Acid Dad @


Acid Dad, psych rock punk band from New York, shares some of their favorite songs and the story of their last tour.

Nathan: I just have a couple questions for you guys tonight


Nathan: So you guys just played in Portland last night right?


Nathan: So your tour dates are like non-stop then..

Vaughn: Yeah, it was a super, f***ing long drive and I’m tired

Nathan: anyway how much more road do you have to go then?

Vaughn: Yeah actually, we’re like almost done

Sean Fahey: The last show’s on the 20th or 21st in New Orleans..

Trevor Mustoe: We’re doin’ like LA, Phoenix, Tuscon, and then a few Texas states

3 Texas states, and New Orleans then

Nathan: And you guys are just driving all the way?

Vaughn: Yup

Unison: I think there’s a day off

JP Basileo: One of them is like an 11-hour / 14-hour long drive

Umm.. those are fun haha It’s like I got a day off, but then..

Vaughn: Tomorrow’s also a long, not a long drive but

JP Basileo: Tomorrow’s gonna suck because we’re bringin Harry

Vaughn: Yeah, we’ll put im on the floor of the car it’s gonna be tough

JP Basileo: I don’t know where

Vaughn: I don’t know where either, the car’s filled with stuff, it’s packed, we really should have gotten a trailer.

Nathan: Yeah, what kind of car are you using?

Vaughn: A van, yeah,


Nathan: So you released your self-titled album recently, which is all heavy rock and punk riffs, and great energy, what were some of your favorite tracks to make on it and what was the process like?

Vaughn*to Sean: What’s your favorite track?

Sean: I like dissin.’ It has a pedal steal on it, when it isn’t live it kind of sounds like a country song

Vaughn: Umm, I think my favorite track’s Mow my Lawn. It’s about, Mowin your yard. It was great, really aged well with me. How about you what’s yours?

Nathan: Die Hard, I love the energy in that one.

Sean: You’re a die hard fan.

Nathan: Yeah yeah, what were the influences making those, like any specific bands?

Sean: I think at the time we were listening to a lot of Television, like their last record, it’s a lot different than Marquee Moon. But other than that, some Black Flag we were listening to at the time.

Vaughn: We recorded it I guess like over a year ago.

Nathan: What was the process like getting everyone together for the project, you guys started in Brooklyn right, what part of Brooklyn?

Vaughn: Bushwick.

Trevor Mustoe: I met these guys at SXSW, and was moving to New York at the time so we started jamming.

Bass: I’m not the first bass player. I met Sean at karaoke, which led me to Vaughn, and the rest is history.

Nathan: Do you have some favorite venues down there to play?

Sean: Alphaville, Market Hotel, which we played in January with Royal Trucks which was really fun.

Bass: Did they figure out their liquor license?

Vaughn: They did

Sean: They didn’t have a liqour license because the cops were consistently messing with them.

Nathan: Interesting, so a bar spot?

Sean: It was a DIY scene for a long time, but recently it got revamped. There was a room for like beer in a shot glass kind of thing, but other than that we would go down to Bernie’s. That was our green room, essentially.

Nathan: Have you guys played in other bands?

Unison: Yeah,

Sean: I played in a weird rock opera band once

Trevor: I was in a garagey rock band for quite a few years called Glassy Pinks, that was my last act before I joined, and one other weird garage band from St. Pete

Nathan: So you, Vaughn, are the vocalist and you’re the bass player, JP.

Vaughn: Sean and I both sing and play guitar, and Sean played bass for a while.

Sean: That was on our first record.

Vaughn: But Sean’s playing guitar for as long as I remember. I guess our first show was a couple years ago like yesterday.

Unison; Really?

Vaughn: Yeah, because I got a reminder for it. It was like the DMC show, at the Warsaw.

Sean: At the warsaw, yeah.

Vaughn: Yeah, it was really bad, well I didn’t actually think it was bad.

Nathan: Anything in particular that you remember from this tour?

Sean: We stayed in this real wild hotel in Seattle, there were a lot of drug deals, a lot of prostitution. Our phone kept ringing at like 3 or 4 in the morning but no one was there.

Vaughn: Yeah the crackheads came by at like 7 am, it was… interesting.

JP: Yeah the show we played in Vancouver, just the street we were on, we passed at least 3 or 4 people smoking crack.

Sean: The kind of thing where you see people shooting up outside,

Vaughn: But the venue was great

JP: Yeah the venue was.. so cool.

