UNREQVITED (CAN) – Interview 20/12/2021
Six full-length albums, two EPs, and three splits since 2016. Those impressive numbers don’t belong to a basement raw black metal band, but rather a one-man-band project that mixes shoegaze, ambient, and symphonic black metal. No question that the musician from Canada is one of the most prolific songwriters in the underground scene, gaining attention not just because of the quality of his music, but the attention to detail. We speak lengthly with the man behind UNREQVITED about his origins, the evolution of the project’s sound and a bit of history behind each release.
Subterráneo Webzine: What’s your musical background, did you play guitar as a kid, does anyone in your family?
UNREQVITED: My family is actually not very musical, I was really introduced to music by, really, anybody. When I was pretty young, around 12 years old my dad got me into metal music, just kinda the very generic stuff. You know, METALLICA, MEGADETH…And from there I just started exploring by myself, went into the rabbit hole; extreme metal and everything else. As a result of becoming a huge nerd about metal I wanted to start making my own.
So it was 14 when I picked up a guitar, it was a really slow process. I wasn’t very good at the start. My parents did get me some guitar lessons, but they weren’t really helping, and then I think in high school I found myself really wanting to form a band. I was looking around, trying to find anything, but I couldn’t. I wasn’t very good at playing guitar and all the bands were death metal, deathcore… All really hard stuff. So, I ended up just starting my own bands:
One, I wasn’t good enough to join others and two, I really wanted to perform my own music, since I wasn’t so interested in playing other people’s music. I started composing really early on, and that’s still my role in music right now, I’m not as much of a guitar player, I’m more of a composer, more interested in writing the songs. So I would spend more time learning how to write every single instrument as opposed to really developing my skills as a guitar player.
So really that’s pretty much my introduction to music, discovering that I wasn’t very good as a musician to join other bands and that’s why I started mines and it has worked for me so far
SW: So, actually you wouldn’t consider yourself a virtuoso skilled guitar/bass/drum player, you just do what’s necessary for the song, right?
UNREQVITED: Yeah, that’s pretty much it, I wish I had put more time into developing my guitar skills but at the end of the day I’m definitely a lot happier mare sure I know how to compose all the instruments to create a song. The guitar is just a means to it.
SW: It’s very curious because I thought that in your music your main instrument was the piano because sometimes is the key of the song, what drives the song
UNREQVITED: Yeah, that’s definitively true, but I’ve never been much of a piano player (laughs).
SW: You started with METALLICA, SLAYER, but which was the point where you thought “Hey, I’m gonna mix my metal with shoegaze, scores… I’m not gonna do the same DARKTHRONE rip-off as everyone else
UNREQVITED: I think the reason I started to go this route is that growing up I became such a nerd about metal that I explore every single subgenre, so… You remember LimeWire? When I was a kid I downloaded everything imaginable, building a massive library of music.
SW: I’m still doing
UNREQVITED: Yeah? (laughs) Now I’m still kind of lazy and I’m just using Spotify, but at the time I was spending all the time collecting all this music, and at the time there was this iPod Classic, which had the biggest capacity, I might have liked 30.000 songs in there. So I got myself interested in every subgenre of metal and I think this is contributing to what I’m making now. Some people say its black metal meets shoegaze with some Hans Zimmer score stuff… You know it’s kinda all over the place. I think I owe that to all the music I’ve listened to growing up, ‘cos I’ve never had an interest in creating only one genre, but just put everything that I like into one project.
SW: So, there wasn’t an artist that you say “I wanna be like him”, just a mixture of everything.
UNREQVITED: There were artists early on that I really look up to, that has a big have on what I do, like NIGHTWISH, which is a really big artist that I like. Their keyboard player, Tuomas, it’s a genius¸ but I try to be my own for sure
SW: You live in Ottawa right now and you know that the northern part of the United States and Canada has a special way to conceive metal. You have more traditional bands like PASSAGE D’HIVER, FORTERESSE, SORCIER DES GLASSES, all the Cascadian black metal: WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM… Did any of those bands influence you?
UNREQVITED: When I was young, definitively, when I was starting to get into black metal those were some pretty big ones. I love the ones you’ve mentioned from the Quebec side, which probably has the best black metal when it comes to Canada. But I would say for the music I make now I don’t think so, to be honest. I mean, WITTR yes, that’s definitively a band I have always listened to, but I think I was specifically more interested in the fusion of black metal and shoegaze, hearing bands like ALCEST. Even things like GHOST BATH or WOODS OF DESOLATION, which are more atmospheric and have the vocal style that I use. More specifically that’s what inspired me to start the project.
