For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?
Unrest is a 1 man USBM band much in the vein of Leviathan, Burzum, Judas Iscariot, Xasthur, etc. Basically one man’s way to express his contempt for the world.
So far you have release a full length and a split, how would you describe the musical sound that is present on both of the recordings?
I’ve also just released an EP call “Son of Midwestern Darkness”. But that just was unleashed a few weeks ago. As far as the sound, I describe it as a wall of chaos that doesn’t wash over you but goes through you, it stains your very soul. No gimmicks. no tricks. No Eddie Van Halen virtuoso mess. Just a straight forward punch in the face.
3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with your music?
Nihilism, Misanthropy, Self-hatred. Those are the 3 biggest. Not incredibly original I know because everyone under the sun has the same concepts. But I’m just a guy who hates the world and everyone/everything in it, and want to scream about it. And the self hatred part isn’t the “oh woe is me, I’m so sad.”. It’s more of I’m part of the problem too and should probably exterminate myself much like the rest of humanity. I have the words “I Have Walked Away From The Human Race” tattooed on me for a reason.
4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name “Unrest”.
Well, when it originally started, I called it “Eternal Unrest” because at the time I initially liked how it sounded. But shortly after I thought that was kind of too long for a name. I prefer one word names. They have more impact to me at least. A singular name can become a symbol or much like with the black metal logos, a piece of art. As for the meaning/inspiration, Unrest means “a disturbed or uneasy state”. Which is incredibly fitting for basically who I am as a person. Not in the sense of “hurr durr, I’m a serial killer” or any kind of childish nonsense like that. I, like many other people have my own demons that I don’t believe will ever be exorcised.
5. With this musical project you record everything by yourself, are you open to working with other musicians or do you prefer the solo route a lot more?
Actually the whole by myself thing was born out of necessity. I’ve been trying to find like minded individuals to form an entire band for a very long time. I could never get all the components at the same time. So I just got sick and tired of dealing with unreliable, flaky people that I just said fuck it and decided to do it all myself. I didn’t even play guitar until about 2 years ago. I had played bass in every other band I had been in for the past 12 years. Never even knew how to use a guitar pick or anything. So I got a guitar and rig, then took some lessons and went from there. Luckily I went to college for Audio production, so the recording/programming drums and tons was already extremely easy for me. Used to I would’ve said I would love to have a full time band to do this. But doing it all myself is extremely refreshing. There’s no one I have to please but myself. I don’t have to practice with a bunch of people and teach them songs and then practice those to death and then take 6 months before they can be played at a show. I can basically write, demo, record then be done with it. It’s a wonderful feeling.
6. Recently you were part of a split with Idolatry, what are your thoughts on the other band that had participated on the recording.
LOVE those guys. I’m actually good friends with Lord Matzigkeitus. We met online when I was searching for another band to do a split with. Come to find out we’re are into a lot of the same things and just kind of hit it off. I love everything they do. When they were looking for a bass player I had considered moving to Canada just to join them. I’m hoping one day I can assemble a live band just so I can play shows with those guys.
7. So far your release have been put out by Appalachian Noise, can you tell us a little bit about this label.
Appalachian Noise Records was actually started by myself. Again out of necessity. I had demos for Isolation done and sent them out to several labels and whatnot to see if there was any interest because I am still virtually unknown and was hoping someone would bite and take it from there because I really didn’t want to self release. After about the 10th rejection and a bunch of unreturned emails and phone calls I finally just decided to do it myself. I’m a pretty stubborn and driven individual and if someone doesn’t want to play ball I basically just DIY it and do it better than they could of. I can be kind of a control freak at times when it comes to my art and what I want to accomplish. So it’s probably best that if I just handle it all myself anyway. Oddly enough there were people who were into it and wanted me to sign their bands. It was one of those things that I just started for my own uses and it has now grown to where I have a few bands I’ve released material for and have a few more things in the pipe. It’s weird being my own boss.
8. The musical project has been around since 2004, but you waited until 2014 to release any music, can you tell us a little bit more about the first 10 years.