Sean: What was it?

Unison: The SBC, Smiling Buddha Cabaret.

Sean: It’s basically, when you walk in, it’s like a halfpipe all the way through the venue, and at the end of the halfpipe is the stage. So everyone stands like on the walls, sitting in the halfpipe.

Unison: Yeah, people would be leaning on the sides to see.

Sean: I guess Jimi Hendrix played there, but not when it was that.

Vaughn: Yeah, it used to be a little punk bar

JP: Yeah Jimi, skated. He skated.

The purple shred


Nathan: You guys just released a single, too, Living with a Creature, and there’s a great video for that, what was the process like making it?

Vaughn: This video synth artist just hit me up wanting to make something. I was like, cool, I have this track I just finished it, and like two days later he sent me the cut. And I was like, wow. This is amazing. It was super easy.

Sean: I think he pretty much nailed it on the head, though. It was pretty spot on.

Nathan: Any musical influences for that song?

Vaughn: Let’s see I wrote the demo in my apartment. I bounced it off my little brother, I bounce a lot of ideas off my little brother, and said I’m working on this song, called Living with a Creature or something like that, kind of a monster going in your floor thing. And we did brainstorm sessions and came up with the lyrics together, and I really wanted a song that was just one note, you know, dush, dush, dush, dush, and then a poppy hook chorus and a solo. That was it. It was very straightforward.

Nathan: So then the process on the debut album, what was it like?

Vaughn: It took a long time. We did it once, but it didn’t sound right. It was too fast.

Sean: Yeah, the speed.

Vaughn: Yeah, and we were doing a lot of speed


Vaughn: And so Sean and I worked on it again – very sober – and we counted out the tempos and made sure they were all right.

Sean: And we took a little speed.

Vaughn: And we took a little speed…


Vaughn: Then we recorded it again. I don’t know the first time we did it on 8 track, but the production stuff just wasn’t right, so I did it again with ProTools so I could really take my time listening to the guitar and drum tracks making sure they were really grooving right. Sonically that they were in the right space. It just took a lot of time to figure out what I had to work with.

Nathan: What kind of instruments did you use on stage, live?

Vaughn: No synths, all guitar. But I’ve been brainstorming a lot in my head and in my notebook about using them in the future. Because I do want to.. on Living With a Creature I did two or three drum tracks that were in it but it was very much just texture and not the foundation of the songs.

Nathan: Interesting. Where are you guys headed next on the tour?

Vaughn: LA, yep LA. LA should be really good we’re playing levitation room tomorrow which should be a great band.

Nathan: So your tours coming to end soon, is that one of the last shows?

Trevor: I think we have 4 or 5 shows after that.

Sean: Over the halfway hump now, but on the homestretch.

JP: Yeah a few more and then, Thanksgiving. I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving.

Vaughn: Really? Really? You got to come over to my house it’s like … f***ing DANK.


Vaughn: Once you get my moms cookin’. You’ll have it one night it’s all right.

My dad’s making quail

Sean: I don’t like Turkey

Vaughn: Turkey’s not a delicious, it’s just not a delicious animal. All animals aren’t delicious, but Turkey’s especially not delicious.

Nathan: Do you guys have a break in your tour?

JP: Not really, not whole way through

Sean: Pretty much driving, yeah.

Vaughn: We had one day off, on a Friday

JP: We had a day off in Minneapolis, and that was cool. They’re long drives so you have a couple of hours in the city that you’re in, but then..

Trevor: Not much sightseeing or vacation time or anything

Sean: Yeah its a hustle being on tour

Vaughn: Yeah I mean this tour, I feel like last tour we did a lot. This tours been real hustle grind

Sean: We walked 7 miles in Vancouver

JP: We went on this hike in Vancouver but little did we know that it would be dark and closed by the time we got there

Vaughn: You had adidas so I don’t know how you walked there

Sean: We went and watched the sunset together

JP: It was really romantic

Nathan: What’s been your favorite spot on the tour

Sean: Chicago we had a real great show

Vaughn: Denver was really good

Sean: The worst show was Iowa State.

Vaughn: Iowa State was probably the worst show. Awful, that was probably the worst show, ever

Sean: Wow not a good time

Manager: That promoter moved your show four times and the promoter quit in the middle of his job, or something like that.

