ACID DAD INTERVIEWAcid Dad Is a psych-punk band from Brooklyn, NY. The four members of the blossoming group work together to create organic sounding and interestingly organized songs that stick in your head for days. The group is relatively new to the music scene, but already boasts an impressive repertoire of shows they’ve played. With the effort, attracting a large fan base within the college scene was sure to happen for this tight knit group. Acid Dad is gaining momentum and working on developing and maturing their style even more coming up.
ACID DAD INTERVIEW
RENATA (HIGHLARK): How often do you guys meet up for practices? Is there a set schedule?
VAUGHN HUNT (VOCALS/GUITAR – ACID DAD): We practice twice a week but I’m writing everyday, and Sean and I will meet up here (Sean’s basement) and on off days Danny and I will meet up or Kevin and I will just go and write.
KEVIN WALKER (DRUMS – ACID DAD): At least twice a week. We also go upstate. We have a recording studio we run in Brewster New York and we record up there.
RENATA: Because of your genre, do you generally improv a little bit on stage or do you stick exactly to what you practiced?
VAUGHN: There’s a lot of solo type stuff going on that obviously changes with your mood. Main thing that really changes is the singing, last night after the set I said “DUDE! Did you hear that one note I hit? I never knew what that note was! We have to re-record that stuff and put that in!”
DANNY GOMEZ (VOCALS/GUITAR – ACID DAD): It becomes much more of a subconscious thing when you’re playing live. It’s what in the moment comes out and what feels right.
RENATA: Kind of cliché but how did this band develop?
DANNY: I was working at a restaurant and a friend of mine came in with these two (glances). Vaughn and Kevin.
KEVIN: Who was that by the way?
DANNY / KEVIN: Reed.
VAUGHN: Oh Reed! That’s who it was!
DANNY: So they came in and it was a summer night or something, I just said “We should all hang out after this, I’m almost done. I’ll give you guys free beer and you guys can help me pack up quickly.“
KEVIN: You were playing The Brian Jonestown Massacre in the restaurant. I automatically liked him.
DANNY: There was a great comedy drag show down the street and it’s always the wildest party there so we ended up going there and getting drunk together. We were like “Hey! You guys want to meet up next week and jam?”
KEVIN: Me and Vaughn were half way out the door with this other band and was hungry to start a new project. Literally that week we (Vaughn and I) were talking about it, then we met Danny and started jamming.
VAUGHN: Then we started writing songs quickly.
KEVIN: Sean joined about a month ago right before CMJ. We made him play 6 shows in a week with us right away (Laughs).
VAUGHN: We used to play shows with Sean’s other band a lot and that’s how we found him.
RENATA: If there was one “dream band” you can play with, anyone, who would it be?
SEAN FAHEY (BASS/VOCALS – ACID DAD): Probably BJM (Brian Jonestown Massacre).
KEVIN: Yeah dude! Right?
VAUGHN: That would be tight.
KEVIN: But if it’s a dream band I’d go bigger though, like why not go with, (pause) Oasis?
ACID DAD: Yeah, Yeah.
KEVIN: Madison Square Garden with Oasis. Boom.
DANNY: I think King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.
KEVIN: Yeah on a more practical level.
DANNY: Velvet Underground would be the best. But it’s not possible.
SEAN: I was going to say that (Velvet Underground).
DANNY: Also, shout out to Keith, Keith Richards if you’re out there!
KEVIN: (Laughing) Does he look at your website (Highlark.com)?
RENATA: (Laughing) I know right?
VAUGHN: I really want to play a show with the Jacuzzi Boys. I listened to them in High School and it feels like it’s getting closer and closer to playing a show with them.
KEVIN: We are definitely going on tour, and going to Florida so we’ll just try and call them!
VAUGHN: Yeah, they’re from Miami so…
RENATA: When are you guys planning on touring?
