Since forming in 2013, Acid Age have made speed a priority in their music.
Consisting of Eddie on vocals, Jude on guitar and Jake on bass, they describe what they play as ‘hyper thrash’ and it has gained them a fan base of young thrashers in thrall to their music.
So with a new album out on Germany’s Witches’ Brew Records, and set up with new drummer Aran Howe, Chris Owens decided it was time to catch up with these loud mouthed bastards to see what was happening with them.
The new album is due out soon. Tell us about it.
Eddie: It’s our third album to date now, it took us two years to finish this fucker and it is basically about life in a modern thrash band with a lot of humour thrown in.
Jude: The album is called “Like a Runaway Combine Harvester in a Field of Crippled Rabbits” and we’re hoping people find the music as bizarre as they find the title!
Seriously though, it was quite a hard album to make and it is our last with Luke Tolcher on drums. It took us nearly two years to make and, admittedly, there were a few occasions ( and I mean fights) where I felt like the band was going to split up before we made it.
It wasn’t anything personal with the members involved but more a case of us getting fed up with our personal lives getting in the way, but that is a boring story.
The more interesting side of it (for me personally) is when we did get together and the songs were just flowing. I wrote a lot of it, I had just moved house to the countryside and found it was amazing to write songs with killer scenery and a fresh outlook.
I am positive that I wanna start working on our next album somewhere else because I do believe it has an influence. Bands like Black Sabbath used to rent castles to work on their music. I can’t do that on my budget but I can maybe come up with some riffs abroad. It’s a good enough excuse to take a holiday!
In terms of themes it isn’t really a concept album but it has a continuous theme, namely “hatred” hence the daft title. I think it’s hard to do any kind of “hate-fuelled” music now without being cliché but we have steered it in the direction of our heroes Razor, Whiplash and Napalm Death.
It’s not all flat out though, we learned that there are many ways to create intensity without it just being under produced and fast all the time.
Don’t get me wrong though, it is super fast in a lot of areas but there are also weird blues jams and even some psychedelic moments and it even has that “riding down the highway smoking a joint” kinda Van Halen vibe all wrapped up in a ball of hatred.
We do hit grindcore speeds in some songs though. Production wise it is a lot glossier than anything we’ve ever done. I am really proud of it. This is how I have always wanted us to sound and it is how we really sound. If you don’t like this album you simply don’t like Acid Age.
When the last album was reviewed, one of the common themes in the comments section was “They certainly are excellent musicians but the “zaniness” takes away from the good work.
It’s almost as if they’re afraid to make a bit of effort to do something different.” What’s your reply to this?
Eddie: I think the zaniness works with Acid Age we can throw some humour in and be serious at the same time, on the new album some of the lyrics are just over the top thrash love and which are straight to the point!
Jude: I wrote all the lyrics on the last album. I wasn’t afraid to write anything. I watch too much sci-fi and have a sick sense of humour so the songs came out the way they did. This time me and Eddie have co wrote the lyrics and it’s much more mature, that was not intentional.
I had a good laugh at some of the comments though because someone said something about us writing generic thrash lyrics when we should do more original metal subjects like “satan.” I really hope that was sarcasm! Our lyrics have offended people before: we actually got banned from working with a certain promoter in Dublin because we have a song called “Don’t Feed the Bitch” from our Enter the Zomborg release.
It’s not a sexist song really, it’s actually about a very specific person I know who is an actual bitch regardless of their gender. I have to admit (and I know I sound like an asshole saying this) but I actually am glad said promoter reacted the way he did because it’s kinda cool that bands can still stir shit even on our tiny level.
Bands like Venom used to piss off Christians and that doesn’t shock anyone now but having a song with “BITCH” in the title? Oh hold on to your fucking hat because Elton John is about to piss everyone off in 2016 if that’s the case.
Aran: Who the fuck said we’re excellent musicians?