Vaughn: No so he sold his shares, and then on top of that there was an football game in the middle of our set so everyone eventually showed up and started yelling song names, and I was like I literally just played that song, and they’re like dude sorry we were watching the game, and I’m like screw you guys

JP: Like go to class

Vaughn Sean’s amp was broken the entire time and they’re calling out song names, and we couldn’t even get the amp working.

Sean: Yeah we cut the set short because of the amp

JP: I have a rating system and that show was the lowest rated. I think it was in the 40s

Vaughn: Seattle was great,

JP: Seattle was like 90s

Vaughn: It was really good, the crowd was so into it. And BC too.

Trevor: Sean’s amp, the last note he hit it and sean’s amp blew and there was literally like smoke billowing out the top.

Sean: Ok, yeah Seattle was 94. Last night in Portland was 84.5

Vaughn: Wait was 93? Toronto was 93?

Sean: Toronto was good.

Vaughn: Vancouver was 91. Last night was pretty sleepy, it was a Monday.

JP: It was cool, though.

Nathan: How do the shows compare on the east and west coast for you?

Trevor: Well the west coast has been great so far, it was just the midwest that dropped off a little bit, and you know the east coast has always been pretty decent for us, from what I’ve seen.

Vaughn: West coast is pretty dope, though. Could easily live here. Chicago was good.

Sean: But yeah its been nice to finally get to the west coast. It seems that when we hit the coast all of our shows are picking up again.

Vaughn: All the camo shows were good

JP: St Captain’s was a great show, and that was on Halloween.

Nathan: Well, it’s been great to hear about all this, thanks for all of your time.

Unison: Yeah, likewise

Flying Hair @ The Holland Project. 1/31/18. A Weeknight Hodgepodge of Sounds and Styles

The massive drum kit on stage before Tresed’s set, refinished in a deep red and sporting horns on its kick drum spurs, suggests a brashness that the young players make good on. They open the Thursday night Holland show with enough fervency to make you wonder about the structural limitations of hickory drumsticks and nickel wound guitar strings, and indeed, during a drum break a few songs in, a stick shatters, though no one seems to care.

That intensity persists throughout their set, projecting a stage demeanor that’s refreshing in its lack of polish. Where many bands rely on sampling pads and perfunctory recitations of the night’s lineup to theoretically liven up any dead-air in their set, Tresed’s tuning breaks are quiet enough to hear strings twang. They smile and crack jokes to their friends off stage.
They’re high school kids. Their braces, white Chuck Taylors, and complete lack of pretense make me realize, perhaps fully for the first time, at twenty-three, that I’m not a teenager anymore. The drummer clicks in on splintered sticks and they go all out: heavy rock riffs and extended instrumental breaks, a random burst from a fog machine, a sans-sticks drum solo. Watching them do it is mesmerizing in that it reminds me of something I didn’t realize I’d forgotten: that playing music, despite its ability to soothe existential sores and express what conversation can’t, is, perhaps most importantly, for fun.

While Tresed is sparse in their gear and stage presence, Flying Hair needs every square inch of Holland’s stage to hold their half stacks and pedal boards. They transition out of sound check with a crescendo-ing alarm effect that their bass player/vocalist pitch modulates with alternating clicks on what look like WWII era radios and sound like bomb raid sirens on an intergalactic air force outpost. The synth rig craps out during their second song, stalling momentarily the galloping, riding-on-a-dragon’s-back momentum that I, still high on Tresed, want to go on indefinitely. The keys are quickly functioning again, and FH’s set, as it continues, becomes more varied. What initially seemed like a set of straightforward, fuzzed-out fist-pumpers is interpolated, exactly when needed, with half-time sections, sluggish triplet fills, closed hi-hat grooves, and palm muted bass breaks.

And soon there’s the sort of moment that only happens in the presence of live music. What had been a driving, backbeat carried tempo descends gradually into glacier paced mayhem: a bent string, twisted pedal-knob drone, a half-time stoner metal crawl that goes on and on, and swelling over everything shrieks an ambient frequency like a radio transmission coming through from another dimension. The moment expands and I no longer worry about what to do with my hands or whether anyone notices that I’ve come here alone.

It’s typical of Holland bills to feature a medley of styles; if Flying Hair is like stuffing yourself on pasta and meatballs, Ichthyosaur, the last band of the night, is the bit of chocolate you crave immediately after. The tone is cleaner, the decibel level significantly reduced. Harmonics, chorus pedal, an acapella Happy Birthday dedicated to the bassist’s father, a Kings of Leon cover. Applause as a yardstick, they’re the crowd favorite. Heads sway with the band’s catchy riffs and three part vocal harmonies, nod along with driving bass lines deftly rendered on a Rickenbacker.