SW: I was asking you that because Disquiet, your first album, for me is the one that sounds more similar to those bands. Which memories bring you that record?
UNREQVITED: This was around the time when I was almost discovering black metal in a way, there were these big Youtube channels like Atmospheric Black Metal Albums, Lightfox17 channel, the latter is not a thing anymore [seems that the channel is active once again .en]. But I don’t know if you remember how some of those were all taken down for copyright reasons. Around the Disquiet time, I discovered those channels and started to follow them, listening to all these new atmospheric black metal bands that were coming out. I found myself thinking “Wow I forget how I really like this”. ‘Cos around that time I was still in a band, touring around the US and Canada. We were kind of a metalcore band with a little bit of nu-metal. I was in that scene for a few years and fell out of the black metal stuff for a while. Until I rediscovered all this and things like GHOST BATH were coming out. Up until this point I’ve was always in bands, with small solo projects that really never went anywhere and everyone was trying to contribute to the genre.
So, Disquiet was me saying “let me try this, let me try to contribute to the genre and record something by myself”. I’ve never tried to record something in my bedroom and I’d like to see what I can make. That was my first attempt
SW: Keeping up with the influences, right now your musical identity is quite established: A black metal base with the symphonic layers, shoegaze influences and those dreamy landscapes… You don’t even sound like the trademark post-black metal music, but I feel that you’re also influenced by videogame scores
SW: «Namida» , from Stars wept to the sea sounds like a Final Fantasy background music
SW: You released a track called “Kutsunebi” for the Split with VIOLET COLD, SADNESS, A LIGHT IN THE DARK and SHOW ME A DINOSAUR, I feel like all of them are part of the same post black metal scene and you’re connected to them, you have a similar sound, so how this split came out?
UNREQVITED: After I put the debut album I was working a little bit on the next full length, had some small ideas for Stars wept to the sea, but I knew that I wasn’t going to have it ready in 2017, so I wanted to put something out, even if it was something small. So, I reached out to VIOLET COLD, I didn’t think that I was going to get an answer, but I said “hey, would you want to do a split?” and responded: “Yeah, I have this idea where we can do a five bands split”. He already had somebody, I think it was SADNESS. That sounded kinda cool and he added “if you think of any other artist let me know and we will put them on”. We both reached out a couple of people, he got A LIGHT IN THE DARK and I SHOW ME A DINOSAUR. We all made a small group chat and it happened. That was a really cool moment because they are all artist that I really like. At that time I heard about all of them, I knew all of their music. Not a LIGHT IN THE DARK, but I knew his main project, SKYFOREST. I was really happy that I was going to be able to put something out in 2017, but that was pretty much all. I wanted to do a Split because is a small project, something that I can puto ut without too much work into.
SW: Kitsunebi is a Japanese Word that means “atmospheric ghost light” according to Wikipedia, and makes me wonder, Has the Japanese culture had a profound impact on your music?
UNREQVITED: Yeah, it’s something that I always I’ve been interested in from a young age, even when I was a kid, watching anime and stuff. I got really interested in it, I started exploring Japanese culture a little bit more as I got older. I mean, it’s really awesome, the artists, the people, they are really selfless and kind… It’s just so much over there that I romanticize. It’s nº1 in terms of places I want to go, the nature, the architecture are incredible… So yeah, I included a little bit of Japanese culture in the music that I made, especially early on
SW: Yeah, some little details here and here
UNREQVITED: It’s weird because of the social climate we’re living on I use the Japanese logo, like a kanji that represents who I am and people on social media started asking “Is he really from Japan? Why is he using that!”. People think that is some kind of cultural appropriation (laughs)
SW: You were making a GHOST BATH!
UNREQVITED: Yeah, pretty much (laughs). But it quite didn’t do that I didn’t claim to be from (laughs)
SW: I know, I know, but it was a good movement in marketing terms, people thought “A black metal band from China!” But in the end, I think it turned out wrong for them, you deceive people and they aren’t going to respond well
UNREQVITED: That’s true, I mean, I know those guys pretty well and that wasn’t definitively the intent but it happened that way
SW: In 2018 you started to work like BLUT AUS NORD, releasing Stars Wept to the Sea and Mosaic I [refeering to their work method where they release various albums on a very short span of time with drastically different sounding en.] and my first question regarding this, why you released two records at the same time?
