Artist: The Unguided

Origin: Schweden

Genre: Melodic Metalcore, Melodic Death Metal

Label: Napalm Records

Link: https://www.facebook.com/TheUnguided und http://theunguided.com/

Band Members:

Vocals – Richard Sjunnesson
Vocals and Guitar – Roland Johansson
Guitar – Roger Sjunnesson
Bass Guitar – Henric Liljesand
Drums – Richard Schill
 

The Lust And Loathing Tour 2016 of The Unguided also offered several shows in Germany. Right before the show in Essen we had the opportunity to sit down and talk to Roger Sjunnesson and Richard Schill. This is what the guys had to say.

 

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

Hi guys, first of all thanks for taking your time doing this interview right before the show. This is the last show in Germany. How was the tour so far? I only found some general information from you on facebook but no pictures. Eyes Wide Open already posted some pictures…

The Unguided / Roger Sjunnesson:

The tour was great so far, and we also posted some pictures on Instagram.

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

So that’s my fault, because I am not registered at Instagram. I have to catch up on that 😀

And did you know the support bands before? For Eyes Wide Open I could imagine, but do you know, who combined this band package and included Hopelezz? I don’t think you knew them before (?).

The Unguided / Roger Sjunnesson:

Yes we knew Eyes Wide Open before, but the band Hopelezz was unknown to us. This was a decision by the booker.

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

Unfortunately now close to the end of the tour Adrian (the singer of Hopelezz) got some problems with his voice, and then the two singers of the other bands replaced him for one show in Weinheim. Was it decided spontaneously?

The Unguided / Roger Sjunnesson:

Yes that news hit us three hours before the show. And then Richard (Sjunnesson) decided to do two songs, Eric of Eyes Wide Open followed, and then they had two hours to practice the songs. Then our bass player Jonas did another song, so finally there were three vocalists.

It was really bad luck for Hopelezz, because already for the previous shows they had some problems. Before the show in Lübeck they got stuck in a traffic jam, then their car broke down and finally Adrian became ill.

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

But now also your singer has some problem with his voice? And you have three more shows in the Netherlands to go.

The Unguided / Roger Sjunnesson:

Yes he caught a cold and doesn’t want to use his voice more than necessary 😉

The Unguided / Richard Schill:

But he is like a machine on stage. Off stage he is quite calm, but when the show starts… (laughs)

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

Additionally you are doing this tour without two band members.

The Unguided / Roger Sjunnesson:

Yes. Our usual bass player (Henric Liljesand) told us three weeks prior to the tour that he couldn’t come with us because he moved from his apartment to a house. It’s his own house and there is still a lot of work to do, and he couldn’t leave the family in this situation.

 For Roland (Johansson) he just changed the job and he became the boss or the manager of a big company right now. So it was very heart bleeding for him to cancel, but he had to fulfill his responsibility in this new job.

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

But you found a good replacement for both of them. Did the guys already join The Unguided before?

The Unguided / Roger Sjunnesson:

Yes we found two great musicians, and Jonathan has already done a couple of shows with us.

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

So how do you choose the people who have to replace band members? Is it just the thought „I need a musician, I don’t mind about the person“ or does it have to fit also from person to person?

The Unguided / Richard Schill:

Well, for the bass player, it is not easy to find a good bass player. It has to be a good person of course. But to replace Roland is fucking hard. But both are the best replacement we could find and they are doing a great job.

The Unguided / Roger Sjunnesson:

Yeah, we had a friend, who recommended this guy. He plays in a band we heard of before. We contacted him and fortunately he could confirm his participation, because his other band is not much busy actually.

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

You must have heard these questions many times before, but they were also my main questions for this interview. Because I am also sitting here as a fan who listened to all of your albums, who wrote a review for the last album and then was so excited to finally see you on stage. And then I read that two of the band members will not be on stage. That was a little bit disappointing.

The Unguided / Richard Schill:

Yes, we know that. And the decision what to do was very hard. But the option would have been to cancel the tour. And we wanted to do this tour because the album is released now.

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

As I already told you that I wrote a review for the last album, I wonder if you read all the reviews. And if so do you get the translation, or do you only read the conclusion or even only the rating? And do you sometimes wonder what does the writer mean by that, and why does he write it like that and why does he compare me to XYZ?

The Unguided / Roger Sjunnesson:

Well I understand some German, but I mainly do the Google translate of the whole review to read it all. And we always wonder about the different views, because all reviews have them. They have different tastes.

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

Another question for reviews: I know that most musicians don’t like it, but the writers always try to find a genre for the music they are writing about. And especially for you most writers can’t decide between Metalcore and Melodic Death Metal.

The Unguided / Richard Schill:

We are definitely not Melodic Death Metal. On the new album we have some Metalcore fragments, but I think we are just a Melodic Metal band, because we are not hard. We have some screams and shouts, but that’s it.

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

So you see it’s really hard to decide. But to me you tend to go more into the Metalcore genre. That makes it also easier for me, because that is my favorite genre 😉

I can see Richard is wearing a hoodie of Blind Guardian, and he wrote in his blog that this is his favorite band and he tries to see them as much as he can. So obviously we all have different tastes. Richard (Schill) listens to Metalcore, and what are you listening to?

