Editor’s Note: Acid King is widely considered to be a pioneering group in the stoner/sludge metal genre. I figured with Halloween just right around the corner, what better time than to have an amazing conversation with Lori S. of Acid King. Lori S. of Acid King discusses a wide range of topics including magic mushrooms, playing “Busse Woods” in its entirety and the ever important topic of mental health awareness with Madness To Creation. Fans can find ACID KING at the following locations:
Madness To Creation: Hi Lori, thank you for taking the time to interview with me for Madness To Creation! I apologize for sound nasally, you’re on tour supporting “Busse Woods”, did I say that right?
Lori: You did, that’s right! Most people pronounce it every other way besides the way that you just said it.
Madness To Creation: What conceptualized the idea of touring off of “Busse Woods”, is it letting the fans know that Acid King is back and not going anywhere or?
Lori: No, I hope that they know that anyway, what happened was when this record came out 20 years ago, it came out on CD, this was pre-social media, pre-Facebook, pre-I-Tunes, when the record came out basically the bass player that was on the record recently quit before it was even released, and there were personal and internal issues with some of the band members, so basically when that release came out, nothing ever came of it, right, it was just the release and it was the end of the line, but we got a new bass player, we started writing new songs immediately, so the record never had a record release party, there was nothing, so all of these years later, we come to find out that it’s our best selling, most popular release that we have, and now where you can graph and see the numbers on Spotify, you can see that a million people have listened to one of the songs off of “Busse Woods”, so when I found that out, at first I thought that it was really cool first of all, and second of all we should give a proper release of this record 20 years later, it never had a record release, we played a lot of these songs very much live, and I just decided that I wanted to do it.
Madness To Creation: Are you all going to be playing the songs front to back?
Lori: It’s not going to be in the order of the record, but we are playing the entire record, but it’s not going to be exactly in the order of the record.
Madness To Creation: Honestly, I’m just getting to learn about Acid King, so I’m a newbie at the show, what should I expect from an Acid King concert?
Lori: For this particular tour, you can expect a visual show as well, so it’s not just going to be a band playing in a bar, we want people to have the full experience with the visuals that are matched to the songs, so it’s more of an experience and less of just going to see a band, there’s a little bit more of a production value into this tour, so I think that’s a little bit more of an experience to be than just seeing three people standing on stage playing.
Madness To Creation: What are some of your favorite visual effects that you use for your concerts?
Lori: Well, we have someone coming with us and doing it, so they are making the visuals for each song that the song is about, or what it’s loosely based on, so you’ll see content that’s directly correlated to the experience of what the song is about, as well as atmospheric stuff in order to put you in a groove, but a lot of it’s just very atmospheric and it’s fitting to the kind of music that we play.
Madness To Creation: After snooping into Acid King’s Facebook profile, it talks about Ricky Kasso as The Acid King, are you into true crime stories?
Lori: Well, that’s how the name of the band came about cause I picked up this book called “Say You Love Satan”, and I read it, and in one of the pages it read, “Nobody messes with the Acid King”, and that was because he was called the “Acid King”, he was a guy that sold acid to everybody in high school, but it’s also a true crime book as it’s about how he killed a kid for stealing 50 hits of acid out of his pocket while he was passed out at a party, so when I read that book and thought about that line, I thought, “the next band that I get together, that’s what I gotta name my next band”, so I had the name a long time ago before the band ever was.
Madness To Creation: Do you think we should legalize mushrooms and acid?
Lori: I definitely that mushrooms in some form definitely for medicinal purposes, I think that hallucinogenics have been really good for depression and treating certain types of mental health issues, so yeah, I definitely think in a controlled way they should be, I don’t think you want everybody tripping on acid, the entire world, it would be too much of a free for all, but I definitely am totally up for helping people for sure.
Madness To Creation: Madness To Creation is dedicated to mental health awareness, do you think that helps with mental health issues?
Lori: You mean mushrooms and acid? It certainly has, there’s research that have shown that certain types of hallucinogenics have helped people with their depression and so forth, so personally I don’t really know enough to discuss it that much, this is just based on what I’ve read but if that’s the case, then that would be awesome.
Madness To Creation: In terms of audience participation, what is your favorite thing that your fans do at a show?
Lori: That’s hard to say, well the audience doing the crowdsurfing not the band, but if I was in a Jesus Christ Superstar type of thing, I would want a singalong, but I don’t know if I want necessarily a singalong, but yeah, I don’t know, that’s hard to say, I don’t really have any favorite things per say, I do like light shows, I like it when people have light shows, the visuals, that’s always really cool, but no, that’s a good question and I don’t know if I have a good answer for it though.
Madness To Creation: Personally, I love watching people stagedive.
Lori: Of course, stagediving is always fun, but mosh pits I don’t like, I prefer to just stand all the way in the back because I don’t want to get bulldozed down or pushed to the ground, but it’s enjoyable to watch, it brings a lot of energy to the crowd and it makes it fun and energetic for the audience.
Madness To Creation: I’m getting old so my moshing days are pretty much over.
Lori: Standing in the back!
Madness To Creation: I want to be able to walk and move normally the next day.
