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Unida
Unida
Unida in their initial run.
Background information
Origin Palm Desert, California / Riverside, California / Indio, California, USA
Genres Stoner Rock, Desert Rock, Stoner Metal
Years active 1998 - 2003, 2008, 2012 - 2014, 2022 - Present
Labels MeteorCity Records, Man's Ruin Records, Cargo Records
Associated acts Kyuss, Slo Burn, Hermano, Karma To Burn, Vista Chino, Sun and Sail Club, Ché, Brant Bjork and The Low Desert Punk Band, Goatsnake, The Obsessed, Fireball Ministry, House of Broken Promises, Riotgod, The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic, Serpent Crown, Slipknot
Website Unida Facebook

Unida are a desert rock/stoner rock band from California, formed in 1998. Featuring the lead vocals of one John Garcia of Kyuss notoriety, the band served as his next main project (Along with Hermano) after the dissolution of Slo Burn in 1998. In their original tenure, Unida managed to release on studio album in 1999 via Man's Ruin Records and a second album independently after a host of legal wrangling with American Recordings.

Unida would reunite in 2012, leading to high-profile tours throughout Europe and Australia among the stoner scene. Reunion tours would follow in 2022 and 2023 with core members Miguel Cancino and Arthur Seay, working with a new bassist and singer.

History[]

Coping With The Urban Coyote (1998 - 2000)[]

Unida was founded sometime in 1998 by Arthur Seay, Miguel Cancino, Dave Dinsmore and John Garcia, the latter joining in the wake of the dissolution of Slo Burn. Dinsmore's tenure as the bassist would be short-lived though he would record four tracks with the band in August 1998 and then an album's worth of material in January 1999. Eddie Plascencia would serve as the band's bassist for North American tours and shows in that time. One of Unida's earliest known live performances would be alongside Nebula on 3 February 1999 at Spaceland in San Francisco.[1] According to Sergio Chotsourian of Los Natas the band played a house party at Scott Reeder's house in Palm Springs circa New Year's Eve 1998. Performing alongside Los Natas in their short set was Unida in what was their debut performance.[2]

Unida would work with MeteorCity Records in releasing a split with Dozer on 20 April 1999 entitled The Best Of Wayne-Gro / Coming Down The Mountain. Recruiting former Kyuss bassist Scott Reeder after a hiatus from music, Unida would tour Europe with Nebula that May, including an appearance at Dynamo Open Air in The Netherlands. Unida would then sign with Man's Ruin Records to release their first studio album Coping With The Urban Coyote on 16 November 1999. The band toured Europe in support of the album, performing with the likes of Orange Goblin.

El Coyote and Break-Up (2000 - 2004)[]

In 2000, while Unida was mainly performing in the California area, Unida would sign with American Recordings with plans to release a studio album in 2001, recording a series of songs with George Drakoulias (Black Crowes, Screaming Trees) and Rick Rubin as the executive producer. However 2001 would come and go with no album being released. Due to Rick Rubin having a falling out with Sony, American Recordings would be absorbed by Island/Def Jam, one of many reasons the album's status was put in limbo, along with Unida being unhappy with the mixes of the then-known El Coyote.[3]

The complications of the label move would ultimately delay the release and leaving the band in search for another label to release El Coyote. According to an interview with Stonerrock.com, John Garcia claimed the album cost $350,000 to make.[4] Scott Reeder would also publicly speak out about the album delays.[5] Despite not finding a label at the time the band revealed a tracklist for "El Coyote" as the band shot for a late 2002 release[6], with the band touring the USA that fall.

In a interview with CV Independent, Arthur Seay would speak about the complications that came with El Coyote:

“His company, American Recordings, was signed with Sony/Columbia Records. Rick Rubin owns American Recordings, but Sony was the machine doing all the work at the time. Sony/Columbia loved us at the time and thought we did great shit. They wanted to build their rock; Alice in Chains was the only other big rock band (on the label), but that was when they were kaput (and wanted to build up their rock presence).

“When we were done with our record, Rick Rubin’s deal was up, and he could have signed with them again, or he could go somewhere else. He was pissed off at Sony about something. He made a deal to go back to Island/Def Jam, which was a 6-to-8-month-long deal, and another 6 to 8 months of, ‘Well, what the fuck is going on?’ All this crazy shit was happening, and we had it in our contract where we could get out, because they weren’t meeting deadlines. We used that to get out of our deal … but we didn’t get the record. We had other labels that wanted to buy it, and it cost $350,000 to record it. George Drakoulias, who worked with Tom Petty and the Black Crowes, produced it, and Rick Rubin executive-produced it.”

“It’s one of those things that happens every day in the music business. It happened to 10 other bands on the label, and a lot of those bands got totally fucked and couldn’t even get out of the deal to do anything else. Island/Def Jam didn’t have any rock bands at the time and didn’t really give a shit. It’s why you need to pay attention to the business, and that’s why I preach that to other people coming up in the business.”

 
— Arthur Seay, CV Independent [7]

Ultimately, El Coyote would not get a proper release, with the band self-releasing the album at shows (Under titles such as For The Working Man or The Great Divide). On 18 March 2003, Reeder would quit Unida with "Jerry" as his replacement.[8] Reeder himself would explain his departure due to being "tired of stopping and starting for other stuff".[9] The band would perform one known show with Jerry[10] before doing a June west coast tour with Paul Gray of Slipknot fame on bass.[11] Eddie Plascencia would briefly join in late 2003.[12] The band's last known show was at the Knitting Factory in Los Angeles on 29 November 2003, with Yawning Man and Vic du Monte's Idiot Prayer.[13]

Ultimately, Unida would disband in 2004. Seay, Cancino and Plascencia would form House of Broken Promises in 2005[14] while Garcia would concentrate on Hermano. Scott Reeder would eventually work with Sun & Sail Club and Fireball Ministry, along with releasing a solo album in 2006 (TunnelVision Brilliance).

Reunions (2008; 2012 - 2014, 2022)[]

Unida (Seay, Cancino, Garcia and Plascencia) would reunite in 2008 for at least two shows that Spring: 21 February 2008 at Safari Sam's in Hollywood and 7 March 2008 at The Viper Room in West Hollywood.[15]

Unida would reunite again in 2012, this time with Arthur Seay's nephew Owen on bass, aged 20 at the time of joining. The band's first show with this lineup was on 10 August 2012 at The Hood Bar & Pizza in Palm Desert, California.[16] 2013 would see Unida perform at DesertFest Berlin and DesertFest London along with a tour of New Zealand and Australia. A follow-up tour of Europe entitled The Return of The Urban Coyote would happen the next year, including appearances at Graspop Metal Meeting and Hellfest among other shows. From there House of Broken Promises would remain an active project while John Garcia would spark a solo career performing Kyuss, Slo Burn (Who reunited themselves years later) and Unida material among new original songs.

Unida 2.0 (2022 - Present)[]

Unida was announced for Tabernas Desert Rock Fest in 2020 but this festival was postponed to 2022. On 7 July 2022 Unida announced a tour of Europe for the Fall of 2022, including appearances at Into The Void, Keep it Low and Desertfest Belgium.[17] This tour received the blessing of long standing vocalist John Garcia, who would not be touring with the band. Mark Sunshine, former vocalist for Riotgod would take on vocal duties. Collyn McCoy of The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic would fill in on bass. The band would tour Europe once again in 2003 performing classic material, songs from "For The Working Man" and unreleased material.[18]

Discography[]

Members[]

Current Lineup[]

  • Miguel Cancino - Drums (1998 - 2003, 2008, 2012 - 2014, 2022)
  • Arthur Seay - Guitars (1998 - 2003, 2008, 2012 - 2014, 2022)
  • Collyn McCoy - Bass (2022 - Present)
  • Mark Sunshine - Vocals (2022 - Present)

Past Members[]

  • John Garcia - Vocals (1998 - 2003, 2008, 2012 - 2014)
  • Dave Dinsmore - Bass (1998 - 2000)
  • Scott Reeder - Live Bass (1999 European Tour), Bass (1999 - 2003)
  • Eddie Plascencia - Bass (2000 - 2004, 2008)
  • "Jerry" - Bass (2003)
  • Paul Gray - Live Bass (2003) (Died 2010)
  • Owen Seay - Bass (2012 - 2014)

List of Known Tours[]

  • 1999 USA Tour (1999)
  • April 1999 European Tour (With Nebula) (1999)
  • Coping With The Urban Coyote European Tour (1999)
  • 2003 West Coast Tour (2003)
  • 2012 Reunion Shows (2012)
  • 2013 Australia / New Zealand Tour (2013)[19]
  • Return of the Urban Coyote (With House of Broken Promises) (2014)[20]
  • 2022 European Tour (2022)[21]
  • 2023 European Tour (With Roadkill Soda) (2023)[22]

External Links[]

References[]

V·T·E Unida
Current Lineup Miguel CancinoArthur SeayCollyn McCoyMark Sunshine
Past Members John GarciaDave DinsmoreScott ReederEddie PlascenciaJerryPaul GrayOwen Seay
Releases The Best Of Wayne-Gro / Coming Down The MountainCoping With The Urban CoyoteFor The Working Man
Associated Bands, Artists, Etc. KyussSlo BurnHermanoVista ChinoChéBrant Bjork and The Low Desert Punk BandYawning ManAcross The RiverThe ObsessedGoatsnakeFireball MinistryHouse of Broken PromisesRiotgod • Serpent Crown • Slipknot
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