random and straggly. I start with the chorus, and then I get a rough melody and rhythm down. Then I write the words for the chorus pretty straightforward so the message is clear, and it doesn’t encrypt itself with too many metaphors, or between the lines kind of writing. If the chorus is bad or shabby, the song is bad/shabby in my book. The chorus should carry the song--this is where you want to blow your load ;).  Continue with verses, middle eight etc. and carry on your story. Play around with rhythm and melodies! I write a lot of verses using many metaphors, and encrypt the hell out of them. This is simply just my way of writing.

I spend bigger parts of the day trying to figure out shit, dreaming and look into hiding meanings and unlikely connection in my life and the world. That’s what I usually write about and what inspire me. To be fair a lot of my lyrics is just a more sophisticated way of writing a dairy for me cause even if it’s fictional I can always tie it to something going on in my life and are highly topical in my whole existence. If I go back on our records it’s like a timeline of what I´ve been through the last seven years. I also get a lot of inspiration from movies, series, games and books. If I hear / see anything cool that really speaks to me I write it down or record a rough melody / rhythm of it and can lean back on that once I go into myself and start to write lyrics / vocal arrangements.

Q: What are your hobbies besides music?
A: Movies, Series, Games, Art, Electronics, Media, Books, Girlfriend, Friends, and Gym.

Q: What are your favorite bands to listen to?
A: My all time favorite band is Blind Guardian. They have always been there for me when I was growing up. I’ve yet to see a band touch me in the same way as Blind Guardian’s music/ lyrics have. Hansi Kürsch is hands down the best singer/lyricist in the world with his unique voice and lyrics. Dark Tranquillity is also huge for me. But keep in mind I listen to almost everything. I’m very open-minded when it comes to good music. Going hot in my iPod at the moment is: Parkway Drive – Deep Blue, Dimmu Borgir – Abrahadabra, Blind Guardian – At the Edge of Time, Amorphis – Tales from the early years.

Guardian of the blind
Guardian of the Blind

Q: What kind of movies do you watch? And what is your favorite movie?
A: I watch everything! My favorite movie of all time is probably Terminator II through. But LOTR trilogy, Matrix trilogy, Alien quadrilgoy, StarWars and Underworld trilogy is in the top bracket for me.

Q: First, how is Rocco (the destroyer of worlds :P) doing? And, how old is Rocco? Were you the one who started to call Rocco, “destroyer of worlds,” or was it someone else??
A: He’s doing fine! Not liking the cold weather in Sweden at the moment but he’s putting a lot of effort into growing more fur to deflect it! Rocco is 3,5 (human) years old. “Rocco: The destroyer of worlds,” was written in an alien language on the space capsule we found when he crash-landed on planet earth.

Q: On the Internet there’s some talk about this so-called band, “Tunes of Silence,” which was a so-called pre-band to Fallen Angels/Sonic Syndicate, any truth?
“Tunes of Silence,” was the band Roger, Robin, and I had before Fallen Angels (formed 2000). It was more heavy metal oriented, mostly doing covers, and featured myself on glass shattering clean vocals WOOPIE?!

Tunes of Silence
Tunes of Silence

Q: Fallen Angels was quite different from most Sonic, especially the “Fall From Heaven” demo, why change?
Listen to the “Fall From Heaven” demo again and you will answer your own question!

Q: On the Internet, it’s stated several places that your former drummer, Kristoffer Bäcklund, did the clean vocals on Eden Fire alongside Roland, but I wonder if it only was Roland?
Kristoffer Bäcklund did not do any clean vocals on “Eden Fire.” It was only Roland/Karin, which was stated in my previous blog. However, he did perform them a couple of times live. Kristoffer Bäcklund currently sings in a band called, “What Tomorrow Brings.”

Q: What were your first thoughts about Nathan, and the departure of Roland?
Listening to Nathan’s vocals in his former band’s album a lot made a big impression on me and seems to me he had a great personality as well. First impression on Roland’s departure was: EDEN FIRE TIME, BABY! Haha no, I love the guy and it was sad to see him go. But he had his reasons, and I’m totally fine with that.

Q: Are there any “Fallen Angels” CDs left? (Just curious.)
A: I own a very limited few, which have a big sentimental value for me, which I’m guarding with my life! I’ve heard people have been able to obtain it on eBay, though. I’m not sure how many we did print, but a couple of hundreds should be out there.

