One Without – An Interview With Kenny and Catrin

 When going into the studio, how do you usually start the songwriting process?

Kenny: Well, usually me and Joonas write the larger parts of the songs individually, after that we introduce the songs to all the band and we work on finishing them together, and me and Cat will write the vocals and lyrics when the songs are more or less finished. This is all before entering the studio.  Usually when we enter the studio we have a finished idea of how the songs are going to sound, but there might be some changes happening during the recording. For example “Burned Once Again” from “Sweet Relief” had a totally different bridge that we then changed to make it more “electronic”, which in my opinion turned out a lot better. But most of the time we stick to the plan. 🙂

How would you describe the music that you write?
Kenny: We generally refer to it as “modern metal” as we don’t think we fit in just with “metal” or any other genre. We have taken several elements from melodic metal, metalcore, pop, and rock music, and mixed it all together, so I think “modern metal” is a good way to describe the sound. Maybe we should also put in a “progressive” somewhere for future reference, hehe.

What sets you apart from other bands in the metal scene?
Cat: One very big thing is that people often think we are “a typical female fronted band”, whatever that is, but I think they are referring to a symphonic metal band with vocals in an operatic style. Most of them quickly realize though that we are not very close to that at all. I see us as a modern metal band with rock and pop influences.

I’ve been a fan of One Without since 2009, discovering Thoughts Of A Secluded Mind, but you’ve been around since 2005. What did it take for the band to get more attention?
Kenny: It actually took some line-up and attitude changes mostly, and after that was sorted we decided to take a chance and record TOASM (“Thoughts of a…”) without having a record deal backing us up, since we felt that it would probably be easier to get a record deal if we actually had an album finished and ready to go.

How did you guys form the band?
Kenny: Joonas started the band in 2003 alone as a studio project, and as the years went by, the members started dropping in, and a few demos were made. As I mentioned before there have been several lineup changes through the years. I myself joined in 2007, Cat in 2008, and later Joni in 2010 and Håkan in 2011.

“Pretender” had a wicked treatment written for the music video. Whose idea was it?
Kenny: The location was Catrins idea, she knew a family who owned an old house in the middle of the forest outside of Gothenburg, and when we checked it out we knew it would be perfect. Otherwise we all contributed together with the director Markus Mönttinen to get all the ideas done.

You’ve started releasing more music videos to promote your singles. What will be the next single, and can fans expect a music video?
Kenny: We are currently discussing it with our manager, and we might be doing a video for “A Bright New Insight” in a couple of months, but it´s nothing I can guarantee at the moment.

Your songs seem angrier on Sweet Relief, whereas the last album came across as more melancholy with songs like “Farewell” and “Your Game.” What prompted this change?
Kenny: It was natural for us to move in that direction, both in the way we felt personally about all of the music industry and the world in general, but also because we all listen to “heavier” music and feel it´s more natural to move in that direction. We also focused a lot on making the songs fun to play live, and it´s always more fun with aggression and speed when performing.

You have Sweet Relief available to download on Facebook for FREE. How are you able to do that?
Cat: As we released the album on our own label, we were able to do exactly what we wanted to. And the physical album is also available for purchase through our website, along with an opportunity to donate money, so people can decide on their own if they wanna just download or buy or donate.

One Without is from Gothenburg, Sweden. How does your location influence the music you play?
Kenny: Very much, I would have to say. Maybe not as much today, but growing up listening to bands like In Flames, Hammerfall, At The Gates, Dark Tranquillity, The Haunted, etc. put a lot of influences in our writing. Nowadays though, we might be more influenced by American metalcore bands, like August Burns Red, Underoath etc.

I’ve always loved “Farewell” not only for its arrangement, but because of the lyrics. Can you explain what the song is about?
Cat: For me it’s an encouragement for people who are hiding who they really are, not only to other people but also to themselves, to say goodbye to their pretended self.

I know a lot of touring is financially based, but would you ever consider doing an international tour?
Cat: Well, we’ve already done a few international tours, but they have never been outside of Europe. So we would love to also tour for example the U.S., South America, Asia, and Africa would also be really cool! Our aim is to play all over the world! We are currently planning something for the U.S. late this year or at the beginning of next, but it´s too soon to announce anything.

When you’re not writing new songs or tearing up the stage, what do you guys do for fun?
Cat: I like to work out, take long baths, and read newspapers, books, blogs etc. Mostly political, psychological and inspirational ones.
And just to give you a little info about what the other guys are doing;
Håkan bets on horses, Joonas rides his motorcycle, Joni works out a lot, Kenny plays videogames a lot. When we hang out with each other outside of touring and rehearsals (and when we have time for it, as all of us also have day jobs) we watch movies, eat food, go to concerts to watch other bands and stuff like that.

Catrin – when did you discover your talent for singing?
I’ve been singing my entire life, even as a child, so I never really discovered it like that, as it has always been there like a part of me.

I’m a fan of the male/female switch-off. Kenny has some brutal screams. Is there a specific technique you use so you don’t lose your voice?
Kenny: Definitely. It took me a few years to develop it, and actually I still am, and I think people will notice on our third album that I try some new techniques. But getting back to your question, yes, you have to be careful to growl in the “right” way so you don´t hurt yourself. A good rule of thumb (as with regular singing) is: “If it hurts, you are doing it wrong.” That´s basically all I ever learned, and all I believe I can give as advice. Sadly enough, I never had anyone teach me how to growl, I just kind of developed it through the years by trying and failing.
If you (the reader) want to learn how to growl there are certainly some good educational videos on YouTube that probably can help you on the way, but there are also bad ones. So be careful!

What does the future look like for One Without?
Cat: Awesome! Our plans for this year is touring Europe/UK in May, record our third album somewhere around July – August, and then do a US tour in late 2012 or early 2013. Release date for the third album will be revealed at a later time.

Final notes:
Thanks for taking the time to do this interview, and thanks to everyone reading it!
Remember that you can download our complete second album “Sweet Relief” for free from our website; and we hope to see you all on tour soon!

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