Unexpect interview

– Your music is eclectic, maybe even chaotic, mixing elements of black/death/symphonic/melodic metal; progressive, classical, electro, folk, jazz, operatic, mathcore, ambient, noise, circus music and anything else crossing your minds. Tell me about your main musical (or other) influences by your 7 members.

– I think one of the main factor why our music is so diversified, is that we’re all extremely open and curious about music. We all come from different backgrounds yet are linked by this taste for a more extreme form of musicality. If I were to enumerate all the artists that may have influenced us over the years, the list would be too exhaustive. And by influences, I don’t mean replicating the same thing; an influence is more or less the feeling that is left in your mind after listening to some music…it leaves a trace that stays in you forever and become part of our life luggage.
Let’s say that the range of our tastes is quite wide and can go from Aphex Twin to Portishead passing through Death via Primus, with a touch of Emperor and a pinch of Tom Waits…well you see the picture 😉

– You are coming from Canada, Quebec, which is quite far away from Hungary. Please recommend any good and active local bands… do you know Gris and its members?

– I actually never heard of Gris. Proportionally to the size of the city, there are LOTS of bands in Montreal and the scene is extremely active, so it’s hard to keep track of every bands.
Of course there’s the already well known metal bands like Kataklysm, Cryptopsy, Augury, Despised Icon, Martyr, Gorguts, Blackguard, Neuraxis, Priestess and Ion Dissonance to name a few. There’s also promising young bands like Unbeing, Beyond Creation, Kälter, Aeternam and so on…Although not issued from the metal scene, my personal favourite would be “Godspeed You Black Emperor”…if you read this and don’t know this internationally known mythic band…I strongly suggest you listen to them! Other non-metal artists from Montreal that I like: Music for Money, Amon Tobin

What kind of effects do you experience of the current economical crisis in your country?

– I think Canada has been a bit less affected by the crisis than a lot of countries, although in overall things like food and fuel are more expensive than before I can’t say it has touched me personally so much since I already live with very minimal means. Being a musician is though in North America if you want to play your own music under your own terms of creativity. Here in Quebec, if you don’t fit in the commercial frame the industry has set, you’re on your own. Metal is not considered as much and respected like it seems to be the case in Europe, and the opportunities are fewer. Things are slowly getting better but we’re far from it yet.

What do you think about further support of Insite?

– Well, I guess you’re talking about the supervised injection site…not a band right ? 😉
First thing beforehand: I’m absolutely against the use of any addictive substances.
Anything that can results in the lost of one’s free will is totally against my line of thinking.
To nuance things though, I don’t condemn the use of all drugs in general, as I think it’s possible for a reasonable person to use some of them responsibly for recreational, spiritual, research or creative purpose. The problem always comes when people abuse…as is the case for most things in life.
Returning to the subject of Insite…I think it’s a good thing to help those people who are on the wrong track. You can’t solve problems with repression; it’ll only worsen the whole situation…more criminality and more dead people due to health problems. Those addicted people truly need the kind of support that Insite provides…they need help and putting them in jail won’t solve anything. At least over there, they have sterilized tools, psychological advice and monitoring health professionals they would probably not see otherwise. Yes, those addictions are destructive and horrible…but they exist and we can’t eradicate them by forceful means. This is a more peaceful way of approaching the problem and time will tell if this was a good idea.

– The song Another Dissonant Chord has hungarian lyrics. I read it was translated by the Hegyesy family, relatives of your singer, Leïlindel. Is it right? Is there maybe another connection to Hungary as well?

– Yep that’s right. She’s half Hungarian herself and got a part of the lyrics translated by relatives. She was born here in Quebec and last time we were in Budapest this summer was actually the first time ever she’s had the occasion to see a bit of Hungary!

– Recently you had a gig in Hungary at A38. Whats are your experiences and feelings about it?