Lori: That’s the one thing about Acid King, every now and again, a little mosh pit will break out, and you’re always shocked, but our music is pretty slow, it’s not mosh pit music at all, so we’re like, “wait, there’s a pit”, and it’s always really weird when you see that, maybe we’ve had a stagedive once or twice, but it’s not for that kind of music, that kind of stuff.
Madness To Creation: Let’s say the 2019 version of Lori S. met with the 1999 version of Lori S., what advice would you give her?
Lori: Wow…I’d say you should’ve rearranged the songs on the record differently. *laughs* That is a good question… that is a darn good question…what would I tell myself? I feel like in a way there’s a learning and growing process on a way of doing things that are wrong or right or whatever, it’s what makes you the person that you are today, so if you go back and tell your younger self, “don’t do any of these tours, don’t do that, or whatever”, your path may not have been the same, but maybe personally…wow these are good questions, usually it’s just typical questions that I get to answer really quickly, these are making me think, but on a personal level when I play with others in band, maybe be a little bit more laidback perhaps with the other band members, that’s the one thing that I’ve learned throughout my entire career is that all the things that you’ve done in the past with different band members and how you’ve acted and what things you would change in the past, you know just traveling together, rolling with the punches, not letting things drive you crazy, that’s what I would tell my younger self. You’re going on tour, you’re going to be in a van and that you’re going to be with these people 24 hours a day for three weeks in a row, just roll with the punches and unlike with the younger Lori, I don’t get involved into every little single solitary thing that somebody does and that I can’t stand. *laughs*
Madness To Creation: That’s perfect life advice, I’m going to start calling you Dr. Lori.
Lori: That’s just something that you learn over time along with patience and experience, that there are a lot of things that you do that are annoying to other people too, that’s what happens when you’re in such close quarters with everybody, we certainly don’t want to live with people 24 hours a day, but yet you are.
Madness To Creation: What makes Lori feel well and what makes her smile?
Lori: Personal wise, it’s always nice to feel gratification towards something, it’s always nice to feel good about something that you’ve done, especially when we go out and play, with this band, I’ve never set out to be this big rockstar or to have any expectations that people liked what I played or anything, so it’s always nice to all of these years later to have people come up to me and say, “I was going through a really crappy time in my life or a bad breakup or whatever, and I put your music on and it really helped me get through these hard times, that makes me really happy”. I think it’s awesome that people can listen to your music and find something within your songs and they’ve somehow stay attached to it and it helps them get through whatever they’re going through, that makes me happy.
Madness To Creation: How was Hellfest this year? I’m learning about European festivals and did you share the stage with Cannibal Corpse, Slayer and Lynyrd Skynyrd?
Lori: It was awesome, but you have to understand that there’s separate stages, there’s two main stages, when one band is done, the other band goes on, and there’s five separate stages that have thrash metal, black metal, punk, and I can’t remember the other ones, and bands like ours, there’s all different kinds of music at the different stages, there all pretty close to each other, so you can bop around and go to whatever one you want to go, it’s not like we’re opening for Skynyrd or anything, our stage has all like minded bands except for Cannibal Corpse, but that day, it was classic rock day for me, I saw ZZTop, Lynyrd Skynyrd, KISS, Whitesnake, Slayer, Death Angel, Slash’s new band with Myles Kennedy, so that was really funny, it felt like 1978 or something, so that was fun seeing all the classic rock bands, that’s who I all saw mostly, and when you’re in a band you get to go upstairs and be in the VIP section, which you have a really good view of the main stages, so I kind of hung out there and watched most of the bands there, and that was fun, and also backstage where we were, the backstage area is almost all of these little trailers that everybody gets and the band’s names are all on them, and there’s this main strip of sidewalk, and there’s these little porches and chairs, it’s like a little backstage community, I guess you would say cause it’s outdoors, so we were next to Cannibal Corpse, Anthrax, Testament, and Phil Anselmo, it was just really funny, cause it just seems so odd to like be the oddest band out in the middle of all these thrash metal bands, it was like, “what are we doing back here”, so that was really funny.
Madness To Creation: What’s something that you’re really looking forward to with Acid King?
Lori: I’m looking forward to writing new songs, but I always get derailed by going on these tours, which I wanted to go on and I’m super excited to go on, but too much touring all of the time distracts you from writing new songs, so I want to do that, there’s going to be a slow down in live shows coming up after this so we can concentrate on doing that.
Madness To Creation: Anything else you would like to add that we haven’t covered?
Lori: Thank you so much for calling and your interest in the band, and we always like gaining new fans, although we’ve been around for 20 years, we realize that our type of music is just getting popular, more popular than it ever was, so it’s nice that people are still discovering it, so that’s awesome!
And there you have it! ACID KING has a couple of gigs on the docket. Check out the gig dates below:
Sat. 11/9- Barracuda in Austin, Texas (w/Here Lies Man, The Well, Zig Zags, Warish, and Blackwater Holylight)
Sat. 4/18- Psycho Smokeout 2020 at Catch One in Los Angeles, California
For tickets and further information on any of the gigs listed above, click here.