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Interview

Unsu Talks New MCD "The Filthy" And Signing To Kaotoxin Records

Photo of Unsu

Band Photo: Unsu (?)

French death/grind act Unsu signed a multi-album deal with Kaotoxin Records earlier this year beginning with the release of "The Filthy," and we had the pleasure of premiering the new song "Kill Kyst" online prior to the album's official drop.

Now that the MCD is officially out and Unsu has wrapped up a run of U.K. shows with Merciless Precision, the band has decided to speak out to share with old and new fans about the creation of "The Filthy," the group's history, and what we can expect to hear from Unsu in the future. Below is our full interview with vocalist Micky, in which he talks all things Unsu and extends a cordial invitation to any and all females to submit naked pictures for the band's perusal.

xFiruath: How did the Unsu collective come together and what bands were you involved with before hand?

Micky: Unsu was Manu’s idea, first. At that time, he still was playing guitars for Trepan’dead, a well-known local grindcore band. He wanted to put together another grindcore band besides Trepan’dead, but with other influences. He met Adrien (also in Purify, drums) which was really into it since the very beginning and, as Adrien, Gerbe (also in Darkall Slaves, guitars) and me (also in Purify, vocals) are long time friends, playing in various bands together since long ago, he introduced us to Manu and Unsu was born. We tried several bass players, but we never found one that fit, thus we decided to go on without one, having tweaked our guitar setup for a good full spectrum live rendition while Gerbe is recording the bass parts while in the studio.

xFiruath: How would you describe your band's music to an Unsu virgin?

Micky: Unsu is, to us, all about rage, violence, a fucking heavy sound and, above all, the pleasure to play together. If you’re into the Scandinavian Grindcore scene, you can have a good idea of what’s our main influence, but, of course, we’re adding that personal touch that makes all the difference and puts Unsu apart from its influences.

xFiruath: Where were the studio tracks for your new MCD “The Filthy” recorded and was this a self-produced effort?

Micky: “The Filthy” was recorded during the very same session than the tracks featured on our split 7 inches with Atara (Douchebag records / Rewolucja records, 2011). It was recorded in our rehearsal room by Yannick Delmaire, a friend of ours. The recording took us two days. We wanted to release two split EPs at that time, then we signed to Kaotoxin records which offered to release the remaining tracks, with additional bonus material, for the headlining U.K. tour with Merciless Precision we’re just back from.

xFiruath: “The Filthy” includes live tracks recorded at the Lille WinterFest. How was the festival and how did the live recording process go?

Micky: The Lille WinterFest was a very great two days festival which we’ve been offered to play at by Nico of Kaotoxin records who was putting it together. We of course accepted right away! Since then, we got to know each other and started having a closer relationship until we signed to the label. We didn’t know the fest would be recorded live, we got to know it by receiving the audio recording of our performance some days after the fest, which was a cool gift afterwards. The sound is taken from the mixing board so, of course, that’s not the best sound for a live recording, but the tracks are bonuses and they capture the raw energy Unsu is all about, live. So, in my opinion, that’s a little gift to the ones that’d buy “The Filthy,” a bit more value-for-money. Simon Herbaut of The Lumberjack Feedback is the one that was behind the knobs during the fest and remixed the live tracks for “The Filthy.”

xFiruath: You’ve got a Nasum cover on there as well – what made you choose that particular song, and when approaching cover tracks do you try to stick to the original or change it to match the Unsu sound?

Micky: We’re, of course, all very big Nasum fans since long ago so it was kind of logical if we’d record a cover at some point, it would have been a Nasum one. You know, when we were starting playing music, we were like “One day, we’ll play that fast!.” Each time we were listening to them, we were like “Fuck, man! That IS fast!.” We didn’t want to change the song “Time to Act” for it to be more into the Unsu style, it’s already perfect as it is, we just wanted to play it way faster. A kind of personal challenge, you see? Compared to the already very fast version on “The Filthy,” we’re now playing it even faster, live!

xFiruath: How does the Unsu writing process usually go for new songs?

Micky: The way we’re writing in Unsu is, I guess, quite similar to the way most of the bands are doing it : Manu and Gerbe, the two guitar players, are starting with a riff and we build the song together around it. We’re often having some kind of brainstorming for little details, but ‘til we can consider the song is perfect, we’re working on it, over and over. We sometimes even go to the point we’re working for hours on a single second break, you see.

xFiruath: What sort of lyrics does Unsu use and what ideas or themes do you try to put out to the audience?

Micky: I’m the one to write ‘em. We’re not a political band like many other grindcore outfits and we don’t have any kind of “message” to promote. Most of the lyrics are dealing with psychological disorders mixed with humor or, sometimes, that’s all about funny private jokes, like on “Kill Kyst,” in example.

xFiruath: Tell me a bit about what’s going on in your local metal scene and where do you guys usually play hometown shows?

Micky: The local grindcore scene is a bit different than the local metal scene, funnier, friendlier. Sadly, the scene’s not that active, even if there are some good bands, like Trepan’dead, Lardon, and so on. So, every time you go to a gig, you meet the very same core of people that are coming to support the bands (and we thank ‘em very much for supporting Unsu!). There are a few places for gigs, here, but it becomes more and more difficult as venues are closing one after the other, mostly because of the neighborhood and, well, touring in France costs one fuckin’ Hell of a lot of money: everything’s very expansive, here (van rental, highway taxes, gas, etc.).

xFiruath: Do you have any tour dates or live shows lined up in support of the new release?

Micky: We’ve been embarking on a full week headlining U.K. tour with Merciless Precision, a U.K. based band with whom we’ve had a very good time, to support “The Filthy.” We’ve been opening for Fuck the Facts and Gronibard lately and we’re gonna play with Razor’s Edge, some friends of ours from Greece, and Oblivionized, soon. We’ve got some summer festivals planned also, like the Grind the Nazi Scum in Germany and the Underground Blast Fest in France. We’ve also got some tours in the works right now, but we’re focusing on writing the debut full-length, which might be released by Kaotoxin records in the first half of 2013.

xFiruath: What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen at a metal show?

Micky: The craziest thing I’ve seen live was Rotten Sound perfectly covering Meshuggah’s “War” live as relaxed as having a cigarette in the meantime, with a human drummer for, as far as I know, the original Meshuggah version features a drum-machine. That is upper class!

xFiruath: Anything else you’d like to discuss?

Micky: Adrien and myself are single, so, girls, get in touch with the label sending an introduction mail along with a naked pic! Well, stop joking but send your naked pix anyway, we’d like to thank each and everyone that helped and supported the band, the fans, the promoters, the venues, the zines, the labels, etc. I won’t tell you names, the list would be too long and I’d for sure forget someone. If you like our sound, join us on Facebook or whatever and keep in touch for we’re gonna put 200% of ourselves in it to constantly better it!

xFiruath: Thanks for your time!

Micky: Hey, you're welcome, Ty! Many thanks for your interest in Unsu and “suce ma bite avec des épinards!”

xFiruath's avatar

Ty Arthur is a freelance writer who writes for both entertainment and technical instruction sites. An avid fan of many different forms of metal, he has been involved in reviewing music for several years and is currently a contributing editor for Metalunderground.com

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