Reflections of the Unicycle Skullfuck tour

Unicycle Skullfuck

The band was myself on bass & vocals, Dave on guitar, and Mark on drums. Some may ask why the band didn’t continue. Well, it didn’t continue for a number of reasons. Mark was going to school in Lawrence, Kansas. I got a job in Denver, Colorado and didn’t want to live in Tornado Alley. I did consider living in Kansas City Missouri in order to be closer to Mark, but, Kansas City didn’t really have the night life I was looking for. I wanted a town with at least a gothic-industrial night club scene, and Kansas City had about a 6 person scene. I know, because I investigated it. Also, Kansas City is UGLY. It made Denver look beautiful by comparison.

Also, after the road trip I showed up back in Wichita BROKE and having to borrow money from friends. Financially, doing a road trip is expensive as hell. It’s more like a vacation where you have to work. “Adventure Travel,” some call it. Nothing wrong with it, but it’s generally not the vacation most guys want to have when they go on vacation, so it’s hard to find bandmates that want to do that kind of endeavor. Maybe it’s not a good way to frame it.

I tried looking for a drummer in Denver Colorado, but found very little in the way of drummers. I still look for drummers to this day in San Diego, and here it is 2016. Hell, I even went so far as to become a badass drummer myself. I completely immersed myself into the instrument in 2003 – even lived out of a rehearsal space for a while. Three years later got a badass demo review drumming for Alien Forcep. Now I’m at a point where I’m incorporating PUA material and NLP into my drummer search technique… make of that what you will.

We had a devil of a time with the bandname “Unicycle Skullfuck.” Booking the tour was not easy. Most people thought we were trolling them like the Jerky Boys when we cold called night clubs. We had to keep insisting, “Yes, we’re for real. Yes, that IS our bandname.” I’ve always loved the name. Everybody loves the name. But it handicaps the hell out of your marketing. These days, I would not market a name like that again.

I still love all of the songs from the band. To those that don’t know, the songs were songs I’d written from two other bands I was in earlier – “Chuggs” 1993-1995 and “Doggerel” 1996-1998. All of the music was music I came up with. If you know anything about the way copyrights work, drummers and their drum parts don’t get jack shit for credit. Whoever writes the melodies owns the songs. And I still write songs in the SAME vein I’ve always written in, if you want my opinion on the matter. One of my later songs, “Bratz Versus Sleestaks,” which I completed in 2009, fits the same “me-ness” that I felt was present in my earliest songs.

If you check out the Doghouse Riley page, that came out of the Unicycle Skullfuck material, and that same way of musical thinking. It’s more metalized, but it’s still “me” doing metal/punk the way that I do it. Since 2000, I have dabbled in playing the music as it’s own loungey, surf punk entity with myself playing guitar and singing. I played about 3 parties in Denver in that fashion and ALL of them were painful and grueling. But I’m still dabbling in it, only now aiming to play it at open mic nights.

Continuing with the music in a band-sense has really been a drummer problem. There’s some options to find a drummer. Use PUA techniques (lol, seriously), pay a drummer (which I’m seriously considering), change the color of the guitar sound away from metal to more “rock ‘n roll,” or there may never be a drummer again. I attack on all fronts and I’m fine with all possibilities.

Once a drummer is acquired, a strategy would unfold and steps would be taken:

  1. Get a lead guitarist – which should be easy.
  2. Get a bassist.
  3. Get video footage of all shows.
  4. Try like hell to make money.
  5. Try like hell to get record label attention.

I see steps 4 & 5 as sort of the same. Most bands want to get to step 5 as if the label is going to do all the work for you. I’ve heard a lot of stories about labels, and not all of them are good. The way I see it is they give you 2 things: 1) access & distribution and 2) a loan you have to pay back. I’ve read a lot about bands that can’t pay back their loans. The way I see it if you don’t want to make money then you have no business getting a loan. You have to get a financial head and keep your financial head all the way through the process. A lot of music fans despise bands like Nickelback, but even NPR can break it down for you. They are financially whip-smart which is why they can get around, tour, and make money. The “artsy fartsy” bands tend to be more stuck in the mud.

I’m sure I’ll edit this later.