One of the most interesting debuts that have come out this year sofar, is surely the curiously named So Much For Nothing. a groundbreaking, avantgarde project that mixes black metal with experimental dark pop. Mastermind Erik Unsgaard sheds some light on the stroy behind this peculiar slab of music. .
What does the title ’Livsgnist” mean actually?
It means something like “spark of life”, and I chose this title because I think it pretty much sums up the whole album very well.
How did you start working together as a duo on these songs.
Well… All the songs were finished before I asked Uruz if he would like to play drums on the album. It was actually meant to be a solo project of mine, and Uruz was only supposed to do session drums on this album, but I guess he really liked the songs as he didn’t hesitate when I asked if he wanted to join me as a permanent drummer! And this is how it will continue, at least for now. I write all the music with a drum machine, then I send the songs to Uruz so he knows what to play. But I give him a lot of space to try out his own things, and it seems that it works great this way for both of us.
You’ve managed to get a whole range of interesting contributors. How did you get all of them to play on the record?
I’m so lucky to know all these talented musicians, so I simply asked if they wanted to help me out!
Especially Niklas Kvarforth, in recent interviews he had often said not to take any more guest performances like he had done in the past?
That might be, I haven’t read any interviews with him lately. However, the album was finished one and a half year ago, so even though he was a busy man at that time too, he luckily had time to do this!-and the result is stunning!
So Much for Nothing is in many ways the exact opposite of what you’ve been doing in your respective bands, Sarkom and Ureghal, which are much more deeply steeped in the traditional black metal. Were you looking for an outlet to fit in the ideas that would not suit there?
Both yes and no… It all started with a song or two which I knew wouldn’t fit Sarkom, so I decided to write a whole album as a solo project. When that decision was made, the songs developed in this direction pretty natural, as I listen to lots of pop music, as well as I knew that I didn’t want to make just another typical black metal album. I think it's important to do something "own", instead of following the footsteps of others, and I guess this has been the recipe for musical success for many artists and bands over the years. I don't say that you won't succeed if you don't do it this way, I just think that the odds are better. So even though I haven’t created something totally new here, at least this music is more original than many other metal releases these days.
Certain parts also have a very jazzy feel. Are you a big fan of jazz and what is it that you find so appealing in it?
I don’t know about Uruz, but I don’t listen to jazz at all! So the jazzy feeling you’re talking about must be a coincidence.
How did you hook up with My Kingdom Music?
Uruz suggested me to contact them, as he has been involved with Crest of Darkness before, who are signed to the same label. So I sent them an e-mail saying that we had recorded an album and were looking for a label to release it. They were interested so I sent the album and he offered us a contract right away! The manager told me this was one of the best albums he had heard for the past years and this was also one of the reasons why we ended up there. By saying that, I guess they also believe in us and that our music has high potential, and that they really will do their best to make us move up and forth.
Putting this live on stage will not be an easy feat considering all the contributions. Are you planning something along the line for this or will this remain a studio project?
We will definitely play live sooner or later, and we know a couple of guys who are ready to join SMFN live. I’m pretty sure the songs will sound great in a live setting, but as you say, with all the contributions, not everything will be that easy. Suffer in Silence for example… I don’t think we will play this one live, as it features four guest musicians, as well as the song lasts for about 11 minutes... Other than that, I think it will work out fine. So if someone want to book us, please contact either me or our Patricia Thomas Management!
The vinyl edition of Livsgnist was released a couple of days ago. Limited to 500 hand-numbered copies, and it comes with alternate layout, lyric sheet and an A3 poster! You can buy it directly from www.sadsunmusic.com Besides that the album is also available for download at the most common internet stores. And if you don’t want to buy the album, you can also listen to it at Spotify! Feel free to add us on www.facebook.com/somuchfornothing for the latest news etc! Thanks for promoting SMFN with this interview, hope to see you on tour sometime!