01 – First of all, hi and thank you very much for taking your time to answer our interview here on the MetalCast Show, I was waiting for this opportunity for some time. Please, introduce yourself to our listeners.
Unexpect/ Chaoth – Well thanks to you to give us an opportunity to have a voice. I am Chaoth, from UNEXPECT. I play the monster bass with 9 mighty strings and we are all beautiful people from Montreal, Canada. We’ve been call Circus Metal, Avant-Garde Metal, Progressive, Cabaret and all-the-words-you-can-imagine metal so… I’ll let your ears decide what we are. Music shouldn’t be define anyway. But I digress… Good evening everyone and welcome to the show!
02 – Unexpect released its previous full-length album, “In a Flesh Aquarium”, in 2006. Now in 2011, we have “Fables of the Sleepless Empire”. Please, tell us a bit why the band took a longer time to release a new full-length album.
Unexpect/ Chaoth – The initial goal was to have the album ready and out by the end of 2009. We finished composing the album and entered the studio in the spring of 2009 and wanted the album for the Prog Nation tour with DREAM THEATER because they were encouraging to have a new release out to have a hype around the band and use that great exposure at the same time. We didn’t exactly meet our goal… just off by nearly 2 years though hehe… The album was actually all wrapped and ready by the beginning of 2010 but we always pushed back the release for countless reasons and we also parted ways with The End Records which changed our initial plans too. We did want to go independant and we thought it was the perfect moment for that, only… it did push back the release date. I can promise that the next one won’t take 5 years… PROMISE! We had a late start with IAFA too that got out in 2006 but we weren’t commited to life on the road before 2008 (where we were gone for 6 months out of the year). And here we are now… time flies… You realize that more and more as you get older. That said, I’m already excited to write more music and do it all again.
03 – I really, really enjoyed “Fables of the Sleepless Empire”. What a great release. How was the response from the fans and where do you rank this album comparing to the previous Unexpect releases?
Unexpect/ Chaoth – Oh, for us, there is no question. This is the best music, the best release we’ve ever put out. We feel like we reached a point where everything came together easily and beautifully and the collaboration of all musicians on the album was great. Everybody pitched in equally and it really is a collective effort more than ever before. As for the response of the fans, it’s all great so far but we didn’t really take this album on the road yet. We’ve only played a few dates in Europe recently and that was our first FOTSE shows so it’s still a very young album. All the reviews we read are amazing and it’s incredible to finally have people listening to it and getting excited about it because, we had that freaking album on our ipods for 2 years now and have been listening to it countless times but it was a very personnal experience as no one else in the world had it! I’m glad it’s out and that people are enjoying it. I just wish we could start touring non stop to give the music wings and make it live on stage.
04 – About Unexpect’s sound. Please, explain to me how do you guys manage to put so many different musical styles, sounds, instruments and whatnot and not only you guys don’t create a mess, but rather you create great music!?
Unexpect/ Chaoth – Well, that’s what I think we achieved with this record. IAFA was more about pushing the limits and experimenting but, in the end, the experimentation need to get you somewhere y’know. So now, more than ever before, I think that we found, after all these years, an UNEXPECT sound. But then again maybe the next record will be completely different (most likely it will) but wherever we go from here we’ll always keep elements of where we’ve been. And the famous question is always, how do we do it ? How do we write the music that we write…. I have no idea. We just have as much fun as we can with whatever we come up with and we try to go away from what sounds too obvious. If you find a part that seems very fitting and so obvious to play, well, that’s probably the wrong thing to play hehe… at least for us. I don’t know though, we don’t have a pattern. It’s mainly coming up with 3 or 4 parts and a sketch of a structure and beating the crap out of Landryx and trying a thousand things and throwing ideas around and fine-tuning forever! Lots of preproduction sessions that go back and forth between all band members as we all add our parts.
05 – Concerning the lyrics, which are the works that the band members have found inspiring? And, artistically speaking, what does inspire Unexpect more: other musicians, literature, paintings? Also, quite a long question here, what about philosophical works, are there any that have significant importance when it comes to Unexpect lyrical aspects?
