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Have you ever shown your parents a metal, hardcore, or rock band and get the tired old assumption it’s devil music and members of the band probably worship Satan? If so, then force them to listen to Totally Unicorn and show them this interview with vocalist Drew Gardner.
Totally Unicorn’s latest album Sorry is set for a 12 April release and fans have already received a taste with singles Grub and I’ll Be Fine Now. Their new album is a graphic insight into the personal feelings and struggles of their man behind the mic, supported by his band mates by bashing away at their instruments.
“I didn’t really have in mind a reaction of the people. I feel like this record is very much us progressing musically and myself really to put it all on the table as in what’s going on with me. It was definitely unsettling for me to put what’s going on in my life out there for people to hear. I guess it came across with the album movement.”
It was clear that the writing process of Sorry was heavily fuelled by Drew’s current emotional state which pushed his song-writing and lyrics into a place he’d never been before.
“It was hard. The writing was super fun… We were going for different angle musically, bit more straight forward, not as spazzy and chaotic… I’ve just got to the point of like “nah, fuck this”, just say how I’m feeling, what’s going on and put it all on the table for everyone. I guess in a way it was a bit of therapy for me… I’m not good at talking to people about my feelings, so this was me doing that musically, I guess.”
He may scare the shit out of you with his gut-wrenching growls and insane live presence, however Drew shows he’s like us all and faces the same issues we do. In this case, balancing the fear with the excitement of releasing new music. Being brave enough to open up about his battles through his art has paid off.
“It’s definitely a hard thing. I’m pretty nervous about people actually hearing it for the first time.”
Sorry was an opportunity for the band to change up their usual approach to recording. The built-up emotions and new writing style allowed each member, especially Drew, to go all out in the studio with a helping hand from producers James Balderston and Johnathan Boulet.
[There’s] just a totally new vibe to the band, everything is really exciting at the moment. New music, new members. Just kind of growing up in a way… When we play there’s the craziness and the funny stuff but musically and stuff, we’re more mature.
“I think everyone was feeling like the emotion of the songs, so everyone was excited and having recorded with Jimmy and Jono Boulet helping us produce as well. They were such an integral part of the recording process because they brought the vibe and psyched us up for bits of songs. With my vocals, Jono would ask me how I was feeling at that moment to try and get that emotion out. Everyone was just feeling the vibe and brought out good moments.”
The album is packed with songs that are set to light-up Totally Unicorn crowds after its release and one in particular for Drew.
“I really like all the songs. The one that’s my favourite at the moment is A Song For The Deadshits’, about working the 9-5 and that song is pretty new ground musically. It’s straight forward, bit punky, it’s got a chorus and stuff. We played it for the first time when we did our full album run through and fuck it was so cool to play.”
Totally Unicorn are eager to hit the road on their album release tour and bring the new songs to the stage. They’ve already tested the new material and received a positive and yet unexpected response from their fans.
“Our live show is such an integral part of us as well, so we also kind of thought of live show when we were writing… Even with the two new songs we’ve released, people actually singing the words and stuff which we’ve never really had because no one can figure what the fuck I was saying so it was kind of nice as well (laughs).”
Old songs will still appear on the band’s live set, however be sure to do your research as a large chunk of their performance will be from their crushing new record.
“Nah that’s heaps of them (songs from Sorry) … We’ve been playing Prized Pig which is a fun song to play live, also I’ll Be Fine is breaking ground for us playing live because it’s a slow burner not so crazy, mosh pitting stuff going on.”
Fans may have been slightly surprised when Totally Unicorn released I’ll Be Fine Now, which is unlike the band’s previous material. However they entered the studio with some insanely heavy new music, but as a different band.
“Just a totally new vibe to the band, everything is really exciting at the moment. New music, new members. Just kind of growing up in a way… When we play there’s the craziness and the funny stuff but musically and stuff, we’re more mature.”
Pre-order Totally Unicorn’s new album Sorry here.
Totally Unicorn’s new album Sorry is out 12 April. The Sorry Album Tour begins 21 April.
Sunday April 21st
Hamilton Station Hotel, Newcastle
Friday April 26th
Crown and Anchor, Adelaide
Saturday April 27th
The Tote, Melbourne
Sunday April 28th
The Brisbane Hotel, Hobart
Friday May 3rd
Saturday May 4th