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01/08/2005 – Interview with UNCHAINED

UNCHAINED (official website), a new Swedish Melodic Metal band, released their debut album, "Unchained", at the beginning of this year (January) on Sound Riot Records. You can check out the review of the album at this location.

As a result of this release, I had a little interview with vocalist Per Karlsson. David (guitars) and Mattias (bass) answered where necessary.


Congratulations with your debut album. I really like it and though there's still room for improvements or changes, you made a good start. How long did it take to get to this result, songwriting and recording? And were you more than critical when the recordings took place, in that you really wanted to make a solid album from the start?

PerilOz: Thank you, man. Well you know, some of the songs like "My Guide" and "Theater of Fear" are really old and goes way back. The other songs are written somewhere in between and I believe "The Analyst" was finished right before we entered the studio.

We started the recordings of the album in October 2003 and finished around December/January 2004. The album mixing procedures started late January and were done in intervals during the whole spring. We mastered the album in midsummer 2004, so it took around 10 months from the beginning 'till the end. Absolutely determined to make a really good album from the start made us extra critical for that matter and maybe made us do some retakes that now afterwards could seem kind of unnecessary.

Did everyone contribute to the songs or is it determined who writes the songs?

PerilOz: Dave is the main composer of the band. On the album Pete has written one song, and I have written some of the lyrics.

Could you describe what the songs are about, one by one or in general? And is there a correlation with the cover artwork?

Unchained - Unchained Dave: I write about things that are important in my life for that moment. Sometimes I write about interesting historic things but mainly it's about things that bring my mind happiness or sadness or things that I think are important for people to reflect on.

PerilOz: You're right, if you look closely at the album cover you can find many small details referring to the songs on the album.

Were there any songs that didn't make it onto the album, but will be used (reworked or not) on a next album?

PerilOz: Some songs were left out on the album. Will we use them on the next? Hard to tell, but certainly they weren't left behind 'cause they are bad. If we decide to use any of the songs on the next album, they will probably be changes made, because when a song is archived and then brought back again you often hear things you think should have been different.

Mattias Norén was asked for the cover. How did you get in touch with him? Did you give him indications of what you wanted or did you send him the songs and give him 'carte blanche'/total freedom to do what he thought would fit the songs best?

PerilOz: We sent him all songs and gave him a hint and some certain details that we wanted to have on the cover. The rest is all his work.

With the daytime jobs you have and other bands, is it easy to combine it with UNCHAINED?

PerilOz: Well I must say Pete has the biggest problem with his job combining it with the band. He doesn't have a certain scheme, you know, like nine to five and his boss (who is a real pain in the ass says Pete!) can call him like the same day, so every week we have to check with him which days we can get together. That sucks bigtime! Poor Pete... I hope we break it soon so he can tell his boss to go fuck a duck!

Speaking about the other bands, is UNCHAINED of a higher priority than the rest? Or do you also have certain plans with your other bands?

PerilOz: No, UNCHAINED are everyone's main band.

Do you have an idea of how known you (UNCHAINED) are in Sweden? And how are the responses from the public on the album?

Unchained - band PerilOz: We've had very poor promotion in Sweden, so we are still quite unknown to the big public here. But many reviewers and the people that come to our shows often praise our album as one of this year's best! We know we could sell a lot of records if people only knew of us, you know.

How did you develop your instrumental skills? By yourself or in school or ...?

PerilOz: Pete, Dave and Martin have all three studied music at the gymnasium in Karlskrona, here in Sweden.

Where does the idea come from about forming a band?

PerilOz: I guess from chicks, booze and rock'n'roll. To get all three you start a band, he he!

Who came up with the name UNCHAINED and how? Also, is there a certain meaning connected to it?

PerilOz: A Heavy Metal band should have a Heavy Metal name, right? We stand tall and don't care what others do! We are simply "unchained".

How did Per get involved? Did you already know him or was it through auditions after an ad in local media or ... ?

Unchained - Per PerilOz: When the old singer Sebastian decided to quit, they simply dropped the question to me. I had seen UNCHAINED a couple of times and liked what I heard. So I didn't need to think much before deciding to join. I made an audition and the rest is history.

When performing live, do you take into account that something can go wrong - e.g. guitar mistuned, hitting through the snare drum or a tom, .... or do you just play and know how to deal with such situations?

PerilOz: I guess we're pretty good in handling the situations that occur. But you can never be too sure how to react, you just try to be cool and pretend it's part of the show or something like that.

You finished second in the Music Direkt show, seeing a hip-hop act claim victory. How did you feel, knowing that you have talent and should have won? Did it make you more determined to go on with UNCHAINED and proove that the jury was wrong (in a way)? Unchained - live

PerilOz: In my opinion you can't compete in music. But back then I guess the band become even more determined to go its own way, and not sell out in quest for fame.

Do you already have ideas (or written/recorded stuff) for the next album? And when can we expect it?

Mattias: We have lots of songs and would probably be ready to record a new album within a month.. We have plans for a new album but we have not set a date yet.

Many thanks for the interview. Good luck with your music career, the album and future albums and I hope to see you live sometime in Belgium. ;-)

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