Unexpect/ Chaoth – Syriak is the main lyricist of the band. He writes most of all UNEXPECT lyrics and always did. Artagoth wrote Silence this Parasite and I wrote the Quantum Symphony but everything else is his. He always had a very crazy imagination and used to pull out his laptop whenever we were on the road when he had a burst of inspiration and it’s always very weird and abstract but also very different from any lyrics I’ve ever read and very smart. Behind the fantastic-ish apparatus is always some kind of social criticism but… well… yeah… sometimes… it’s pure well-placed madness. He had a lot of early influences for litterature that I couldn’t go into details, he’d be the one to answer that question but I remember him being in writting contests in college and really pushing his writting. Abstract, Social criticism, zombie love (yes… you read that right), philosophy… anything goes. Artistically, I would say that, we all were into classical music at a very young age and that always has been a common ground for everybody and you can definitely hear it in the music. So much music, I wouldn’t know where to start. Now, if I may speak more personnally, the lyrics for The Quantum Symphony were inspired by my great interest in the idea of life in the universe and therefore the new topic of exopolitics, which is the communication and discussion of the ”issue” that we are indeed visited by other civilizations. Now, I might have lost most of the listeners and readers here but I do believe in this very strongly and I would recommend people to at least research the subject if they are interested and THEN formulate an opinion. Most people are still skeptic on this topic and it is okay, only, most people that are skeptic are so for the wrong reasons. You need to know a subject at least a little bit to have a credible opinion and most people are not exposed to the available information on the subject. For the reference, I would recommend these speakers/writers: Steven Greer, Richard Hoagland, Bob Dean, Cliff Stone, Alex Collier, Billy Meier but also all skeptic paper or article you can find… and THEN let’s have a discussion on the topic. I don’t expect people to be believers after this but at least they will have matter for discussion/debating. I think this topic is the most important issue of our time as it is central to our own future here on earth and, sadly, nobody talks about it seriously. The subject is protected by its shell of ridicule and is therefore untouchable. I could go on for hours on this topic, it’s hard to just open the lid a tiny bit, but I would encourage people to research the subject if they are interested and I am always down to discuss this topic so, buy me a beer after the show and let’s change the world…. hehe.
06 – Connected to the previous question, Nate LeGallo asked which lyrics have the heaviest meaning to each member and, if possible, the meaning behind those lyrics.
Unexpect/ Chaoth – Again, I can’t answer for everybody but, I think my last answer made it pretty clear for me…
07 – There are bands that make music that pleases their fans and there are bands making music they like, and then fingers crossed to see if the fans will like it too. Did you ever take certain advice/ criticism to heart to adapt your songs in the suggested manner? Be it about the sound or the content of the songs.
Unexpect/ Chaoth – I can say with confidence that, no, we never did. We like to read all the comments, both pro and con, but we don’t change the way we do things for that matter. It’s impossible to please everybody in the first place so, why even try ? We always had good response and we are confident about our capabilites as musicians and we really only want to push ourselves FOR ourselves. And besides, if we got noticed in the first place, it’s probably because of that attitude of doing things differently so, I don’t think it will change. Our goal is to write the music that we would like to hear and try new things and see where it leads us…
09 – Please, tell us the stories behind your pseudonyms. How did those come about?
Unexpect/ Chaoth – Hehe, I know it might be weird to many people but it also completes the music and visual well. The feel of the band in general is very conceptual and fantastic and we just felt that our own names weren’t exactly what we wanted to represent and we all created these on-stage alteregos. It’s also an early european metal influence where the founders of the band (Artagoth, Syriak and Exod) created that concept in the 90’s and everybody blended in that concept. We don’t necessarily take it sooo seriously but we think it’s a good fit for the art we make. Just like actors have characters when they perform, y’know… let’s blend the media….. Let’s paint music like an actor…
10 – I find Unexpect a stylish and innovative band when it comes to image as well. How important image is to you and do you guys work personally on development of the visual concepts you have?
