UNSPOKEN – Taste for the absurd
Norwegian act Unspoken have just released their second slab of dirty death metal and that inspired these questions that where sent over to bassist Julian in early February.
Hi Julian, hope all is well. First, let me congratulate you with the release. How has the response been like so far?
Thank you, I must say the response has been overwhelming. In just some months we have received at least a dozen of really good reviews. We worked really hard on this album, but we also spent a great amount of time on it. I guess at some point we became a little brain damaged by all the different takes and versions. It is like I lost my ability to separate shit from candy. But when we came to the mixing process, and we could hear the thing in its wholeness, I started to understand that this was gonna be awesome. And when we received the 1000 first copies of the digipack, all deliciously wrapped in plastic, the triumph was a fact!
For those not paying attention, please elaborate a little on the history of Unspoken.
We started up in 2002, but got on our feet as a complete band in 2004. Made som demos in the beginning and then our first album, "Primal Revelation" in 2006. This received a lot of good critics, and we played at the Inferno Festival 2007. Unfortunately, we had a lineup-change right after Inferno, and we got stuck for a while. Did some cool gigs in England, Scotland and Spain during 2008-2009 and has been working with this cursed album ever since. Haha.
Not to get too personal, but what do you and the other members do for a living?
Well, let me think. When answering a question like that, it’s important to categorize the different occupations into which of them that are METAL or UN-METAL. First, we have a vocalist-chef, and that’s pretty metal since it’s similar to being a witch master. You know, putting strange and profane ingredients into an iron cauldron and so on. Also you have the murder chef, David Viens, who killed and cooked his wife some years ago, so chef is definitely approved. Then we have a guitarist who works at a storage department, and since metal goes hand in hand with manual labour, I guess that’s an affirmative. The other guitarist is a plumber/office rat and everybody knows that rats and other vermin were responsible for the Black Death, which also gave name to one of Norway’s biggest bm-bands, 1349. It’s definitely METAL. Then it’s me, I have a bachelor degree in Child Welfare Services, and am currently working as an educational leader in a kindergarten. That’s completely un-metal, but even good old Arnold worked in a kindergarten in one of his outstanding movies, so I guess because of that, it barely passes. Also I used to work with teenagers in trouble with the law, and nothing is more metal than furious teens. The last man behind the drum kit is still a student, but he is studying Artificial Intelligence (no kidding) and super advanced computer software programming, and since we all have seen Terminator, we know where this story ends. In other words, there is no doubt that Unspoken is a band with a skeleton of pure steel!
What bands have influenced you? Do you still listen to the same bands now that you did 20 years ago?
Hah! 20 years ago I was 7 years old and listened to Absolute Music 12 with Scatman and Rednex among other unforgettable artists. But if we are saying 13 years ago instead, I was exploring both black metal and NWOBHM at the same time. I don’t mind if someone puts on a track from Iron Maiden at a party nowadays, but you’re not gonna find it on my Ipod. Bands like Deep Purple, Opeth and Bloodbath are still with me frequently after more than 10 years, but mostly I try to find both new bands and old that I haven’t paid attention to earlier. The influences for Requiem Aeternam Deo has been more diverse I guess. Inspiration has come from more non-musical impressions, like books, films, documentaries and images of raw nature.
Can you tell us a little about the recording process?
We started already in 2009 with preproductions and such, and planned to book a studio to finish the whole thing over a limited amount of time. But we realized that we wanted to change and re-arrange a lot of stuff, and therefore we chose to record all instruments at our guitarists home studio. The vocals were done at Thor Neby Studios, and the whole thing was mixed and mastered at Kalthallen Studios in Germany.
How did you get in contact with Deathrune Records? Are you signed there for any more releases?
Deathrune Records contacted us as early as 2009, but we only have a distribution-contract with them. The whole thing is financed and made by us alone. We have been talking briefly about re-releasing our first album, "Primal Revelation" on LP a little later into the year, but nothing is determined yet. In other words, we are quite open for other labels to co-operate with us on future releases.
Now that the album is out, what’s next for Unspoken, any live dates scheduled?
Yes, we have the release-gig for Requiem Aeternam Deo at Internasjonalen in Oslo, April 11. This is gonna be a killer gig, so I am recommending all death/blackmetal heads from Oslo and its vicinity to get their asses there. Support bands will be eminent Svarthaueg and sluggerish Mök which both represent different aspects of extreme metal, so this is gonna be a real hell of an all-nighter. Be there, or be wherever you want to be!
Also we are playing support for Claymords along with Inglorious Retards and Pain City on June 8. at John Dee in Oslo. So if you like extreme music, beer and good atmosphere, I expect to see your face on at least ONE of these gigs! Later, we have plans to do several gigs around in Norway, but we don’t have any specific dates yet! Stay with us at our facebook-page for updated info!
What do you think of the death metal scene in Oslo? Personally I think it’s getting stronger and stronger for every release.
I must admit, I was more updated some years ago, but our vocalist, Kent is a real bloodhound when it comes to new bands and releases. He is probably well informed about whats been breeding in the underground scene of Oslo. Still, if you compare the scene today with the one 10 years ago, there has been many cool bands and releases both in the death- and black metal area.
Any unsigned bands you know and would like to recommend?
Heh, I am listening to a lot of odd and underground bands from around the world, but I guess most of them are signed. Still, Mök, which we are playing with at Internasjonalen, is a really special band when it comes to live shows. Their new album is great, but seeing them live is an experience! Haha, especially if you have the taste for the absurd!
I think its time to wrap this up. Thanks for your time. Any last words?
Same to you pal! Stay brutal people, support the underground and keep coming to our concerts! To order Requiem Aeternam Deo, you could either contact us, or these web shops: www.grimface.no and www.duplicate-records.com.
You can check out ET´s opinion on Unspokens second release here: