In autumn of 1998, Alden and Nick met in high school in Campbell River, British Columbia (on Vancouver Island in Canada). Alden was new in his grade 10 class, and Nick was in grade 12. Alden wore a skirt to the first day of class and a t-shirt that said "share the power". This intrigued Nick, and because they had a mutual friend, they spoke and quickly took to eachother.
With two of their friends, Alden and Nick first formed a band called POOR ALEXANDER. Nick sang and Alden played guitar. The bass player quit, and then Nick followed. Alden took over singing and conscripted a friend from a previous band to play bass. The original four rekindled POOR ALEXANDER under the monikers Mad Daddy & The Patty Stackers, and The Stanley Milgrim Project (not prog-rock, but "crotch rock"). POOR ALEXANDER was very loose; they played quite infrequently, and rarely practiced. This lasted from January 1999, until the fall, when Nick left for film school in Montreal.
Two years later, in December of 2000, Nick came home for christmas and they tried to revive The Stanley Milgrim Project. Alden and Nick got together to write the songs (their usual songwriting method), but when they tried them out with the two others (Ollie and Brynne), they found that it just didn't work as well. They had a show lined up in the nearby town of Courtenay (about a 30 minute drive from Campbell River) and they were going to go to it alone - just Alden and Nick.
To the Courtenay show they brought a small boom box with a DIO tape (80's metal), two sets of barbells, an 8mm film projector with an old reel of animated films, and the makings for 10 peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches. They only had 2 songs at this point, so they were looking to distract the audience as much as possible.
A band name hadn't been conceived of yet, but a couple of days prior Nick had suggested the Unicorns to Alden in jest. They got to the show and set their stuff aside. Nick wandered over to the information table which had safer sex info and political tracts. He picked up a pamphlet on STDs and condoms, and noticed a small representation of a Unicorn. And that sealed their fate. They WERE the Unicorns.another, similar version