Interview: Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats

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HIT CHANNEL EXCLUSIVE INTERVEW: February 2012. We talked to Uncle Acid, the leader of Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats. “Blood Lust” is one of the best records of 2011. Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats are the greatest underground band of the world. Uncle Acid, their sole composer is a gifted songwriter and also a person who doesn’t afraid to say what he believes. He carries on the great tradition of the geniune artists who spent some part of their life in Greece (Leonard Cohen, Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Henry Miller), while they were completely unknown among the locals. Read below the very interesting things he told us:


Are you satisfied with from the feedback you have already received from fans and press for “Blood Lust”?

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Yes, it’s been great. It was very unexpected. I don’t write music for anyone but myself, so it doesn’t really bother me what people think of it, but of course it’s nice that many people like what we’re doing.


Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats started in Cambridge, at the pub “The Anchor” where Syd Barrett used to drink. Do you think that’s a coincidence? Do you consider Syd as one of your acid uncles?

Yeah, it’s strange because it’s not a place I would normally drink in. In fact I don’t think I’ve been in there since. Syd Barrett was great. Someone like that could never exist now.


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What’s the exact role of Red (drums) and  Kat (bass)? Do they get involved in compositions?

No, they do as they’re told!! I write the songs by myself. I find it nearly impossible to write with other people because it always involves compromise, which is something I’m not very good at when it comes to music.


How difficult was to achieve the sound you have in “Blood Lust”? Do you prefer analog or digital recordings?

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It was quite difficult because it had to be dark and murky sounding in order to fit in with the concept. Some people love the production and others absolutely hate it. I think it’s perfect. We did the best we could with the small budget we had. Some people are quick to forget that this was all done with no record label or financial backing of any kind. Everything was paid for out of my own pocket from buying and renting recording equipment to getting the booklets and CD’s pressed up. It was all done ourselves. Analog recording seems to be better, but you can actually use both to your advantage. It’s amazing what these new computer machines can do.


You would agree that the band has improved a lot since “Vol. 1”. Did it happen because you had more songwriting and studio experience or you just had better inspiration?

I think the recording improved certainly. There are some really good songs on “Vol. 1”, but we just didn’t spend much time recording them. Plus we had to use terrible things like drum triggers because we couldn’t get a good drum sound on such a tight budget. Overall, it served its purpose and it helped us fund the recording of “Blood Lust”.


You ‘re one of the very few people who aren’ t afraid to admit their influences. How strange is that many of your fans ignore or even hate the music of The Kinks, Cream, Neil Young and John Lennon? For many (retarded) that is “retro” music..

Well everyone has different tastes. People should just be open-minded about things.


Lee Dorrian (ed: Catherdal frontman, Rise Above Records boss) was interested to release your album through Rise Above Records. Will you continue to collaborate with Rise Above for future releases?

Yes. We had an agreement and Lee has done everything he said he would.


Do you get angry when you are seeing all these over-promoted and un-talented bands on the magazine covers and on the headlines? It’s unfair that for great bands like you!

It doesn’t bother me as I have no interest in being on magazine covers or in headlines. This kind of music belongs in the shadows and in the gutter. Smart people can see right through the ‘over promoted’ bullshit anyway.


Do you think the collapsing of the music industry is a kind of justice for all these years of their corporate greed?

Probably. The major labels play it ultra safe now though. They’re just huge PR companies, so what we’re left with is turds like Adele or these dance club whores. But people love it. The main problem is these labels don’t put out any good music anymore. Everything is so bland and boring. Nobody takes any risks. There’s good new music around, but you’ll never find it on a major label.


Are you happy with the triumphant return of LP format?

Yes as long as people actually listen to them. I really hate seeing our albums being sold on ebay as ‘mint and unplayed’. It’s meant to be listened to!!! If people buy our album on vinyl and think it’s a pile of shit, then I have no problem with them selling it on to someone else, but to not even listen to it is just ridiculous.


How close is your next full-length? Can you give us a hint for its sound?

Hopefully it will be ready this autumn/winter, but I have no idea. I just keep writing and writing but at some point I’m going to have to stop and decide what’s going to go on the album. Nothing has been rehearsed yet or planned, but I think we have a studio in mind. The sound will be quite varied I think, maybe even more catchy…but in a good, demented way!


I’m sure you have already many offers to play live. How possible is a Europe tour?

The offers are definitely there and I’m sure it will happen later in the year, but it just depends on a few things. It’s a big commitment to just quit everything and get in a van and tour for six weeks, but hopefully we’ll work something out.


Send a message to your Greek fans. You have many fans here. Simply, the Greek music press is sleeping one more time.

I used to live in Crete so I love Greece! It’s sad that the country seems to be in such a mess right now. Hopefully things start getting better over there. Hope to see you all soon…stin iyia sas (ed: “cheers” in Greek)!


A huge “THANK YOU” to Uncle Acid.

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