– Globally we’ve had good time, but the whole day has been a huge speedy rush so we didn’t really have the time to enjoy our stay. We arrived, ate, unloaded our gear, did sound check, prepared for the show, played and then rushed to get our gear back in the van, drove all night to Prague and arrive just in time for our flights. So in overall, it was an “In and Out” type of situation. We unfortunately have had almost no time whatsoever to talk and communicate with the fans like we always do after a show, and we didn’t get to see anything from Budapest except for the outskirts of the Danube. I think that means we’ll have to come back and have more time with you on another occasion ! 🙂

– I am aware of the sucky hungarian situation about underground metal shows, and I know this was probably better for you financially (at least I really hope so) than doing an independent show as headliner, but its still pissing me off that you were only a support band. Have you got any hard feelings?

– No hard feelings at all 😉 Actually I think we’ve been booked on this show only a few days prior to the actual date, so I guess we got inserted in the line-up at the last moment. We didn’t know any details about the line-up order before we got there. We’ve had nothing to do with the booking and went along for the ride with the organizers. Of course it would have been great to be able to play a longer set to our fans that’ve been waiting for so long to see us, but I understand that when you get added to a show last minute, it would have been rude to take over the headliner place.

– ExoD playing keyboards has left the band few months ago. Are you looking for the replacement or have you got another plan?

– For the moment, there’s no replacement in mind. Since Leïlindel and I are both capable of playing the piano, my guess is that we’ll be taking care of it on the next album. Everybody in the band is also able to participate (as they already did in the past) in the keyboard composition, so we may want to keep the line-up as it is now…and maybe we’ll get to collaborate again with Exod in the future, who knows!

– Ain’t that much metal bands use bass guitar with 9 strings, Unexpect is one of them. For how long is playing ChaotH this instrument and how did you come up with the idea about using it in your band?

– I think Chaoth got his 9 strings bass something around 5 years ago, just after the recording of In a Flesh Aquarium. He was supposed to get it before recording IAFA, but there was delays in the creation of the instrument ( it’s custom made you know ), so he recorded In a Flesh Aquarium album with a 7 strings bass and then altered his live parts after while to adapt them to his 9 strings monster. So he’s been playing a multi stringed bass since a long time ! When I met him in a party for the first time around year 2000, I was completely flabbergasted by his skills, so when Zircon, our bassist at the time, quit the band, my first instinct has been to call Chaoth right away as I knew that his way of envisioning basswork was definitely original and tailored for us!

– A few years ago Mike Portnoy declared that Unexpect really amazed him then you had a tour together and even drumming together with him on stage. I guess you didnt know him earlier, so it was a surprise to you as well. Are you in a good friendship with him?

– When we first got a personal email from Mike Portnoy telling us that he really loved our music and that he spoke highly of us on his personal forum it was a complete surprise! And I can say that for Landryx, it meant the world since Portnoy has been one of his biggest idol since he began drumming! A couple of months after that came the offer to tour with them on the European leg of the Progressive Nation Tour and we couldn’t refuse such a gracious offer!
That experience shall stay deeply etched in our memories and we’re still extremely grateful for this invitation which opened us a lot of doors in Europe!

What do you think about recent developments of the Dream Theater case?

– I didn’t follow the whole story and don’t know the precise details, so I can’t really discuss this. I only wish the best for both sides with the choices they’ve made.

– I always liked your visuals, album covers. Front cover of Fables of the Sleepless Empire was designed by Mario Sanchez Nevado, please talk about it…

– We pondered on the cover artwork for a long time before finding Mario Sanchez Nevado. Without having a precise view of what we wanted we knew it had to be original, refreshing and not typical. No matter what we think, the visual of an album sticks to the music forevermore and tint the songs with its colors and feeling. I like the strange calmness that irradiates from this piece of artwork…it’s serene yet you can feel the organic entity trying to keep his balance…controlling the turmoil inside going from side to side.

– And last words belongs to you… what’s your message to your hungarian fans?

We didn’t get to see you as long as we wanted last time so we’ll try to get back as soon as possible to give you another dose of our musical madness ! Love you guys and can’t wait to perform again on Hungarian grounds ( or water in this previous case ) ! 😉

Frog Leap
május 29.
Ritual Howls
május 29.