Say “hello” to Johnny Unicorn.
This first post will serve as an introduction to the early 21st century’s most creative, daring, and ruggedly handsome new musician, Johnny Unicorn.
A history, by Johnny Unicorn:
Hello, this is Johnny Unicorn, the musician. I am glad to meet you. Perhaps you will buy one of my albums one day. Perhaps, before you make a decision to buy, you would like to hear more about my origins. Well, the following paragraphs are for you.
I was born in a dusty old house in Hippie Valley, Ohio. Then, in 1991, in Michigan, I was introduced to the magic of home tape recording through my father, who had bought some equipment for his own musical use. I had no understanding of, or ambition toward music, but I did possess a creative attitude. The only thing that ever interested me was creating something; anything. Now, there was a machine in the house that could record and layer sounds. I had no musical aspirations, but I did see an opportunity to create something, and with the permission of my father, and the encouragement of my brother, I began my career in music.
At the time, it was no more than an excercise. Music, as far as I knew, had no meaning to me. I was only a fan of one artist: “Weird Al” Yankovic. My interest in his music was purely comedic. I wrote songs based on the formulas that I saw in his music (the formulas that he got from pop music). The first song I wrote was “Barney the Coatrack.” At first, my only concerns were to include the correct number of verses, choruses, and bridges, and to try to get the song to be around three and a half minutes. Music recording made me more interested in music in general, and as I developed the ability to think conceptually, and to be compassionate, I began to be moved by certain music in a deeper way than ever before. Music by artists like They Might Be Giants and Frank Zappa influenced me to be more courageous in my writing.
It was around this time that I started to sell my music to my friends in school. I went by the name of “Hoser,” a name I took at the suggestion of my brother, Jason. The first tape I sold, entitled “Where Were You When They Passed Out Internal Organs?” sold for $4. It was half an hour long, and contained only eight songs. It was 1992. I sold about six copies. The following year, I was more prolific, and I released three tapes, which I sold in school for four dollars a piece. I kept the same level of musical productivity, while always learning and growing (but very very slowly) through high school. I released two more tapes in 1997, and sold them to my high school friends. The tapes were longer, and each contained 24 songs, and were difficult to listen to, and had horrible lyrics.
The experience of being in bands during high school made me realize that being a musician (a term I refused to use to describe myself) would mean working with others. I enjoyed the work of music, but did not yet know what it would mean for me, and I did not work hard at it. It wasn’t until I started listening to music that was difficult to play that I started to work to make myself a better musician. But since I had no interest in being a musician, I did not spend too much energy on it. It was not until my second year of college that I decided music was something that would be something that I would have to build my life around. It wasn’t out of a desire to be a musician, that this realization arose. I had dedicated half my life to music without even knowing it, and it was simply the unrelenting exposure to music that made it an inextricable part of my life. I knew at this point that I would never be able to escape music, even if I wanted to. So I began listening to what my musical self had to say. I responded to my own ambitions.
This meant forming a band. I formed the rock band version of Hoser, which included J-Hole Jackson, and Mike Bowman, and then later, Drake Hills. With Jackson and Hills, we later formed Special Dental Team. With that group of excellent musicians, my abilities were pushed to their limits, and I had my first true religious experiences with music. Sadly, we all parted ways. Hills and I graduated from college with Bachelors of Arts in Philosophy and Liberal Arts, and went to teach English in Korea. The two of us recorded music under the name “Furendo.” We released one album: “Of Whom?” Hills went on to Japan, where he still teaches today. Upon my return to the states, I spent two years still trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. In 2006, I met some musicians in Los Angeles who showed me the value of hard work in music. It was then that I decided to dedicate my life to music.
I have released three albums since then, under my new (and no less phallic) name, Johnny Unicorn: “Dates Or Non-dates”, “Riversongs,” and “Put Your Mind Inside My Mouth.” These are all home recordings in the style of progressive rock, and multiple other genres, recorded using sampled drums, and guitars, synths, horns and vocals. In 2007, I began work on my most serious work, “Not Afraid of the Open Space.” It is set for an early 2009 release. It will be my first release with a real band, playing real instruments (drums, guitars, marimbas, xylophone, piano, synthesizer, vibraphone, strings, saxophones, clarinets, and many different singers). It will mark the beginning of a new era of productivity.
Now that you have met me, I hope you will stay interested, and that you will join me in the tortuous (and torturous) musical journey that lies ahead. I hope that you will show your support in the future by buying the various products (music, artwork, and other things) that I will and do offer.
Thank you to all who have supported me thus far, and thank you to those of you in the future who will support me in my musical endeavors. One more thing: as an artist, I realize that there is a certain amount of self-absorption that will influence my creative decisions. I will inevitably write for my own benefit (just listen to “Put Your Mind Inside My Mouth”). But I also work for you; I am an entertainer. The relationship between the artist and the viewer goes both ways, and although I will make mistakes from time to time (and I plan to make plenty), I will always try to remember that I owe you. Without anyone to listen, my music is literally meaningless. So, I will try to listen to you as you listen to me.