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Michael Ehre - The Unity

Interview with Michael Ehre from The Unity
by Marcos "Big Daddy" Garcia at 06 August 2017, 9:56 AM

There are moments in history when German Metal seems to be dying, due the lack of information about what is happening on the German scene. But the young bands refuse to give up and have started a process of renewing of the national scene. One of the good new names from the scene is THE UNITY, a sextet that plays a fusion between Hard Rock and Melodic Metal, but with some aspects from German Power Metal.

As their first album, called “The Unity” is released, veteran writer Marcos “Big Daddy” Garcia had the opportunity to talk with the band about their plans, the album and a lot of other matters.

First of all, I want to thank you a lot for this opportunity. The first question is extremely simple: Michael Ehré (drums) and Henjo Richter (guitar), both from GAMMA RAY, started the band in 2016. How was the idea of starting a new band? How was the line-up was solidified?

When I joined GAMMA RAY back in 2012 Henjo and me immediately realized that we have the same musical roots and preferences. As some of our song-ideas didn´t fit into the GAMMA RAY galaxy we had the idea to form a new band. Kai and Dirk already had their “other” bands and projects, so we didn´t hesitate. We knew we couldn't do it on our own, we wanted to have a real band, so we asked the some friends of mine. I had this band called LOVE.MIGHT.KILL, we released two albums in 2011 and 2012 before one of our guitarists left the band. So, why look for musicians that we don´t know when we had the opportunity to ask the remaining guys from LMK? We were really happy when they joined us.

How the band’s name chosen? Does it have a deeper meaning that you can tell us, please?

It was one of the hardest things to find a band name! It took more than three months to find a proper one. A lot of our ideas were crap, hahaha and those we liked were already in use by other bands. One day our guitarplayer Stef wrote in an email that he is so happy with our new band because it felt like we´re a real unity! In that moment I thought: “Hey! That´s it!” That was the birth of our band name.

I am the one who wrote the review for “The Unity” on Metal Temple, and I have to admit that you impressed me a lot. The power of the songs, the choruses, all the elements of your music… It really amazed that a band formed in 2016 had such level in lesser time than one year. So it seems that the time you spent composing the songs was not so long. Comment for us how the things worked out between the beginning of the composition and the album’s recording sessions.

I have to correct you: we started to work on the album two years ago. We announced our band in 2016, but in that moment the album was already nearly finished. We took our time to compose, record and mix the songs to get the best result possible. We knew that we only have one chance and we had to take it!

How did the interest from Steamhammer/SPV begin? Was it the only label to offer you a deal for the album?

Yes, SPV was the only label because they've been the only label we contacted. When we send them three tracks they immediately responded to our mail and things started to roll. We are really, really happy with SPV because they do a lot for us! Many labels nowadays release one album after the other without caring too much about the promo, or even don´t care at all…SPV is different, that´s why they´ve been our first choice!

Instead using a producer to work with you for the recording sessions of “The Unity”, you chose to work it by yourselves. Was there a reason for going in such way, or you planned it since the beginning? Was there an intention on doing so, like to control how the songs would sound or something like that?

When we started to work on the album we didn´t have a label or anything, so we had to do everything on our own. But: we´re all very experienced musicians wt a long time musical career, so we knew what we wanted and even more important: what we didn´t want!

Still talking about production: some Metal fans complain a lot due the digital recordings, exalting the analogue process. But how do you see this matter? Personality, I believe that analogue or digital recording methods aren’t the core of the whole thing, but music itself is…

I guess you´re right! The digital recordings have a lot of advantages, so why not use them? Our idea was to play “old school” music but put it in a modern context. That means bring in some modern elements and make it sound modern. So it was an obvious choice to work with the digital technology. It makes so many things much easier. But in the end you´re right: it´s all about the music…if you´re music sucks it makes no difference if you´ve used analogue or digital techniques.

Was there a central idea in the lyrics? It seems to me that you have a positive insight; a message to people to live and think in a positive way, am I right?

We don´t have a concept in that album. Each song stands for itself. For us it was the most important thing to write about “real” stories or experiences. We didn´t want any swords or leather lyrics, though we all love it…but we had a different approach. Some lyrics are better understandable than others on the album, which are more “open” and everyone can interpret these lyrics for himself/herself.

“The Unity” was released in May, so how are the fans and media reacting to the album? Can you say something about the feedback you've receive by now? Or is too early to say something?

The feedback was simply amazing! We didn´t expect that! We knew that we didn´t do any crap album but we also didn´t expect these awesome reviews and reactions from the critics and the fans. I haven´t read one bad review so far, which is quiet scary and very unusual, hahaha!

“Rise and Fall” and “No More Lies” were the songs chosen to be singles to warm up things for the release of “The Unity”. How and why were these songs were chosen to be the singles and videos to represent the album? Was the choice done by the band, by the label, or it was a deal between the two parts? By the way, to choose only to songs on such a lovely album seems to be hard… All the songs are excellent!

It was decision made by the band and SPV. I think we chose both songs because we love them. “Rise and Fall” is more classic metal, an up-tempo song while “No more lies” is very catchy, a real single that could easily be played in nearly every radio-station all around the world. But you´re right: the decision was not easy…

How’s the band’s agenda for shows? Hope some shows in festivals and a tour is coming soon! Will you have to manage the agenda in a way to evade matches with GAMMA RAY’s shows?

We want to play as mamy shows as possible to show the world that we are a real band and not only a project from two guys from GAMMA RAY. We already played a tour with SINNER and some festivals. In September we will tour with EDGUY in Germany, Switzerland and Czech Republic.  We´re working hard to get more shows in whole Europe….and who knows: maybe we can also play some shows outside Europe?! That would be absolutely awesome! As GAMMA RAY is laying on ice at the moment there won´t be any problems for us.

I’m from Brazil and want to tell you that “The Unity” was released here via Shinigami Records. What do you think about it? And Henjo and Michael already came here with GAMMA RAY, so hope you can come soon here as well. South America loves Metal, you know…

We´re really happy that our album came out in Brazil! We really hope that the people like it! It would be a dream come true to come to Brazil with THE UNITY and play some shows as Henjo and I love Brazil and the Brazilian fans! They are outstanding!

I know it’s too early to ask this, but are you planning a new release, as an EP for this year? I know that “The Unity” was released only two months ago, but maybe you have some songs that weren’t on the album…

We have some plans for this year but it´s too early to talk about that…I hope you understand!?

What are the plans of THE UNITY for the coming months?

We´re really looking forward to the tour with EDGUY. This a big chance for us to spread our name in the metal and rock community. We already spoke about our plans for next year and I can promise you: we will do anything to establish THE UNITY in the metal-scene!

Well, that’s all. I want to thank you again for your kind words and your time, so please, leave your message for your fans and our readers.

We would really like to thank all of our Brazilian fans and friends for their true friendship and loyality! It really means a lot to us! We hope to get the chance to come to your country as soon as possible! Thank you!!!


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