UNREQVITED: I think it’s because when I put the split album in 2017 I pretty much spent the rest of the year writing Stars wept to the sea. So I think probably in the first two months of 2018 that album was done and planned for release. I can’t stop writing music no matter how much I try, so I añready started to work on the next album pretty much. Well, actually I started working on the next two, I didn’t want to hold on to Mosaic I and II anymore, so I put the first one that year. I also reached to Prophecy [his record label en.] in 2018 as well for Mosaic II, although that one took a whole year to came out, so that’s another story. But yeah, I don’t know what flipped in my work ethic.
Also, I wasn’t in a band anymore at that time. Back in 2016 I was still in a group and then 2017 was my first year where I was just doing the solo project, so I got more productive starting that year
SW: Did you fear that, at any moment, you might overwhelm listeners?
UNREQVITED: A 100%, there are some people who were ”well, I didn’t have the chance to listen to your last one, how do you release music so often?” I don’t know, I’m just not gonna sit on it
SW: We`re not talking just about composing, but recording, mastering, mixing… That’s a whole process
UNREQVITED: It’s my least favorite part of the process
SW: But it’s quite important, because, how many layers you have in your music, it must be a hell of a thing trying to mix everything
UNREQVITED: It takes a long time, I’m getting better at it but when I listen back one of the old records I can see that I really didn’t know what I was doing. I still don’t know what I’m doing, there’s a lot of things I would change (laughs)
SW: You do everything by yourself?
Unreqvited: Yeah, so for the most recent album I’m getting somebody else to master it, and I’m gonna do that from now on because it’s a really hard skill to learn and it’s not expensive to get somebody else to do it. So instead of spending hours learning how to do it I might just, you know, pay a little bit of money for somebody else to do it.
There’s already enough that I’ve put on myself to do, so there are small things here and there that I can delegate at this point
SW: As you’ve said before, labeling your music is quite difficult, can’t be fitted in just one bag, but anyway I’m gonna try it. Stars wept to the sea and the Mosaic saga are two very different entities, I don’t know if that was your intention all along, so what are the differences between Stars and Mosaic? For me, Stars sounds a little bit more ethereal, dreamy, ambient, whilst Mosaic has more direct, straightforward parts
UNREQVITED: Essentially the way those albums came about was very different. After I did the first album [Disquiet], which was very intentional in terms of what genre I wanted to create, I was discovering atmospheric black metal again and I wanted to contribute. So that album was very intentionally a blackgaze/atmospheric black metal album.
Once I wasn’t playing in the band anymore and didn’t have that outlet where I was also creating music, I had this solo project where I’m gonna put all of my influences into it now. That’s what I was pretty much thinking in Stars wept to the sea, to put all the other things I listen into it and see what happens.
The Mosaic saga in general, I don’t know if you have written about this, but I said it a few times in interviews, was a therapy experiment. I wanted to try writing one album just in positive moods and the other only when I was in a negative mood.
It was highly experimental. Obviously, Mosaic I was very happy sounding, very influenced by post-rock, score soundtracks… But yeah, very straightforward like you’ve said, but with almost rock songs. That’s kinda the difference between those two. Stars is me wanting to put all of my influences into the project, while Mosaic is a very experimental output.
SW: In Mosaic II how did you come up with that Elvis cover [a piano rendition of “Can’t help falling in love”]? you know, that bonus track.
UNREQVITED: That album was already finished for, like a year, I was doing that cover just kinda for fun and besides I didn’t have any plans toe ven release it for any project, just for myself. When we were going forth and back with Prophecy, the label email us talking about Mosaic II, the release, and everything. They asked me “Do you have any extra content that you can contribute, a cover, a different version of a song..,? Something we can for a limited edition” I think it was only on CD. So I said to them “Well, I’m working on a dark Elvis cover that I think it could be cool to put it at the end”. That’s pretty much all that was.
SW: For me sounded happy, I’m sorry. Maybe for other people might be dark, but not to me (laughs)
UNREQVITED: Well, for me it’s hard to write in just one style. Everything that I do always comes out a little bit dark, a little bit happy, a little bit melancholic… That’s what all of my music is.
