UNSILENCE INTERVIEW WITH BRUTALLICA ZINE (BULGARIA) 2002.1.
UNSILENCE is an unknown band to me and I suppose that many of the Brutallica readers have not heard of you either... Would you introduce your band to us all (your very beginning, etc)?
We started in December 1993 with mostly a different line-up from today. Only myself and our vocalist Andrew Hodson remain from that era. We recorded our debut demo, "Shadows Cast In Stone" the following year. Our style had more death metal influences in it back then, partly because some of us played in death metals bands before. We did our first gigs around that time. During 1995, we had a few line-up changes and we recorded our second demo "An Unfinished Chapter", which saw the doom influence in our style become more prominent. This was to be released as a MCD by full Moon Rising (Italy) but it turned out that the label was just some kid dreaming. We released it as a demo the following year. Around that time, our present drummer Jonathon Gibbs and present bassist David Elliott joined. At the end of 1996, we signed to another Italian label called Seven Art Music and we recorded our debut album for them
the following year. Unfortunately, that album also didn't get released as Seven Art fell through. By 1999, with the album still not having been released, we decided to release MCD ourselves. We recorded "Transfiguration" that year and it was released in March 2000. It received a good response from the underground. Our present guitarist, James Kilmurray joined at the time we released the MCD. We sacked the guitarist we had before him just before recording the MCD. I played all the guitars on it. We signed with Golden Lake last year for the MCD and we recorded it last March. It was released last month.
2. Your MCD is a very promising debut in my opinion. What lead you to (the famous) Academy Studio? I also know that Mags was the engineer...
Thanks for the positive opinion. Although we've released a MCD before it and some other releases, as mentioned in the previous answer so it's hardly a debut. With Academy/ Mags, we'd heard a number of releases that were recorded there and knew some bands that'd worked there. Also, it's quite affordable and not too far from where we live. So it made more sense to go there than to go to some nearby studio who wouldn't have a clue.
3. Why did you choose Golden Lake Productions exactly? By the way, have you received offers from other labels before the recording of ''A Walk through Oceans''?
The offer from Golden Lake suited us well as we wanted to record another MCD as opposed to a full-length album at that time. They also seemed professional but genuine at the same time. We did receive some other offers but the Golden Lake one suited us the best. The biggest worry for us as far as choosing a label's concerned is will they release it or will the deal fall through. Quite obvious given the way things have been in the past with labels.
4. The production is rather good and this is not the only thing which UNSILENCE impressed me with your music reminds me of PRIMORDIAL! Are you inspired by this band indeed?
I like Primordial and so do most of the other members of the band. But I don't see much of their style in ours. Any comparisons would be more in having similar influences, like Celtic Frost, Candlemass, Bathory. Also, we have the occasional Celtic sounding riff so that could draw some comparisons, as well as the melancholic edge. But they're from a more black metal background and we're from a more doom one. I suppose comparisons arise from the bands you know.5. What exactly lies in your lyrics, are the 4 tracks united by any concrete concept?
There is no particular concept to the lyrics on the MCD. Andrew handles most of the lyrics. He does take some inspiration from what he reads. The lyrics to "A Walk Through Oceans" was inspired by folky, maritime stuff but given a dark and surreal twist. The idea for the lyrics of "Unknown" came from the novel "Gorminghast" by Mervyn Peake. The lyrics to "Still" are more inspired by desperate personal struggles. The lyrics to "Deep Is The Stigma", which were written by me, are also in a similar vein, dealing with how stigma can come before everything. Even in your own mind.
6. How did it come to the composing of all these riffs with such a melancholic atmosphere?
It's just the style we enjoy and it relates to our personalities and experiences in some way.
7. Your opinion about PRIMORDIAL or THYRFING? Is it such kind of bands you listen to?
As mentioned earlier, I do listen to Primordial. But I have yet to check out Thyrfing. Primordial are certainly one of the more challenging, original and passionate band's in today's scene.
8. Have you participated in other outfits before creating this MCD? The reason for asking you this is the obvious adroitness which the songs are performed with. Maybe you're involved in any other projects currently as well?
