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Apocalyptic Blues

CVLT Nation Interviews Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats have been at the forefront of enigmatic psych-rock for a couple of years now and with their new release Mind Control consuming the senses and their recent appearance at Roadburn, the band are destined for great things. Just don’t ask for their picture, ok.

Hi…Uncle Acid…..Mr Acid….Bob? How should we refer to you for the purposes of this impersonal conversation?

Mr. Starrs would be nice!

Obviously Blood Lust was a huge success, both commercially and critically – did you feel any pressure going in to Mind Control and if so, how did you seek to overcome that? Was it necessary to even do so?

No. There was no pressure because we don’t seek out to impress anyone or live up to anyone else’s expectations. I’m not in a band to be hugely successful or to get praise from others. I do it because I want to record my music. If people like it then thats great obviously.

What was the impetus to follow this path of occult-laced rock?

I’m not sure it really is occult-laced. It’s more based on my appreciation of horror and B movies. People have been trying to put us into this occult rock box so that they have something to write about. Its nonsense.

The extreme mystery of the band and yourself whilst the hype was building around Blood Lust was often a reason for people to check out the music, are you worried now that you’re a little more out there in terms of being in the public eye (giving interviews such as these) that the people who built you up are now going to turn their backs?

It doesn’t bother me. It should only be about the music, but I know theres plenty of those underground hipsters that only listened to us because we were the new thing that no one else knew about. The kind of people that go on about how they were the first to hear about us and now it kills them inside that so many others are enjoying our music too.

In terms of the mystery, it was simply a case of me not wanting to ‘play the game’ and have pictures taken. I don’t see the importance of pictures. We wanted the focus to be on the music and the concepts rather than on the musicians behind it. Everything is based on image now days and it’s disgusting. We wanted to show that its not important. We got our music out there without any pictures or over the top self promotion. Our albums were selling out everywhere but magazines would not feature us, or review our music because we refused to provide promo shots. I couldn’t believe it. We ended up doing a couple of promo shots in the end because our label had been good to us and I felt we were making it too difficult for them to promote the album. If someone is good to me, its only right to be good to them back. So, sometimes you have to compromise on certain things to maintain the balance, but the general idea is still there; We have no image to offer you. Just music.

Photos: Luana Magalhães


And on the flipside of that, why do you think your music appeals to such a wide range of people – from those into dirty black metal to those who are still think the 70s are raging?

The music we write is basically pop songs with fuzzy guitars and lyrics about murder and madness. It’s catchy and it destroys your brain. It has melody and harmony and it’s both light and dark. It’s abraxas audio. People will always want to hear good melodies despite what the record companies and radio stations try to dump on to us.

The sound for Mind Control, whilst clearly being a work of Uncle Acid, still sounds very different to Blood Lust – did you make a conscious decision to move away from the 60s blood-soaked horror movie atmosphere into the realm of more psychedelic pastures? Or was the move a natural and organic progression?

I think it’s important to move on with every album. Musicians are suppose to be creative. All three of our albums sound different and are based on different concepts.

What inspires the music of Uncle Acid – from both a past and present perspective? Do you find that on that subject you’ve always taken your cues and nods from similar sources?

I’m inspired by everything I listen to I suppose. I hear bits and pieces of everything in the music, from the Everly Brothers to Electric Wizard!


For the tech nerds amongst the readers, how do you go about recreating a sound that most people would pay good money to eradicate from their recordings? I’ve seen it said that you use vintage equipment and techniques?

We play live. Everyone in the one room facing each other. Even when there was just two of us in a damp room recording Blood Lust, we did it the same way. You face each other and play until you get it right. You get the basics down raw and take it from there. We don’t apply gloss in the Slaughterhouse!

You’ve recently released another acclaimed record, sold out two nights in a row in London (unfortunately I missed both, for very good reasons, I swear) and played Roadburn – what next for Uncle Acid and the deadbeats?

More live shows and more music.

Thank you for checking out the questions, is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thanks very much!


1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Danisthebastard

    May 22, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Listenin’ to fireHOSE, readin’ about Uncle Acid.

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