‘Manifesto De Hyper Thrash’ sets out your intent, and a lot of the lyrics are about loving life as a band. Do you honestly believe this, or is it merely a shtick for the music?
Eddie: Hell yeah we believe it! No matter what shit hits the fan we play the music cause we genuinely love it. Yeah it would be nice to make a living playing music but its not about the money, its all about the good times and experiences and how we are willing to go that extra mile
Jude: I study philosophy as a hobby and I was reading about metaphysics and epistemology and was joking about how Plato would have written those lyrics. “But will we play Hyper-Thrash till the day we die?” with every ounce of pretentious drizzle one stomach can handle.
Seriously though, that song is just a fan headbanger. It’s got the Van Halen type cheese lyrics. It’s a party song. I am very proud of my guitar solos in that one. I suppose the line I am most proud of is “Never worry about tomorrows concerns/Bus tickets come in returns”
To some degree I imagine we all want some sort of spontaneity in our lives, I could be wrong but in my opinion part of the whole fun of being in a band is the unknown. (figuratively speaking)
Aran: Fuck you both, I’m only in it for the money!
Aside from the obvious physical loosening, what other effects has Eddie joining had on the music?
Jude: I hated singing, the only reason I did it was because we couldn’t find anyone else. Eddie frees me up to focus more on guitar which is what I want.
How have you found the gigging circuit in Ireland?
Eddie: Since I joined we have played some crackers, and the likes of Karl Kavanagh, James Loveday and Alessandro Rocco have been good to us. I think my favourite AA show we have done has to be the semi final Bloodstock gig, which was our last with Luke on drums. Great crowd despite Jonny from Scimitar putting on a lethal fest at Warzone that night, so we got lucky and goes to show Belfast can get the crowds when it wants! Both ours and Necrofest did well that night!
Jude: It’s really only in the last year that we have “regulars” come to our shows. I love them and I love how much they get into our live sets. Any other opinion on us is not even slightly important to me
On Metal Ireland, there was a discussion a while ago about punks out metalling the metalheads i.e. some of the best metal is being produced from bands who are punks. Thoughts?
Jude: I agree 100% with that, lets face it, anything Mastodon has ever done can’t fucking touch the last Exploited album. But here is one point I would like to raise on that topic…
If you watch any interviews with bands like D.R.I or Suicidal Tendencies they always talk about that moment where punks and metalheads united and it became “crossover.”
We have played some of our best gigs to punk crowds and they always go mad, that being said if we are on a bill with a bunch of metal bands they wont even show up. It’s really bizarre. I think it’s just two ways to do the same thing.
Ireland has some fantastic punky-metalish bands like By Any Means, Deathbus and Axecatcher as just three examples but we don’t have a crossover crowd in my opinion which sucks. It seems to be a cliques and groups. It’s weird.
Can you elaborate on that last comment?
There are cliques.
The 77 punks won’t go to the metal gigs and the metal guys wont go to UK82 shows and they wont go to the American style hardcore shows and they wont go to the death metal shows etc…
Imagine how awesome crowds would be if it was one big massive crowd at ever gig. The scene would be stronger and the gigs would be world class. That’s what bands like D.R.I and Bad Brains etc had. We have cliques and it’s tragic.
I hope one day a band comes along that rips every scene a new asshole where we are all forced to take notice. It obviously isn’t us but I hope some day a band like that happens in the country. I mean this with no disrespect to any crowds or bands but I call it like I see it.
What do you want to achieve with Acid Age?
Eddie: I started my musical life as a vocalist so with Acid Age I want to be the best vocalist I can be and with every release out do myself, I want us to get some more tours under our belts and work towards hopefully getting a pure perfect blistering thrash album someday and we seem to have a fan base in Japan so a show there would be killer!
Jude: More of everything! Eddie hit the nail on the head.
Aran: A bit of fun really
-Christopher Owens ::: 10/07/16
-Thanks to Stephen Lockhart for the live pic