Fallen Angels

Q: And you said in this video on YouTube these words “I never heard the songs that good to be fair,” was that the truth? Or, was that promote Nathan to the fans?
I Lied :(

Q: Are you and the members of Sonic Syndicate still friends? Or, are you, like, fighting now?
MORTAL COMBAT! Nah, we’re not fighting. We are just ignoring each other to death at the moment. Ignorance is strength! But yes, there’s friction. My brother and I are obviously on good terms.

When “We Rule the Night” came out, I rushed and bought the special edition of the album. I was a bit disappointed as you guys already had confirmed a second bonus track for the special edition, but it was dropped for a damn music magazine... why? “Heart of Eve” simply killed most of the “We Rule the Night” songs. It reminded me of old Sonic Syndicate.
A: What can I say? Music biz sucks big donkey balls. A big percentage of the band was not happy with this but it was too late to do anything about it. In a perfect world (my world), “Heart of Eve” would have opened the entire album! HELL YEAH!

Q: Are/were you the only one in the band disappointed with the album?
A: Nope

Q: I really liked the contrasts between your harsh and heavy growls and screams, and Roland’s clean vocals (when balanced properly, like in “Love and Other Disasters” and “Eden Fire.” Not like it is now in WRTN). Will there be clean vocals in the future? 
A: Yes

Q: How do you make a living these days?
A: Luckily, I have an education to fall back on. I was educated as an electrician. Something I love doing as well! That is my current occupation.

Sweden got them!

Q: What hopes do you have for your new band?
A: Making good music from the heart with no limitations is all I’m after.

Q: Will the album be named, “Only Love and Other Inhuman Eden Fire-Disasters?”
A: Clever ;)

Q: What does the name Sonic Syndicate mean?
A: A syndicate: “is a self-organizing group of individuals, companies or criminals formed to transact some specific business, or to promote a common interest, or in the case of criminals, to engage in organized crime.” Sonic is just a more sophisticated name for audible sound waves (and not a squirrel… hedgehog type of rodent). So, Sonic Syndicate!? The original idea of the unique name was that it suggested an inner circle of people working with sound in their own direction with no influence from external forces. IRONIC, HUH?!

Q: Will this third member of the project you are wishing to start possibly have the name that also starts with an R?
A: J!?

Q: Do you play any other online games besides WoW and SC2? Would be fun to play with you!
Not at the moment, no.

Q: The tips on learning to scream are working so well, been eating hand grenades 3 times a day!
Good boy! Add napalm and see what abyssal screams that will generate ;)

Fire in the throat!

Q: Have you thought about doing a tour in South America? Is there any chance now this new band?
You again! Record album first, live setup after!

Q: Why was the album delayed almost half a year?
It was remixed, which is a huge process.

Q: It might be a bit of an early thing to ask, but are you going to release your new album by a label?A: We already have a few labels interested, but I’ll be very careful with signing onto anything. It’s something we have to discuss.

What happened between Robin and you? As family, and band mates, I can’t see a reason why you two wouldn’t still be tight, but I read in your blog that you hope to "bury the hatchet" with him. So my question is, what exactly happened to your relationship with Robin?
A: It’s as silly as musical preferences.

Q: Who did the vocals on Miles Apart? It doesn't sound like Nathan on some parts. My girlfriend and I were debating whether it was you or Robin. Could you clarify?
A: It was Nathan, such a chameleon!

English origin

Q: A rogue? Seriously? You guys are tough...even on plate. But nevertheless! I want a duel. You. Me. Outside Orgrimmar!
BRING IT ON! /forfeit

Q: Do you already know when the first songs of your new project will be recorded?
Pre-production has started.

