Unleash the Archers Interview

Interviewed by Joshua Becker and Jessica Clingempeel
12/3/2018

Based
on the elements in a lot of your music videos, it seems to allude to Nordic
elements. Does anyone from the band have a Nordic background?

Actually,
all of us have a Scottish/Irish background!
But I suppose the Vikings invaded that area a lot back in the day so
very well could have a bit of Nordic blood in us as well  😉  For
the most part we reference our Canadian heritage, beings ‘warriors of the frozen
north’ alludes to our brutal winters and steadfast dedication to heavy metal
among Canadians.

I
noticed on your Youtube videos, there were quite a few comments about your
songs needing to be in video games, particularly Skyrim. Has the band ever considered
doing video games and/or soundtracks for them?

Absolutely!  However, it is up to our publishing company
for the most part, and it’s not like you can just email Bethesda and say ‘hey
you should put our music in your game’ hahaha, they have their own music
department, as do most game developers these days.  That’s not to say we wouldn’t be open to trying
though!

Brittney,
you mentioned in an interview from a few years ago that you were in choir, and
you have had a lot of experimentation with your voice. That being said, are
there any vocal techniques you have been experimenting with lately that fans
may hear on a new album, or on tour?

On
this last record (Apex) I found that
I was belting a lot more than I normally do, I suppose it is just what the music
called for, so I will have to train my voice to do that safely and with a
technique that will make sure I can do it every night for weeks on end.  I am always looking to try something new, so
our next album might feature elements of my voice that I don’t use too often; I
am classically trained and have always wanted to do a sort of epic ‘Brittney
choir’ similar to Carmina Burana, so that might happen, who knows  😉

For
fans just starting out in listening to Unleash the Archers, and slowly getting
a feel for who you are and what you portray as a band, are there any songs you
recommend over others so new listeners can get a really good feel for who you
are as a band? Maybe a song or songs that really dig into a deep, emotional
core of the band?

You
can’t go wrong with Awakening or Tonight We Ride, I think both of those tracks
feature our heavy yet melodic tendencies, and provide a great example of what
we aim to achieve as musicians.  Another
good one is Apex, the title track from our last record, because it shows our
dynamicity and range, plus it’s just plain catchy and fun to sing along with!

Being
from Vancouver, B.C., Canada, and being in metal, have you ever heard of an
independent artist from there named Leah?

For sure!
I was actually a part of a group called Eve’s Apple that was a community
of female metal vocalists, and that is where I first met Leah.  I love her style and voice, such a
talent!  Her music is great for long car
rides or cleaning the house hahaha!

Being
from Vancouver specifically, and knowing that in Vancouver, and lesser
capacity, Toronto, there is a huge metal scene there. Do you find a lot of your
fans come from your native Canada, or do you get more fans from the States and
Europe?

It
is starting to even out now but yes, I think most of our fanbase is Canadian,
but not just in Vancouver.  In fact, I
think we have more fans out east, in the prairies and in the Quebec and Ontario
scenes.  We will always be considered a
local band here in Vancouver, nothing special hahaha!  Things are changing though, our last North
American tour was very successful, and the shows in the US were the best they
have ever been.  Europe is coming along
but they don’t know us over there quite as well as North America yet.

You
are going to be part of the 70000 Tons Metal Cruise next year. Care to share a
little about that? Anything specific about the cruise you are looking forward
to?

We
are so honoured to be counted among the many amazingly talented bands that have
played the cruise in years prior!
Everyone tells us it is extremely fun (maybe too much fun!) so we are
going to work hard to hold ourselves back so we can put on the best show we
possibly can  😉  Mostly I am excited to chat with fans and
watch the other bands in such a cool venue, but getting a few days off in the
sun is also going to be nice.  Can’t wait
to just lay on the beach and relax!

When
can fans expect to see a follow-up to Apex?