When I started it in 2004 I actually had a full band. We had a few songs worked on and almost done and were talking about doing a demo. Everything was ready to go, then just fizzled out because the other guys lost interest or what, I don’t know. Unrest at the time was our side band because the other guys were in other full time bands and couldn’t dedicate the kind of time to it like I wanted to. So I kept trying to find more people and would find a guitar player here and there, or a drummer every now and then. Most of which would stick around for a few months, or we would write some songs and then they would bail. In 2009 it almost took off. I had 2 guitar players and had a friend who agreed to play drums on the demo. I thought it was finally gonna happen. Then one day the main guitarist/songwriter decides he was going to sell all of his belongings and move to California. So it died on the vine right there. I was also in a full time band at the time that was extremely busy doing shows and mini tours pretty much every week/weekend that I put Unrest kind of the back burner and would revisit it when I had the time. Every now and then I would demo out some weird ambient tracks with just bass and programmed drums and thought about releasing material that way. But I was never happy with it and would just scrap it. After my last serious band ended in 2012 I thought I was pretty much done with music. Then of course I got the itch again and tried one more time to find guys for Unrest. After about 6 months of more of the same(flaky people bailing constantly) I decided that I’m going to jump in the deep end with both feet and just do everything myself. Bought a guitar and amp and never looked back. It’s been the best decision I’ve ever made.
9. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
Surprisingly positive. I never thought in a million years some songs I wrote in my home studio and recorded would reach as far as it has. People in Japan have downloaded my music. I found a torrent site in Russia that some kid uploaded my album illegally. I’ve shipped cassettes and vinyl to Europe, Canada, and South America. It’s insane to me. Overall the people that have listened to it are very into and spread the filth. Which I’ll be forever grateful for.
10. Where do you see yourself heading into a musician in the future?
The sky’s the limit. This has gotten my name out in the black metal community and I’ve recently started collaborating with other musicians for a yet unnamed project that will be coming out soon. As far as Unrest, I’m planning on doing this until I just don’t want to anymore. I’m going to try and flesh out my sound a little more. Experiment a little more. Just see where it takes me. At the end of the day, this is my outlet. As long as I’m happy with how it’s coming out and how I’m expressing myself, I could give a shit what anyone else thinks.
11. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
The first black metal band I ever heard was Darkthrone. I was 10 years old and it scared the shit out of me. Transylvanian Hunger pretty much set me on my path. That’s incredibly cliche’ but it’s the truth. Of course Leviathan, Crebain, Judas Iscariot, Xasthur,and Burzum are gigantic influences. They showed me that it can really just be you doing it and still come out phenomenal. I also love Dissection, Krieg and Emperor. If I could make an album half as good as any of theirs I can die happy. I’m from a very small town in rural Ohio. So I grew up around a lot of old Outlaw Country like Hank Williams and there was a lot of Bluegrass being played everywhere you went. You can’t directly hear it in my music, but it’s there. Crowbar is another big influence. The way Kirk makes riffs had a very profound effect on me. If you have a good riff first, the rest will fall into place.
As far as listening to nowadays. Aside from the stuff listed above(because I’m also listening to Burzum or Leviathan), some of it is very “untrve”. I’m a huge Deafheaven fan. I catch so much shit for that. But I really don’t care. If you like it, then you like it and fuck anyone else’s opinion. I’ve been a fan since their demo came out. It’s not black metal in the “trve” sense. But there are flourishs. Kerry McCoy and George Clark like some of the darkness. It’s interesting to see where they’re taking it. Just found this phenomenal band called Ghost Bath who I haven’t stopped listening to for the past 4 days. Just really well done “post” black metal. It’s depressing and wonderful. There’s this other band I’ve been spinning recently called Pyramids. They just released an album not to long ago called “A Northern Meadow”. The music at first listen sounds like it shouldn’t make sense. But it does in the weirdest way possible and it fucks me up. The Pig Destroyer reissue Relapse just did of Prowler in the Yard made me fall in love with that album all over again. I’m also a huge melodeath fan, so the new Black Dahlia Murder album came at a perfect time this fall. The new Archgoat album punches me in the throat every time I play it. I could probably write another 10 pages of what I’m listening to right now. I’ve always got music playing and always getting new stuff to play. It’s exciting to find new, good music.
12. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Just because you can’t find like minded people to play music with doesn’t mean you have to sit around like a bump on a log and do nothing. Modern technology has made it ridiculously easy to make your music. It just takes time and money.
And because I’m a shameless self promoter, visit www.appalachiannoiserecords.com and eternalunrest.bandcamp.com and download/buy something. Support the underground!!!!!