UNSILENCE INTERVIEW WITH FITTED KITCHENS OF THE LIVING DAMMNED(2001).
Interview by Andy Orr. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Seemingly coming from out of nowhere, Unsilence's demo 'Transfiguration'made a major impact here at Fitted Kitchens towers. A mix of klassik early 90's English DOOM and a bit of NWOBHM (anyone say 'Solstice'?), this North of England act is worthy of hearty 'Hails!'. It's DOOM, kidz, but not as you might know it. Fitted Kitchens emailed guitarist Kieron Tuohey.
1/Well, how's life Kieron?"
Life isn't too bad at the moment. Things are going well with the band and other areas like my job and personal life are going good. With the band, we acquired a new guitarist a few months ago, called James Kilmurray, after a search of seven months, so we could find the right person unlike in the past. And we are to play our first gig with him in a fortnight, here in Bolton with Subvexation and The Enchanted. The following week, we'll be doing a gig in Ashton-Under-Lyme with Hecate Enthroned and Akercocke. Our MCD is also getting a good response and the sales are starting to pick up as people get to know about it."
2/I have to say this, 'Unsilence' seems to be something of an ill-fitting name. When I first heard it, I thought of some sort of dodgy finger-pointing Danish hardcore crew. y'know, something along the lines of 'Unhindered' or 'Undettered' or 'UnbearablyCrap'. Have you found this to be a common reaction?
"I think it depends on what way you look at it. I have heard of them bands but I haven't seen their monikers as having something in common with ours, apart from the 'Un' thing. I feel it has a lot more mystique than the other names mentioned. One other interview I had asked me a similar question, to do with noise, and one or two other people, who for the record weren't into this music. But to us, the name means an unveiling of the deeper emotions which are there in the music."
'3/Transfiguration' been the strongest demo I've heard of in quite a while, it just oozes charisma, with a Doomy, very British sound though not along the death-like Doom of early Paradise Lost, or the gorgeously romantic sorrow of Anathema or the dirge-like misery of My Dying Bride. more along the lines of Solstice methinks, that heady cocktail of Doom and NWOBHM.
"Well, I'm pleased that you think so much of 'Transfiguration'. It has been compared to the other bands you've mentioned it isn't along the lines of. We've certainly been influenced by Doom bands but I wouldn't say as much by NWOBHM, although we all really like Iron Maiden. We're all too young to remember the NWOBHM except for me, but I never got into Metal until after that. We're pretty much into all kinds of decent Metal so it all comes in there. We like to have the emotion of the Doom bands and some other stuff such as Dead Can Dance, Fields of the Nephilim, etc. But we also have roots in Death Metal and we like to have some of that aggression, without the monotony of some bands. We've had a few Solstice comparisons and whilst I an some of the others really like them, a lot of it is indirect things such as similar influences (Candlemass, etc), the fact we both tune down to B, etc. I feel we both have different vibes".
4/You've had a surprisingly low profile in UK to date, despite having been around since '93 how so? It's presumably the case that your sound will appeal to only the more broadminded Metallers out there I guess it could be said that you're blessed/ cursed on that basis. Where has interest come from to date?
"I feel the low profile has had a lot to do with the dodgy labels we'd been let down by. Then again, that could be seen as a blessing because people are hearing us with stronger material than if those releases had come out. But yes, it's the more broadminded who've tended to show interest in us. We find that when we do gigs with proper Death Metal bands. Interest in the band has come from the Doom/ Avantgarde types in the underground. But some people into more traditional Metal/ Rock and Goth have enjoyed what we do. But it would be hard to get our music across to many of them Ah well, mustn't grumble!"
5/Personally, I reckon 'TheGallery' to be the finest moment on 'Transfiguration', it's such an amazingly powerful song, in fact I'd even use the words 'beautiful' and 'enchanting' to describe it. In terms of the lyrics, can you give the readers an idea of where Unsilence are coming from with their lyrics?
Yes, 'The Gallery' is a favourite of all of us and many people who've heard it. We're looking forward to playing it live, though I'm dreading doing the acoustic bit for the mistakes I may make. I would say it's enchanting and beautiful in a lot of places, and more aggressive in others. A lot of the lyrics are based on life experiences and it's usually the darker ones. It's a way of making something worthwhile out of them. Rising above it all! I was told the other day from someone that reading our lyrics gives the impression that we've been heartbroken that's certainly the case."
6/You'd originally started out as a Death band, 'Burial' had either you or Andrew played in Burial? I'm just trying to get a feel for consistency/ evolution of the band here?
"It's not quite that. Burial is my former band and not an early incarnation of Unsilence, although it was from that band we started. Burial had a few people leave and we replaced them but we were starting to come up with different stuff from the straightforward Death Burial did and we did think of restarting. Then the Burial vocalist left, so we decided to start a new band. We wanted to have something with a Death-like power, but with a lot more dimension and emotion. For me, it was partially maturity and partially being able to do things with new musicians which I couldn't do before. So there was little point in continuing Burial. Also, Andrew was never a member of Burial."
7/Your previous demos, 'Shadows Cast in Stone' and 'An Unfinished Chapter' believe they're still available? And what with the hassles surrounding your previous almost-but-not-quite-happening label adventures (with Full Moon Rising and Seven Art Music), are you in any rush to storm the bastions of distribution in the immediate future?
"Our demos are still available by sending us a blank tape and postage. As for the Seven Art album, we may soon put it out on MP3 from the website and depending on demands and practicalities, we may press up a few. But it's all old material which isn't as strong as what we do now, and that's the material we'd rather push."
8/In fact, just what is it with North of England and DOOM? Surely it can't be that crap? Dewsbury some people around globe must think its some kind of Metal Mecca!
"It's no worse than a lot of other places, but there's a certain sense of desolation and mystique in certain towns and the moorland which you don't have down south. There's also a lot more economic prosperity there than up north. The weather's probably a little worse up here as well. I've heard of some people seeing Dewsbury as a Metal Mecca, but it's just like a lot of Yorkshire towns. It's just that you have Academy studios, Peaceville records and people from a few 'name' bands based there. It could have been any town, really, but I do find that the stone architecture there has a lot in common with the Doom bands (eh?- Ed). But maybe that's just in my mind because of who's there."
9/What do you make of the English Metal scene at present for you, what are the good and bad characteristics you've seen? You aware of the Irish scene at all?
There's some excellent stuff around over here at the minute."The English scene is as good as ever, but there doesn't seem to be the bands breaking through in the way that Cradle, MDB and Anathema did in the past. Also, with Death Metal receiving an upsurge in popularity again, there seems to be a lot more springing up. It's good to have some more Death Metal but it would be good to see a little more variation. I've been aware of the Irish scene for some years through various friends. It seems to have picked up a lot lately. Some of the bands I've heard are Primordial, Mourning Beloveth, Honey For Christ and Waylander. I think Ireland has a unique vibe and mystique which would produce quality, original Metal acts in the same way that the vibe of the north of England is linked with the Doom bands."
10/Beyond Unsilence, have you any other Metallik fish to fry?
"If you're taking about other bands, then none of us are in any. But we wouldn't rule it out. Our drummer Johnathon is working on a fanzine. I can't remember which bands are in it, but he's tried to get a lot more foreign bands in there as well as the UK ones which are in other zines."
11/OK, Kieran, well many thanks for yer time Crusade! Any final messages for the dabblers of Doomy deviance on this rain-swept isle?
"Thanks for the interview, Spandex. There's a slight possibility that we may play in Ireland sometime.
A FIRE ON THE SEA
A TORN SKY