author PP date 18/12/06

We recently received an opportunity to send an email questionnaire to the direction of Unearth just before they started their European tour with Hatebreed, but the band was too busy to fill out the answers just then. Their guitarist Buz McGrath finally had the chance to take a look at our list of questions and send us a response back. Read on to find out what he thinks of metalcore and their recent album "III: The Eyes Of Fire", and of course the usuals about downloading and albums leaking.

RF.net: Please give a brief introduction to Unearth for those readers who don't know the band at all, and include a small anecdote to the biggest fans of the band.
Beer metal mosh mayhem ,from boston massachusetts.

RF.net: With reference to your bio, you seem happy to be labelled as 'metalcore', unlike most other bands similar to you. Are you? Do you think the term does justice to your music?
Metalcore is a good term to describe our last 2 records. I fell that our latest release was more metal than core.

RF.net: Do you feel that the genre is oversaturated? With new bands popping up like flowers in the spring, how will you keep your edge over the other bands and stay both original and relevant?
Yes there seemed to be tons of bands popping up sounding very similar. Now it seems like the cool thing to do is hate on metalcore. I guess I can sort of understand. When metal core is done badly its obious. But I find myself enjoying badly done straight metal all the time.

RF.net: Quoting from your biography: "A lot of our friends who used to be in kick-ass metal and hardcore bands are adding these pop choruses now for no reason" (Trevor). Why do you think it is bad to include poppy choruses like Trivium does, for instance? Wouldn't this fit in with the description of an 'elitist'‚ approach to music, often seen on sites like Blabbermouth.net?
A lot of the bands trevor was referring to were trying hard to get noticed by the mainstream by forcing emo style vox into their music. Were not totally against this style, it doesnt really work for our music. The bands who do it and are genuine about it kick ass. Killswitch Engage, All That Remains, trivium. To name a few.

RF.net: Many people consider your early albums to be seminal to the genre. When you look and listen to the albums yourself, do you feel the same?
In ten years if someone writes a book about metal core, I hope they mention "The Stings Of Conscience". I feel that record may have helped get the ball rolling for the genre

RF.net: Your new album is titled "III: The Eyes Of Fire". Where does the title come from? To be precise, we're interested in the meaning of the III? Is this a first in series of albums with a similar theme?
well, the roman numeral III is to signify our 3rd record. In the eyes of fire just sounded like a rad name for a record so we went with it.

RF.net: How does the new album compare to the old 'classics'? Do you think "III: The Eyes Of Fire" has lived up to the expectations of the fans of this era? Has it lived up to your own expectations? How does it compare to the old albums?
Its been getting great reviews by fans, and critics alike, its great to know that the fans are into it. I think we could have done a better job with it. But im usually pretty hard on myself.

RF.net: You recorded the album at the Studio-X with legendary producer Terry Date. How did the process differ from recording with Adam from Killswitch Engage? Could you please take us through the recording process in detail.
Terry was more organic in his producing methods. We recorded the drums live where with adam we would set up a click tempo,and piece the parts together. With terry we all played together to record the drums. It kind of created a vibe with all of us in the room actually playing it together. It gave it a more live feel. Once the drums were done we went back to record the guitars, bass, and vox in more detail.

RF.net: How much influence does a producer have over Unearth's final product? Would "III: The Eyes Of Fire" sound relatively the same with Adam, or any other producer for that matter? If not, how would it be different?
It depends, with Terry he really didnt touch the music we created. He basically was there to make sure it was played well, and make sure it felt right. With adam he is more hands on with arrangements, and guitar harmonies. I think if we did this record with adam maybe it would have sounded more slick, and polished. But I really don't know? We werent really going for that anyway.

RF.net: You'll be touring across Europe with Hatebreed later this year. What are you expectations for this tour? The people who listen to Hatebreed are more hardcore oriented than metal oriented, so how do you think they will respond towards a far more 'metal' set? (Ed note: This i-view was sent to the band before the tour)
That tour ended 2 weeks ago. It was amazing!!!

RF.net: Do your touring plans include a full headlining European tour in the foreseeable future? What are the countries you'd most like to visit on this tour and why? If you had a choice of any band(s), who would you pick as your support(s)?
We will be doing a headlining european tour in march/ April 2007. As of right now the support bands have not been confirmed. We will be hitting most of western europe, and UK, and looking forward to all of it.

RF.net: Can you tell us a story of the craziest/funniest/weirdest situation/occurrence on an Unearth tour on or off-stage?
Our bass player sometimes dresses up in a bird suit, and stuffs girls faces in pans of cold lasagne back stage.

RF.net: Name the best and worst shows you‚ve played and why?
Best show in recent memory, loudpark fest in japan. I met Dio, it was awesome. Worst; any show I fail to give 100%

RF.net: Can you name the single most rewarding aspect about the music scene today, as well as the most annoying/discouraging traits? Please justify!
Actually being able to get on a stage and play music to people who want to hear it is the greastest thing ever. It's a bum out when people lose sight of that.

RF.net: In the recent years the debate over downloading music has been one of the hottest topics in both politics and music industry. Where do you stand on this issue? Do you approve of the 'try-before-you-buy policy'?
I don't really approve, but at the same time I don't really like to see record companies charging $17 for a cd either

RF.net: Closely related to this, in the recent year or two, we have seen an alarming rate of albums leaking to the internet even months before the actual release date, including yours. What effect does this have on the success of, for instance, "III: The Eyes Of Fire"?
Its hard to gauge the effect of illegal downloading, because the record industry is usually so all over the place its hard to have a solid base to compare with.

RF.net: The ones who download these early leaks tend to be enthusiasts and those 'keeping up' with the scene, the people most likely to be fans of Unearth. Do you think it is acceptable for a fan of Unearth to download the album weeks if not months before it is released, if you can be relatively sure they will buy it the moment it hits the stores? Why/Why not?
Hopefully a cool layout, and bonus material will get kids to the stores. But I think the cd format is going the way of the dodo.

RF.net: If you weren't Unearth, which band would you want to be, and why? Similarly, which band would you most NOT want to be, and why?
Oddtopsy cuz it's a sick name. I would hate to be in Youth Medium, cuz they are emo bastards.

RF.net: One final question: If I were a head hunter on a major label, how much would I have to pay Unearth to change their sound to a more radio-friendly one and to get them signed on the label? (Would Unearth ever consider signing to a major?)
I would do it if It meant I would never have to worry about money again.

RF.net: Thanks for the interview, I wish you all the best and might see you on the Hatebreed tour. Any final words to your fans are yours to let loose:
thanks check us out III in the eyes of fire.

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