EMQ’s with LULLABY FOR A UNICORN
Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Ever Metal favourites Lullaby For A Unicorn who, by the way, are from the Fantasia land of ‘Funicorn where they reside with Tiffany the inflatable unicorn. Huge thanks to Dan for supplying such wonderfully in depth and funny answers to the questions!
What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
Hi, I’m Dan and I play the guitar.
We’ve also got Justin on Vocals, Baxter on Bass and Gaz on Drums.
History of the band? Depends how far back you want to go! 😊
The band officially came into being in August 2017 when we started the Facebook page, which as we all know is the only time things become official. We had been jamming around with songs and generally arsing about for a few months prior to that.
It started from the ashes of another band we were all in that played its last ever gig as the first band on at Pentrefest 2017. I’d got bored of trying to be “edgy” or “different”, so I figured I’d form a doom metal band that didn’t take itself too seriously.
I can’t write doom metal songs.
So, we kind of became the thrash metal type of thing we are now.
After taking a break from music and performing for a while I managed to coax Justin out of retirement on the promise that
a) He wouldn’t have to drive to *all* the gigs;
b) There would be rum;
c) It would be fun
Fortunately for us he said yes!
How did you come up with your band name?
Well, there’s a bit of confusion over that; I think it was Baxter that came up with the name, but I may have misheard him. Someone said it again, everyone laughed, so it stuck.
Coincidentally there is a song called “Lullaby for a Unicorn” by a Canadian band called “Which is Which” and it’s pretty good to be fair, you can find it here: https://wiwmusic.bandcamp.com/track/lullaby-for-a-unicorn
What country are you from and what is the metal scene like there?
Wales, in the UK. There are lots and lots of musicians up our end, but they aren’t very metal. The further along the coast towards England you go the more metal it becomes.
There are some great bands up this end of the world though but there seems to be a general lack of enthusiasm to play anywhere but the local pubs, which is a shame because I think a lot of them would go down really well.
This is one actual decision we consciously made: to not play the local bars that we have been playing for years – we are purposefully going for places that we’ve not been before.
What is your latest release (Album, EP, Single, Video)
Yeh, we’ve been a bit lazy on that front. There is a live album that was recorded for our first outing to Manchester at the Star and Garter when we played with the phenomenally good Impavidus. It was being recorded and we asked if they could record our set too – so they did.
Being a bit lazy and forgetful we decided to release that as a live album because let’s face it, we aren’t going to finish our actual album any time soon!
We are working on the rest of the songs for “I can’t believe they aren’t better” though, promise!
To be fair though we are having too much fun playing live to sit around our HQ recording drums for hours on end!
Live at the Star and Garter can be found here: https://lullabyforaunicorn.bandcamp.com/album/live-at-the-star-and-garter
Who have been your greatest influences?
Personally, that’d be Scott Ian and James Hetfield! I’m a fan of rhythm guitar more than lead, mainly because I’m not too good at the ole’ widdly woo stuff!
I used to jam along to “Among the Living” and “…And Justice for All” when I was just starting out. Also being in Mucus (Dan’s other band – Rick) with such an excellent guitarist as Duncan means that you learn to stand out by being a good rhythm player.
Anyway, I digress…
I’m heavily into melodies, harmonies and crunchy as hell guitars so I’d have to say a lot of my influences are a bit mixed up these days, although “good music is good no matter what kind of music it is”. And I will always be a big ABBA fan!
What first got you into music?
My parents were into live folk music in a big way, so I’d spend most Saturday afternoons in the Kings Arms pub in Bangor watching them and their friends jamming together. That must’ve influenced me somehow!
We’d also go to folk festivals once a year, mainly the one in Pontardawe in South Wales – I have vivid memories of wondering around the camp site talking to hippies, buying rubbish toys and bits of wood with my pocket money and watching all these weird musicians playing the living shit out of their instruments.
The only other thing I can remember listening to is Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” because my Mum liked it, and lots of 80’s pop because my sister was obsessed with it.
Then one day a friend of mine said that I should listen to a band called Metallica – and it all went downhill from there really.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Oh god – I’d hate to do that, I’m no good at thinking on my feet at all so it would petrify me to have to jam with someone that knows what they are doing.
I’m constantly worried that I’ll get found out as a fraud.
Having said that I think it would be cool to collaborate with someone who definitely isn’t metal: Stormzy would be interesting, as would someone like Taylor Swift or Katy Perry – you know, something so completely pop nobody would expect it! 😉
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Ooh, tough one – I’m supposed to say Download or Bloodstock aren’t I? Obviously they would be amazing but…
I think Coachella would be mad – I love California and the line-up can be a bit off the wall, would be fun to do that. Also, Glastonbury would be just an insane experience.
Amplified Festival too – Gary if you are reading this, we are available… still.
As well as making that one conscious decision I mentioned earlier, we did also decide that the goal for this band would be to play festivals. We aren’t that fussed about where on the bill, we just would love to be involved and be part of it all.
There are so many great grassroots festivals going now: Pentrefest, Beermageddon, Badgerfest, Breaking Bands to name just four. Being involved in any of them would be amazing. So far, we’ve done Pentrefest (some of us have done it twice, but we don’t talk about that anymore) which is just amazing and next year there’s HRH Metal which I’m not sure has sunk in yet. We’ll get back to you on that one! 😊
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
We haven’t really received anything from fans in this band. I might have to pass this one on to Justin; he toured extensively in his previous band Skinflick and had some “questionable” fans.
One of the loopiest things that has happened to date is the “mattress actress” Alexxa Vice wearing one of our caps for a selfie on her Instagram, that was a bit of a shock. She’s a cool person though, so having her as a fan would be rather mental!
