] Metal Choc [ February 2004

// Corinne vs. Sascha Ehrich

First, can you tell us the story of the band ?

In August 2000, Stefan (also guitarist in “VENERAL DISEASE”) and me (at that time also guitarist in “MORTIFIED”) decided to establish some kind of project dedicated to beloved Swedish Death Metal besides our more US-Death Metal orientated bands. I remember that we just rehearsed some dusty melodic riffs and tested song structures in order to finish any kind of song. At that time Ingo (also drummer in “VENERAL DISEASE”) took part in the fragmented band and we started to practise with upgrowing enthusiasm. After some month we replaced our session bass player with Wolle (at that time bassist in “TOMBTHROAT”) and it became more and more obvious to us to embody a stable band. Consistent, I left my band “MORTIFED” because of upcoming musical differences and concentrated more on the new challenge, some time later denominated “FRAGMENTS OF UNBECOMING”. Thus, in spring 2002 we had created enough songs to enter the studio for the first time to record our debut demonstration silverling called “Bloodred Tales – Chapter I – The Crimson Season”, which found its way to Metal Blade who signed us in May 2003 for a number of five albums, exactly one year after the release of our demo.


How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard of it ?

First of all I think that we involve a deep kind of enthusiasm within our musical compositions. Perhaps, one can hear the unmistakable remarks within our songs, as it is obvious that we try to let every song sound different from the other. To take a closer look at stylistic aspects, we create a mixture of melodic, old school and partial modern Swedish styled Death Metal with the addition of slightly emotional and more tranquil orientated instrumental interludes. For us, it is a very important to present some kind of equilibrium between classical, straight Death Metal built up above a constantly driving and variable drumming with, on the contrary, emotional, maybe thrilling harmonics or disharmonics. A Fragments Of Unbecoming song should be able to show passion and a certain kind of atmosphere within its structures.


What are your biggest musical influences ?

The reason why we decided to form FRAGMENTS OF UNBECOMING certainly was a passion for the older Swedish Death Metal bands around 1994/1995. Honestly, I can admit that my first contact with Death Metal was “EDGE OF SANITY´s” “The Sprectral Sorrows”, an album which can be viewed as genius and unique that it still influences me nowadays, although it is perhaps impossible to hear that within our songs. It obviously seems that especially Stefan and me are very attracted by downtuned guitars, twin-melodies and harsh vocals, magnificant studio sounds like e.g. Sunlight, Fredman, Unisound and, in short, this unique style in Death Metal filled with contraries like aggression and calmness, harmony and disharmony, deathlike melancholy and liveliness fulfilled with unforgettable acoustic interludes. Although we refuse to be always announced as followers of Swedish cult acts, we are certainly influenced here and there by bands like AT THE GATES, UNANIMATED,  DISSECTION, CARCASS, SACRILEGE etc.

In addition to that, we are also partially influenced by great US Death Metal Bands like HATE ETERNAL or MALEVOLENT CREATION, because of Ingo is only listening to American high speed stuff.


Can you speak to us about your first album "Skywards - A Sylphe's Ascension" ?

At first “Skywards” can be described as a direct continuation from that point “Bloodred Tales” ended in 2002. Concentrating on stylistic elements we changed nearly nothing. A very important aspect for my personal part is the replacement of instrumental e-guitar parts on “Bloodred Tales” with the use of acoustic guitars to enrich or reinforce the natural sound and atmosphere on “Skywards” – it offers a deeper kind of charm. Although it is always difficult to talk about your own recording and I have to overcome this obstacle as there are many who are asking this explicit question, I can proudly admit that we in a way achieved it to sound like bands that released their albums about ten years ago – some might call this anachronism but in our view nothing is overproduced or sounds like millions of bands nowadays. “Skywards” sounds professional but unique. Musically, we followed the path we yet went on “Bloodred Tales”, although we developed our skill and ability to write impassioned songs. It is of great importance for us, that everybody who listens to “Skywards” recognizes that this can only be a FRAGMENTS OF UNBECOMING-album. Concerning the songs itself, we can say that they again offer the listener a wide-ranged variation of different stylistic elements: One is more melodic, full of harmony and mid-tempo based, another one right beside is blasting without compromise, rich of aggression and brutality. We tried to create a constant equilibrium within the whole album, that is to say that there is a certain kind of red line, but no one is probably able to get it by hearing the album for one single time. It is important to listen to “Skywards” several times again and again to see differences and connections to dive into melodies and disharmonies. Certainly, there are many catchy riffs and melodies but in any case it is not a hit-album! Try out……


Who is responsible for song writing ?

The most, Stefan and me are creating every riff at home, everybody for himself. It is impossible to define who is the one responsible only for melodic and who for the more straight or brutal riffs. It just comes up casually. This is why our songs always represent a mixture of two different styles in playing guitar. For my part, I´m responsible for the entire acoustic parts and in addition to that I try to practise guitar nearly every day, naturally dependent on time is on a large scale besides my daily work. To have a wide range of possibilities in arranging riffs I always record my ideas on my personal computer just in order to test twin-harmonics, solo or rhythm parts. Within the weekly session we try to co-operate  within the whole band in building riff structures. That means to select riffs or to associate them to different atmospheres or leading airs in incomplete parts. This process is the most effective or essential one for every single member.


What are your lyrics talking about, and where do you find inspiration ?

This question 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………


What's your favourite " Skywards - A Sylphe's Ascension " track , and why ?