On my social media, I tag everything like “depressive” and “uplifting” in my description ‘cause there’s always those two feelings. Even writing like Mosaic II it’s not all like black and dark. So, even writing Mosaic II, it’s not all that dark. You listen to a song like “Pale”, and it sounds like all UNREQVITED. It doesn´t really sound super depressing, so it’s actually kind of hard for me to write music that’s only one style.
SW: Yeah, but I get that if you tag your music as depressive black metal or whatever, people are going to think this guy plays this kind of music…
UNREQVITED: It’s very difficult when you have a tag like depressive black metal and people are looking for something like that but find Mosaic I, at the top of Bandcamp charts, they are going to be confused and some other people might even get angry.
SW: But that works for you, right? You may also use it for marketing.
UNREQVITED: Yeah, well, there still are depressive elements, the voice being the main one, but that’s a part of it, so I am throwing it in there.
SW: That’s something I wanted to ask you about. Why do you always scream?
UNREQVITED: Well, in the new album, on Beautiful Ghosts, I sing in almost every song.
SW: Oh, shit. Is that you? I thought I was someone else. I wanted to ask you who you had hired to sing on the album.
UNREQVITED: Yeah, I am doing all the singing on the album.
SW: Well, congratulations, you did a great job!
UNREQVITED: Thank you, man. I appreciate. I have always liked singing, but I was never confident enough to, so that’s the reason I never did it. And Empathica has a couple of songs with a bit of singing, but this album I wanted to include like clean parts.
SW: Well, you really got me there. Great job.
So… The big ongoing conversation is about the 2020 pandemic. I don’t know how much it has affected you personally, but it was a really productive year for UNREQVITED: Mosaic II, Empathica, Rain and River EPs, and a split with ASUNOJOKEI… If the pandemic hadn’t happened, would all those albums have eventually come out? Like, two in 2020, another two in 2021… Or was like “fuck it, I am going to release six albums in one year, just because I can”?
UNREQVITED: Well, 2020 was interesting because the previous year I had started my other project THE EMBER THE ASH, which at the time was atmospheric black metal/depressive black metal, a really lo-fi project. So, 2019 was a year where I was basically waiting, because Mosaic II was scheduled for release. Now I am on contract with Prophecy records, so I have to work around their schedule a little bit. I release this one little album for that project, and I also did the Rain and River EPs, which was actually 2019.
One of the main things was that Mosaic II was completed long ago, it was finished at the end of 2018. So, in 2019 I started writing Empathica but I knew it wasn’t gonna come out for a long time. So, I was like OK, let me do some small projects, let me do this EP just for fun, let me do the split EP, so I can put some out this year. And then 2020, Mosaic II was already scheduled so I didn’t have to make that, so I was basically working on Empathica for all of 2019. And when Mosaic II was out, I was done writing Empathica. And there was a little bit of miscommunication there with the label because I ended up putting it out with Northern Silence, but we worked it out and it’s all fine. So, as soon as the album came out, I instantly started working on Beautiful Ghosts. Usually, I already have an album lined up when I put out an album. Like, usually by the time an album comes out, I am already halfway done with the next one.
SW: So you are never stuck or have a dry river situation… You are always producing or writing something.
UNREQVITED: Pretty much, yeah. And now I have multiple projects, so if I get stuck on something, I can just move to the other project. Cause THE EMBER THE ASH, I also put out an album in 2021, this year. So I have released two albums this year.
SW: I haven’t had the chance to listen to it yet.
UNREQVITED: It’s a pretty weird album. It’s definitely different. Some kind of metalcore and symphonic black metal, and it’s really all over the place. But that was another thing I was working on. So, now I basically have one album from both projects in the works
SW: Let’s talk about Empathica, I feel like you returned to a kinematical approach with your songs very similar to Starts wept to the sea. I mean, if I had to compare it to other albums, it would be to that one. So, which was Empathica’s main goal?
UNREQVITED: Well, I would say that Stars wept and Empathica are essentially the core sound that I want to create with this project. I started doing something experimental earlier on, so it was hard to define the project. Every album I did was for a reason. Like I said, the first one was very intentional with the genre, the second one I thought, «OK let me make exactly what I want to make«, and the third and fourth were like let me make an experimental project. And Empathica was like let me make what I want to make again. So those two albums are basically me making the music that I want to make, so that’s why they came out very similarly.