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Worry less, care more.
People get themselves in too much of a state worrying about shit they can’t control. Stop doing that, care more about the things you do and the people you do them with.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Another tough one; recently I think Chester Bennington – that hurt way more than I thought it would and I think he had a lot of songs left in him.
Further back – possibly Dimebag, I think he’d be interested to see the way guitar technology and “tone” has gone since his death. Things like the Line6 Helix (my personal favourite) and the AxeFX would be something he’d be up for messing about with.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
Hanging about with friends, socialising, generally being a bit silly and meeting other like-minded people – that’s the best part.
Finding out about new equipment and buying it and then messing around with it and then trying to sell it is also a good part, but at the same time a very bad part of it (everything costs so much damn money).
The worst part of it is hanging around waiting for gigs to start – the hurry up and wait bit. Ugh, nightmare.
I have what I jokingly refer to as Temporal Anxiety – I get a bit wound up when I think I’ll be late for something. If we need to be at a venue by 7pm say and it’s a three hour drive you’d normally start off at 4pm – not me, I must be gone by lunch time so that we get there in plenty of time! It’s becoming a bit of an in joke now* – if we turn up stupidly early for a gig, that’s my fault. But then it does make the worst part of it all last longer! I can’t win!
*I say “in joke” I actually think it is driving Baxter ever so slightly mental.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
There appears to be two sides to the music industry now: there’s the traditional “get a record deal, make an album and tour indefinitely” side and then there’s the home made “record a few songs, do gigs and have a laugh” side of things.
I would like to see more support from the “industry” for the home-made guys but I’m not sure how that would work. As soon as you get industry people involved in things it tends to start becoming a bit more controlled and regimented and sort of ruins the fun. I suspect having a “recording deal” opens a few more doors for bands but some of us don’t want that, but would like other opportunities to get through the same doors… If that makes sense.
There’s an excellent interview with Matt from Evil Scarecrow about the “sovereignty” of his band – how they are their own thing, there’s no record company financing them and they do everything on their own. It was a great insight into how they’ve done what they do, can’t find the damn thing now though.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Oh FFS – one?
Christ on a bike, that’s a hard one (said the nurse to the vicar).
I want to say “Among the Living” by Anthrax, but I haven’t listened to it in years. When Devin Townsend’s “Addicted” album came out I must’ve listened to it constantly for at least a month so that’s got to be on the list somewhere.
Quite a few of my favourite albums are movies
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Laser Disk FTW!
Vinyl – because of the ceremony of unwrapping it, putting it on the player and having to concentrate on the entire album without being able to skip tracks (unless you want to scratch the shit out of the record).
Downloads – Because they are instantly available, and I can listen to the same playlists wherever I am.
In an ideal world I would buy a new album on Vinyl and squirrel myself away somewhere for an hour or so and listen to it on vinyl. Then I’d put the songs I like onto a playlist on Spotify.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
I think the Christmas Gig we played in Mcleans Deeside with Deified, Second Time Round and Nights Tribunal. That was an insane gig where the planets seem to align, everyone got the humour and joined in.
Bringing free Christmas hats and throwing toilet paper into the audience certainly helped.
I think we are getting a bit of a reputation as being a messy band, so I think I might start bringing my Henry Hoover to gigs with us just so we can clean up the mess afterwards.
One of our worst ones was a gig in Nottingham, but that was because we simply weren’t very good. But it was good for us because we realised what was working and what wasn’t working at that point – so we ditched the capes and the silly hats and decided to concentrate on other funny things to do instead. So that could also be considered one of our best but for entirely different reasons!
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Other than the day job, definitely something in the music industry – probably related to my existing skillset which is software development. But as everyone can do that now, I’m not sure.
I’m still picking what to do for my mid-life-crisis, it is a choice between working in a Zoo or being a gardener. It’s a tough one!
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
The people I usually invite: Our friends Paul and Antonia who Baxter met at an Evil Scarecrow gig when they got engaged on stage! Paul does our artwork (and I haven’t paid him yet, so I’d maybe not invite him to a dinner party… hmm). Baxter because he always brings Cards Against Humanity. Justin so we could plan some ludicrous stage ideas and/or videos and Gaz because he brings nice beer with him.
What’s next for the band?
I think we might have a dinner party!
Some more gigs this year, trying to stick to one a month so wives don’t get too annoyed with us and our children remember who we are. We are (as everyone is) competing in the M2M, we’ve got through to the next round, but the quality is so good I’m not sure we’ll get through.
We need to finish recording some songs and then do some videos! We’ve also got a photo shoot with your very own Beth to organise soon.
And then we need to start working out what we are going to do for HRH Metal – shit our pants probably.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
We’ve got the usual, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube:
And our music is currently on Bandcamp, Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon – it’s probably elsewhere I chose lots of options with our provider (DistroKid btw).
We also have an EPK which has a bunch of stuff that promotors might be interested in:
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
The clue is in the name innit! If they were biscuits they’d be called “Jaffa Biscuits” but they aren’t.
They are called Jaffa Cakes.
Also, apparently, a biscuit is a biscuit because it is baked twice – Jaffa Cakes are baked once and therefore they are cakes.
I won’t go into scones, clotted cream or jam – we might start a revolution.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Well, first of all we’d like to thank Ever Metal for being a lovely bunch of people and taking a genuine interest in this stupid little band we’ve made – it’s quite nice to have people actually like something we’ve done for a change (that’s a story for another day, trust me!).
Also, a shout out to anyone who’s helped us out with gigs: The ubiquitous Badger, the wonderful Che and Alison and countless other people. In fact, this post from the end of last year says it all 😊
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.