If The Unchained is "declaring war on rock n roll", then AFGM must alert the fans and press! These guys will be playing tomorrow night (Thursday, March 8th, 2012) at the legendary Horseshoe Tavern and wanted to give a little insight to those thinking about or interested in coming down to check em out.
Currently, The Unchained consists of:
- Ryan Abramowitz (Drums)
- Michael Wolfgang Verbeke (Guitars)
- Ange M (Guitars)
I had the pleasure to sit down and do a great Q&A with some amazing Toronto musicians and their newly conceived project "The Unchained".
First off, thank you guys for taking the time for this interview. I really appreciate the time and effort for you guys to sit down and go through this string of questions. Lets start with with basics. What is The Unchained and who is in it?
The Unchained is a release. It’s what happens when life and people think they have you wrapped around its finger and eventually you get fed up and say fuck you. Our music tends to reflect the life we know and the stories we have endured. You can hear it in all of our songs – instrumental or with vocals.
Who started this project? When was it conceived?
We have been playing together for 5 years. We were together in a previous band called Easy Sleezy, which we still own and have a new album coming out, but its no longer an active project. Our musical creativity was being hindered by a nuisance of a singer so we decided to focus on what was actually important – writing great, unpretentious rock songs for people to enjoy.
What are the goals/aspirations for this project?
Nothing. Absolutely fucking nothing. We want people to come to our shows, drink and party all night. If they like the music, great, if they don’t, we don’t give a fuck. We do our best to write great songs and hope that it turns into world domination but truth be told, if we have 50 people who LOVE our music we’re happy.
Can you give us some influences you guys have when creating this project? Any specific reason(s) as to why?
We proudly wear all our musical heroes on our sleeve. All the great rock bands inspire every part we write. Our writing process involves a lot of reflecting on our parts and a lot of rethinking and redoing, but most of what we write comes from nowhere. We hold onto our belief that rock music is pure and should not be contrived, so all of our recordings are recorded live off the floor in one solid take just like our heroes did. That’s what gives Rock music heart - vulnerability.
Fans have been following you for some time with your previous work in Easy Sleezy. What prompted the change to go instrumental and a new project versus keeping an old one alive?
Fans get very attached to the music they love. Easy Sleezy has a place in our fans hearts that we didn’t want to disturb or change. We were hoping that by creating something fresh, it will be seen as something fresh, not just an ‘alternative’ to something that was. Easy Sleezy is exactly what it is remembered as and we would like our story to stay that way.
Will we be expecting an EP/LP anytime soon? Is there any material that folks can check out?
Yea, we have our demo posted live right now (www.theunchained.ca). We also have a mobile site (www.theunchained.ca/mobilesite.html) for anyone who wants to stream our music while they walk or just keep up to date with what’s going on. We are hoping to have our full length completed this year.
Can you take us through the writing process at all? Who comes up with the riffs, and where does it go from there?
Honestly, we have no idea. We stand in a room together, pick up our gear and start to play. We press record on our computer and the music just gets spit out. We listen back, filter ideas and construct the best damn arrangement we can. Then we redo it all, and record the entire performance in one take. If we can’t play it perfectly or cant play it in one take, it needs more work. We dont stop until we believe it’s the best it can be...and then we make it better!
How are you guys handling the recording duties? Are you in a studio or are you self producing this project?
Big name producers and studios are over rated and filled with snakes, liars and professional con artists. Not all of them, we do know a few pro choices, but in general 99.9% of them suck shit and try to turn our music into everything its not. We worked with Richard Chycki on the Easy Sleezy album because he is a genius and took many months getting to know our songs and us as people. The Unchained album will be self produced and self recorded.
Are you guys hoping to keep this project a three piece and have session members or are you looking to add any members to the ranks?
To be honest, yes and no. If you think you can sing or can rip on the bass, give us a shout. We would be happy to hear your story and see how you play. But to be blunt and completely honest, we are tired of babysitting. If we ever added new members to the lineup they would be guys that drive this band and make it stronger in every department.
Whats on the go for The Unchained in the next few months? Do you have any more shows coming up in the near future?
We have a string of shows coming up in Toronto over the next few months, and we are planning to head out on a small US tour nearing the end of the summer. We are also working really hard to complete the writing and recording of our new album.
And now for some fun, random questions that every musician likes to answer:
If you could have a single guest member on an upcoming album, who would it be and why?
Slash. Because he is the king.
If you had one band who you would be honored to share the stage with, who and why?
Guns and Roses on their reunion tour with the original lineup. We want to be a part of rock history when a riot breaks out and the venue burns down.
Covers are always fun to do when your jammin out in the studio, any songs in particular you guys like to play and have fun with or is it all original material?
Mainly original. We have thought about playing covers but playing other peoples music, at times, can be boring!
Favourite band/album of 2012 so far?
So once again, anyone who's looking for a good night with good tunes and brews, be sure to hit up the Horseshoe Tavern and see what Toronto Rock n Roll is all about. Get on their mailing list in order to get yourself a ticket to the show for FREE!