Earlier today, before a quick hike in the Rockies with my kids, I asked Johnny Unicorn (in reality: John Adams; but not the former president) to give me a bit of history of himself. He very kindly sent the following (below). As some of you might remember, I was really taken with his previous release–SADNESS AND COMPANIONSHIP.
The forthcoming, ANGELS IN THE OORT CLOUD, looks even more interesting. As I mentioned at the time of the first release, I think that Johnny Unicorn embraces the spirit of PHISH–wacky, innovative, and yet always very serious about the art.
Here’s what Mr. Unicorn wrote today (a huge thanks to him for taking the time!):
“Johnny Unicorn” has been my solo project since 2006.
2006, 2007, 2008 – “Dates Or Non-dates”, “Riversongs”, and “Put Your Mind Inside My Mouth”
JU was the only member of the recorded or live band except for occasional live backing vocalists (Audri the Great, Joy Moore) and one show with a full band (Jabari Parker on drums, Joel Weinstein on bass, and Audri and Joy on backing vocals).
2010 – “Sweet Edith Manton”
JU recruited old friend Jason Campbell to play drums on the album. Toured the Northern U.S. as a one-piece
2011 – “Thinking Hard To Overcome Nervousness”
Lots of guest musicians played on the album. JU toured the U.S. again as a one-piece. Later in the year, Naomi Smith and Jesse Mercury (formerly Plack)(http://jessemercury.bandcamp.com) joined the live band on synth and drums respectively. Roy Garcia played drums in the live band also in 2011.
2012 – West coast tour with Plack, Smith, and Unicorn (playing JU songs and Jesse Mercury songs) plus Autumn Electric.
2013 – “Sadness And Companionship” – Album recorded with just two musicians, JU and Naomi Smith. After successful Kickstarter campaign, Max Steiner joins live band as guitarist, and Ian Steiner replaces Jesse on drums for another Northern U.S. tour.
2014 – “Angels In the Oort Cloud” – Album recorded with a handful of guest musicians, including “Edith Manton” drummer Jason Campbell. Chris Barrios joins live band on drums. Max Steiner moves to Germany.
2015 and beyond – “Heavy Jugs To the Moon” is a 25-27 song double album that includes a horde of guest musicians, including all current live band members and many past members, and people i met on the internet. The songs are in a dramatic range of styles and they are all relatively short. The following album “Indentations” will be a four song album (all over 15 minutes) and will only include the current live band members and possibly some piped in guitar from overseas, except for one song that is a string quartet with vocals. Following this album, I am writing an album for jazz orchestra. In the interest of saving my ears, future JU tours will most likely be acoustic. After that, it’s all just vague ideas that will solidify as soon as room is freed up in my brain.
I am currently actively working with the following bands:
Horace Pickett (http://horacepickett.bandcamp.com) since 2011
Autumn Electric (http://autumnelectric.bandcamp.com) since 2012
Phideaux (http://phideaux.bandcamp.com) since 2007
What an amazing person. Again, thank you, Johnny, for taking the time! To pre-order the new cd, click here.
3 thoughts on “Johnny Unicorn: A Bit of History”
I forgot to add one thing: Roy Garcia was also playing drums in the live band from 2010-2011.
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I forgot to add one thing: Roy Garcia played drums in the live band also in 2011.
John, I just fixed it. Thanks. And, for our regular readers: John didn’t know I’d be publishing his email verbatim–so blame me for errors, not him!