Unter Null

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Chain D.L.K.: How does it feel to finally tour the States for the first time ever in Chicago and out of curiosity why did it take so damn long?
Unter Null: Well I had more interest in touring Europe, so I was over in Europe for a couple years and living over there playing shows off and on, and I always wanted to tour the US (which is difficult) so because the US is so big so it was hard to get around, and so Ben Arp of C/A/T and I were just like “let’s do this.” That was it!

Chain D.L.K.: What is behind the name “Unter Null?” Is it symbolic to you personally on some account?
Unter Null: I started Unter Null in ’98. I originally wanted to have a self-deprecating title like “Total Loser” you know, and I started … We knew it would come up German or we don’t know what it means or you know, but it stuck! So I guess I’m gonna have to stick with it.

Chain D.L.K.: Are your lyrics based on personal experiences?
Unter Null: Yes, all of them. As far as I look back at my lyrics and I, I just write. I think that there’s … I don’t know. It’s kind of like if you are, then its subconsciously or something.

Chain D.L.K.: Have you ever been in a horror film or wanted to?
Unter Null: Yeah, I’d love to be in one, I’d love to direct one, I’d love to write one. Yeah, I’ve never been in one.

Chain D.L.K.: Which direction do you see your music going or is it going now?
Unter Null: It’s going to go somewhere. I’m constantly evolving as an artist. I’m always trying to better myself at what I do and in my production and I’m actually starting to not be a control freak anymore and hire people to play some parts. A good friend of mine, Jamie Blacker from ESA (in the UK) is recording guitar bits for me for the next album. It’s kind of like letting go of the wheel a bit and letting other people have some input to my music. He’s a very talented guy, so I look forward to working with him some more.

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Chain D.L.K.: What influences your music? Zombies? Horror? Life? And the concept of Zombie Girl, Zombie Boi, where did that come from?
Unter Null: Zombie Boi, that song was written as a tribute for a friend of mine in the Netherlands. We’re pretty much both zombie fanatics so I said, “Hey, I’ll write you a song!” So I took a couple days and wrote him a song and let me uplift the album. So, it’s a fun song, it has nothing to do with love or home life! Everything else is influenced by my life, by other people I meet, by my experiences, how I feel, so I can’t write about death and robots more because I’ve never experienced those things.

Chain D.L.K.: Where did the concept of “Sick Fuck” come from?
Unter Null: When I was 21 I worked in a porn shop selling DVD’s, and it was horrible. I observed and I met all these people I found truly disgusting! I hated my job! I wrote that when I was in a bad spot, like, ugh! So it’s not about anybody in particular even though a lot of people think it is.

Chain D.L.K.: “Playing the Fool” and “The Clock is Ticking”–same kind of symbolism, or no?
Unter Null: “The Clock is Ticking,” I wrote that back in 2001. Old, old song. I just wrote it. There’s no substance in it. That was back when I had-I was actually gathering ideas and such for the new album. But “Playing the Fool” is, people may deceive you, you deceive them and it hurts, and it’s like they don’t get it. You know they don’t like you and you’re just being really nice.

Chain D.L.K.: What other bands have you been in before Unter Null?
Unter Null: When I was in eighteen I tried to start a band with a friend of mine; we called it “Fisting Pixies” That was the first and last time I really wrote music with somebody because I found it to be exhausting! I programmed the music and I said, “What do you think of this?” So I said fuck it, I’ll make music by myself! I’ve done guest vocals before though.

Chain D.L.K.: What future projects can we expect from Unter Null?
Unter Null: Well, I have a side project called the Stray. I’ll be having that also. It’s a more downtempo, more mellow, they’re more love songs than anything. The beginning of the album is happy and then the end is just like ehh. I’m really happy with that; I’ve been working on those songs for years now and to finally have them out is… it feels really good.

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[interviewed by Michelle Russo] [proofreading by Tyson Blake]


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