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Uncle Acid & the deadbeats – Interview

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(cj) Die britischen Psychedelic –Doom Rocker Uncle Acid & the deadbeats sind mit neuem Album und Tour zurück. Ihr fünftes Album „Wasteland“  ist am 12. Oktober über Rise Above Records erschienen. Frontmann Kevin Starrs hat sich Zeit genommen, einige Fragen rund ums neue Album und die Tour zu beantworten. Dazu hier ein kleiner Vorgeschmack und einige schlagkräftige Argumente, warum ihr die Jungs auf keinen Fall live auf einem ihrer Konzerte verpassen solltet.

Hi Kevin, thanks a lot for finding the time for an interview.

You have just released your new record “Wasteland” on the 12th of October and your tour starts soon. What are you preparing for the tour at the moment? Have you planned anything special? Do you have a certain routine before kicking off a tour? Are you playing any warm-up gigs before the official start of the tour?

We don’t have management so theres a lot of preparation that I need to do to make sure everything is ready to go. We’ll have some huge brainwashing screens onstage with various live video projections. As a band, we’re sounding extremely aggressive right now. People are going to be in for a great night.

You are famous for writing concept albums. How do you build a setlist? What criteria do you consider when choosing songs from records that all have an own unique story? Is that challenging?

It can be challenging as we now have so many songs to chose from! We make sure theres songs from all our albums because each album has its own fan base. We’ll be swapping certain songs in and out of the setlist depending on how we feel. Sometimes you have to drop a song if it doesn’t feel right. We’ll be doing a few tracks that we’ve never done before so that’s always exciting.

So, let`s talk about the new record. What was your greatest inspiration for “Wasteland”? You often explained that movies have a big influence on your music. Are there any movies that inspired “Wasteland”?

Not really this time. Certain films like Escape From New York inspired how I imagined certain areas of the Wasteland to look. Most of it is just looking around and imagining how bad things could go if we continue further down a path of stupidity. When you see propaganda and divisive language in the press, it can be quite shocking when you think some people actually believe that shit.

What was the first song you have written for the record? Did you build the other songs and the whole story around this song or was it more like a longer process of collecting material and writing songs equally?

I honestly don’t even remember the first song. It all happened very quickly once I got started. I just kept writing and then after a few months it became clear which songs were going to work and which songs weren’t. There was another song that we recorded for the album, but in the end I decided against it as it destroyed the flow.  I wanted to make sure each song would work and tell an essential part of the story.

Obviously, “Wasteland” with its flickering propaganda screens that have wiped people`s mind clean demonstrates the manipulative power of media, also of social media. Do you think this criticism will or can change the audiences` awareness and usage of smartphones at your gigs? I can imagine it is frustrating and paradox to look into their smartphones while singing about dystopian cities and people that self-destruct by a careless usage of media.

I don’t think it will change now.  It is frustrating because it creates a barrier between the band and audience which shouldn’t exist. I try not to let it effect the performance, but it can become distracting. To combat that we will be filming ourselves and projecting it back while we play. It will be filtered through feedback and various visual distortion effects. If people want filming, that’s what they’ll get!

What I found very interesting is the whole idea about program discs engineered in the underworld that “supply the brain with basic knowledge, false memories and routes for escape” and thereby enable people to think again on their own. How did you come up with this idea? Is there any equivalent to this today? And is it as illusive and faked as in the Wasteland story?

Newspapers and television act as the brainwashing screens. Social media is like a Blood Runner; it steals your information, your memories and your interests and then sells it on for profit. In Wasteland, this information is taken by force, but here in our world people seem quite willing to give up everything about themselves. All they ask in return is ‘like’ and ‘share’. The real escape from that nonsense is music and film. Those will reprogram you to think for yourself. When you see music venues, cinemas and libraries closing down to make way for more bullshit, it’s not hard to figure out whats going on.

Finally, at least one funny fan question: You printed a disc lookalike design on the Wasteland CDs as well. Does that print refer to those program discs? And do you want to help all the smartphone addicts to think on their own with the help of the Wasteland record J

Yes! Its there to re program your brain. Or so it appears until the end of the album. In the end, the listener gets violated as well.  You were already warned that there was ‘No Return’ but you kept listening in hope! The program disc was hijacked and your brain will go haywire like everyone else. You can hear the sound of your skull being sawn open and voices and memories being taken from your mind.  If you listen on headphones it can become quite immersive and disorientating.

Tour mit Support:  L.A. Witch

26.11. Berlin, SO36

28.11. Dresden, Beatpol

01.12. München, Strom

06.12. Karlsruhe, Substage

07.12. Osnabrück, Rosenhof

08.12. Köln, Luxor

Hier zu den Tourdates

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