Unitopia was an Adelaide based progressive rock band.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Unitopia began when a mutual friend introduced Trueack and Timms after realising the two had similar musical tastes. In late 1996, the duo began work on a track which was to become "Take Good Care" and a song writing partnership developed that led to the band's début album More Than a Dream, which included contributions from conductor/arranger Timothy Sexton and the Adelaide Art Orchestra, Pat Schirippa, Constantine Delo, Bradley Polain and Ian 'Polly' Politis. Timms and Schirippa had previously played together in such bands as Hearts of Fire.
The album was independently launched in October 2005 to a sell out audience at The Cavern Club, Adelaide. Further live work followed in Australia, including supporting Daryl Braithwaite and playing the Norwood Food and Wine Festival. In March 2006, Canadian label Unicorn Records re-released More Than a Dream internationally.
Wishing a consistent team both live and in the studio, Trueack and Timms recruited Adelaide instrumentalists Matt Williams on guitar and vocals, Monty Ruggiero on drums, Shireen Khemlani (Marmalade Circus) on bass and Tim Irrgang on percussion to complete the Unitopia line-up. Trueack and Timms then started writing in earnest new material for their next album, The Garden. In February 2008, Unitopia signed a worldwide publishing deal with Shock Music Publishing. In July 2008, the track "Lives Go Round" from More Than a Dream was included on the CPR Volume 3 compilation CD. In August 2008, Unitopia signed a 3 album deal with InsideOut Music.
On 18 November 2008, InsideOut Music released Unitopia's second CD, The Garden, internationally, a double CD with 15 tracks and over 100 minutes of music. According to Review Busters "This double disc release is defiantly one for the ages. Unitopia offers a unique blend of progressive rock with some symphonic parts that are incredible. If you never heard of this band then you will want to pick up everything they have to offer, The Garden is a non stop ride into a progressive sound that is easy on the ears, yet at the same time it offers everything you would have ever wanted from a progressive release."
Unitopia released their third album Artificial in 2010. They also played Summer's End Festival, a progressive rock festival in England.
Shireen Khemlani and Mike Stewart left in 2009 but the band was joined by Shaun Duncan on fret-less and fretted bass, and Peter Raidel on saxophone. Raidel was then replaced on saxophone by Ian Ritchie. In 2012 the band released its forth album Covered Mirror Vol. 1: Smooth As Silk, a cover album containing interpretations of classic progressive rock tracks.
In 2013 Jones, Duncan and Raidel were replaced, respectively, by David Hopgood, Craig Kelly and Daniel Burgess. The band dissolved shortly thereafter. According to Trueack, he and Timms agreed to split demos for a planned double album. Trueack, with Unitopia members Matt Williams, Tim Irrgang and David Hopgood, assembled a new band under the banner United Progressive Fraternity (also involving Guy Manning and Steve Layton among others) and released an album titled Fall In Love with the World. The band's sound continues in the vein of Unitopia, with some notably heavier passages; Trueack's lyrics further exploring his concerns with environmental matters and mysticism. Timms has formed a new band called Southern Empire, who will record their debut album in April 2015 for a potential release later in the year. Trueack has stated that he expects Unitopia to re-emerge in the future with him and Timms remaining in contact. This has since been refuted by Sean Timms, who stated that the split was not amicable, he and Trueack have only had one conversation in the latter six months of 2014, and that there is no chance of a Unitopia reunion due to Trueack's passive-agressive attitude that led to the band's break-up. Moreover, he claims to have written most of the material on the United Progressive Fraternity album and that his ideas were used without his permission.
Members[edit | edit source]
- Mark Trueack – Lead Vocals
- Sean Timms – Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Mandolin, Acoustic & Lap Steel Guitars, Banjo
- Matt Williams – Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Mandolin, Backing Vocals
- Tim Irrgang – Percussion
- David Hopgood – Drums, Backing Vocals
- Craig Kelly – Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
- Daniel Burgess – Saxophones
- Monty Ruggiero – Drums
- Shireen Khemlani – Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
- Mike Stewart – Saxophones
- Jamies Jones – Bass Guitar
- Shaun Duncan – Drums
- Peter Raidel – Saxophones
Discography[edit | edit source]
- More Than a Dream - (2005)
- The Garden - (2008)
- Artificial - (2010)
- Covered Mirror Vol. 1: Smooth as Silk - (2012)
- One Night In Europe - (2011)
- "There's a Place" - (2005)
- "321" - (2007)