TOTALLY UNICORN was born out of the death of surly tech metal dudes, Hospital the Musical in early 2010. With a mashed up combination of members from HTM and fellow coastal-dwellers, Ohana, TU rose from the ashes of dust and shit like an obese and terrifyingly hungover Phoenix. It wasn’t pretty, and it still isn’t…
The first twelve months were spent finding their new sound and writing 25 minutes of music they were happy to share with the world. Technically capable, but with increasingly high standards, the boys trudged along slowly, that year releasing the debut EP, Horse Hugger; an ode to the drug-induced euphoric nights and mornings of a lifetime passed.
Touring relentlessly over the following three years, TU released splits with Robotosaurus, Gay Paris and God God Dammit Dammit. The band quickly became known for its highly energetic and unpredictable live shows; which often feature partial or complete nudity, jumping off the stage or other raised platforms, and interacting with individual audience members. The band’s live reputation – coupled with an inability to be pigeonholed into any one specific genre – has brought to them several high-profile tours and support slots including: La Dispute, Kvelertak, Tonight Alive, The Chariot, Good Riddance, Frenzal Rhomb, A Wilhelm Scream, The Flatliners, Rolo Tomassi, and Norma Jean.
Things were on the up and up for Totally Unicorn, but due to illness, breakups and loss between members and their families, the conclusion of 2013 saw a halt to proceedings. Some returned home to mend, others forged onwards with other musical endeavours. But no matter where they were or what they were doing, something important was brooding.
The following two years were slow externally, but productive from within. Having almost ceased touring completely, Totally Unicorn went into hibernation, writing more than 30 song skeletons of angst and anxiety-driven, booze and medication-fuelled power-hits. After extensive pre-production, and a continual rewriting and re-working process in the studio and at home, 10 songs remained – each one of them greater than the last. The band entered the studio for a fourth and final time in late 2015, laying down the finishing touches. The result for Totally Unicorn was an arrival – the album, an epiphany. They had found their sound and themselves.
Dream Life is certainly a collaboration between a few: Karina Utomo (vocals, High Tension), Robert Smith (Vocals, Heavy Heavy Low Low), Tim Carr (producer) and Tim McMahon (former member), but largely it is private and ethereal – it is art through catharsis, growth through adversity; a rising from the ashes. And yeah, it’s another MOTHERFUCKING phoenix!
Signing with Wollongong indie label, Farmer and The Owl, the band has released the first single from the forthcoming album, Dream Life. ‘Customer Service Station’ has been welcomed with regular plays on the j’s, with its accompanying film clip selected for Rage’s Wild One clip of the week. The band is about to embark on its first tour in two years. 2016 is about to get rowdy – and the boys couldn’t be any more fucking ready.
Six years later nothing has changed. They’re still hungover, still overweight, and still ready to party. You just gotta remember to bring the booze…
We’ll see ya then xo