] Lords Of Metal [ February 2004

// Wilf vs. Sascha Ehrich

Fragments Of Unbecoming is not the shortest and easiest name ever to be given a band. Where does it stand for and why did you choose this name?

At that time we had to arrange how the new band should be denominated, we had collected a huge selection of about twenty to thirty names we thought they could fit to our entire concept. Naturally, it was the main topic and of great importance for us to have a very unique or independent phrase and yet unheard name in order to prevent to be premature compared with other bands or musical styles we don´t want to be equalised with. To take a closer look to its signification I´m able to attach that we four members are part of some kind of project or way to sophisticate and reinforce our musical development and its compositions beneath. That is to say we are always directed to this aim, which hopefully every single of us is able to achieve.

When Fragments Of Unbecoming no longer was a project, Sascha left Mortified. How do Ingo and Stefan manage to combine Veneral Disease and Fragments Of Unbecoming?

For both of them, it never was a doubled burden to perform in both bands to the same time. In addition to that, Veneral Disease now exist for nearly one decade and in contradiction to my view or my decision to leave Mortified, for them there never was a reason to give up one important musical part of their life. Musically-wise, both bands differ a lot concerning riff and harmonic structures or progressive pretension. This is one of these reasons, why e.g. Stefan is not bound always to decide for which band a composed riff is predestined. Right from the beginning, every riff is whether for Veneral Disease or Fragments Of Unbecoming. Besides, I´m convinced that Stefan and Ingo have enough enthusiasm to be able to play in two bands. In Ingo´s view the two bands give him the chance to progress his skill in drumming, because he´s rehearsing three times a week. At this time, they´re recording their third full length album and I promise everyone, this will be a killer technical death metal release without any compromise in spring/summer 2004! Concerning gigs or festivals, we both never had same fixed dates - thus, since the beginning of Fragments Of Unbecoming, for both everything has been working out to our satisfaction.

The MCD “Bloodred Tales / Chapter I  The Crimson Season” got a lot of positive feedback. The professional artwork also was quite striking for a band that had no label. How did you manage to put so much time, effort and money in it, were you already that convinced it would work out allright?

From that point on, we decided to record a demonstration release, nobody really could imagine, that we would get these overwhelming feedbacks. In my opinion it was not a question of involved effort and money. Every single of us had the claim to offer the customer something precious or outstanding in order not to be average or mediocre. Especially if you take a look at millions of bands in the entire underground you have to release some kind of special output to have the slightest chance to get paid attention! Certainly, as many mention in their reviews and articles, we perform our compositions on some kind of higher level, but even this never can be seen as a guarantee for success! As I am a designer for profession (and I also work in a printing company), there was no doubt that the product should have a unique wrapping. Fortunately, many people appreciate this work of art and more or less the artwork was one of the keys which led us to gain more interest.

For readers who have gotten curious right now: Is the MCD still available in the limited edition?

Certainly, everyone who feels attracted to our past release is able to get one copy. We still got a small issue of the limited edition with an extra slipcase, three additional post cards and the old promotion flyer. Just drop me a mail to sascha@fragmentsofunbecoming.com and I´ll check out the postage rate to any country in the world! Be sure, I´ll answer every mail.

For fans of Swedish death metal with a sharp edge “Skywards  A Sylphe's Ascension” is the release of 2004 that is worth the attention. For you 2004 may open some new doors as well. Is the release worldwide and what do you expect from it?

Thanx man for this statement! I really hope that we can open some gates to a more wide-ranged fan community in 2004. Metal Blade is releasing and publishing the full length album both in Europe and in America. Thus, many people all over the world get the opportunity to know what Fragments Of Unbecoming is all about - Impassioned Swedish Styled Death Metal dedicated to the older and funeral days of Death Metal in whole. We expect to play more concerts and festivals this year to promote "Skywards" as we think the material deserves it to be performed live. In addition to that, we hope that the band can grow with the support of Metal Blade. We´ll see what time will tell. Besides, we are already engaged in writing new material for the next naturally yet untitled album. One of the biggest aims is definitely to continue in keeping our passion and enthusiasm in playing Death Metal. Hope, most of our intensions and plans work out to our satisfaction.

You seem to have quite a talent in artwork and organizing. Did he play a big part in the development and artwork of “Skywards  A Sylphe's Ascension” as well?