The Unguided / Roger Sjunnesson:

I like Blind Guardian, I like Avantasia, and I also listen to Melodic bands like Killswitch Engage.

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

So we were already talking about progresses and changes. You now released the third album of the trilogy. It is the last show of the tour in Germany, so after the three upcoming shows in the Netherlands you will finalize the tour, go back home and do some holidays, I think.

The Unguided / Roger Sjunnesson:

I think during the summer we will try to start writing new stuff. There is no decision yet if we will do another part to add to the trilogy or start something new. But I think it will be something new, away from this series, but still in the style of The Unguided

The Unguided / Richard Schill:

And that is the special thing about The Unguided. We have our own sound, and then we have this fantasy thing going on. We have the Power Metal stuff and the new Metalcore stuff combined together. I think that’s a good thing because that’s why we are different from other bands. So I don’t think we have to skip some of it because it’s just good to have the same theme on our songs and lyrics.

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

Talking about the fantasy style let’s come to the covers of the album. You have this Chinese artist Kuang Hong. How did you find him and how did you contact him then? How was the collaboration with this guy?

The Unguided / Richard Schill:

Richard (Sjunnesson) knows this guy for a long time, even from the time with Sonic Syndicate. At that time he wanted to do the covers for the albums of Sonic Syndicate, but the management did not want him. And for us he was free to create the covers. We told him approximately what we wanted and then he came up with the sketches. He does it all very fast, he does the Speed Art.

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

So let’s talk about the record labels. Now you signed with Napalm Records. They can be called a Metal label. Is that the reason why you signed with them, because they have the knowledge for metal bands?

The Unguided / Roger Sjunnesson:

Well the first album was released with Despotz Records, a small Swedish label. We actually were in contact with Napalm already for the first album but we said we go for Despotz Records instead. We knew them, the guy was a friend of us and he did a good job. For the next album we were first in contact with Nuclear Blast. They said we can’t sign you but we will recommend you for Napalm Records. So we found a good deal with Napalm Records.

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

One question was for Richard (Sjunnesson), because I have the feeling that he is the most engaged guy for Public Relation. He gives information to the public, he has his own blog. Is he mainly responsible for the public relations of The Unguided?

The Unguided / Roger Sjunnesson:

Me and Richard are handling the facebook page and the homepage for 90 %. The other guys are helping sometimes. Richard mainly writes the articles and I am posting the pictures.

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

In his blog Richard (Sjunnesson) also wrote something about the album titles of The Unguided, referring to the album titles of Sonic Syndicate, but not as a continuation but somewhat like a contradiction or an opposite. I have to admit that I didn’t understand that and I personally have the feeling now, that looking backwards he was not happy with Sonic Syndicate..

The Unguided / Roger Sjunnesson:

No that’s not the point. All the stuff we created with Sonic Syndicate we are happy about. Then Roland left because he was not available to tour.

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

But then I wonder why Roland founded the new group because then it would all start again.

The Unguided / Roger Sjunnesson:

The Unguided can’t be compared with Sonic Syndicate. With Sonic Syndicate we were doing like 160 until 200 shows a year, that was a lot. The Unguided is more a „hobby project“, and we are also doing shows but not so much.

The Unguided / Richard Schill:

Roland loves writing songs and spending time in the studio producing music. But he doesn’t like touring, so this is now the first tour of The Unguided. The fans want more and more and more. And we can’t say we will just release albums and don’t play any shows. If we release an album we have to play some shows and go on tour. And that’s the reason why for this tour we really thought we HAVE to do it now.

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

Referring once again to Sonic Syndicate, do you have any contact with the current members?

The Unguided / Roger Sjunnesson:

I have some contact with the drummer (John Bengtsson), because we are doing some things business-wise. The other guys no. We are friends on facebook, but I don’t talk to them that much. I say „hi“ when I see them, and I saw them last year when they were doing a show. That was a good one, but it’s not the same. Both bands are writing their music and doing their thing, and we don’t have any anger for them and for the time in Sonic Syndicate.

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

So Richard is a little bit ill but you both look quite fit. How do you maintain your power during this tour? You do the show, then go to the bus, have some sleep, get up again and then already prepare for the next show? And do you see also something of the towns, where the shows will be done?

The Unguided / Roger Sjunnesson:

Yes that is the normal way. And yes, we also see something of the towns. For example yesterday we were in Heidelberg with the beautiful castle.

The Unguided / Richard Schill:

Actually we are all quite ill, I think Jonathan is the only one, who is not sick (laughs). So we try to stay healthy by eating a lot, and I already ate a lot of the German bread. Today we arrived so late here in Essen that we just did the soundcheck and couldn’t go for a walk. But during the drive from the Czech Republic to Germany we had a day off which we spent only sitting in the running bus for 11 hours. No sightseeing, no walking around or whatever. That was not a day off as you like it (laughs).

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

But I think that now you are looking forward to the end of the tour.

The Unguided / Roger Sjunnesson:

When the tour is coming to an end you are always looking forward to it. You miss your loved ones, you are away for six weeks and want to go back home.

The Unguided / Richard Schill:

And I miss my proper food from Sweden, because in Germany you mainly get some bread (laughs).

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

So thank you once again for this interview. Now I’m looking forward to seeing your show!

 

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