SW: Empathica has the song “Crystal cascade”, which for me is one of the toughest songs of your entire discography. It’s a very good contrast. It’s a more brutal sound and it’s in the middle of a very quiet album.
UNREQVITED: Yeah, definitely. It’s the most intense moment of the album. It seems like a lot of people like that song, actually.
SW: It is a great contrast.
UNREQVITED: I think people just like it when I do blast-beats (laughs). That song is influenced by NIGHTWISH.
SW: Having your career in mind so far, we can expect about anything from your music. You don’t have a pattern to follow, or…
UNREQVITED: I always want to change; I don’t want to be making the same album every single time. I think that is kind of boring. Creating those new reasons or having an interesting concept will be a good reason for me to go do something. Like the new album, specifically about someone else. And that’s why it came out very crystally, happy sounding, and basically warm.
I also really like contrasting the previous record that I made. Mosaic I & II are like that, there’s a big contrast. Disquiet and Stars wept to the sea are a big contrast because one is specific on a genre and the other one is me putting all my influences into something. Empathica is very cold and Beautiful ghosts is warm. I like that kind of thing.
SW: It is true that Empathica is your most “relaxed” album. There’s “Permafrost” which is more chill out and has that contrast you talk about, with “Crystal cascade” which is the most aggressive together with the more chilled one.
UNREQVITED: Yeah, I think that makes sense. It’s very ethereal.
SW: About your last album, Beautiful Ghosts. Who are those beautiful ghosts? The title sounds personal and it caught my attention.
UNREQVITED: I don’t usually like to talk about song meaning or album meanings…
SW: You don’t have to!
UNREQVITED: Yeah, I won’t get super into it, I do like to keep that in the hands of the listener. But this would be the first time that I refer to myself in an album, cause “ghost” is what I generally use to represent a project and the person behind it. You can take that information coupled with the fact that I did this album about somebody else. And there you go.
SW: OK, OK. So, to continue with Beautiful Ghosts, it sounds like your trademark sound. Like if you thought about METALLICA’s most representative sound you would mention the Black album or Funeral inception and SUFFOCATION. Beautiful Ghosts does that for UNREQVITED. I think you found your trademark.
UNREQVITED: Well, thank you, man. I honestly appreciate that a lot. I am with you there too; I think this is a sound that feels like what I have been wanting to do for a long time. But I couldn’t quite achieve or wasn´t confident enough to sing, and you know create the sound. I think I found something I really want to keep pursuing.
SW: So, I am guessing that even if you have achieved your trademark sound, for your next album you are just gonna throw that away and come up with something entirely different, like a folk neonazi album (laughs).
UNREQVITED: (laughs) Wow, I won’t go that far. But I can say I am currently working on a split album and my contribution to it will be the opposite to be Beautiful Ghosts
SW: Since you mostly scream and sing only very few times, until now, do you use your voice just as another instrument?
UNREQVITED: Yeah, totally, it’s just another piece of creating the atmosphere. It’s another instrument. To me.
SW: Yes, because the structures of your songs, most of the time, don’t really leave space for vocals.
UNREQVITED: Yeah, that’s the thing. I usually like to fill up the songs with tons of melodies, where I think needs it. The thing is that I have been in bands where I have been doing lyrics and vocal parts, and it’s just hard to come up with something… I am mainly an instrumental composer. That is what I like doing the most. And now that I have lyrical projects as well, it’s so much harder to create something with lyrics. Because there really needs to be a specific message that I want to get across. With UNREQVITED I can be very ambiguous and put the creativity into the listener’s hands. But with lyrics, it’s a lot harder to be up to interpretation.
SW: Given what we have talked about and knowing your music, I wonder if you have never thought about composing scores for shows, movies, games, you know, that sort of stuff.
UNREQVITED: Yeah, definitely I thought about it. From what I understand, it is a very difficult industry to break into. So, it’s something that I have really tried. It’s always that I told myself I would when I am done with the band, the projects and albums, and things of that nature, cause that is what I really want to do right now.
And the movie score thing, there’s a confidence problem, a little, for me in there. Working for other people, deadlines, and things like that… Are not for me. But I think in the future it is something I will come to try.