It’s enough, on the drive home, to make the Center Street lights hum with something I’d forgotten to listen for, the reality of tomorrow morning’s shift suspended for a little longer.

Check out Flying Hair’s Bandcamp here.

Diet Cig @ The Holland Project

Self-proclaimed “slop pop” duo Diet Cig graced Reno with their presence at the Holland Project on May 1, 2017- a Monday night, meaning that the crowd was criminally thin for such a great band, but the energy from those who were able to attend rivaled that of much larger crowds I’ve seen. The crowd was mostly made up of girls and femmes, which, speaking as a queer woman of color, was a frankly refreshing change. There were a couple of cuties with glitter highlighter and others wearing Diet Cig merch. I was also dressed (somewhat) for the occasion, wearing a skirt in preparation for hearing “Tummy Ache.”

Reno’s own Just Guys Being Dudes began the night with some playful, surfy pop indie tunes featuring a ukulele all three members (who are not actually guys, despite the misleading band name) on vocals. To borrow a phrase from another band, “island pop” is a fairly accurate description of the band- but with more than a slight hint of bitter relationship angst, evident in songs like “B4 I Punch U in Urs.” I had never heard of Just Guys Being Dudes before that night, let alone seen them play, but by the end of the night I had resolved to see them more often.

Just Guys Being Dudes
Just Guys Being Dudes on behalf of Bridget Conway for the Holland Project.

Next up was Seattle-based, one-woman band Lisa Prank, who was accompanying Diet Cig on this tour. Lisa Prank is the epitome of DIY: sole member Robin Edwards sings and plays guitar, with the rest of the music being provided by a drum machine. Clad in a velvet cheetah print robe, sunflower shorts, and sparkly crown with “PRANK” on it, Edwards was met with plenty of cheers after just one song. And for good reason: Lisa Prank’s style of  90s-esque, slightly bratty girl punk is hard not to at least bob your head to. The set featured songs of off Lisa Prank’s Adult Teen record, released last summer, including “Starting Again,” which is ridiculously and somewhat depressingly relatable.

Lisa Prank on behalf of Heather Hawke for the Holland Project.

Prior to their set, Diet Cig members Alex Luciano and Noah Bowman could be seen “warming up”: doing stretches, dancing, and jumping jacks. I had never seen Diet Cig before, and as soon as I walked into the Holland Project I was shocked at just how short Luciano was. She stood next to me during Lisa Prank’s set and with myself standing at 5’5, I was at least 4 inches taller than her (also, yes, I did revert back to my 16 year old fangirl self when she stood next to me).

What Luciano lacks in size, however, she more than makes up for in passion and enthusiasm. Before launching into “Sixteen,” Luciano established a “safe set,” explicitly asking the crowd to be respectful to each other. As a result, people weren’t crushed up against the stage (or each other), unlike during any headlining set I’d seen before, but it was refreshing to have a band be so open and caring about their audience. Plus, it meant that I easily scored a front row spot to Diet Cig.

Diet Cig
Diet Cig on behalf of Heather Hawke for the Holland Project.

The musical and friend chemistry between Luciano and Bowman is so strong that Diet Cig’s lack of a bassist is negligible. During their set, which consisted of older songs and tunes off of their freshly-released debut LP, Swear I’m Good At This, the two were constantly trading glances and grins. NPR’s Mike Kantzif description of Luciano as a “guitar-slinging human tornado on a Pixy Stix bender” is entirely accurate; Luciano barely stood still throughout the entire set, dancing around unabashedly and jumping off of Bowman’s drums. Luciano is just as charming when speaking: in her, small, high voice, she reminded the audience that “We’re all nuanced love beams of light” and repeatedly encouraged the crowd to “stay hydrated.”

Diet Cig
Diet Cig on behalf of Heather Hawke for the Holland Project.

If you weren’t able to make it out to Holland that night, you may have just missed the absolute cutest show the venue has ever hosted. You also missed out on the opportunity to talk to and take dorky selfies with Lisa Prank and Diet Cig, the members of whom are all incredibly sweet and friendly. Hopefully they’ll be back again soon- and if they are, be sure to come through!

(Check out all of Conway and Hawke’s photos on the Holland Project’s Flickr.)