The Unnecessary Gunpoint Lecture: Pure Metal Chaos
Written by Brett Kihlmire
In the metal world there is a subgenre for just about everything the mind can come up with. Some bands embrace the labels while others, like Wisconsin’s The Unnecessary Gunpoint Lecture, take labels and throw them out the window.
Starting out with Ian Smedron and Aaron Budny just jamming, The Unnecessary Gunpoint Lecture became a full band in the spring of 2006.
“I believe I posted some demos that I recorded on PureVolume and put an ad online. Originally we had a vocalist that I had worked with in a previous project, Aaron knew another guitar player, and we worked without a bassist for some time until we found Arthur [Saucedo],” Smedron explains.
Putting together a shared love of all things rock and metal, the original lineup crafted a chaotic style that doesn’t quite fit into any particular genre by design. According to Smedrod, it’s best described as mathcore with touches of death, stoner and doom metal with some “jazzy stuff” for good measure.
“Not certain if it’s a bonefide genre, but it’s disorganized pandemonium with the occasional brush on a sweet spot,” says Saucedo.
After eight years together, 2014 saw the release of the band’s debut extended play, Ah, C’mon Ma! It’s Only Napalm!. The following year, after a shuffling of the lineup, which left the band a four piece, they released their first full length, Sociopathy: A First Hand Account. Shortly after release, however, the band again suffered from a lineup change leaving them without a lead singer.
“We attempted to replace him for a period, but we weren’t finding the right fit, and we were having fun writing songs without worrying about where vocals were gonna fit,” says Smedron regarding their decision not to fill the void with a new vocalist.
Almost two years after their first full length album, The Unnecessary Gunpoint Lecture remains a trio with Arthur Saucedo doubling on bass and vocals. Satisfied with this lineup, the band is currently preparing to send off their latest tracks to be mixed for a new extended play, which they expect to have out late 2017.
“I think we’re all pretty excited to get this stuff out, as well having the opportunity to have Ashley Witter provide artwork again,” says Smedron. “Having avoided intentionally writing anything that felt too personal for a long time, it was nice from my end to put together something that was heavily influenced by where my head was at when the songs were being arranged.”
With their last release hitting the shelves in 2015, fans of The Unnecessary Gunpoint Lecture are certainly hungry for new material. Of course, the band has been keen on giving fans their fix by performing live as often as they can and, according to Smedron, “anywhere that will have us…”
Being a Wisconsin band, The Unnecessary Gunpoint Lecture has been busy making their mark around their home state by frequenting heavy metal hot spots like The Frequency and The Red Zone in Madison, The Metal Grill in Cudahy, and “several places around the Wausau/Rhinelander area.” Of course, putting together a show isn’t as easy for the band as others.”
“Being non-genre can make it hard to pair us up shows, as well as being instrumental, can be an issue for people,” says Smedron.
Regardless of the challenge of pairing up with the right bands for a well-balanced show, the band has had many opportunities.
“We’ve gotten to play with so many amazing local and touring bands, [and] meet a ton of awesome people. I think that we’ve avoided going into an easier or more approachable sound in the last ten years has been a major achievement,” Smedron says proudly.
Unfortunately, due to Smedron and Budny’s commitment to Disgunt, the band likely won’t be heading too far out on the road in the near future, but they would definitely like to “get a short run or two around the Midwest organized,” so 2017 just might see the band expand their range.
Straight up with their performances, Smedron jokes, “We pretty much get up there and try to execute the music as well as possible without looking like bored lounge jazzers.” Of course, that’s not to say their shows aren’t plenty intense.
“It’s a selfish gift to hear us during rehearsal. Just about anything both Ian and Aaron do on their respective musical instrument is a joy to witness,” says Saucedo.
2017 is shaping up to be The Unnecessary Gunpoint Lecture’s year. A new EP is on the way, a playthrough video is on the table and shows in new markets appear to be a strong possibility. That all said, it goes without question that The Unnecessary Gunpoint Lecture is stronger than ever.