This week’s New Music Tuesday is an especially exciting one for me. The album we’re covering, Acid Dad’s new EP Let’s Plan A Robbery, came out Feb. 26, the day before my birthday. I had wanted a pony, but I suppose this rad debut EP from the East Williamsburg based psych punk quartet will do. Happy birthday to me!
I met the boys of Acid Dad (Kevin Walker, Vaughn Hunt, Danny Gomez, Sean Fahey) at their secret headquarters, i.e. an office attached to Baby’s All Right in Williamsburg, to get down to brass tacks. I had a list of hard hitting journalist questions, like, where did the name Acid Dad come from? What exactly is “psych punk?” Is there beer in that fridge over there? Why is there a taco suit in the corner? Is that the very same taco suit I saw in that viral skateboarding taco video? Plus, halfway through the interview I ended up having a “trippy” experience with my own dad. All this and more after the jump.
First I asked about the name, Acid Dad. There are a lot of really bad band names out there, the boys say. The name is really just a name they picked for fun without too much deeper meaning. They originally started under the name Twincest, but changed it due to complications: there is a duo of lesbian twins from Australia who are also called Twincest. Go figure.
Mostly they like the way “Acid Dad” sounds. Singer Vaughn Hunt said that if it did have to mean something, it has to do with “drugs and alliteration.” The name comes trippingly (pun intended) off the tongue, but he does stipulate that Acid Dad is not a “drug” band. They’re not that psychedelic, as it were.
“We do like dad music,” Walker said. “The music our dads listened to.”
Their music is equal parts fast-n-loud, catchy and dreamy, joking and serious. They cite two of their non-musical influences as Grand Theft Auto and Three Six Mafia — the album name is a reference to the latter.
What is the genre of “psych punk?” exactly?”
“We sort of made it up, but it keeps reemerging because I think it’s right,” Hunt said. “Two things we were really into were punk and psychedelic music, so ‘psych punk’ bridges the gap between the two. One part of it is like a bipolar thing, where one part is super psychedelic, and then it gets really intense. Sometimes it switches between the two, but these days we’ve been more blending the two.”
There are other “psych punk” bands that exist. Acid Dad often gets compared to Thee Oh Sees, among others.
They all write their songs together, often bringing individual parts to each other to create a full song. They record them at Walker’s grandparents’ hideaway in upstate New York, part of which has been converted into a recording studio. It’s also filled with weird art, like a 500-pound marble sculpture that Hunt somehow dropped on his foot during a recording session. They already started working on the next EP; hopefully with less art-related injury this time.
I asked the boys about their favorite Brooklyn venue to play. They almost unanimously said, “Baby’s All Right.” It’s not just because Walker books shows for other bands there: There’s a really good community of friends there, the bands are always rad, and they know all the sound guys (sage advice: be nice to your sound guy).
Apparently, they also have really good tacos. This explains the aforementioned taco suit: as part of a promotion, Baby’s All Right had someone skateboard across the Williamsburg Bridge while wearing a taco suit to promote their $1 tacos. Then this happened:
This is a big year for Acid Dad. They got together in 2014 and have set to work. Last fall, they debuted at CMJ, their debut EP just dropped Friday, and this month they’re setting off on a big exciting cross country tour.
Halfway through the interview, my phone rang. I saw that it was my dad, and said I’d call him back later, but Walker, the drummer, decided it would be a good idea to pick up the phone and say hello. My dad was more than a little confused as to why there was a strange dude answering his daughter’s phone, especially because he is slightly hard of hearing and thought he heard that I was interviewing “a van,” not “a band.”
After the interview was finished, and the boys had given me a CD from the back of their van (they do, as it turns out, have a van), I made my way to the bus. I called my father back to let him know that I was no longer surrounded by strange men and that it was, in fact, a band. When I tried to tell him the name of the band, he couldn’t hear me, again:
“The band is called Acid Dad, Dad.”
Sometimes, as a fancy music journalist, you wind up yelling “Acid Dad” at your father on the phone by a bus stop in East Williamsburg as passing Brooklynites give you wicked side-eye.
Anyway. Acid Dad makes fun music, and they’re making a lot of it. They’re touring down to SXSW with friends White Reaper, who are also great. Check the tour dates above and follow them on Facebook for more local gigs.
For more on local music, embarrassing dad stories, and to wish her a belated happy birthday, follow Lilly on Twitter.