Uncle Acid: The Anonymous Enigma

Uncle Acid: The Anonymous Enigma

uncle_acid_and_the_deadbeats_1332931806_crop_550x667.jpg

uncle_acid_and_the_deadbeats_1332931806_crop_550x667

 

From Aldous Huxley to Ray Bradbury, there have been a myriad of books depicting twisted, dystopian futures. It is perhaps the spine-tingling omnipresence of George Orwell’s Big Brother in 1984 however, that currently appears to have been the most accurate.

While the internet has been a revelation; the rising sun issuing the dawn of a new, more technological age where a wealth of information is lingers at your finger tips, it’s not been without its dystopian aesthetics. Orwell’s imaginings may not have become a direct reality, but the very essence of Big Brother, an all seeing, tyrannical organization that monitors your every action, is very much alive in social media. Yet, it is us, the general public, who are Big Brother, following celebrities’ every activities, from fashion trends to what’s on their plate. Today, anonymity is hard to come by.

Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats however, to borrow a phrase from Sir Winston Churchill, are, despite the fervent flow of the mainstream going in the complete opposite direction, a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. Sure, they’re on Facebook and they have a website, but the door to the inner workings of the band, to greater knowledge and understanding of the people who make this psychedelic, horror, noir and cult film inspired doom rock remains firmly shut. Bolted shut. The band are shrouded in a haze of mystery and unanswered questions, like a killer stood motionless in the distant fog of a classic Hammer film.

“I think this is the way it should be,” nods Uncle Acid, whose birth name I shall withhold. “People are getting fed up with the constant harassment by bands. We just think it’s best to go the other way. If everyone’s going one way, we want to go the other so we decided to take a low profile and let the music speak for itself.

“I was terrified of Ozzy Osbourne growing up, which was before the whole ‘The Osbournes’ thing. I just thought ‘this guys a fucking lunatic, he must live in a castle somewhere’ and you build up this image of people. I think it’s great that there’s some mystique about it. Those images that you think up make the music even better.”

 

Just look at Alice Cooper for instance; if people knew him in the early days as a polite, well spoken and entirely harmless gentlemen who loves to play golf in his downtime, rather the this viscous, baby eating monster his was so often portrayed as, then his music wouldn’t have had the same impact as it did on his audience. Such terrifying mystery only entices you more. Alice Cooper is a persona, he doesn’t exist, but people didn’t necessarily think that in the early days, they associated his dark, eerie music, quite naturally with a character of the same ilk.

I could tell you what the man behind the music of Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats was really like beneath the blood-stained façade - if indeed it is a façade - but that would just see the fog fade away, their celestial, perplexing aura diminish. Hell, I could tell you anything. I could tell you he was in fact very much a 21st century Vincent Furnier, a well mannered and enunciated young man who wears sweatpants and ties his hair into a ponytail when off-stage. Or I could tell you that he only ever wears black, that he’s intimidating, visceral and, if you were lucky, you may see the a fleeting glint in his eye through the jet-black hair that eternally masks his face. The truth is, being as low-profile as they are, you can choose to believe either for they never share such details with their fans.

So, if he had to choose a film that epitomizes and encapsulates the atmosphere the music of Uncle Acid purveys, what would it be?

“Maybe Withcfinder General which is just that classic, rural film, you know?” he decides after a long pause for thought. “There’s a lot of violence and torture. That would be more of a Blood Lust influence whereas Mind Control had a different vibe. That was more like a Biker Film like Glory Stompers, really terrible b-movies influenced that album.

“I prefer films where there are fewer deaths, they’re more psychological, films that are a lot slower and tense. Older films tend to be more like that. There’s a film called The Black Cat (1934) with Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff and it’s a really slow film but it’s so amazingly well made and shot, it’s one of those ones that just blows you away.

"I was terrified of Ozzy Osbourne growing up, I just thought ‘this guys a fucking lunatic, he must live in a castle somewhere, there was a mystique about him."
Their three albums, Volume 1, Blood Lust and Mind Control all succeed in evoking a sense of horror film unease. But how do you go from watching a 1930s movie to encapsulating that on an album recording in the 21st century?“When you watch something you get the feel of it, the way that it’s filmed and the graininess and I think ‘what’s the audio equivalent of that?’ It’s strange, it somehow just seeps into your consciousness and opens up your creative mind. We use a lot of old amps too, cranking the gain up on everything, using a lot of fuzz where everything’s bleeding into everything else and creating this mess which I think sounds great.”With their entire discography, up to now, being released in a three year span, album number four, it seems, isn’t too far away. “Hopefully we can record an album by the end of the year and be released next year – that’s the rough plan. We’ve got festival dates this summer, not as many as last year which was pretty intense. I need time to write new material.”With that, images of what their writing space, The Acid Coven, looks like floods your mind. Whether that be a shadowy, gothic castle with cold, cobweb infested walls or a room just like any other rehearsal space is up to you. For, as long their veil of mystique divides reality and rumour, we are left with only the images in our heads and their astonishing music.
Words: Phil Weller

Soen - Tellurian

Soen - Tellurian

The Melvins - Hold It In

The Melvins - Hold It In