mardi 14 avril 2015

The Unrest interview

Unrest formed in 2006 and after years of hard work released their first album, called Grindcore, and grindcore it is indeed. And Grindcore is good for you!

I reviewed it HERE. and you can download / stream it THERE.

And just below is the email interview we did with their drummer Chris Grigg.
It turns out that he had intersting things to say and, honestly, I think it's a good read, well worth your time. 

-can you go back to the origin of the band and tell us how it happened? what was he project at the start and how have you evolved since the beginning of the band?

Steve and I were bummed that Nasum was no more so we decided to try ripping them off as much as possible. It evolved as we realized Nasum > us so we resigned ourselves to be the best Unrest we could, which meant taking a lot of their songwriting ideas and injecting more of our personalities.

-can you tell us a few words about the other bands you play in?
I’m more or less between bands right now, but I’ve had a black metal band called Woe off and on for the past 7 years or so. Brooks and Steve are both in Crypt Sermon (vocals and guitar) and TrenchRot (guitar and vocals/guitar), who rule. Steve is the main dude behind Infiltrator, for which I also (will?) play bass whenever we get back to work.

-your album is called Grindcore, it's very fitting but quite a bold choice, what about it?

Your bold is our lazy. All the fuss about our band’s name and the album name is pretty hilarious to us since both were kind of spontaneous choices. I think we went with Unrest cause it sounded cool but also extremely… well, just something a grindcore band would call itself. The album title was decided over text message, I think it was, “Brooks wants to call it Grindcore.” "Yeah, sure, that sounds good." It’s about as bold as calling a restaurant “Food” or titling your book “Book.” I think that the fact that so many people have been all, “ZOMG THEY ARE SAYING THEY DEFINE THE GENRE” makes a statement about how metal fans see metal. They’re so sensitive, like everything they do or don’t like is an affront on this precious flower that they are personally responsible for protecting.

-in my review of Grindcore I wrote that it sounds influenced by Nasum, but also by hardcore, do you agree? and what are your favourite Nasum album and why?

Definitely. I think that grindcore is at its best when it deals with the CORE as much as the GRIND. We wanted the hardcore parts to really be some Neanderthal shit. I think Nasum’s punk/hardcore roots are pretty overt, too. I usually go between Shift and Helvete.

-how was Grindcore (the album!) created (writing process, recording, production, etc..), and how would you describe it?
We wrote it over the course of many years, just putting together songs that we wanted to hear. I could write a goddamn novel about it. When we started, I could barely play a solid blast beat through a song and Steve had never done vocals before. We just pushed, kept writing, kept demoing, kept trying to do what we wanted to do. We made sure that every song had an “Oh shit!” part, pushed for that delicate balance of dumb/brutal without being too boring. We’d typically write riffs, demo, then write/record demo vocals. There’s at least one or two other recordings of every song on the album with maybe a couple exceptions.

How would I describe it? The writing was fun, exciting, spontaneous, crucially formative; the recording and producing was brutal, miserable, frustrating, defeating, humbling, surprising, but ultimately triumphant, since the finished product rules.

-I read that Unrest exists since 2006 why did it took so long to release a record?
See above notes RE: recording. I’m so glad we waited to release it. The finished version is head and shoulders above what it would have been, otherwise. It’s such a special, personal album for us that we couldn’t stand the thought of releasing it in a form that reflected anything other than how important it is to us. I just couldn’t get a mix that felt right. After a few years on the shelf, we revisited it. My newer perspectives on mixing, our collective opinions of how albums should sound, and our growth as vocalists allowed us to finish off everything that remained.

-what do you want to express through your lyrics? can you tell us a few words about the lyrics of a specific song on the album?
Our overall message is to think for yourselves — that’s what we want to express. I write a lot about identity and culture, how the one feeds off of the other and how we find ourselves becoming people who we don’t want to be, parts of systems we don’t want to support.

Specific song? Sure. “Identity in the Internet Age” is about the way we consume music these days. I’m all for digital music, I think that anything that makes it easy for people who don’t want to go through a label to get their music out there is great, but it has the risk of devaluing artists’ work in the eye of consumers. When so much music is coming out every day, it’s easy to forget that most albums are the result of a group of people’s hard work. We ask the question, “When someone gets all of their music for free and then uses it as an accessory for their identity, how much do they really value it?"

-do you think grindcore (or grind related hardcore music)  can be undestood as a reaction against the recuperation and commodification of punk?

Maybe? I think that questions like this have to be answered by the listener. Everything is commodified at some point. The inherent value of a thing can only be decided by the consumer. It can be understood as that as much as it can be understood as gurgling noises about chopping up women. I’d say that your thesis of grindcore’s essence is more valid that any misogynistic nonsense but that’s not something I can force as anyone. Best I can do is avoid and discourage shit I don’t like.

-do you think that the DIY way of action could be a global alternative or do you see it more as a pracical way of growing for an underground band?

Man, there’s so much to say about this. The lines between “DIY” and… Have Someone Else Do It (?) culture are so blurred these days where music is concerned. Most of the labels that we think of as “big” are tiny operations compared to the majors, the bands we think of as having “made it” are making no money and working shit jobs when they’re not on tour, the websites we use are started by tiny startups who just grow and grow and grow… Frankly, I don’t think that the things that come after “DIY” really have much of anything to offer underground bands, at least not in the longterm. Everyone I know who’s “outgrown” DIY eventually burnt out and regretted it… but maybe my perspective is really limited.

I think that bands who are interested in using DIY as a stepping stone to “making it” are gonna have a bad time.

-which bands from your area would you recommend?

I like Anicon, Belus, Infernal Stronghold, Krallice, and Crypt Sermon (naturally).

 -Which evolutions would you like to see happening in the underground scene?
I’d like to see less attention paid to music reviews, more to articles that really examine and dive into the work of artists. With all due respect — we always love a positive response — I think that the value of a normal music review, a “this shit sucks” or “this album is awesome” type of thing, is practically nothing now that everything is on Spotify or Bandcamp or YouTube. It takes as much time for me to listen to a track and form my own opinion as it does to read a review. On top of that, negative reviews can still be extremely harmful to artists, even though music is such a personal thing. Some joker who spends an hour or two listening to a record is in no way qualified to present their opinion of what an individual or band probably spent months creating as anything special. So why do we perpetuate this shit? Why do we spend ANY time on simple responses when they’re so much time out there? Why are people writing negative reviews of unknown bands when they could be writing about experiences?

So that’s what I want to see: more personal responses to underground bands. I’d like to see people valuing the people who are giving up their time to create art for almost nothing. “I spent a lot of time with this unknown band’s album. It made me feel this. It made me consider this. It made me look at things differently. It changed my expectations of this.” I want to see a culture that embraces creativity.

-what is planned for Unrest in the coming months?

Rehearsal? Maybe live shit? We’ll see...

-something to add?

Really, how much could someone really care if they do not want to pay?

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