Interview with The Unclean’s Bass Player Burns

My recent interview with Burns from The Unclean talking about the Ohio Music scene, Playing for music as opposed for a paycheck and other interesting topics.  Read more below!


Skullbanger: Hey there guys I first want to say hello from Kuopio, Finland and thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for I really appreciate it.  I guess the first order of business is, what can you tell everyone out there about The Unclean?

Burns: Cheers from Akron, Ohio. Not a problem, thanks  for interviewing us. The Unclean is a traditional style rock n roll band with attitude. We’re not into a bunch of frills or what not. We let the music speak for its self. After all the music is what it’s all about, not what you look like or what your religious/political view are about. Ya dig?

Skullbanger: Let’s talk a bit about your sound.  I said in my review of ‘The Eagle’ that you reminded me of a band that would play in dive bars, like the scene we see in the Blues Brothers movies, playing behind chicken wire while patrons throw shit at you.  I love your sound.  Can you go into your reasoning behind a sound like this as opposed to the really over produced stuff we hear so much in music these days?

Burns: Well first off I’ll start by saying that the bands doing really over produced stuff are into it more for a paycheck. They have big labels with big dollars backing them up to spend six months in a million dollar studio, and those labels put pressure on the bands which makes people lose focus on what made them start playing music in the first place. It’s easy to take things for granted, like playing pure music from the heart/soul. The Unclean members grew up poor and came from nothing. We have no one behind us with anything, so we make it happen for ourselves. We would love to get paid, but we’re doing what we wanna do and love it. At the same time taking nothing for granted. We’re grateful to be 3 guys that have the ability to get together and make music we like for us, because it’s all we know. For the most part all we play are dive bars, and a few months ago played at a venue in Cleveland with a chain link fence on the front of the stage. There was also blood splattered all over the back wall of the stage behind my bass rig, and you know what? We loved every god damn second of it! There are a few pics of that show on our FB page.

Skullbanger: Touching on your sound a bit more.  The sound of your music sounds like something you would hear from the classic bands from the 70’s.  With all the technology in studios these days did you guys have trouble getting that warm, analog fuzzy classic sound or have studios advanced to the point that they can reproduce that sound too?

Burns: Our sound is simple. Sometimes less is better. All our gear recording and instrument wise is from the 70’s/ early 80’s. So it was very easy to capture that sound. At the same time studio gear has advanced to where if you know how to use your gear you can get just about any type of sound you want. If you have a 12’ cock and don’t know how to use it I guess its pointless right?

Skullbanger: I notice in your bio that you guys all came from sludge/doom metal bands.  What brought all you guys out of the sludge to form The Unclean?

Burns: I myself as the founding member of The Unclean have been doing this band since 2005, and didn’t team up with Bremmy till 2007. When Bremmy and I did team up the band took a whole different direction. We both love metal music, but used The Unclean as another outlet to play other kinds of music we have passion for as well. In this case hard rock/rock n roll. Frank has been, and still is very active in the local Hardcore seen. It’s not that we just stopped doing the heavier metal music so to speak. The bands we we’re involved in broke up and we made The Unclean our main priority

Skullbanger:   Let’s talk about your live shows and any stories you may have.  I’m going to assume that you guys may have played in some…interesting places.  Do you have any interesting/strange stories you can share?

Burns:  Like I said before most of the places we play are dive bars, but we’ve played just about every kind of venue big too small. From a thousand people to the bar tender and sound guy. It’s all the same to us. It’s great to have a thousand people there going nuts, but we put the same amount of effort regardless.  We are older and more mature then past days with past bands. We’re pretty laid back now a days and don’t “rage” like we used to. Ya dig?

Skullbanger: I notice you have self released your latest album ‘The Eagle’.  Have you been shopping around for a label?  How is the search going if so?

Burns: We really haven’t put much effort into label shopping. We didn’t wanna wait around for someone to agree to release an album that we were just sitting on. We just really wanted to start moving forward with the band. We are hoping that this release will get someone’s attention and some sort of opportunity will hopefully fall in our lap, but at the same time we’ll keep doing what we’re doing none the less.

Skullbanger: You guys are from Akron, Ohio.  I come from Tennessee originally and the metal scene there isn’t as strong as it seems in the northern cities, other than all the metal musicians going to Tennessee to retire.  How is the metal/rock scene in the Cleveland/Akron area?  It always seemed like cities like Cleveland, Detroit and many northern cities have a strong blue collar feel and always supported bands such as yourselves.  Is it easy for you to get gigs and go see the bigger acts in metal?  Any cool bands in your area that people should be aware of?

Burns: We have a great scene! There is a “click” for just about every type of music possible with a great deal of comrottery with in each one. Everyone here supports whatever seen they’re into. North east Ohio has what is known as “Rust Belt Rock”. Here we have a lot of industry jobs, and a great deal of us we’re raised in blue collar homes.  Akron is home of the Black Keys that are shitting out Grammy’s and is taking over the world at a very fast pace with their brand of rock n roll. Akron is also the home of Devo, which started a whole movement of music in the late 70’s. Akron is also home to Tim “The Ripper” Owens, a legend in various heavy metal bands from around the world. The list goes on and on of great artist from this area. Just about every major and underground tour comes through Cleveland area. It just wouldn’t be rite if one of your tour schedules didn’t have a Cleveland date. Even Spinal Tap commented on Cleveland.

Skullbanger: Ok, I am going to list three things and just tell me the one you prefer or the first thing that comes to your mind.  1) Cleveland Browns 2)Pittsburg Steelers 3)Since I’m from Tennessee I have to ask, If Unclean were to cover an Elvis song, which would it be?

Burns: When it comes to sports nothing comes to mind, because we don’t give a shit! If we we’re to cover an Elvis song it would be Lets Play House because that’s the song Frank said we’d cover. Also it’s one of his more aggressive songs so to speak.

Skullbanger: Well guys, I guess we can wrap it up.  Is there anything you would like to say before we go?  And what can we expect in the near future from The Unclean?

Burns: Yes. Kids stay in school and don’t use drugs! People: stop watching so much god damn TV and read a book once in a while. Educate your brain. Also… old people, STOP DRIVING. On a more serious note SUPPORT your local music.

We will start recording our next full length album within the next coming months along with live dates to support The Eagle release.  Cheers!

Skullbanger: Thank you for your time!

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