Not that easy to answer, as I really like every single song on the album. But to give you some kind of satisfying answer, I prefer the acoustic opening theme “Up From The Blackest Of Soil” which continues with the first track “The Seventh Sunray Enlights My Pathway”. Especially the final ending of this song is that rich of emotion and melancholic harmony that sometimes my flesh begins to creep. The second song I prefer is “Entangled Whispers In The Depth”. This one is totally different from the opening theme as it is based on abyssic atmospheres with whispered vocal parts. It is more old-school orientated with plenty of disharmonies and has a really cool finishing fade down. “Entangled Whispers In The Depth” was the last song we finished before we entered the studio but it sounds to be one of the oldest – haha…..I really like its dark ambivalence.


Are you involved in any other projects and if so how do they compare to Fragments Of Unbecoming ?

No, in short, there isn´t any other project I´m involved in. The reason for that is as simple as evident. Writing music for FRAGMENTS OF UNBECOMING is my entire passion. Certainly, there are some days or special moods which lead me to compose more one the one hand brutal and aggressive on the other hand entire calm and melancholic riffs. But in whole, I always try to place its content to song structures of the main band. Ingo and Stefan are still participating in VENERAL DISEASE which is totally different in their basics. The music of VD is more straight and fast, not melodic at all, without any compromise– more or less orientated to US Death Metal bands. They present another side of passion based on another background.


What's your favourite all-time bands and albums ?

Edge Of Sanity-The Spectral Sorrows

Opeth-Morningrise

At The Gates-Slaughter Of The Soul

Unanimated-Ancient God Of Evil

Hate Eternal-Conquering The Throne

Malevolent Creation-Eternal

Emperor-In The Nightside Eclipse

Abigor-Verwüstung

Carcass-Heartwork

Darkane-Rusted Angel

Dark Tranquillity-Skydancer

In The Woods-Omnio

Stille Oppror-Prosject 123

Dissection-The Somberlain

Eucharist-Mirrorworlds

Ulver-Bergtatt

…and many, many more as everybody is able to discover on our homepage


If  you could do a cover for a tribute album to any bands, which song of which band would you pick, and why ?

One of the hardest questions as there are certainly many songs and not one single which I would prefer to cover for a tribute. The resolve it, I can offer you a small narrow choice:

Edge of Sanity-Darkday (the first Death Metal song I ever listened to – for my personal part, it has a very special and profound meaning, in any case the song contents an indescribable atmosphere and roughness), Carcass-Heartwork (Some years ago there was a German Metal-TV-series on VIVA called “Metalla” which used a small section of “Heartwork” for the opening theme and until I first felt this certain attraction I wanted to have the entire album. Musically-viewed I adore the skill in creating unremarkable riffs and melodies – just risk a look at the solos…amazing.... In any case, Carcass are one of the most unique Death Metal bands ever) At The Gates-Blinded By Fear (we already cover this masterpiece as an addition to our live-performances. One might call it one of the most famous Swedish Death Metal songs ever – simple structured – straight – impassioned – genius….)


Do you have any funny stories about the band you can share with us ?

Let me see….as there are many fans who seem to have some kind of difficulty in reminding our moniker there can be seen an enthusiasm in changing the name to funny forms e.g. “Fragment so fun becoming” or “Fraggles of upstairs running”. Maybe we should arrange some kind of contest on our page: Who of you out there creates the most funny variation of our moniker?

In addition to that we are constantly planning the following:

We will dance completely naked on the stage while performing. Therefore it´s important to mention that we are the first band which is covered with orange and pink corpsepaint from up above to down below. Besides, our background choir, consisting of Stefan "The incredible trumpet of Jericho" Mross and Heribert "Nabend allerseits" Fassbender constantly performs the third act of "The neverending civil war between euroymaniacs and börzömaniacs" and finally we destroy all our xylophons  with black leggings larded with silver painted hats from the phenomenal hat-game. Currently we try to get more popular while walking through deep dark woods with torches / the blaze of glory in our hands and raising our fists again and again and again up to the sky to absorb the mighty power of the almighty black and white old-school painted sparrow, whereever he will be.......

Besides, there are so many insiders concerning the band, but it wouldn´t be that funny to translate them.


Which are the projects of the group to short and long-term?

First of all, we really can´t await the release of our first album “Skywards” which will be born on January 26th in Europe. In addition to that, we´re planning many live gigs this year to promote the new songs– some dates are already fixed e.g. the famous Summerbreeze Open Air in August 2004. To long-term we are already working on new songs for another album – we hope to record them in spring 2005. In general, the most important thing for us is that we can live our passion in writing music and continue as honest as we stand for. With the support of Metal Blade it certainly should be possible to grow to reinforce our creations.


Do you think beeing on tour soon ?

To start or take part on a tour package for us is not that free from problematic basics as every single of us is working the whole week – the whole year. Obviously, this case offers not some kind of matter of course that the band can go on tour that easy as there is maybe a lack of time. On the contrary, we are very enthusiastic in playing as many gigs or festivals as it is possible in 2004 to promote “Skywards” and to become more in a way popular – to spread the name. Hopefully, this works out – we will see and time will tell.


And finally, can you say some words for my radio show Metal Choc ?

I have to confess, that I have become a non-radio listener, because of there is a real lack of metal radio shows at all. This is why I never heard before of “Metal Choc” – sorry. But, in any case, be sure that I will check out your radio show per net as soon as possible. For the future, we wish you all the best and success for the show to get more popular. Thank you very much for the chance to offer your listeners a small view what FRAGMENTS OF UNBECOMING is about. Take Care…..