California band electrifies crowd in downtown Little Rock
“You know those V8 Fusion drinks? We’re like a V8 Fusion of Green Day and Jane’s Addiction, mixed with some carrot juice.”
That’s what Michael Gossard, lead vocalist and guitarist of the Los Angeles-based band Acidic, said when his band stopped at Little Rock’s Revolution Music Room Jan. 30.
On this leg of the United States tour, they are opening for Trapt, a band best recognized for their 2002 mega-hit, “Headstrong.”
Acidic, whose members include Gossard, Matt Whitaker (drums) and Ted Dubrawski (bass), is touring in anticipation of their latest album, “Copper Man,” which will be released March 19, through MegaForce Records.
The band has played on three occasions at South by Southwest (SXSW), an annual media event held in Austin, Texas. They’ve also toured with acts like Fuel and Marcy Playground and recorded with renowned producer John Ryan, who boasts a resume that includes albums by Styx, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers.
But if you’ve never heard of Acidic, you need not worry. Gossard provided an analogy to describe the band’s unique sound.
The band, in addition to an extra touring guitarist, took to the stage with minor technical difficulties, which caused the output volume of instruments to stay at a level unsatisfactory for Gossard — a problem that was seen earlier in the night with the opening band. But he rolled with the inconvenience and used improvisational skills to keep the crowd’s attention focused elsewhere, later signaling for higher volume from assorted staff.
While the band primarily performed songs from their own catalog, they managed to integrate a unique cover of The Beatles’ “Come Together,” which was given an updated feel while leaving original arrangements intact. Gossard, who rid himself of his instrument early on, took the wireless microphone around the venue, serenading fans and climbing to the second-story VIP area to round out the classic song.
Shortly before the show, Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx tweeted that he was “digging” Acidic’s new single. He later made it the weekly “Sixx Pick of the Week” on his nationally-syndicated radio show, “Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx.” On his program, Sixx told listeners, “As soon as I heard this, I loved it. It reminded me of classic, old Jane’s Addiction.”
When the band saw Sixx’s shout-out on Twitter, they were ecstatic.
“The first bass I ever bought was the Nikki Sixx signature bass,” Dubrawski said. “So now my goal is to meet him and have him sign it.”
“Copper Man,” the album’s title track, is the single in question. Gossard said the name came about serendipitously.
“I was singing lyrics to the song, we had like those joke lyrics going on, and Matt thought I was saying ‘copper man’ and I was saying ‘recover me.’”
But as the conversation shifted back to touring, Gossard went in-depth about many of the bands Acidic has toured with and how different relationships have played an integral role in the material. He admitted that touring with Candlebox heavily influenced the recording of their new album.
“So we’re in the studio,” Gossard said, “I called up my buddy Kevin Martin [vocalist, Candlebox], I was like, ‘I need some help here bro, I need you to help sing this with me.’” To which he said Martin replied “I’ll be in the studio at 10 a.m. tomorrow!”
Gossard explained he did not expect Martin to be so willing to help him out, considering the gap in popularity between the two bands.
“With Candlebox, it’s just another level because they were like multi-multi-multi-platinum and out of the grunge era, so they would have thousands of people come see them [on this tour],” Gossard said.
Little Rock fans won’t have to wait long to hear another live performance. Acidic are scheduled to be back in the area on the next leg of their tour, when they open for Hinder on March 22 at Juanita’s.