interview with Unsilence

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What´s the name of your band? Unsilence.

How was the band formed? Some of us in the first line-up had previously been in a band together. Some members of that left and with the new musicians who were joing us, we knew things wouldn't be the same. So we decided not to continue that and start a new band based around the music we were jamming as opposed to adhearing to what the old band did.

Can you tell about your band? We're an English band rooted in the doom metal style. We have made two albums, two MCDs and a few demos.

Where are all band members from?/Who does what in the band? We're all from the North West of England. I'm Kieron Tuohey and I play guitar. I'm originally from Bolton but now live in Rossendale. James Kilmurray is our vocalist/guitarist and he's from Warrington. Jonathon Gibbs has been our session drummer (he had previously been our permanent drummer) and he lives in Macclesfield. And James Moffatt has recently become our bassist and he's from Liverpool. 

What was the ambitions of the band when you started? We've never been ambitious in the conventional sense. Also, we've never looked too far with our aims. When we started our main priority was the material and then we thought of a demo and gigs, etc.

Could you explain your music to someone that haven't heard you? It's music which which is rooted in the heaviness and emotion of doom metal but doesn't just adhere to that style. We aim towards our individual expression.

Where was your first gig? It was at the New Ship Inn in Preston, July 1994.

Where was the latest gig? Our most recent gig was as part of the Doom Shall Rise festival in Germany, April 2010. Unfortunately.

Who writes your songs?/Who writes the music who writes lyrics? Both James Kilmurray and myself write the songs. James does most I the lyrics but I do a few.

Who has the best sense of humor in the band? We all have much to offer as far as humour goes. It's difficult to pick who's the best.

What's good/bad with the band?/What genre do you feel you are? The good thing is the outlet for our creativity. The band thing is that activity in the band is limited due to other things going on in our lives. And also because we don't have a permanent drummer.

The genre we are in is doom metal. We started in a more doom/death style. But then the vocals became melodic which in the eyes of some put us in a more traditional doom category.

Why did you pick that particular style?/What are your songs about? The power and emotion in doom metal showed us the potential from which we could create our own style and express what we are.

Do you write your own material or mainly covers? It's all been our own material so far. We have thought about doing covers but we've been unable to agree on one. And it's also been a case of which song of our own do we drop to accommodate a cover. We also don't want to do a cover for the sake of it or because it's expected.

Have you made any albums?/If yes what are they? We have released two albums. Our most recent is 'A Fire On The Sea' which was released through Nine Records in June this year. The album before that was 'Under A Torn Sky' which was released through PsychDOOMelic in 2009. We've also recorded an album titled 'Choirs Of Memory' back in 1997 but it didn't get released as the label folded. And we weren't pleased with how it came out due to problems within the band and with the studio.

Do you have any clips on YouTube?

Yes, here's a few:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLAmtrzR688

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37Fy1oLaPYI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wk_U58kswfc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXrzNRO-7cY

How old are you?/What got you started in music? I became interested in playing music through being a fan of music. It was something I related to and the idea of creating my own was exciting. It still is.

At what age did you start playing? I started playing guitar when I was 14.

How old were you guys when you first stood on stage? I don't now about the others but I was 20. It was quite a big gig and the band which I was in at the time was supporting Carcass.

What year was the band started? 1993.

Best/worst gig you've played? The best was the first and only time we've played in Dublin back in 2001. There was a very receptive crowd for our first time there.

The worst could have been any of the four gigs we played in 1997. All were afflicted, from one extent to another with our guitarist at the time playing badly and breaking strings, the band before us (A known UK doom band) running over their time and leaving us with just 20 minutes to play and poor turnouts.

What places will you be playing in in the imidate future? There is no definite plans for gigs right now for the reasons I've stated above. But we do hope we can do something one day.

Where have you played from then till now? We have mostly played gigs in our native North of England. We've also been down to London a few times and have played in Ireland (3 Times), Malta, The Netherlands and Germany.

Which band is the best you´ve seen? I've been to many gigs but I remember being particularly impressed by Slayer in Manchester back in 1988.

Is it always the same songs live? It depends on how much time we're given. There's some songs we always give priority to such as 'The Gallery' from our 'Transfiguration' MCD.

Have you had any bigger tours from start to now? We've never done a tour although two of the three Irish trips we did involved us playing somewhere one night and somewhere else the next. So they could be counted as mini-tours.

How big crowds do you usually play for? If we've pulled 50 people then we've done quite well.

What are the plans for the rest of the year? To do some writing. We're also looking into printing some new T-shirts.

How do you get psyched up for a gig? There isn't much of a psyching up process. We're just hanging around the venue and next thing we're onstage. Nothing more mysterious than that.

What are your goals with your music? If anything we'd just like to write the kind of music we'd like and which has personal significance to us.

Is it easier to get your inspiration from older bands or from bands more modern? There's no preference to older of newer bands.

