Neutralizing the Bass
CoC interviews Acid Bath
by: Adrian Bromley
Louisiana rock/metallers Acid Bath have always felt strong about the images, the sounds and the music they play and create. No one dictates what they are to create or how they are to play. This is to their advantage. Soundwise the band is reminiscent of fellow Southern rockers Corrosion of Conformity, though the music is mixed with more sinister visions/lyrics and death-ish growls. Another thing that the band has had go in their favor is the controversy surrounding their album releases. Controversy has followed the band since their Rotten Records debut release in 1994. Their debut album, _When the Kite String Pops_, sported cover artwork by serial killer John Wayne Gacy and their latest LP, _Paegan Terrorism Tactics_, has artwork by Dr. Jack Kevorkian. Even an EP of edited radio songs from their debut album featured sketches and writing from the "Night Stalker", Richard Ramirez. Chronicles of Chaos caught up with guitarist Mike Sanchez by e-mail/fax to discuss the latest offering by Acid Bath. The band is rounded out by singer Dax Riggs, other guitarist Sammy Pierce Duet and drummer Jimmy Kyle. Bass player Audie Pitre was killed in January of this year by a drunk driver and the band has not yet at press time dictated if there is a replacement or revealed any future plans for Acid Bath.

CoC: Musically where do you think the band has taken the Acid Bath sound with _Paegan Terrorism Tactics_? How much different is this record from the first one?

Mike Sanchez: It has taken us from the close, mysterious, dark Bayou life to the open oceans of freedom and darkness that lies below.

CoC: The first LP has John Wayne Gacy artwork. The EP has Richard Ramirez artwork. Now _PTT_ uses the cover artwork of Dr. Jack Kevorkian (titled For He Is Raised) - why his work? Why were those three artists singled out as covers?

MS: The madness, chaos and romance of Ramirez and Gacy was a tasteful ingredient to throw into our American Pie made with Ziare's worst diose. Dr. Jack Kevorkian featured on _PTT_ is part of what's going on inside. There are those who praise him for giving them their freedom. Then there are those who are on the outside wanting your freedom to control. The artwork itself is how things are viewed. As a kid, faster was fun, out of school, lots of candy, family and God. Everybody digs out their puppet Jesus and pretends that they know just what's going on around them. While watching how cute the little girls and boys are when they bend over to get the egg we hatched for them.

CoC: Do you think the band makes more press for the music they play/live show or the cover artwork? Any problems you have experienced with artwork?

MS: Acid Bath has the type of music that sucks you deeper and deeper into its juices the more you listen. Narrow-minded people may say that they're just trying to be too cool. The artwork gets good and bad attention. But once you open a couple of closed doors you'll soon discover there's a lot more to this package than artwork and sounds. Acid Bath is the largest band on the underground. Very little promotion has limited any real problems with the artwork.

CoC: Do you feel music nowadays has gone against the ways of writing about sex, drugs, and rock & roll, and centered more on reality and life? Where does the music of Acid Bath get inspired?

MS: Inspired by sex, drugs, sex, religion, death, and sex. We all know reality, but who really gives a rat's ass about it?

CoC: How would you describe the music that Acid Bath plays? Musically, I think the band incorporates many ideas and sounds, thus breaking away from any pigeonhole of music styles.

MS: Our music sounds exactly like five people from the Bayou should sound. Five different directions that just so happen to come together. Listening to Blondie, David Bowie, Moody Blue, Dead Can Dance, Black Sabbath, Devo, and Thrill Kill Cult influences that make a big pile of chaos that seems to work.

CoC: How has the band molded over the years? Does it come easier for you now to play and write music or just as hard now?

MS: It's harder than ever to get together as a group. We all live in little swamp towns about three hours apart.

CoC: Seeing that Chronicles of Chaos is an online-only magazine and there seems to be a huge abundance of nudity and sex, even violence, scattered throughout the net for anyone to see, what is your take on censorship on the net? On music?

MS: I can care less about the violence. But we need sex and nudity or we'll have to go back to animal instincts and take it as we please.

CoC: What does the title _Paegan Terrorism Tactics_ mean?

MS: The title represents a summary of the album. I believe our having nothing to do with everything.

CoC: Commercialism plays a key role in music nowadays. How have you avoided the "bite" of commercialism with your music and what you do?

MS: Our music is commercial in an extreme sense. We need more airplay. To the kids out there listening to NIN, Korn, Tool, Black Sabbath, Ministry, and The Deftones, if you haven't heard Acid Bath then you're still in for a beating.

(article submitted 16/3/1997)


ALBUMS
11/18/1996 A Bromley 9 Acid Bath - Paegan Terrorism Tactics
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