As you already imagined, and I wish to thank you for this compliment, I was again responsible for every artwork detail on "Skywards". Perhaps, you are interested in influences, visions, intentions and the general basics for the artwork. Here we go: As I started to think about how the artwork should look like it was the main topic that there is a chromatic and thematic connection to the album title "Skywards" - thus I mainly used blue and white, because they are the elementary colours of heaven. Perhaps, I prefer to create monochromatic artworks, because they offer a special atmosphere and mood. The artwork is basically build upon a mixture of brush and digital drawings or compositions. I wanted to create an artwork rich of light and showing a kind of reflection of the notion "Ascension". In a mysterious way, the sylphe (poet: an elementary ghost connected to air, wind and breath and incarnated as some kind of beautiful female being) is placed on the cover as an obvious detail. As everybody might see, it is not some kind of typical death metal artwork and it differs a lot from gorebased artworks.

Can you tell us a bit more about the lyrics on “Skywards  A Sylphe's Ascension”?

At first I have to admit that the question concerning the lyrics is one of them which I unfortunately do not adore to answer, because the lyrics are, although this might not be viewable, very personal or close to my emotional exposures. To reduce it to some pertinent words, the lyrics in substance tell about a certain passion, namely to ascend heavenwards, to leave something behind to step on unexplored virgin territory, to follow some kind of primordial instinct, to let the soul depart, to free oneself, to absorb light…
Although all the lyrics follow the same basics or inducements they differ in their atmosphere as they are e.g. very positive and full of light or, on the contrary, very rich of dark motives and emotional ambivalence. To draw the attention to my inspiration, there are a couple of factors that influence my entire work of art (music, layout, lyrics…): Sometimes I experience something like mind-snapshots, remarkable experiences or pictures in my daily life. From time to time friends or close people inspire me, music or sound in general, nature, other impressive artists in literature and so many more………

You have recorded both releases in the Stellwerk studios. The atmosphere must be good there for you. Did Stefan Hanbuch also produce the MCD? How did the cooperation work out?

We used to book this underground studio, because it is located not very far away from where we´re living (20-30 km) and already the production for "Bloodred Tales" was very satisfying (also with Stefan Hanbuch as producer) concerning both the recording and the working atmosphere, as it was and is very relaxed and without any kind of pressure. I would not describe the producer as a experienced specialist in recording Death Metal albums, because he produces very different styles in music like e.g. pop,folk, jazz etc., but in whole we knew right from the beginning which sound we wanted to have. As you can imagine, every single song was finished to the fixed date we entered the studio and thus we could imagine how "Skywards" would be like - music- and productionwise. Concerning the production, I really don´t think that we´re working very different from other bands in the studio. The main difference could be that we don´t record our album within a fixed time for about some weeks. Our recording sessions took place by stages, mainly at weekends, because everyone in the band worked during the week. Taking a view to the recording we used a general arrangement. At first, we recorded the drums, then the guitars followed by the bass guitars and finally we added the solo guitars and vocals.

Would you consider Fragments Of Unbecoming as a live band or a studio band?

This question is not that easy to answer. It is more or less dependant on factors like mood, adrenaline and enticement to perform in front of an attracted crowd. Sometimes, for my part, I prefer to invest my entire enthusiasm and power in writing songs and arranging compositions in the rehearsal room. I really could not imagine to calm down this impulse while being on tour for a long time, like most of famous bands obviously have to do. On the other hand, I often feel this kind of fascination to act on stage, to perform the songs as loud and massive as possible. In any case, Death Metal is, concerning the basics and roots, made to be presented live and we certainly follow this promordial instict. To make the long story short, I would consider Fragments Of Unbecoming to both sides in some equal relation.

Are there any plans for an upcoming tour?

We do not yet plan to go on tour, because every one of us has a serious job and thus it is difficult to organize some common fixed days or weeks to be able to jump on a tour package. Perhaps, there will be the chance to support some tour-dates of recommended bands in Germany. In any case, we will play as many gigs as possible this year!

Any last words or things you would like to add or explain?

The end is obviously near and I´ll wish to thank you for the opportunity to present my band in "Lords Of Metal". Hope, some readers got enough interested to contact us or visit a gig in the near or far future. To get more information about us, just enter our official homepage at www.fragmentsofunbecoming.com.

Thanks for the interview and good luck with Fragments Of Unbecoming.

I also wish you all the best for the future, thanx for support and interest in general. Keep the spirit in metal alive!