What are your sources of inspiration? Our own lives and emotions. The music we listen to ties in with this.

What's the first step when making a new song? One of us will come up with the riff or the melody and we'll start bouncing ideas from then.

How do you feel about the downloading of music instead of buying albums? We prefer something something more tangible than a download. James only buys CDs but the rest of us buy CDs and vinyl.

What would be your dreams for the band? It's a dream come true to be in a band in itself.

Besides your own music, what genres and bands do you listen to? Speaking for myself, I like a lots of older rock, metal and prog rock. Also stuff like Dead Can Dance, Fields Of The Nephilim. I can't say I've got the widest taste in music though. 

What would be your greatest fears for the future? I'd like to see the band continue due to the personal momentum and because this music continues to be relevant to me.

When you are on stage, what do you fear most then? I'm not particularly fearful of anything onstage. I actually feel quite invincible.

What songs and what years were they released? Check the releases page of our website (http://www.unsilence.co.uk/pages/releases.htm).

Have you been part of any other projects? In involved in another band called The Human Condition which also features Jonathon (on guitar) and Jay. We have an album recorded. Go to: http://www.thehumanconditionuk.com/

James often runs opening nights round his way.

Have you been in any other bands?

Before Unsilence I played in a death metal band called Burial. And before that I was in a band called Imminent Demise and a very short lived hardcore band.

When Jonathon left the band and moved down south, he joined The River.

Jay has been in other bands, most notably Misericorde.

What do you work with outside of the band and the music? I work as a plastic fabricator. James was a vetinary nurse and he's presently studying to be a radiologist.

What would you do if there was no music? I'd be a full time dreamer or if probably go mad in the street as there wouldn't be a stage to do it on.

How important are your fans? We've got complete respect towards them. The fact that they've supported us given the amount of other bands they could have supported is never taken for granted.

What's the funniest/most memorable thing a fan has done for you? There's a guy in Norway who did a video of himself playing one of our songs. Not really funny but certainly memorable.

How often do you rehearse? We haven't rehearsed in over a year given what I said earlier. But James and I have recently had a few jams and once we get some new songs together and want to do some more recording or even a gig, we will organise some rehearsals.

Where do you rehearse? We had been rehearsing in Bolton as it was central for us all, we liked the place and the owner and it wasn't as expensive as somewhere in Manchester. But that place has now closed so I'm not sure where we'll go again.

What drives a band that isn't all that famous and renowned to try to make a living on their music and to keep playing? It's generally assumed that to justify your efforts in music, you've got to be aiming to make a living or at least attain a tangible level of success. But as some of the answers I've already given will indicate, we do this for the satisfaction of creating the music which means something for us. And if we want to and can do, then there's no reason to stop.

Do you have any webpages?

http://www.unsilence.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Unsilence/235931980440

https://unsilence.bandcamp.com/

http://www.last.fm/music/Unsilence

Any pearls of wisdom for all other bands out there? To bands starting out I would advise that they do everything to the highest standard possible. Aim to have your own identity. It's easier said than done but you can start by avoiding stuff which sounds too similar to other things and resorting to obvious cliches. At the same time, find the balance between that and doing what comes from the heart rather than trying to be original for it's own sake. Have a clear vision of what it is you want to do and don't pander to trends or what friends, critics or other bands think. And don't settle for musicians you're not satisfied with just to get things on the go. Also, don't allow ideas from other bands members which you know will be detrimental just for the sake of band diplomacy. You'll run the risk of being seen as a megalomaniac but there's a balance that can be struck. And if they can't see that then perhaps it's not meant to be.

Describe your show, visually and musically? Visually, it's just four guys playing. There's no lightshow or stage set. Musically it laregely adheares to the recording but there can be some ad-libbing. But we don't extend the songs into jams. 

How do you view the music industry of today? It's there. But we don't view what we do as being a part of the music industry. Of course we have brushes with the music industry as we'll deal with labels, promotors, studios, etc. Some may potray themselves to be genuine about the music and not business-like. And those are the type we prefer to work with. But we're not naive enough just to assume that on face value.

What are the biggest obstacles for a band? I suppose it's the demands of life, financially and time-wise. And in the past it has been dodgy record labels.

What is best/worst with playing the clubs? Virtually everywhere we've played has been clubs. We don't know any different.

Tell us about upcomming gigs and why we should be at them? There is no gigs booked right now.

How would you describe your sound in one sentence? Heavy and emotional.

What was one of the most quarrelsome times for you in the band? We've generally got along but there have been some moments. Years ago we had a guitarist who was missing rehearsals, not learnign material properly and playing bad and this brought tensions. We replaced him with another who had more personal issues. Then some years later there was musical differences with another member we had, although persoanlly things were fine.

Do you have anything to add? Thanks for the interview. Check out 'A Fire On The Sea'.

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