Q: Could you instruct me on how to scream like you, and not damage my throat?
Once again, I’d love to make an in-depth tutorial. But that’s simply something I will have to save for the future, seeing that my time is very limited as of now. Some guidelines, however: Do your warm-ups. I can’t stress that enough! Take care of your pipes; vocal care is your best friend. Never force anything. Do what feels comfortable and natural for you. Sleep is very important for recovery. When on tour, get at LEAST 6 hours sleep per night. I try to stay away from hard liquor the night before a show. Simply because I saw a significant change in performance from heavy drinking/ yelling four-letter words the night before show day. It takes away a lot of the grit. Other than that, my technique is pretty persistent, not very high in volume, and therefore not too exhausting for the vocal chords. Don’t force yourself, and add pressure carefully. Good monitor sound, or in ear, is vital for live performance. Utterly find your own technique! DON’T HURT YOURSELF!!! If you see blood, you are doing something extremely wrong ;)

Edvard Munch

Q: How long have you been doing screaming vocals?
A: Eight years, I believe.

I’ll get back to working on that video. And come, on so many people surprised I was into gaming? Haha.




  • Zachary säger:
    2010-11-09 | 02:45:40

    hey Rich ever thought about getting a facebook page?

    it is much better then myspace.

  • Zoofie säger:
    2010-11-09 | 10:29:39

    Tack för länken, grymt! :) Har fått HUR MÅNGA nya läsare som helst :)

    Och fan vad grymt med namnet :) DET måste jag skriva och berätta om också ;) haah.

    Men hoppas det går GRYMT för er, så ses vi i framtiden ;)

  • Josh Wagner säger:
    2010-11-09 | 10:39:42

    Jesper Stromblad? :D

  • C säger:
    2010-11-09 | 15:04:25

    Du är kungen! lycka till med nya bandet. Its gonna be awesome!

  • Niclas Lundqvist säger:
    2010-11-09 | 15:32:40

    Jag måste säga att lämna Sonic nu var nog det bästa du kunde gjort sen Roland slutade. Det är inte alls samma sak med Nathan. Jag har fortfarande kvar bilden jag fick På KB den 9:e oktober (Jag är personen du rekommenderade att köpa en Iphone för min mobil hade dålig kamera.)

    Fan vad bra!! Och namnet är assnyggt. Ska verkligen hålla koll på framtida produktioner av er ;)

  • sanna säger:
    2010-11-09 | 16:01:07

    fucking brilliant richard!


  • David säger:
    2010-11-09 | 16:47:38

    grymt! tack för att du svarar på alla frågor som du får, du måste vara den som bryr sig mest om sina fans i hela världen! vi älskar dig! :D

  • Nils säger:
    2010-11-09 | 17:10:50

    Skit najs! Diggar namnet :)

    äntligen lite mer information, har gått in och kollat flera gånger per dag!

    Lycka till! Längtar tills man får ett smakprov av " The Unguided" och en Video blog!

    Kämpa på!:)

  • Mari Stavrum säger:
    2010-11-09 | 18:49:08

    Is Jesper Stromblad the man? I can think of no other person starting with a J, that we're all familiar with and that you would group with.. And that definately is awesome enough to join the team.

  • Pieni Renata säger:
    2010-11-09 | 18:53:05

    Okay, I won't write an essay, but I need some time to write the right words about my choices regarding favorite songs in Sonic Syndicate. So I'll do it during the weekend ;-)


  • Ondskapet säger:
    2010-11-10 | 22:13:40

    [b]J[/b]onas kjellgren

  • 5un5hine säger:
    2010-11-11 | 00:27:58

    The writing looks amazing!

    Cheers Leah Eropkin \o/

    Looking so much forward to this band, hope you can replace the decomposed Sonic Syndicate

  • airchimp säger:
    2010-11-11 | 06:54:27

    Johan shuster???

  • Ditt äldsta fan säger:
    2010-11-11 | 20:06:18

    Jag är så otroligt glad! Min musik jag lyssnar på har känts tom sedan jag slutade lyssna på sonic syndicate. Nu när jag äntligen får höra att du startar ett nytt projekt kan jag fan inte bli gladare!

    Önskar dig all lykca i världen världens bästa screamer. Skall supporta med allt jag äger

  • Anonym säger:
    2010-11-12 | 03:42:14

    R.... J... ?!

    Roland Johansson ! ;D

  • Eirik säger:
    2010-11-12 | 17:50:58

    Haha maybe ;) but let's just wait and see :P

    would be sweet though ;)

  • thomas sabo charms säger:
    2011-07-04 | 11:26:20

    Really nice work guys!! Your studio seems to be an amazing workplace. I would not fail to advertise you.

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