Unexpect/ Chaoth – We work in collaboration we artists we know for the album artwork. For FOTSE for example, we used Mario Sanchez (Aegis Strife, spanish artist) artwork for the cover and worked with our graphic designer Eric Charron (long time friend of the band) to adapt the inside artwork and booklet according to Sanchez original piece. All that with the theme of FABLES and it all blended beautifully and they helped us create the final product of what is today FOTSE. Also, performing in jeans and black t-shirt wouldn’t be exactly fitting the music so we do have a tendency to bring a little bit of visual there too. With Leï and Syriak in the band, it’s easy to look cool hehe…
11 – Samantha Gil would like to know more about the band’s future touring plans and David Estep asked me to tell you guys to tour with Aurugy 😉
Unexpect/ Chaoth – Augury are our long time friends. I actually played bass on Mathieu’s solo project Humanoid back in 2007. We toured together and played countless shows together in Canada. I would love to tour the whole world with these guys, definetly but, band business is complicated business and we don’t exactly choose to play with whoever whenever. That said, the interest is noted. As for now, the touring project are limited to the eastern Canadian area. We are setting up a small (10 shows or more) tour in the fall covering Ontario, Quebec and the eastern provinces. Check out our website for more info. No official plans for 2012… I miss the USA… I WANT TO TOUR !!!
12 – Talking about the musical industry generally: what are your views on the musical industry, labels and managers nowadays?
Unexpect/ Chaoth – I don’t really know… I won’t be a reference here. Sometimes I feel like we’re not much in that industry. We’re doing our own thing on our side and trying to survive. Of course it’s not easy, in fact, it’s probably the hardest thing you could do in your life… to live off of your own music while staying edgy and innovative.. yeah… you try that hehe… good luck. But yeah, our move of independance was kind of a step back from the industry to do everything at our own pace and most of all control all aspect of it.
13 – One question that I like asking when interviewing a band member: many, many musicians are completely against illegal downloads. What is your view concerning this matter? And do you believe that illegal downloads indeed can cause damages not only to the labels, but also to the metal bands?
Unexpect/ Chaoth – I think the question is bigger than that. Fact: Internet changed the world.. and now we have to adapt to this. It’s not only the music but every business changed because of the internet. I’m not against people downloading the album… what matters in the first place is that they care. But if people would know how much of our lives we put into this, they probably would pay for it, yes. It’s really hard to calculate, even today. Somebody downloads it for free but then shows it to his friend who buys 2 albums and 3 t-shirts so… was the download not profitable ? It’s hard to say. We’re obviously not in this industry for money, as a matter of fact we hate money, but we do need income to continue making music we love.
14 – Like in all interviews, we must have some serious questions, some interesting, some of the same and we need some silly questions too. So, in all of your collections, music or movies, which is the title/ band nobody would expect you to own?
Unexpect/ Chaoth – I must confess… don’t know if I should… and what the hell….. I love City and Colour! … yeah Dallas Green’s (Alexisonfire) solo accoustic folk project. I love folk and accoustic, I know there’s a big wave of that right now and a lot of good music. Iron and Wine, Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, City and Colour… whatever happens, if your dog died or if the world was wipped off by the apocalypse, I think that in the end, everything that will be left is a good sad accoustic song…… bet you didn’t see that coming…. OHHH AREN’T WE FULL OF SURPRISES !!
15 – Julien Bazile from La Grosse Radio Metal would like you to know if for the future of the band, should we expect the Unexpect(ed)? 🙂
Unexpect/ Chaoth – Never.
16 – So, we have reached the end of this interview. Once again, thank you very much for the interview. I’d like to wish the best for you guys. Any last words for our listeners?
Unexpect/ Chaoth – Check out our bandcamp page! Buy the album! Buy a shirt! Blast the album by your car window! Spread the word! Come to a show! Pet a kitten! Do anything… but do it… and thank you so much. Unexpect wants to see your face… we do…. Cheers! Best of luck!April 14, 2014