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Unwritten Law - 03.30.11

Interviewed by: Alex DiVincenzo (03/30/11)
Unwritten Law guitarist Steve Morris took the time to answer some questions just after the release of the band's new album, Swan.

Can you introduce yourself and tell us what you do in the band?

I'm Steve Morris, guitar player for the band Unwritten Law.

Your new album, Swan, is out now. How does it feel?

I feels amazing. We worked really hard on it for a long time. We did everything ourselves aside from the engineering, which we also did a lot of. So it was a labor of love. Fortunately for us we did have some really great engineers that we couldn't have finished the record without. But there was no producer or professional studio; just us and some mics. Guerilla style!

Swan marks your first release of new material in six years. Why the long delay?

After the last album and touring cycle we were just tired. We had been touring for the better part of 17 years. Plus we were all getting older and getting married and having kids. Also there was a lot of tension in the band. And I think we all just needed to take a break for a bit. Come back to our senses, if you will.

Did you find that the gap in time between albums helped or hindered you in any way?

Definitely helped. We got to learn how to be a band and friends again. An ya everything has it side affects, and we were not immune to them. But in the end it made us all closer to one another.

You held a contest for fans to design the album's cover art. What was the judging process like?

We just picked the ones we liked best. We got on a conference call and went around and around until we agreed on the final three. And you will see them used for many different things as time moves on.

Did you get any funny entries?

Yes, we got some really funny ones. My favorite was the one where someone did drawings of us in the style of a '60s Beatles record or something. It was amazing! Not what we wanted for our cover but still funny and great. All in all, we got a lot of really good entries. It was hard to nail it down.

How did your deal with Suburban Noize come about?

Kevin Zinger, co-owner of Subnoize, is a long time friend of ours. So when our terms were up with the last record company, we were free agents. So we got to talking with Kevin about managing us and us signing with the label. It seemed like the only thing to do. We had spent the last 10 years moving from one major label to another and never feeling like we had a real home with any of them. It's a very sterile environment. You are basically a number in their books, and no real personal attention is payed to any one band unless you're a U2 or something. So being on an indie that is owned by an old friend made sense. Plus the splits are a million times better. The whole major label model is outdated and unsustainable anyway. That's why they're all falling apart. Indies are where it's at now.

You recently returned from a run in Australia. How did that go?

Oz was off the fucking hook! All the shows were really amazing. The crowds over there are just really appreciative that you even showed up, let alone that you played a great show. I can't say enough about our fans over there. They truly make you feel at home. We love going there and can't wait to go back.

Any good stories from down under?

Yes, tons! But none I can mention without getting trouble or getting someone else in trouble. [laughs] Nah, every time we go there there is some kind of debauchery going down. It's a stay up all night, sleep all day kind of place. And we got to hang out with some really cool people and do some amazing things.

You're about to kick off a tour with Authority Zero. What can we expect from that?

Once again, total debauchery and amazing shows. Authority Zero are a great band and they play with their balls out - as we do. So anyone who attends will not be disappointed. That I promise you!

You'll be on the Warped Tour all summer. Are you excited to return?

For sure. It's been a while. Although this time around we kind of feel like the "eldors" on the tour, even though were only in our 30s; except Dylan, he's the baby of the band now at 28-years old. So it will be interesting to see what all these new and up-and-coming bands are about. And we'll see if they can hang with the Law. [laughs]

A lot has changed since the last time you played Warped, in terms of both the bands and the attendees. Any apprehension in that regard?

No way, I'm excited to see what its all about now. It will be refreshing. Well, I hope it will be anyway...

Do you know if Scott will be joining Big B to perform "For Tonight" or "Sinner" at any of the shows?

I can't say for sure, but I'm sure Scott will be joining Big B during his set from time to time.

What is that status of Thousand Watt Stare?

They are just about to put out a full-length album. 13 songs, I believe.

How do you respond to fans who want you to return to the sound of your early material?

Ugh, get over it! I never understood that way of thinking. That was then. This is now. Do you really want to hear the same shit over and over? How boring and inspirational! The essence that is UL is still very much at the core of what we do. We're still the same bunch of misfits as we were back then. We're just better at it now. And that's the beauty of music. It's always changing and evolving. Why try to stop that? Just doesn't make any sense. But hey, if you like what you like then listen to that. But don't try and pigeon hole people into your own ideas of what a "sound" should be. It's not for you to decide. Just let it be what it wants to be. If you don't evolve then you go extinct. And that goes for everyone and everything.

What else is in store for the band in the future?

Shows shows and shows. Probably a lot of drinking in there too and other things I wont mention. But hey, we are who were are!
 
Displaying posts 1 - 9 of 9.
04:56 PM on 03/30/11
#2
cococrisp20
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How do you respond to fans who want you to return to the sound of your early material?

Ugh, get over it! I never understood that way of thinking. That was then. This is now. Do you really want to hear the same shit over and over? How boring and inspirational! The essence that is UL is still very much at the core of what we do. We're still the same bunch of misfits as we were back then. We're just better at it now. And that's the beauty of music. It's always changing and evolving. Why try to stop that? Just doesn't make any sense. But hey, if you like what you like then listen to that. But don't try and pigeon hole people into your own ideas of what a "sound" should be. It's not for you to decide. Just let it be what it wants to be. If you don't evolve then you go extinct. And that goes for everyone and everything.

Not the response I was looking for, it makes sense, but Unwritten Law seemed to change a bit too much on this record than their previous work. But I enjoy about 5 songs on the new album and can't wait to see em at warped.
08:28 PM on 03/30/11
#3
T-Lloyd
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How do you respond to fans who want you to return to the sound of your early material?

Ugh, get over it! I never understood that way of thinking. That was then. This is now. Do you really want to hear the same shit over and over? How boring and inspirational! The essence that is UL is still very much at the core of what we do. We're still the same bunch of misfits as we were back then. We're just better at it now. And that's the beauty of music. It's always changing and evolving. Why try to stop that? Just doesn't make any sense. But hey, if you like what you like then listen to that. But don't try and pigeon hole people into your own ideas of what a "sound" should be. It's not for you to decide. Just let it be what it wants to be. If you don't evolve then you go extinct. And that goes for everyone and everything. .

The problem with this attitude from bands that have gone down similar roads is they are always saying bands and music need to evolve, but why does that evolution always include slowing down and making poppier music? Why can't that evolution for once be a band getting more alternative or playing faster? it always means going more commercial! BS!
09:22 PM on 03/30/11
#4
hectorial85
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Australia - Wooooooooo! Bummer I was out of town for the show though.
09:41 PM on 03/30/11
#5
slimfenix182
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that must be awkward, playing with Authority Zero while their balls are hanging out :P
07:37 AM on 03/31/11
#6
bradsonemanband
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...but Unwritten Law seemed to change a bit too much on this record than their previous work.

it's been almost 10 years, since they put out anything new... so it makes sense.
04:49 PM on 03/31/11
#7
cococrisp20
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it's been almost 10 years, since they put out anything new... so it makes sense.
yeah I agree, which is why Blink's new album will be a "disappointment" to many fans
12:12 AM on 04/01/11
#8
bradsonemanband
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yeah I agree, which is why Blink's new album will be a "disappointment" to many fans
when an album is as hyped up as Blink's new one, there are going to be SOOOO many people bitching about it. it's inevitable. not everyone is going to be happy with it.
11:42 AM on 07/27/11
#9
breakwall
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Blue Room was the soundtrack to my 8th grade year...great tunes...
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