Unisonic… is a band that made most of the heavy/power metal fans excited as soon as they heard the news… and saw Kiske and Hansen together after so many years. Their homonymous album is a great piece of melodic hard & heavy music… that’s why we named it The Best Album of March. We wanted to learn some more info about this band… and thankfully, the guitarist Mandy Meyer was kind enough to tell us a few things about the band and the music…
Hi Mandy… Congrats on “Unisonic”… As you are already aware… we’ve named it The Best Album of March…
M: Whaau, that’s very honoring. (i.n.: thx... the album is exceptional indeed)
Unisonic is a real band right? Not a project or something like that. It’s was about time Kiske and you participated in a band of your own eventually.
M: Yes, it’s a band, but we kind of have to have a little bit of success, in order to stay together as a band.
Well, the band formed in 2009… but it took you almost 3 years to release your debut. Why? You didn’t mean to hurry things up, right?
M: We had to find our style of music and we tried a few different things. That’s why it took a bit long. But we wrote a lot of songs in this time.
The first formation of the band had Kiske, you (Mandy), Ward and Zafiriou on board. What happened and Kai Hansen jumped in? Who thought of inviting him to the band?
M: That happened because of the Avantasia tour, where Kay and Michael where finding each other again. It also gave the band a great input.
Well, Kiske & Hansen together…. The (power) metal fans were ecstatic when they heard the news. Some were fantasizing of “Keepers…” I don’t think Hansen wanted to play/write the music he plays with his band or he used to play in Helloween… and since you and Ward are in the band, it would have been easier to reach a consensus about the musical direction… right?
M: Kay kind of brought us a little bit back to the heavier side of our music. Michael almost had to be a little bit convinced to try also a bit on the heavier side again.
How did you come up with the name Unisonic? What does it imply and how is it connected with the space-like cover artwork?
M: There were so many ideas for a name and everybody liked Unisonic at the end. It fits to our band. United musicians from different backgrounds and countries.
How was the writing procedure of the album? You have written two songs and co-written one with Hansen, if I’m right. Did you have musical freedom… did you enjoy and long for more to come?
M: There is never a recipe for writing songs. But everybody in the band kind of contributed musically on this album.
Are there any songs that finally didn’t make it to the album? If yes… Do you intend to release them in the future as b-sides, singles, etc?
M: Yes, there are some songs, but not all of them are ready to use for b-sides etc.
The bonus tracks are also incredible… probably better than some of the songs of the standard edition. I was really impressed. How did you decide which bonus goes to which territory? Our Japanese fellows… are the winners once more huh?!
M: That was more or less the record company’s choice and we thought it was OK like that.
Having Dennis Ward in the producer’s chair… makes things easier, right? Now that you can look at the album from a distance, is there anything you would like to change?
M: There are always a few things that could be done with different approaches. But all in all it turned out pretty good to me. Dennis is such a talented musician.
I know that Kiske and Hansen have already talked about the songs but can you also give us your perspective about each one of them?
M: “Unisonic”: Very important title track. Lyrics are very boosting for this song.
“Souls Alive”: This song sounds very epic and big. Great sounds in the break-down.
“Never Too Late”: Great lyrics and cool live song…
“I’ve Tried”: It’s almost a bit of a progressive-rock song.
“Star Rider”: Big sounding riff and song.
“Never Change Me”: Again one of these young sounding punkie songs with a great hook.
“The Morning After” (Japanese bonus track): This song to me is more on the American AOR-side.
“Renegade”: Love this riff and the whole thing about it. To me it should have been earlier on the album.
“My Sanctuary”: Again great riff and cool harmonies, guitars etc.
“King for a Day”: Great big heavy riff which I really love. Again great guitar solos…
“We Rise”: Love the song and the guitar riff…
“No One Ever Sees Me”: Cool change of sounds. Almost like a Pink Floyd-epic-song.
“Over The Rainbow” (European bonus track): That one will be a great live song and Michael can really bring his fans to tears with this tune.
You released a video for the homonymous song “Unisonic”. Why did you choose this song to promote the album? Did you think it’s the most representative song of your work?
M: This song has everything that makes a good rock song, and the lyrics make it more special than just an average metal song.
Are you planning to release any other videos?
M: We don’t know yet.
I know that you’re playing in Rockwave festival in Greece in the 1st of July. Have you also planned to play in any other Festivals this summer?
M: Yes, there are a few and more to come. See on our website.
The press and fans have embraced you and that’s rather good. Some say that “Unisonic” sounds like the “Keepers…” and others that it has nothing to do with those albums. What would you say about it?
M: It’s an album with a few different musical influences. There is a bit of a keeper-flavor, but just a little. The album sounds fresh and it’s full of élan and energy. So were the “Keeper…” albums.
I believe that even though there’s a balance in the album the melodic features are way more the heavy ones. How would you characterize the music on “Unisonic”? I’ve written that the music is like: Place Vendome jamming around with Helloween and Gamma Ray… in my review. Do you agree with that?
M: Yes, you’re not far off with your statement. I can agree to that. (i.n.: swell!)
Can you honestly say that Unisonic is the best band you have ever been a part of till now?
M: Bands and humans are all different and there for they all have different strong elements and sometimes also weak parts.
What are the band’s future plans? You, possibly, wanna go all the way with the other guys and I surely hope you do so, for you’ve got many great things to offer us…
M: Nobody really knows where this journey takes us, but I hope, that we can take a great part the music-rock and roll-world…
What are the secrets of composing really nice music? What are those things that inspire you?
M: Good surroundings, a great mood and happiness… (i.n.: sometimes melancholy helps too… I think…)
Can Internet be “used” as a promotion tool for every band out there or it causes problems that cannot be fixed ultimately? Is it a curse or a blessing?
M: It helps, but you need also other promotions, because everybody uses the internet as a promo-tool and those are millions.
Regrettably, a whole generation learned to download and hear music via MP3’s (that have such a bad quality) and they actually believe that music is only in mp3 format… and nothing more. Will the CDs and LPs be left only for the romantics in the end? We are on a terminal point here. What shall happen so as to bypass this issue?
M: I don’t know. It’s out of control and there will be hopefully better systems available in the near future. I love vinyl.
And some weird Questions now!!! If you were a God’s messenger what would you tell Him to do for the well-being of humanity?
M: What did you create, didn’t you make a slight mistake and shouldn’t you go over your books again.
Which is the biggest unfulfilled aim or wish for your further life?
M: To have a few happy years to come without too much pain and violence. (i.n.: we all wish for something like that…)
Which is your favorite cartoon hero?
M: Tom and Jerry…
I will give you 3 colors, and you will tell me which band you believe describes best each color...
M: Blue: Unisonic…
Who is your favorite philosopher and why?
M: One to me is for sure Socrates, because he showed for example with his criticism that no knowledge is for sure. But I’m not an expert for philosophers.
If you were dating a very beautiful woman- who hated metal music and you knew it- on a loft with a beautiful view in the evening… which song would you choose to play to make her feel comfortable, to break the ice… and why?
M: “Love me like a Reptile” from Motorhead hehe… (i.n.: she would definitely run down the hill… screaming like crazy… )
Imagine that your girlfriend/wife is selling your whole album-collection just to buy an expensive ring for herself. How would you react?
M: I would never be together with a stupid woman like that. And if somebody would do that, then I would get my collection back one or the other way. (i.n.: the album-collection back and a new woman… wow… that’s really good… )
Thx very much for this interview Mandy… wish you the best dude…