Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats

Mind Crawlers you can probably sense it already, the wasteland is calling, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats have announced their return to Australia in 2020. Amid the shimmering haze of dusk, dates will commence at the tail end of February.

The brainchild of singer and guitarist Kevin Starrs, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats have been making extraordinary music since 2009. The bands reputation was swiftly built on towering, riff-driven milestones like 2011s breakthrough opus Blood Lust and it’s warped and wicked follow-up, Mind Control (2013). By the time Starr’s band created The Night Creeper (2015), their mutation into heavy music’s most unmistakable eccentrics was complete. The brilliant fifth album Wasteland came out in 2018. Front man Kevin Starrs talks to Hi Fi Way about the tour.

Great news that Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats are returning for an even bigger tour this time?
It has been a while, we’ve been trying to get over for a while now. It is nice to finally be able to get back over.

For Australian music fans who have not heard of the band, how would you describe your music?
To me it’s just rock music but people do like to break it down further and come up with obscure genres which can pigeon hole you in. We’re just a rock band, mixing melody, harmony plus heaviness and darkness then we put it all together and it comes out as a psychotic mess really.

A psychotic mess? This must make for an production with lights, smoke and haze?
Hopefully, we’ll bring our projector and visuals which will depend on the venues, venue size and the way the stage is laid. I hope we can have our full show which will add a bit extra to the performance.

Will the Australian tour set list cover all five albums?
Yeah, we do songs from all the albums and this particular set is structured in a way that it is relentless. There’s not much pause for thought in the songs, there’s not much communication with the audience. There’s one thing after another after another, just like a relentless hammer attack on the audience. It ties in with this idea of living in a wasteland where everything is just chaos, brutal and horrific to live through. That is how we chose the set list, every song sounds the same, it’s all heavy, it could all be one song.

Australian audiences love their rock music over there and they like to rock out, drink and have a good time. That’s what we want from an audience, we don’t want a passive audience but we want people that will give us something so we can give back. I’m looking forward to seeing the fans.

So it will an intense experience?
That’s what we’ll try and do!

Are there plans for new music in 2020?
We’re working on ideas at the minute, hopefully we can start working on that in a few months time. I’m not sure if it will get released this year or maybe next year. The process of starting to working on new material has started.

How does the creative process work within the band?
I write all the songs, all the parts and I record the demos then send it out to everyone saying this is what I want. Everyone then puts their own spin on it and they can interpret the parts that I play putting their own thing on it. Once I have a general concept for a record for me it is easier to go through it and write everything. I find it difficult to compromise on ideas and when you’re working with other people you have to compromise. For me it is better to keep going and do my own thing.

Does your original concept change much by the time it is recorded?
Sometimes it does change and there’s a few times when we’ll work on an arrangement or work on tempos or speeding a song up or adding an extended part at the end. It isn’t always set in stone, so once we get in the studio to work you can expand on ideas a bit.

Are you happy with a settled line up now and how that’s going?
This is the best we’ve ever sounded, it’s really impressive, we’ve got the vocal harmonies sounding great, everything is tight and heavy. We’re really looking forward to going back to Australia and with this new line up, we’ve never played as this new line up, I think people will enjoy the shows.

Do you think the new members in the band have changed the sound dynamic?
It is hard to say, we progress in some ways but it is a natural progression. I’m always going to have the influences that I have when it comes to song writing. The songs are always going to have a certain feel to them. I think we’ve added different elements to our sound as we’ve gone on.

Interview By Rob Lyon

Catch Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats on the following dates, tickets through XIII Touring/ Secret Sounds