(Comrade Aleks returns to our site with an interview of Lori S. of Acid King.)
Acid King (San Francisco, California) are one of the most inspiring and influential bands on the American psychedelic doom scene. They’ve rocked since 1993 and it seems that they’ve found a source of really great doom tunes somewhere in the Klamath Mountains! Acid King have released their new LP Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere on Svart Records after nearly a decade of silence, and I have to admit that it’s one of the best records of 2015 for me. I was lucky enough to have this brief discussion with Lori herself, eternal mastermind of this hypnotic band.
Hi Lori! Thanks for finding the time for this interview. The road from Acid King’s previous record III to Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere took almost 10 years. What kind of obstacles did you meet on your way?
Life! Marriage, Divorce, Layoffs, being together for over 20 years, are just a few! We also started to tour Europe on a regular basis and spent more time doing that than trying to write a record.
Lori, did you ever feel a “creative crisis” or a total lack of ideas for songs?
Yes and No. It was more of the collaboration with the band that was stifling me creatively. Like any relationship, things get stale when you’re together for so many years. I get burnt out and I do struggle to write music that is Acid King without ripping off my own riffs I already wrote!
What’s your formula for such a thick and heavy sound as the one you have on the Middle of Nowhere… album?
Marshall, Gibson, Electro Harmonics, Ampeg, Ludwig, and Billy Anderson = The Formula!
Metal-Archives kindly hints for those who don’t know that Acid King’s lyrics deal mostly with drugs (stories and experience). Can you tell us about the most positive and negative experiences with that subject?
That was true at the beginning of Acid King — the song lyrics were directly related to The Acid King himself, but that well ran dry and I moved on from that. The most positive was “Teendusthead”, one of my favorite songs, the negative was being pigeonholed as a drug band, always being called stoner rock, etc….. we’re not, the subject is!
What is the most important thing for you in this album?
Maintaining the Acid King sound with the ability to bump up the production value and experiment at the same time, creating something new but the same!
Middle of Nowhere… was released by the Finnish label Svart Records. Have you felt a difference compared to other labels you have worked with before?
Yes, we licensed the Vinyl and CD to Svart, so they are not our label in terms of owning our material. We are our label! Svart has great releases and high-quality packaging. That’s where they shine. No cheap record covers to save money, it’s quality! They have a great reputation and good business ethics.
Do you feel that Acid King is an influential band? How often do you hear words of recognition from fans or other bands?
I do. With social media there are quite a few kind words from fans which we appreciate. I hear our riffs and sound in other bands for sure.
Your new song “Center of Everywhere” sounds for me like the pure essence of Acid King. Well, indeed, it is my favorite song on the album. What’s it about to you? Do you have song which represents the best of Acid King?
I do love that song! It’s one of my favorites. I think to me “Coming Down from Outer Space” may be more a typical Acid King kind of song in the sense that it would be more appealing to the masses.
Lori, can you tell about your favorite song on this album?
“Center of Everywhere”.
Acid King “Center of Everywhere”
And I have a standard question: Do you remember the book that influenced you the most when you were in school?
NO! I don’t think I ever read anything I didn’t have to while in School. HA! I actually didn’t like reading in school.
Acid King was born far back in 1993. It’s hard for me to say if doom was popular in that period, but I bet that it has its best position nowadays. Do you feel that the attitude toward doom music has changed since you started the band in 1993?
There’s a lot more new bands now. Back in those days it was more European. The Obsessed, St. Vitus, were around and a handful of others, but somewhere along the way this music became popular. Not sure how or why, so there are a lot more people into this music, both fans and musicians.
There are a lot of doom bands pretending to be “occult” ones. Did you ever feel a desire to touch this theme in your lyrics?
Nope! I would never write about that subject matter!
How do you like the growing interest in the psychedelic doom scene and the growing number of bands with leading female vocals, like Jex Thoth or Windhand?
Of course I like the growing interest because we now have a lot more fans! Honestly, I haven’t thought about the number of female-fronted bands. It’s not something I seek out, so I guess the ladies are getting more interested in this kind of music? Ladies?
What’s your plan for the foreseeable future of Acid King?
Enjoying the time of playing the new songs, touring the US, and hopefully Japan and Australia, then not waiting another 10 years to write a new record!
Great interview, “Center of Everywhere” is a killer track 🙂
Thanks Derek! Center of Everywhere is for everyone!
I liked that you asked about the future of the genre. Great interview, as always.