How is everything going on your end? You three doing well?
Hell yeah, man! Between the start of this and Brooks and Steve’s upcoming Crypt Sermon release, things are pretty sick.
According to your Facebook page, the main reason Unrest exists is to kind of continue making new Nasum songs. Was there any particular era of Nasum releases that was more influential to you or the band itself, or was this sort of meant to pay tribute to everything from day one to the very bitter end?
When we started, we were listening to the last few albums a lot in particular and I’d say we set our sights on where they were when they wrapped up with Shift. Unrest is somewhere between tribute and love-letter to not just Nasum and, by extension, all the grindcore, death metal, and hardcore that inspired them.
Did the band, or have you guys since, started trying to create a more unique sound, or will Unrest forever be a kind of Nasum tribute when it comes to your music?
Unrest was never a project for trailblazing, so we were never too interested in forcing a unique sound, but we were also never interested in throwing away something if it feels right. I think we might push a bit harder on the death metal side than Nasum did. If we ever get back to writing, I think it’d be business as usual.
Well then, onto Grindcore. When you started writing the album, was it just Steve and Chris, or was Brooks already involved at the time?
Steve and I wrote the bulk of the material, maybe 2/3 of the album, but that last 1/3 makes up some of our favorites, so he really brought a lot to the table.
About how long did it take you guys to write the material, and what was the writing process like?
When we worked regularly, the process was extremely fluid. Steve would usually come in with riffs, I’d usually make requests to make them dumber, he’d suggest a compromise that was somewhere in the middle, and we’dbuild songs that way. We’d do an instrumental demo, write vocal patterns and lyrics, and then figure out how and by whom each line would be performed. It was a blast, it was my favorite song writing partnership of all thebands I’ve been in.
As for how long it took, the first song we wrote and kept was “False Brotherhood” in 2007. I think we wrote the last few songs, which were “We Are Calling You Out,” “Drown,””You Take,” and “Faith is a Herse,” in the months before we recorded in 2010. There were a few long gaps in there where we weren’t working at all, though.
So, what about the album exactly was so bad at the time that you guys let it sit on the shelf for so long?
Haha… Well… I don’t want to introduce the album to people by complaining it, but let’s say it was a difficult recording and mixing process. It wasn’t until we had a few years distance that I was able to come back to it and give it a mix we were all happy with.
What was on your minds at the time when the decision was made? Were you all mentally done, were you still writing new songs, anything like that?
At the time, I was extremely burnt out on trying to finish the mix and needed space. We all felt too strongly about the material to let it be released in a way that we didn’t think was appropriate, so not releasing was better than an immature release. When I came back to it later, I realized that my complaints could all be worked around, call it a combination of improved perspective by way of time. We were all also much better vocalist when we did vocals last year, so it all really worked out.
Eventually Chris moved to New York City. Did this basically stop everything Unrest, or were you still able to do shows now and then at the very least?
Moving to NYC wasn’t really a problem, since I was maintaining Woe as a long-distance band while the rest ofthe guys were still in town. The bigger problem was my back — I have two herniated discs and was so fucked up, I thought I’d never drum again. This happened less than a year after we tracked all the instruments but we still had vocals to do and I had lyrics to write, so it just made things seem even more difficult.
At this point, you guys are also involved in other bands like Woe, Crypt Sermon and TrenchRot. Have these impacted Unrest in any way over the years, positively or negatively?
Woe was the only one of these bands that existed while we were doing Unrest and it never really got in the way of things since we weren’t all that active. As time went on, it was really Steve and Brooks’ relationship with Unspeakable Axe through their other bands that led to this whole thing being possible.
Grindcore is being issued through Unspeakable Axe Records. How did you guys end up working with this label?
I came upon the unfinished album last year and realized that it was more than salvageable, so we made plans to redo the vocals that were there, finish the ones we never recorded, and do a final mix/master. We weren’t sure who was going to release it. I was resigned to just putting it on Bandcamp and calling it a day.
Steve and Brooks worked with Eric/UA for their death metal band TrenchRot and he also did the Infiltrator tape, so they have a good relationships. Brooks floated the idea of doing the album by him, sent him some of the early mixes, and he was into it!
So, what’s next for Unrest? Will there be new tunes in the future, or is this basically wrapping up the final chapter of the band?
Time is going to tell. We haven’t talked at all about writing, though I’m sure we’d all be on board. Top priority right now, if there is one, is getting back in live shape, but we’ll have to see about that.