Los Angeles based band ACIDIC is starting to come into their own. ACIDIC has toured with Filter, Warner Drive, Marcy Playground and Alien Ant Farm to name a few. Currently on a tour with Candlebox, this group with a growing fan base, is fun, young, and a refreshing change from what's currently on the radio.
Lead singer and guitarist Michael Gossard talked to us about the band, their sound, and living in the City of Angels.
How did the band form and how long have you been together?
ACIDIC has been producing music and playing shows for almost 4 years. We love it. I formed it in high school after touring with a rock band when I was 13 and deciding that's what I had to do for a living. I found our bass player Ted Dubrawski literally under my own nose. He was one grade ahead of me, not just at the same elementary school but the same high school. He was in another band and turned me down, but then that band broke up and he joined mine. I found our drummer at the crosstown rival high school. We put posters up with broken drumsticks on them at every high school in the area and Matt Whitaker answered the call. Then when we decided to expand from three members to four, we put an ad on Craig's List looking for a new guitarist and found Michael Thompson.
Who are your influences?
We enjoy a very wide range of influences from the Beatles to Green Day. Our bass player Ted is a huge fan of surf rock, everyone from Dick Dale to the greats of our modern age. Matt, our drummer, is a huge fan of the big-sounding, alternative rock such as 30 Seconds to Mars. Thompson, our guitar player, loves Nine Inch Nails, System of a Down and Billy Talent. I am a fan of everything under the sun, including all of the above.
Your music is reminiscent of the 90s; why did you decide to go this route?
We grew up in the 90's. It is what we listened to. The old adage is that everyone is simply a product of their environment; I suppose this is true for us as well. Some of the greatest bands of all time emerged out of this decade. I also find that it is a great style to rock out to, on stage. We definitely don't fit into any modern mold, but that is what sets us apart.
Are there any recurring themes to your music covers?
We cover everything from loss to discovery, love and hate, willingness and closed-mindedness. We enjoy writing about our experience and the things we see in our travels across this country.
Tell us about your first public performance. What was that like?
Our first public performance was at a place called Beacon House. It is a rehabilitation center in San Pedro. We were invited to play their summer block party. Everyone who worked the event was in the program and what happened there was an experience beyond my wildest reckonings. We formed a lifelong friendship with them through our music, everyone there was enthralled by the message we were conveying, and they all seemed to be having a really good time enjoying our show, and I will remember the event for the rest of my life. They're great people and they've really been supportive of us. They showed faith in us back when we only knew five songs!
What can the audience expect from one of your live performances?
We are one of the most energetic acts to see live. We like to think that our performance is primal and guttural, we try to convey pure emotion on stage. We become possessed by passion and the rest just happens. We love getting the crowd involved, bringing audience members on stage, using every asset we have at our disposal to turn a performance into an event. I have a wireless mic and I use it to go out into the crowd and sing right in their faces. They love that! And depending on the song, they sing right back!
You have toured with some great bands like Marcy Playground, Alien Ant Farm, Warner Drive, Hawthorne Heights, and Filter. What is it like playing with bands who've been around longer?
It is always a learning experience. Every band who has gone through the process of making it in the music industry has a story to tell, a lesson to impart, and a piece of their experience to lend. All the acts we have toured with have been gentlemanly, accepting, and willing to share. It helps to point us in the right direction and give us guidance.
Are there any valuable lessons you've taken away from any of them?
Always work your hardest to achieve your goals. Never take mediocre as the best you can do. Do not compromise unless you are sure that compromising will aid you in your success, and stay true to the music.
What makes your newest album "Chronic Satisfaction" unique?
What makes it unique is what ties it to what has come before it. It is a straight forward rock'n'roll record. We recorded it live in isolation booths. It was done for the energy, we left it pretty raw on purpose but I am proud of it and it is a mix of old style rock'n'roll recording and modern energy.
It seems like the new album has gone over well; what's the highest compliment you've received about the new album?
Our greatest compliment comes from our fans and supporters. When people sing the lyrics to our songs and come to shows and go crazy in the audience, that is our greatest compliment. It is not on a piece of paper or on the Internet, although sometimes it is written on their arms or across their backs, because several of our fans have our lyrics tattooed on them. It means so much more when it comes from a fan that a song changed their life or got them through something difficult. This is what we live for.
What's up next for you guys? What can we expect to see in the coming year?
We are about to leave for our next national tour with a band called Candlebox, that starts Friday in Shreveport, LA. It is going to be the biggest, longest and most important tour of our career so far. You can expect more new music from us, more touring, bigger shows, and larger growth. We are only getting started.