Enlarge Photo courtesy of Acid King

Interview: Acid King on Their Psychedelic Epic Beyond Vision


After eight years of radio silence, Acid King are back with their new album, Beyond Vision, out now via Blues Funeral Recordings. The new album dives more heavily into psychedelia and progressive influences much more than their previous, more straightforward desert rock records.

Recently, we were fortunate enough to sit down with vocalist, guitarist, and band leader Lori S. about the direction of the new album and what sets this one apart from previous works.

What was the writing process for this record, and how does it differ from previous stuff?

It totally differs from previous stuff for many reasons. Years ago, I was asked by Blues Funeral Recordings if I wanted to be part of a special project they do with its own designers, art directors, colored vinyl, all that. If you purchase the subscription to it, you get an extra song on the vinyl that the general public doesn’t. I said this sounds awesome, but I’m just too busy. I don’t write a record quickly. There’s, like, five to 10 years in-between albums. So I said I don’t think I can do this right now, but then flash forward to to 2020. All of a sudden, I found myself with a lot of time on my hands and thinking to myself, “Hey, my now might be a really good time to do this project.”

After I got it confirmed, I had this idea of what we wanted to do, and I reached out to Jason Landrian, who’s the guitar player and one half a black Cobra, since we had talked in the past about doing something together. He also had time on his hands, and he said, “Yeah, let’s do it.” I had some ideas and some riffs; I knew what I wanted to do. And with his help, we started writing this record, and in my mind, it was never a new Acid King record. I told the guy at the label that we could put it out under a different name. But then, once we got further, it was pretty clear that this wasn’t just some blow-off avant-garde instrumental record; it was the new Acid King record after all.

I know in addition to psychedelia, you said science fiction soundscapes played a big role in your inspiration for the album. How did that factor in?

I wanted it to be like a soundtrack. I wanted it to feel like there was no beginning and no ending, just like it would if you were sitting in a movie because I was really inspired by the Apollo 11 soundtrack, like, really inspired. And I wanted to write a record like that. So I had that in mind while I was writing it; I just wanted it to flow from beginning to end with no breaks in between songs, just smooth transitions. It’s something you should really listen to on headphones digitally from beginning to end to get the full listening experience.

Do you think the experimental nature of the album, and the up-in-the-air nature of the band right now, will make touring more challenging?

So originally with this record, like I mentioned, it wasn’t something that was even going to be played live, but we love the record so much; everybody does. So, we were like, “I want to play this record live,” so there will be live shows this year. Jason, who helped co-write the record, will probably only play some shows here and there. We’ll be playing the record on San Francisco, but he won’t be going on any tours. He already has another band and a career and a life. He was never planning on joining Acid King; we just wrote this record together. Perhaps we’ll work together in the future again, though.

I know it’s early days considering this record just came out, but do you have any plans for the next album after this one?

Oh no, I’m taking it year by year. I got so many curveballs thrown in my way in the past couple of years that I just feel like at this point, there’s a lot up in the air, since I’m the only original member now. I can do whatever I want, so I’m just going to kind of roll with it. When the last couple of band members left, I felt very alone, and it was odd being like “OK, I don’t have a band. It’s just me.” But then I thought, “Well, I’m gonna start to write a record. I’m gonna recruit some other people that seem interested in doing it with me.” And then it just kind of progressed naturally from there, so I think I’m just rolling with that right now. And if the people I’m playing with now don’t want to move forward in 2024, then I’ll figure out my next path, whatever that is.

Again, we’d like to thank Lori S. for taking time out of their day to chat with us about the new Acid King record. You can pick up your copy of Beyond Vision today.

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