I'm not quite sure what you're asking me here. If it's, 'have we done any previous releases?' then I mentioned them in question 1. If it's 'Have you ever been in any bands before Unsilence?' then, yes, some of us have. I played in a death metal band called Burial for three years before Unsilence. All the others have been involved in bands before too. But none of them ever really got off the ground. None of us are involved in any side projects. Our drummer would like to form a more technical metal band. Like Dream Theatre or something. He also has a passion for that style. I wouldn't ever rule out doing a side project. Or any of the other members doing one.
9. How about concerts, have you played live as yet?
We've played a number of gigs over the years. The first one was in the summer of 1994. The gigs have mainly been in the north of England, where we're from. Places like Bradford, Manchester, Bolton, etc. But we have also played a few gigs in London and in August of 2001, we played two gigs in Ireland (Belfast and Dublin). Some of the bands we have played gigs with include NIGHTMARE VISIONS, MORBID SYMPHONY, HONEY FOR CHRIST, ANATHEMA, MEPHISTO, DER UNTERMENSCH, SOLSTICE, The PROPHECY, HECATE ENTHRONED, MOURNING BELOVETH, THE ENCHANTED, ACKERCOKE, etc.
10. I have always thought that it is not easy for an English Metal band to survive as I have always found that competition is really huge out there... What do you think about CRADLE OF FILTH, by the way? Do you consider them as seriouis rivals and, in case you don't, which is the band you could mention at that point?
I wouldn't consider there to be any rivalry between Cradle of Filth and us. They do their thing to their own crowd, which is generally more mainstream. Many of which I'd assume wouldn't be interested in us, either because of the music, the fact we don't have any gimmicks or because we're not a trendy name to drop. Bands over here who could possibly be considered rivals would be other doom bands like My Dying Bride, Solstice, (R.I.P.), The Prophecy, Anathema (Maybe not as much given the way they sound these days), and Warning. There are not that many bands doing a similar style to us in England these days.
11. Does the name of Bulgaria speak anything to you? Maybe you have happened to give any of our groups a listen?
I don't know too much about Bulgaria except that it's in Eastern Europe, next to the Black Sea (Where things can be well preserved). Our vocalist had a holiday there a few years ago but it turned out to be a bit of a disaster on the part of the holiday company. He though it was a nice place though. I know even less about the metal scene there. Although when we were going to be releasing the album for Seven Art, a Bulgarian label called Wizard Records was going to release a cassette version for Eastern Europe. However, when I was in my previous band, I had a few people from Bulgaria writing and asking for demos, claiming they'd send me some Bulgarian vodka in return. I sent a few of them tapes. I wasn't hoping for much. At best, it would have got our name circulated in your country. But one of them did keep to his word and sent me some Bulgarian Vodka. It was good stuff too and I'm not that much of a vodka drinker!
12. What else are you occupied with save playing in UNSILENCE?
We all work day jobs and do a lot of the usual things like going to pubs and seeing gigs. Lour vocalist attends all the home matches by the local football team, Bolton Wanderers. Our drummer also does a zine called The Inquisition. The first issue came out over two years ago but I don't know when he'll have the second one ready.
13. Does your contract with Golden Lake include other albums releasing? What should we expect from UNSILENCE in the future?
No, the contract with Golden Lake is just for this one MCD. Weather we'll work with them again in the future depends on what other offers we may have and if we're generally pleased with them. We have already started writing new material and have the music for two new songs written. We hope to be able to record full-length album in early 2004.
14. Say something about the very name of your band - what is it meant to mirror? Are you noisy guys or do you think that you must be heard first (by creating unsilence!) in order to be left alone so that you could keep on being inspired by melancholy, the very mood which your songs are filled with?
It is meant as an unsilencing of the more deeper, hidden emotions. None of us are particularly noisy. Quite the opposite actually.
15. Your closing thoughts? Thanks...
Thanks a lot for the interview. Just to inform the readers, our website (http://www.unsilence.co.uk) is presently down due to the host trying to rip us off. Unless we can sort it soon (Which is now looking likely), we're going to be setting up the website on a temporary server until the summer, when out domain will be up for renewal. And when the website is active again, it will be a long-overdue new design, which I've designed. We're also looking into playing some gigs in Europe for spring. Probably in Germany and Belgium.
Interview by Chavdar Tzachkov Website: http://www.brutallica.8m.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A FIRE ON THE SEA
A TORN SKY