SW: Yeah, because you like working on your own when the inspiration comes. But who knows if in the future you are not only composing for UNREQVITED…
UNREQVITED: That’s the thing. It’s working fine for me just doing these little projects and I am enjoying it. So, I might as well keep on doing it until I don’t want to do it anymore.
SW: Let’s get political or in trouble.
UNREQVITED: (laughs) Sure.
SW: Do you feel like post-black metal is the new deathcore, nu-metal, or glam. Those genres you hate to love. Back in 2013 DEAFHEAVEN released Sunbather and it seems like everyone hates it, but it still has a huge influence on black metal, whether you like it or not. So, what do you think about this wave of hate against post-black metal?
UNREQVITED: Well, I think that I am personally very like that we have artists like DEAFHEAVEN, they were doing something different and shacking the black metal scene. Because we would not have the post-black metal or even atmospheric, you know things that derived from black metal but are incorporating other happier zoners. We wouldn’t have that if it wasn’t for Sunbather. I think we all kind of owe it to that album.
But, yeah, it feels like post-black metal and black metal are two separate scenes now. Like a completely different genre and fanbase. That’s what it feels like to me anyway.
SW: There were bands like ALTAR OF PLAGUES that did atmospheric black metal before all that trend, but I don’t know if you remember that they said it was “metal for hipsters” and was on Pitchfork and media for modern people.
UNREQVITED: Oh, yeah, people really hated that album. And I’ll admit that when it came out, I didn’t really like it. At that time I was more into extreme metal and some metalcore here and there. I thought it was weird and it’s not really what I know black metal to sound like and to me, it was estranged. And then one or two years later “OK, this is absolutely incredible, why didn’t I like this?”. It’s one of my favorite albums for sure.
SW: Have you received any hate for what you do?
UNREQVITED: No, no. Not at all. I am always expecting more, especially when I change up my sound. And it never happens. I think it’s because my project isn’t really that big, I guess. It just has a very small but very dedicated fanbase so it looks like UNREQVITED is very popular. I could be wrong about this, but it doesn’t feel like when I put out new music it doesn’t break into new ears.
SW: So, if you get into UNREQVITED you know what you are getting yourself into, there are no disappointments.
UNREQVITED: I think, at this point, the core audience knows to expect the unexpected a little bit.
SW: Like going to a Mcdonald’s and expecting them to have healthy food.
UNREQVITED: (laughs) Exactly. I even tried over the years to get a little bit more hate. For example, on Mosaic II I put the most extreme black metal song that I ever made, “Wasteland”, It’s blast-beats the entire time and at the very end of the song there’s like a trap beat, basically, so… For that, I was like “OK, everyone says my project it’s not black metal, let me make a black metal song”. And then I will please the black metal people but at the end of the song, they are just going to be pissed because there’s a trap beat. (laughs)
SW: I like that you bring up trap. Do you know bands like MORA PROKAZA or even WITHIN DESTRUCTION, that somehow add a trap to their music.
UNREQVITED: Yes! WITHIN DESTRUCTION’s album is so cool. I love it.
SW: You know, I discovered them back with Void, their second album, which you know, estranged technical deathcore. Which is great.
UNREQVITED: Oh, yeah…
SW: They released Yokai and when I saw the artwork I thought “they didn’t do what I think they have done, right?” Then I listened to the album and, man, it’s great, it has a lot of catchy songs.
UNREQVITED: That album was really something. It’s fine. I actually put that album on an album of the year list on Facebook, and the guy that did all the electronic and trap elements listens to UNREQVITED. He commented like “hey man, I love your music, I have your vinyl, it’s really cool to see an album I contributed to on this list” and I was like… “What album did you contribute to?” and he was like «Yōkai, I did all the trap beats and all the electronic stuff» and I was like “Oh my God, you made this album, you made this album great”.
SW: I really love their deathcore stuff, but if you listen to it all, tends to get boring. Anyway, let me make the last controversial question: Why do you think black metal is so narrow-minded? Other genres have come to accept evolution, like death metal, thrash metal… But black metal is very traditionalist.