Well,
we really don’t want to rush this next record, we want it to be unique and
written to the best of our abilities, so the plans are to write for most of
2019, record near the end of the year and have something to release in early
2020.  It seems far away I know, but it
will totally be worth it!

Has
any progress been made as far as song-writing, composition, etc., for a new
album?

The
story is already written; it will be a sequel to Apex.  A few songs have the foundational guitar
melodies written for the most part, but that is it right now.  If everything goes as planned, we will have
the basic melodies for each track written and completed before anything else is
done, to make sure that the record has a cohesive sound all throughout, and then
we will move forward with drum parts and lyrics/vocal melodies.

Getting to know Unleash the Archers on
a Personal Level:

Brittney,
who is your dentist? It seems like A LOT of people want to know this on social
media, based on how white and perfect your teeth are. Ha-ha!

Hahaha
I have noticed that as well hahaha, ahhhh youtube comments  😉  I
go to the same dentist I have gone to since I was a little girl, twice a year
like clockwork.  He is retiring soon
though, so he’s not taking on any new patients, sorry!

How
do you feel about LARP’ING (Live-Action Role-Playing,) and does any member of
the band participate in it?

None
of us LARP but I would love to!  The only
problem is that I have no time, and all of my money goes towards the band so I
would have no cash to actually make sweet LARP outfits!  And everyone knows your outfit is the most
important because you have to be convincing!

What
is a weird and random fact about the band that not many people may know?

Hmmm…
That’s a tough one…  I guess I could tell
you that we are all horrible influences on one another hahaha! At home we eat
well, and we don’t drink or smoke, but the second we get on the road it’s fast
food, beers in the van, and cartons of cigarettes purchased with merch money
hahaha! Ohhhh we do like to party and ‘indulge’ when we tour hahaha  😉

Can
you describe the worst interview you’ve had? (Hopefully not this one, (ha-ha!)

Hahaha
no definitely not this one  😉  One time I was supposed to do an interview
with a guy before doors opened to the show, but he was late so we ended up
having to push the interview until the end of the night (because I am just too
busy once the show starts).
Unfortunately for me, he was completely loaded when it came time to do
the interview, but I didn’t realize it until it had already begun!  I should have cut it off as soon as I figured
it out but I felt bad, until he started repeating his questions and then not
even letting me answer, just launching into weird stories about his uncle, or
all the shows he’s been to… Finally I was able to catch one of the boys’ eye
and give them the ‘get me out of here’ signal hahaha so that put an end to
that  😉

Given
how the world of music is ever-expanding and unpredictable, where does the band
see themselves in 5 years from now?

Honestly,
I have no idea!  We have always just
taken it one day at a time, with immediate goals but never expecting anything
beyond the joy of creating music and having fans that love it as much as we
do.  It would be nice to do a world tour,
to play for the fans in countries we haven’t been able to get to yet, like
Australia and Brazil, but again, we will just hope for the best and live in the
moment as much as we can!

Who
is one celebrity you would “fan boy,” or “fan girl” over if you had the chance
to meet them?

Tobias
Forge from Ghost… That guy has such vision and drive, I would love to talk to
him about everything, from his lyrics to the creation of Ghost to his expectations
for the future of the band, everything!
I want to know what he eats for breakfast and what books he reads!  That guy is amazing and I look up to him so
much.  If I ever met him I know for a
fact I would be so nervous I would either completely seize up and be silent or
talk waaaaay too much!

What
is one thing you wish someone would have told you to prepare for being signed
and what that entails?

Well…
By the time we were signed we had heard all of the horror stories from close
friends that were already signed and knew pretty much what to expect so…  We came into it pretty jaded which is a very
good way to be.  You have to keep your
guard up and look out for the best interests of the band, but also know to the
letter what you are willing to concede and don’t dwell on it.  Being signed to Napalm has been incredible
for us, the growth has been immense, but it’s not because we stopped working
for ourselves and let them do everything, exactly the opposite.  We still think and act like we are
independent, we just happen to share our decision making with another entity
now.

