When the pandemic hit in 2020, Acid Dad went to work, crafting their own warehouse rehearsal and recording space—and instruments—to bide the time. Building a new studio in Queens, New York, the Brooklyn-based alt-rock trio started working on their second album Take It From The Dead (Greenway Records/Reverberation Appreciation Society).
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Marking a new beginning for Acid Dad—singer Vaughn Hunt, guitarist Sean Fahey, and drummer, Trevor Mustoe—three years after releasing their self-titled debut and making their New York City venue rounds with Vaughn self-producing the band out of his Bushwick, New York basement, the band’s varied musical states are revealed on Take It From The Dead. The new album drifts through 1970s psych rock and a ’90s nonchalance, opening on “Searchin,” a track inspired by Phil Lesh’s book Searching for the Sound: My Life in the Grateful Dead” and the Dead’s 1974 track “Unbroken Chain.”
“It’s about navigating the uncertainty of being in a rock and roll band in the age of digital music streaming,” says Fahey.
Pulling from their Dead fanaticism, tracks like “RC Driver,” and “BBQ” were written with the intention of being extended or slightly altered live, including the closing seven-plus minute “Djembe,” born out of a heavier jam session.
“I definitely get scared to put out longer songs thinking no one’s ever gonna listen to them,” says Fahey. “Not everyone listens to a single. It’s about the record and getting lost, so those types of tracks are truly something sonic that you can bask in.”
Listening to the demos, Hunt immediately felt connected to the tracks, which the band had already exhaustively played live before recording. “It gets to the point where you’re driving home, listening in the car late at night and it just hits the back of your head. It just hits a really special place,” shares Hunt. “That’s when I know that the songs are authentic and should be worked on further. It passes that threshold.”
He adds, “I think Tom Petty once said that what really sticks is what stays and what it ends up being and it works out that way.”
To complement the visual elements of Take It From The Dead, video artist Webb Hunt worked with the band to produce shifting psychedelic glitch art videos to accompany each track.
Experimenting with earlier songs on the band’s recent Levitation Sessions (Live), released early 2021, captured the exploratory, jam-based essence of Acid Dad. “I feel like there are a lot of different moods to all of our songs,” says Fahey. “We experimented with different tempos with older songs that we wrote when were were younger and had a lot more youthful energy.”
Fahey adds, “That’s one thing that I really like that the Grateful Dead always did with a song like ‘Friend of the Devil.’ When you listen to something like ‘[The Closing of] Winterland,’ they slow it down into this sultry jam and it has this intensity that just hits a lot harder. The song and the lyrics are the same, but it’s good for our own mental state to switch things up.”
Recording newer demos now, the process will being again once touring starts, testing newer songs live. “We’ll be working on and paling new songs,” says Hunt. “For my own mental, I just want to do this tour with some fresh ideas and try to further develop the musicianship in our band.”
Acid Dad tour dates (supporting Frankie & the Witch Fingers):
Oct 7 – Square Cat Vinyl – Indianapolis, IN
Oct 8 – The Brass Rail – Fort Wayne, IN
Oct 9 – Cactus Club – Milwaukee, WI
Oct 10 – Empty Bottle – Chicago, IL
Oct 12 – Third Man Cass Corridor – Detroit, MI
Oct 13 – Beachland Tavern – Cleveland, OH
Oct 14 – Spirit Lodge – Pittsburgh, PA
Oct 15 – Metro Gallery – Baltimore, MD
Oct 16 – Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY
Oct 18 – PhilaMOCA – Philadelphia, PA
Oct 19 – Fuzzy Cactus – Richmond, VA
Oct 20 – Snug Harbor – Charlotte, NC
Oct 23 – Intuition – Jacksonville, FL
Oct 24 – Will’s Pub – Orlando, FL