KEVIN: In March (2016) we’re driving all the way down to South by Southwest (SxSW) and all around. We’re working on that right now. And Canada and London coming up. We’re playing Canadian Music Week in May, it’s like the CMJ of Canada so should be pretty cool.
RENATA: Was this (CMJ 2015) your first time playing CMJ?
KEVIN: Yeah, our band formed sort of last November, December but the name Acid Dad started around January (2015).
VAUGHN: It’s so funny, all the articles that I’ve been reading about us, like every single one has a different story on how the name came about, so I really thought about it.
RENATA: (Laughing) So let’s get the story straight!
VAUGHN: Alright, alright, so, Kevin and I had a name when it was this other band. I’m not going to mention what the name was, but we had an opportunity to play this show and I said “Dude, dude, dude, what if we play as a two piece, just me and you, we’ll just do improv punk songs.” Because Kevin and I do this a lot.
KEVIN: And whenever he (Danny) breaks a string, me and him (Vaughn) will look at each other and start playing it on stage.
VAUGHN: Yeah like these improv Southern punk songs. And I was like “Let’s do it and we’ll call it Acid Dad!”
KEVIN: I was down but the show didn’t happen. Well, it was more that we didn’t like the promoter and we just didn’t show up.
VAUGHN: Then we had a bunch of second guessing about the name and it came up again, so I was like “Why don’t we just call ourselves Acid Dad?”
KEVIN: It was kind of on a whim, kind of silly.
DANNY: We were upstate recording songs like “Brain Body” and it felt right with the music.
VAUGHN: The best description I’ve read from anybody was, that it’s drugs and alliteration. It sounds good and I like acid so, (laughs).
KEVIN: We just had a really funny idea. We need a van for tour, and we were just driving and saw this church van. Like to drive church goers. I said “How fucking funny would it be, if our van said ‘Church Van!’” And Vaughn was like “Wait, and no one is going to steal our gear from a church van!”
VAUGHN: Yeah, it’ll say ‘United Methodist Church’ or something and no one is going to steal our shit! Mind blown.
SEAN: I actually stole from a church once.
EVERYONE: (breaks our lauging)
SEAN: I was walking home and there’s some church on the corner. I don’t know, it wasn’t like a real church, but they had like 10 tambourines stacked on top of each other.
RENATA: If there were 9, then you would have said “These people clearly need the tambourines.”
SEAN: It was an eyeball guesstimate.
RENATA: Do you guys have any future projects coming up? New recordings?
VAUGHN: We’re working on an EP so we’ve been recording that. It’s really funny because every time we go up there (Recording studio in Brewster, New York) we practice also because it’s a good space for that and we keep writing new stuff and it’s like “Well fuck, let’s just erase the old stuff and record new stuff.” So the last 3 weeks it’s been like running on a treadmill as fas as progress with the EP, but the songs have been getting better every lap around the block.
DANNY: It’ll be 3 in the morning and someone will come up with a new thing for a song and we’re like “Oh god! Why now?“
VAUGHN: Yeah, Delete! Delete! Delete! And re-record it.
KEVIN: It’s a huge step forward from the demos we have up online. It’s going to be a lot different though from what people might expect. From what you know of songs like “Brain Body” and “The Digger” those songs are awesome but the new songs are more cohesive, we worked really hard on that.
DANNY: I think the new songs are more developed. We pay a lot of attention and, you know, really think it out. Even if it’s something simple.
VAUGHN: We have some country-ish things going on there.
KEVIN: More mid-tempo and less fast paced.
VAUGHN: I guess more psychedelic realm.
KEVIN: Yeah, everyone always asks about the Psych-Punk thing. With songs like “Brain Body” it has this big open mid-tempo jam and Danny comes in with this really fast paced thing, we like throwing those competing things against each other.
VAUGHN: Some of our songs are really Psych, and really fucking mellow. Then we have a song like “Master Blaster” a fast punk song. So it’s really divided in half, some stuff.
KEVIN: We want to get the EP out by South by Southwest (March 2016) and we’ll be on the road all of March.