UNREQVITED: I am not sure why this genre got so elitist. The original ethos for black metal was like, the first few black metal artists were unhappy with the state of metal and death metal at the time and they wanted to do the opposite. That’s pretty much why the genre started. So, I think that a lot of people like you or me that like to see the evolution of black metal is actually following that very initial ethos of black metal. Of not being happy with the state of metal and wanting to change it. I think re-applying that to black metal, not being complacent not being satisfied with how it is, it’s what pushes it further. Like adding a new thing to it what’s making it better ultimately. People don’t like when something they like is spoiled, ruined, or changed. I think that’s universal in a lot of scenes, but I think because black metal is the most extreme form of metal, people really, really like it that way and don’t want it changed. They want the most extreme thing to remain extreme. I understand that. I have been that elitist kid that expects things the way they are.
SW: Me too. When anything that had breakdowns wasn’t metal.
UNREQVITED: But once you have grown up a little bit you start to realize that things can improve with change.
I am happy that breakdowns are more “allowed” now, because there was a time that as soon as a breakdown happened in a song they would say “no, this is deathcore, I am not doing it”.
SW: «Raining Blood» and Domination had breakdowns.
UNREQVITED: Oh yeah, PANTERA had a lot of breakdowns.
SW: I mean, they were the pattern for a lot that would come later. But metal people have the shortest memory.
UNREQVITED: I think it’s because of how popular breakdowns became in metalcore music and how boring they became in metalcore music.
SW: So, I want to make one last question. You have a Twitch channel, right? How does it help you with promoting your music?
UNREQVITED: Yes, I do. I haven’t really done anything on there for like a year, to be honest. I have been neglecting it a bit. But at the time it was pretty fun and I could get some fans together and talk about stuff. I was working on music on stream. I don’t usually like being creative in front of others so, I was doing a lot of mixing and stuff like that while talking to people. So, it was fun. I don’t know if it was a great way to promote music, I don’t know if there are new people coming and checking it out, but it was a good way to interact with the core audience on a more personal level.
SW: Because some popular musicians like Dino Cazares, the guy from TRIVIUM, how is he called? Matt…
UNREQVITED: Oh, yeah, Matt Heafy.
SW: They are making money out of Twitch.
UNREQVITED: Well, Matt Heafy says he makes more money on Twitch than he does with the band.
SW: Who makes money with a band right now? (laughs)
UNREQVITED: That’s pretty true, yeah. But, still, it’s crazy hearing that from a massive band like TRIVIUM.
SW: Back at the end of the 2000s they were huge. But I guess shit happens. Although I don’t think today’s problems come only from the pandemic, but rather the pandemic released all the skeletons that were hidden in the music industry’s closet.
UNREQVITED: (laughs) That’s a good way to put it, yeah.
SW: My boss is gonna kill me if I don’t ask about this. But what do you think about the vinyl trend?
UNREQVITED: What do I think about the vinyl trend? I am on the vinyl trend. I have been collecting vinyl records for a while now. A lot of the core vinyl people are getting upset because it’s become trendy and people are buying records without even listening to them., just like displaying them in their house or whatever. But, to be honest, I think it’s fucking awesome that people want to buy music in any capacity, especially physical because we all know CDs are kind of dead and there’s not really other stuff. To me, I only collect tapes and vinyl, CDs I think they are kind of a boring format.
SW: Really? I am a CD guy. I have around 500 and I am still making it grow.
UNREQVITED: I had a massive collection of CDs up until three years ago when I sold my whole collection. it was around 400 CDs that I collected from I was 13 years old until 24. So, I finally gave it away. Now I am on a different format I guess (laughs).
SW: But it is great that you offer all kinds of formats. I have enough with spending my money on CDs to get into another addiction.
UNREQVITED: Yes, it’s a very expensive hobby.
SW: I have this theory that each genre or type of music fits better with a particular format. A modern deathcore album on vinyl… Another thing would be a jazz album from the ’50s. That has to be on vinyl.
UNREQVITED: CDs are better for actually consuming in terms of a physical format. Like, I don’t really listen to my vinyl they are pretty much like on display. But, with CD you are actually getting the best quality of the music that you can get. So, it makes sense in terms of collective.
SW: I guess it’s more about “feeling”. You know, like “the warmth of the vinyl sound”. I was born in the overproduced music era, so…
UNREQVITED: For me the collecting is like, I want to have my absolute favorite albums. That’s pretty much it. I am not into buying all kinds of stuff, I only want to get my favorites.
SW: Yes, and then your second favorite one… Never-ending. Anyway! I don’t have any more questions for you! Thank you very much for being here for a straight hour.
UNREQVITED: Well, this is awesome, thank you so much for having me!