EMQ’s with INTO THE UNKNOWN
Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with UK Symphonic Rock band, Into The unknown. Huge thanks to their bassist, Rupert, for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
My name is Rupert, I play Bass (but I also produce the recordings), and the band is Into The Unknown. It all started long ago (well 2017 ish), when I was doing a session with a guitarist called Ryan for someone else’s project. We vaguely knew each other as he played in a friends band (that’s how he landed the session) but we hit it off during the recording, so I suggested that we recorded a song that I always fancied doing … he suggested Lucie for vocals, who was in his band at the time, and the recording was good fun … so we did some more, and before we knew it we were writing and recording, and had nearly enough for an album. That resulted in the album “Out of the Shadows”, which we later followed up with a mini album called “The Other Side of the Wall” and our second full album “Breaking the Silence”, all recorded with just the three of us. We decided to expand the line up to enable us to do some full live shows, so first we recruited James as rhythm guitar, then Paul, (keys) and Richard (drums). Then the pandemic hit! Unfortunately, Lucie had to return to her native Czech Republic, so left the band, and after a long period of auditions, we recruited Natalie as our new vocalist, and released the single ‘Into The Unknown’.
How did you come up with your band name?
Basically, it came about as we just didn’t know what we were going to do, no definitive plans moving forward, and originally no intention to form a band …. So, it felt apt that we were going into the unknown.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We are from the UK, based in the South East, but actually quite spread out, none of us live particularly close to each other … Watford, Milton Keynes, Reading etc. So, we can’t really talk about a local scene really! The studio is based in south bucks, near to London, so the actual local scene here is definitely not a Metal one! The UK has a history of some great Rock and Metal bands, but it does seem to be getting harder to gig, especially since the whole Brexit thing. We find that most of our audience is international, and in some surprising areas, such as Indonesia and Mexico! Other than that, we have a lot of fans in the USA, Germany etc.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
Our latest release was a single. A few years ago we recorded a heavy version of “I Wanna Be Like You” from the Jungle book, so when Disney released “Into The Unknown” as the big song on Frozen 2, we took it as a challenge. It serves as a great intro to Natalie, and she did us proud on the recording.
Who have been your greatest influences?
So, so many, and varied. Each band member has a different set of influences and background, which we hope comes across in the music. For example, I’m a fan of Symphonic Rock and Classic Rock, Ryan is a fan of ACDC/Slash etc, James is into Death Metal, GWAR, Lordi, Paul is more Melodic, into the Bon Jovi, Meatloaf, Bruce Hornsby styles, but Natalie isn’t a Rock singer, her background is in Pop/Jazz and musicals.
That said, due to the fact that we are described as a Symphonic Rock band, probably the greatest influences on the band as a whole must be Nightwish, Within Temptation, ACDC and Slash.
What first got you into music?
I was a late starter, I didn’t have a musical upbringing, didn’t even have a radio until I was 14 or 15. But I did live near Ian Mosley from Marillion, and I have to say he was probably the biggest influence on me to get into music. Many times, I would sit in his front room listening to the pre-release recordings of Marillion. So, it’s his fault lol.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician, who would it be?
Personally, I would love to work with Nightwish or Within Temptation.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Sweden Rock without doubt. I’ve worked it a number of times as a sound engineer with various bands, and absolutely love it.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
To be honest, I can’t recall ever getting anything weird from a fan.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Thank you! We do this because we enjoy it, there’s no ulterior motive, we don’t write what we think people want to hear, we write what we want to hear. When we hear that other people like it, we are happy, and when we hear that our music affects anyone in any way, it humbles us. So that’s our message: Thank you for supporting us.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Very selfishly, it has to be Jan Kuehnemund from Vixen. I worked with her for many years, and we were close friends. She was taken way to early.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I love the feeling of playing through a song, when everyone is feeling it, and the roof of the room you’re in feels like its lifting! What I hate? Probably the travelling (not the places you go to, but the physical act of having to get there, whether it’s in a tour bus, aeroplane, or back of a transit!) … or the frustration of wanting to have finished and release a recording but knowing that you need to coordinate the release to do it properly and give it the best chance.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
At the moment, the various European touring restrictions imposed by the UK government due to Brexit.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Possibly “Fugazi” by Marillion
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs, or Downloads?
From the point of view of running a studio, I would say CD … I still put everything on a CD and then can play high quality in the car, at home etc. I still have CD walkmans!
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
The band haven’t done many gigs, although we did do a great gig in front of 2000 people, but it was November, it was outside and was freezing, so not the best gig. Personally though, I did a gig as a sound engineer, with Vixen, at Sweden Rock, which was amazing. The crowd was huge, and very appreciative, they continued to chant for Vixen after the end of the show for a good 5 – 10 minutes. I was honoured to then be able to reproduce that gig as a live album for them (Vixen – Live in Sweden)
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Not sure, probably would have carried on and become a lawyer! I did work for record companies for a long time though, so more likely that I would have continued doing that.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Do you mean alive or dead?
If I can include dead people, then it has to include Lemmy … I had some great in-depth conversations with him over the years. Ronnie James Dio, Elton John, Chris Hemsworth, & Dwayne Johnson (as the latter seem to be really nice people)
What’s next for the band?
We are currently writing and recording the new album, it’s getting there, we have the basic structure of it, and we think its sounding strong. We were hoping to get it out in the latter part of this year, but in honesty it’s looking more like earlier 2023, we decided we don’t want to rush the end of it, and to let it develop the way it should. In the meantime, we may put out a part 2 to “The Other Side of the Wall”, our interpretation of some covers.
We are also rehearsing the band to take it live, and have been discussing some possible festivals (for next year) and some support shows.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Definitely a cake!
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Please check out our first two albums, “Out of the Shadows” and “Breaking the Silence”. Hopefully we will bring you album 3 very soon!
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