Likewise,
what advice would you give someone who wants to make it big like you did?

Work
hard.  Never stop working hard.  Pay attention to your fans and nurture that
relationship.  Don’t give up, no matter
how screwed up things get, because time and perseverance are the only things
that gets you anywhere.  And save your
money!  Music videos, albums, merch, all
those things cost a lot of money, but they are necessary, so save your money
and keep putting it into the band.  You
gotta give some to get some!

Is
there any charity work the band has been involved with, or anything to give
back to the community?

We
donate merch to events a lot, for Cancer fundraisers or recovery centres, and
we’ve also played a few fundraisers for the food bank where the door fee was
canned goods, but other than that we haven’t really stood up and said “UTA
supports blank”.  Personally, I am a monthly donor to the SPCA
and will do everything I can to help organizations that look out for the
welfare of animals, but they’ve never asked UTA to play a show to raise money
or anything… Maybe we’ll just have to take it upon ourselves to do that!

Is
there a random band or artist you listen to that someone might not expect from
a metal band? Like pop or country for example? Ha-ha.

I
don’t think I listen to anything that would surprise people… I listen to plenty
of pop, classical, classic rock, and others but I am pretty sure every
metalhead could say they have dabbled in those genres.  For the most part I choose metal but
sometimes you need to change it up  😉  Right now I am listening to a synth pop
artist called Austra a lot, she is from Ontario and she is bad ass.  

If
you could change something about the music industry, something that really gets
under your skin, what would it be?

I
wish people and the media would stop putting so much emphasis on labels still…
It’s like, you don’t exist unless you are on a label.  Bands even create their own labels just to be
able to have that little bit of credibility the word ‘record label’ adds.  It’s silly!
There are some crazy talented independent bands out there, you just have
to look!  Stop just listening to what the
labels and the media tells you to listen to, go find killer local bands and
support them!  Even Iron Maiden was a no
name band from the dark corners of Leyton at one time; go find the next Iron
Maiden in your home town and support them as much as you can.

What
type of legacy would you want to leave as a band, and as individuals in the far
future?

I
just hope that people will continue to listen to our music long after we’ve
gone.  We want to be that album that you
listen to once a year when you’re in that certain mood.  We want to be that record that you pull out
thirty years from now and say ‘wow, haven’t listened to these guys in forever,
but man this record was rad’ and love it just as much as the first time you
spun it.

What
other careers would you be in if you were not in a band?

Wow,
no idea really!  Have always wanted to be
a writer, but I just don’t have time for it.
I worked in insurance before the band, god knows I wouldn’t be there now
that’s for sure!  To be honest I have
always wanted to own a book store / café, so maybe I would be doing that  😉

What
were your first thoughts when you found out you were signed? Were you at all
hesitant to be on a label given the immense work it takes producing an album,
touring, interviews, and the like?

We were hesitant to be on a label because
we were already doing all of those things, and all of the money made was going
right back into the band, but on a label,  they take all of that money instead!  We had been independent for years and were
happy being so, but we knew that a label would provide opportunities we
couldn’t get without them, so it was definitely the right choice.  We still do everything on our own, we find
the studio and record the albums, we plan and shoot the music videos, we
organize the tours and decide when to tour where, the only real difference is
that more people know about it!  

What
is one place you went to eat on tour you are very excited to go back to?

We
tried to get to Medieval Times on this last North American tour but ended up
not having time, so that is definitely number one on our list!  I was the only one that had been before and I
LOVED it, so the boys are all really excited for when we do finally get to go.  To be honest I think we are going to book the
next tour around making sure we have a day off in a city with one nearby!

Has
the band ever attended, or planned to attend a Renaissance Fair?

No
but once again I would love to do that!
It sounds like so much fun  J
I am such a big history and fantasy nerd, I think I’d be in heaven  😉

Thanks
so much for having me Josh and Jessica!
Really appreciate your support and hope to have an interview in person
one day!


Brittney Slayes  m/

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