I keep saying I want to regularly do spotlight type pieces on some newer, up and coming type bands, but it’s just been hard to get the time to devote to actually make them happen. If I’ve talked to you and offered to do something like this for your band, I do still intend to do it, it’s just a matter of time, so hang in there. This one here is on Unrestrained from Portland. Unrestrained’s drummer, Jon Sinko, is an old Jersey guy that I’ve known for a long time, so I was more than happy to help get the word out on them. So read up and check em’ out. -Tim DCXX
Who’s in the band, where are you from, give us a little history on each member.
Justin: We’re from Portland, OR, and carry five members:
Jon is originally from New Jersey, and spent time playing drums in Backlash a million years ago.
Poop (yes, Poop) plays guitar and is originally form Salem, OR, which is about an hour south of Portland. He has also spent time in The Physical Challenge, Life & Limb and No Secrets Between Sailors.
Raf plays bass, and came to Oregon via Hawaii. He was in some bands back there such as x36 Chamberx, Cooperstown and Hell Yeah Bowlers.
Ryan is from Southern California and also plays guitar. However, Ryan is moving to NYC soon, so the hunt for another guitar player has begun.
I guess I’m the only Portland native, although Poop might as well count as one too. We actually both used to be in a band called The Dead Unknown in the early 2000s. Aside from the band, I also run Stuck In The Past (http://stuckinthepast.net) with a couple of friends.
What is your motivation, inspiration and goals for Unrestrained and how would you describe the band
Jon: To me Unrestrained is about five guys playing the style of music that we love to play, and doing it in a way that is real to each of us. We each have parts of us that pay tribute to what hardcore has meant to us growing up- from preferring basement shows over big venues, to limited edition vinyl vs one at a time iTunes singles, to being a voice for causes that may or not be at the forefront of conversation to some of the kids we run into these days. I think our inspiration comes from bands like Undertow, Trial, Threadbare and For The Love Of musically but I’m inspired personally by the many friends who are just continuing to be involved in the scene- big or small. Goal-wise- I’d be stoked to just keep doing what we love to do and grow organically to be a band that means something to people and who drives them to get involved in making and supporting music.
Justin: Jon hit on some things that continue to drive me with this band. I want everything that Unrestrained does to be completely organic. I don’t want to purposely push ourselves into any one direction, or work ourselves into some sort of sub-genre mold. Although social and political issues pop up in songs, a large majority of our songs have been used as a vehicle for me to vent about things occurring in my personal life. Struggles and fears are coming to the forefront lyrically, and it has been extremely cathartic for me to put it out there. I know we’ll never be the most popular band, and I’m very content with that. Playing songs born out of frustration, anger and sadness makes me want to play dark, dank basements anyways. As long as we’re all one the same page, and putting forth this same level of passion, I think the band can continue for quite some time.
You guys do a cover of No Escape’s “Framework” and recorded it with guest vocals by Tim Singer, how and why did you guys decide on doing this and how did it all come together with Tim Singer’s involvement?
Jon: So we have a band rule- each member can pick a cover song and we don’t change the song until we play it live at least once. Right after Hurricane Sandy knocked out the east coast- I really wanted to focus my energy on paying tribute to New Jersey and NJHC bands. I think I talked to you (Tim DCXX) about trying to do a NJHC- The Way It Was style comp- at one point. Anyway- I wanted to do No Escape cause 1) they were an amazing band 2) they were a band I thought kids nowadays needed to know 3) I had hopes that I could get Tim to sing on it. I’d known Tim from playing shows together with Backlash and Deadguy so I hit him up and long story short- he was into it. When we first got the vocal tracks it was pretty crazy. If you’ve ever listened to just vocals before it’s pretty different. He did three tracks which Justin worked with to get just right so he and Tim battle back and forth on verses and he lets Tim freestyle throughout. It still stokes me out that this happened. I’m pretty proud of this song. Definitely the only genre you can record a track from one of your favorite bands and likely get the singer to do guest vocals. Pretty rad.
Any plugs or info you want to get out there?
Justin: Our new LP, Forward Onto Death, is out now on Trip Machine Laboratories (http://tripmachinelabs.com). If you’d like, you can keep up with us on facebook (http://facebook.com/unrestrainedpdx) or any other number of social networking sites that we’re easy to find on. We also have a webstore at http://unrestrained.limitedrun.com and are in the process of writing an EP to follow up this new LP. And thanks to DCXX for wanting to do something with us. It’s a true pleasure to be represented on a site that I read all the time.