Unseen to make itself quite visible at Pirates Cove

Carissa Bowlin

The Unseen band members show will show themselves tonight in

Credit: Ben Breier


The Unseen

Playing with Time Again & A Global Threat

Where? Pirates Cove, Cleveland

When? Tonight, 7:30 p.m.

How much? $10


While The Unseen might be a new name to the media, there is really not a place in the country, or even the world, The Unseen hasn’t seen. And soon, the band will embark on another national tour for five weeks before moving on to Europe.

“We’re trying to get to Hawaii,” said lead singer Mark Unseen. “That’s really the only place we haven’t been.”

Even more impressive, these Boston punk-rockers made it around the world with nothing more than a strong fan base. The band signed its first major record deal only a year ago with HellCat Records, and suddenly The Unseen is in the limelight.

“We were successful on our own,” Unseen said, “but you can sell out all your gigs to 600 or 800 kids at punk clubs in California and the industry people still have no idea who you are.”

Now The Unseen is working with gods of the music scene like Brett Gurewitz, Lars Frederiksen and Dicky Barret, while still holding onto the identity they’ve been building for ten years.

“I don’t want to be censored,” Unseen said. “But I do want to make sure we can still be carried in places like Best Buy and Wal-Mart that sometimes take albums off shelves.”

Brett Gurewitz has been nothing but supportive of the band and its people-can-think-what-they-want kind of attitude.

The only changes that have occurred with the band and its sound are natural as the musicians progress in their careers.

“Sometimes kids do come up to us and ask why we’ve changed in one way or another,” Unseen said. “I don’t want to be where I was five years ago. This is a growing and a learning experience. We’re all going to grow up from the band we were when we were 16, 17 years old.”

The band used to have a punk, rebellious attitude and wanted nothing to do with anything corporate or monopolizing. They still hold on to some anti-everything ideas, but for the most part they have moved on with the mind-set that support for the band and the music is beneficial.

“Anyone who wants to carry our stuff or support us is much appreciated, but we do it because we want to be able to address issues that other people don’t want to talk about,” Unseen said. “Music has always been an outlet.”

The Unseen has had some unexpected responses.

“Sometimes when people come up to me and ask for an autograph, it’s odd. I’m just a 28–year-old who likes to play music, but it’s very flattering,” Unseen said. “It baffles me that someone can be affected so much by something I write down.”

Their straight-up, traditional approach to punk won them Best Punk Band at the 2004 Boston Music Awards. Influenced by artists like The Cult, Bad Religion and Sick of it All, The Unseen’s themes have even prevented a couple near-suicide cases.

“In one case, a girl e-mailed me about how she had been raped, but no one in her small town believed her, so she thought about killing herself,” Unseen said. “She kept listening to one of our songs, ‘Explode,’ which talks about how you don’t have to care about what other people think and you can live the life you want. She said it made her decide not to let it bother her.”

Unseen wants to keep the band going and keep progressing, but not for any kind of stardom.

“I don’t even think I really want to be a celebrity,” he said. “It just would be nice to be able to pay the bills and buy a house someday.”

Contact ALL reporter Carissa Bowlin at [email protected].