Musicscan: How big is the interest in Unfold being back with a new album? Do you get lots of requests from your fans and press people? What are they asking or telling you these days? Are there unexpected questions/thoughts, or something that is different compared to when you released your previous records?
Unfold: Well, the interest in Unfold has been quite big since the album has been released, considering the 7 year hiatus we had. It could definitely have been greater, but we appreciate the interest we receive and the good reviews, too !
Musicscan: When a band writes the songs for a record over a longer period, I’d say that these songs can easily stand for a certain period in a band’s career, right ? But would you say that Cosmogon is representative for what Unfold wants to stand for in 2011?
Unfold: Cosmogon was written over the last two years and a lot of parts very recently (in the studio). It’s difficult to have some perspective on this new album, but I think it represents the band and what we stand for. An album is always a snapshot, which represents a particular process and dynamic of the band.
Musicscan: A more general one: Have you been surprised by the fact, that listeners from different musical tastes are getting Unfold? And is this something you can understand or explain somehow?
Unfold: To be honest, we are a little bit disappointed by some of the feedback we receive. We feel that a lot journalists (or so called ones) simply don’t « get it ». A lot of reviewers consider “post-metal/hardcore” as a dead musical genre, because all has been said in this genre. That’s totally wrong and shows that: 1) they have poor musical culture; 2) they don’t understand that genre are social constructs they contribute to create. We don’t care about the genres, we care about good music.
Musicscan: You guys have been around for some time now. What is behind bands longevity? What fuels the fire and keeps you guys interested in the music you create and keeps you motivated with what you are doing?
Unfold: Great friendship, a sense of dialogue/listening and taking music as a great tool to learn more in life.
Musicscan: Being around the scene for awhile, does it bother you when you see or meet kids who ignore you or who have a different understanding of what heavy music means to you?
Unfold: We actually don’t care. We are not famous and we will never be. “Heavy” music is very subjective and we have our own idea about it: fat sound, groove and emotion.
Musicscan: How do you feel about your place within the metal scene as all as well as in between tradition and gaining new ground to bring forth what the bands you grew up with did before Unfold were around? Do you think it's more important for bands to observe the traditions of their style, or to push the genre's boundaries? Is there a way to achieve a balance between progression and tradition? What’s to say about what Unfold are doing?
Unfold: We think we contributed to “shape” a genre that was later referred as “post-metal/hardcore”. The place we have is not a big one, but we influenced many bands and it shows that our music was pertinent. We always tried not to repeat ourselves over the years and albums, and we feel we reached this goal. It doesn’t mean we totally reinvented our music from one album to the next one, because we have common influences which guide our writing. This is where “tradition” is. For us, “tradition” is not a style, because we don’t care about styles, but it’s a kind of “common ground” that we share and that we stick to. On the other hand, progression is something that guide us constantly: that’s what music is all about.
Musicscan: From my point of view your taste in music has become wider over the years. True? And were there any musical elements you meant to incorporate in the music for the new album by choice?
Unfold: That’s true. But it was true before, too, even if it might not have been noticed. We listen to and are interested in a lot a different music styles. On Cosmogon, we felt for example that it was time to incorporate some keys and a third guitar. This choice wasn’t guided by a wider range of taste, but by the will to push the musical boundaries further and open up new experimental fields.
Musicscan: The music Unfold is playing finds separation through passion and honesty, something you are not hearing too often these days. It’s well balanced, brutal and having a good dramaturgy to keep things interesting. What is your attitude towards heavy music in general and towards being Unfold in particular?
Unfold: We play with passion and honesty, that’s true. I’m happy you were able to feel that. We have been able to keep these components, because we never intended to live from our music and that gave us the artistic freedom we wanted. In 2000, Music For Nations (a really big independent label at the time) wanted to sign us, but they gave up when they saw the look we had: we didn’t look like metal heads and that was a problem for marketing the band. We never made any compromises to sound more commercial or tried to look “cool” (à la metal). There has always been a lot of “posers” in heavy music. We simply kept it the other way.
Musicscan: Listening to Unfold makes one wonder about the intensity of the songs. It´s definitely more than just music. It´s also the atmosphere you create. Is the mentioned intensity something you are striving for?
Unfold: Thank you for the complients. Intensity is indeed central to us. It can come from heaviness, groove, melodies, or whatever. We don’t want to play with technique, but with heart.
Musicscan: You are always creating records that consist of different layers and extremes. On the one hand side they consist of rude arrangements, on the other hand there are parts that create an incomparable atmosphere. Do you think that this diversity makes Cosmogon a stronger record? It takes some time to get the point and people have to invest time in discovering the songs and to get your ideas…
Unfold: Well, I don’t’ know. I think you just feel if the song is good or not as a whole. Cosmogon is a very reflective and thoughtful album and it takes some listens to fully discover the songs and their subtilities and details. It was done in purpose and it requires some patience and open-mindedness.
Musicscan: Did all of you guys have had an equal vision about how the new album should sound like right from the beginning of the working process? What stands out in your mind about the chemistry of the band during the writing and recording? How did this contribute to the overall sound and feel of the final product?
Unfold: No. We wrote a part of the album in the studio, but we shared a common perspective of the global direction in which we wanted to go. Some might be due to hazard, some not.
Musicscan: Is there something like a guiding line listeners have to know about to get a better understanding of what you are trying to tell them with Cosmogon?
Unfold: Not really. We don’t like to give too many guidelines even if some are evident. Sometimes the better understanding is the one you think is right.