Get To Know: Acid Dad
NYC's Acid Dad has made waves in the rock scene for the last couple of years with their catchy blend of psych and punk rock. In addition to releasing their debut EP Let's Plan a Robbery in 2016, they've toured across the country, sharing the stage with bands like White Reaper, Diarrhea Planet, and Meatbodies. After shredding it at Tomorrow Never Knows Festival in January, Acid Dad returned to Chicago to play another rock festival in town...Warble Daze. Now on the brink of releasing their debut album, the band has dropped a brand new 7" single this week via Greenway Records.
Back in October, before their Warble Daze set at Logan Square Auditorium, we got the chance to chat with them about everything from the new single to their start in music. Check out the five things we learned while chatting with Acid Dad, and get to know them now!
They Started Playing Music From Ages 3-18
When it comes to the current day lineup of Acid Dad, they all have very different starting points in music. If you ask guitarist Sean Fahey, he's been playing since his toddler days. "I got a guitar when I was like three. I like ran around the house with it, and apparently I wrote my first song with it when I was like 4. It was called “The Swan Song.” No relation to Led Zeppelin," he says, adding that this was so long ago it wasn't even recorded, since nothing was digital then.
Drummer Kevin Walker also started at a really young age. He tells his story, saying, "I started playing drums when I was like 8. And my older brother played guitar. Pretty much every day after school from like 3PM to dinner time we just played music and our parents didn’t mind. It was loud as fuck!" The newest addition to the band, JP Basileo, was much more of a late bloomer however. "I started playing bass when I was like 18. Late bloomer. A friend of mine had [a bass] for a while and I saw him not playing it, so I picked it up and just started playing. Then I eventually got one for myself and I never stopped playing. That’s the way it went with guitar. My dad started having a mid life crisis and instead of buying a car, he bought a really nice Fender telecaster thinking he was gonna learn. He didn’t learn shit and I picked it up. But I’m left handed and I play it righty, so my skills on guitar are a little more limited," JP says.
Guitarist and singer Vaughn Hunt falls in the middle of that spectrum, picking up piano at age 13 before eventually making his way to guitar only about 4 years ago. Vaughn also tells the story of the band forming, saying, "Kevin and I had a band before this and we would play every day. So you get really good if you practice every day. Playing with a drummer is the best way to get really good really quick. Kevin’s brother is really good, I started playing with him..." Kevin picks up the story adding, "Vaughn replaced my brother. We went to college and we were in a dorm and I didn’t play drums for like a year. Then we joined a really shitty band, but we met each other and started Acid Dad. We left that project and it’s been 3 and a half years. We started jamming in August 2014."
They've Gone Through Lots of Bass Players
Speaking of replacing people in the band, Acid Dad as it stands has had many different bass players come through the rotation. Vaughn says, "We found Sean two years ago. JP is number 10 in bass players, Sean was bass player number 6? 7?" DIIV's current bass player had actually been number 9 before JP came along, Sean says. While it's definitely been a high turnover in the bass department over the last few years, the entire band said they feel confident in the current day line up, and they won't allow JP to quit anytime soon. They even made a pact with cigarette burns, so, next time you see Acid Dad this lineup should hopefully be in good condition.
They'd Consider Moving To Chicago
The last time Acid Dad played in Chicago, prior to Warble Daze, they'd played at Schubas with Honduras, and JP actually hadn't been in the band yet. Surprisingly, JP's first ever visit to Chicago occurred during Warble Daze, but the band all say they love Chicago. "We’re thinking about moving to Chicago. We’ve talked about it," Vaughn added. Both Sean and Vaughn recall coming to Chicago as kids, but they also recollect Kevin being banned from a bar here (no one remembers which one). On a more positive note, Vaughn says he loves The California Clipper, and they all like Chicago pizza. Finally, based on the positive and warm reception of Acid Dad' set at Warble Daze, they'd definitely be welcomed into the scene here with open arms.
Kevin Once Got Mugged On Halloween
After talking through some of their best and worst Chicago moments, the band recalled their best and worst Halloween moments. "I got mugged when I was a kid. By the older high school kids. It was sketchy... not a good part of town. They took my wallet and my phone. I was in 6th grade probably," Kevin said, adding that they also took his candy.
It turns out that most of the band actually met on Halloween, though. "The first time I met Kevin and Vaughn was on Halloween. It was their first show. I don’t know what you guys dressed up as, but I was supposed to be a werewolf and I got the whole kit. I was playing with my other band and my drummer saw me come out of the bathroom and was like no you can’t do that because I essentially just had blackface. So I went to the Deli and bought a bunch of toilet paper to wrap myself with as a mummy," Sean recalled.
Since JP wasn't in the band at that time, he also chimed in with his take on the spooky holiday. "I have my good Halloween memories, but for the most part I hate it. Everyone is like 'let’s be wild and crazy and put on lipstick and dress up', but that’s like a normal Tuesday for me. I’m wild and crazy all the time," he says.
Also, if Acid Dad were to do an all band costume and cover one artist, they narrowed it down to The Replacements, The Stone Roses, and Pavement.
Acid Dad at Warble Daze
They Have a Lot of New Music on the Way
Acid Dad have yet to put out a full length record, but they assured us that it's well on the way...and soon. "It’s pretty much done. A 7 inch is coming out in November, on Greenway. Greenway Records," Vaughn says.
Sean says their connection to Greenway came from knowing the right people, who put them in touch with the record label's owner, Harry Portnof. "Our now friend Harry was friends with my roommate Devon, Devon hooked it up. Hi Devon! Harry’s a really sick dude and runs the label by himself. He has this vinyl manufacturing plant in Jersey nailed down, and pretty much has it to himself," he says. "It’s a faster turn around than any other label I’ve seen," Kevin chimed in, also adding " Dan Curran also kind of-- he had done a bunch of poster work and what do you call it? Woodblock screen printing! And he ended up doing our EP release poster artwork. He does most of Greenway’s artwork. He did the logo. So it was kind of like, meet my friend who runs this label. So he’s been wanting to do a record with us. A year and a half he’s been bugging us."
While the 7 inch is finally released, they've taken their time with the album since you only put out a debut once. "We’ve redone it a few times. We’re redoing it right now," Kevin says. "I'm trying to get on it," JP joked, since he had joined the band after they did the original recordings last year. The band also say that the album should be about 11 tracks long, and their Warble Daze set consisted of mostly new material which will be on the record.
Finally, make sure you pre-order your psychical copy of "Die Hard"/"Bodies" here because it's a rarity. "One funny thing is on the 7 inch, the single on the A side, is called 'Die Hard.' It’s also gonna be on the album. But the album one is the re-recorded one, so they’re the same song but version 1 and 2. Then the B Side is not gonna be on the album at all. And there’s only a few hundred of those that we’re making," Kevin says.
In the meantime, listen to both "Die Hard" and "Bodies" in digital format below, and keep up with Acid Dad on Social Media:
Psst- NYC, Acid Dad are having a release show on 12/5 for the single. Grab tickets here!