Once upon a time, ACID KING’s creator, songwriter, guitarist and singer Lori S. hung out with her friends at Busse Woods, a forest preserve outside Chicago where teenagers up to no good hung out with their trunks open, cranking tunes and selling drugs. After the cops caught on this era ended.
Several years and several bands later, some friends recommended a book that would ultimately kindle pounding, wicked riffraffdom . It was called Say You Love Satan – a bizarre, tongue-in-cheek account of a Mansonesque stoner dude named Ricky Kasso who, well…. dropped acid and did fucked-up stuff. He looked pretty fucked-up, too. But anyway… Lori finished the book in half-an-hour and Acid King was born. The name came way before the group came together.
1993 was the year of reckoning. The decision was made to base the still embryonic AK in San Francisco. Bassist Peter Lucas stepped up to the plate first. He read SYLS (a pre-req for joining), had a good laugh, and he and Lori hit it off straightaway. But they needed a drummer to make things official. Obviously. Joey Osbourne read the book and came on board several months later. Suddenly, Acid King was an entity. For real. Alright!
Local gigs followed. AK’s signature was distortion, tight guitar-bass riff attacks and a Marshall- stacked, bloated low rear end. Ampeg bass amps and Osbourne’s Ludwig drum kit supplemented the heaviness accordingly. Heavy but spacey. Lori’s searing guitar leads contrasted nicely with her nefarious vocal stylings. People appreciated something different and distinctive, enthusiastically supporting AK’s opening slots for the likes of the Obsessed, Sleep, and Hawkwind. A 10″ on Sympathy for the Record Industry came next, and in 1995 AK released Zoroaster, its first full-length. The material Lori was putting together was plodding yet intricate, her music clearly K.O.’ing her lyrics in terms of depth and magnitude. In keeping with the SYLS theme, Lori’s lyrics largely revolved around the Acid King, Ricky Kasso. And the rush of motorcycle riding. “I’m not a lyricist, y’know,” Lori qualifies. “I think of the melody first, and then I write the lyrics. At the last possible minute. Most of the words are written about the book, because that’s our theme: Ricky – the Acid King.” She strove to maintain a generic overtone to her words so that anyone could relate to them. “My lyrics are like horoscopes!”. “They apply to anybody!”
The band embarked on its first national tour shortly thereafter, only to lose Peter Somewhere In Michigan. Lori called on longtime friend Dan Southwick,, to fill in for Peter with only two weeks to learn the songs. Although he never read the book, Dan’s ace musicianship and deference to Ricky Kasso translated into a full-time slot with the King.
By 1997, AK had fallen in with the Man’s Ruin folk – it was bound to happen! – and released the “Down With the Crown” 10″ on the label. The record featured a naked devil chick air-guitaring with a pentagram scrawled across her tits. “People always think she’s me!” Lori smirks, “Actually, I have this Jimi Hendrix poster in my rehearsal space with him playing guitar like that and the logo in the same typeface… I pointed it out to the band one day: ‘Look – that’s our record! The same pose, except it’s with a naked girl!’ The guys didn’t get it, though.” The buzz that “Down with the Crown” generated infused AK with more self-confidence. Tours with Fu Manchu and the Melvins strengthened AK’s rank with heavy music fans and took their sound afar. Weird shit was happening at shows, too. A creepy tourist visiting SF who had never seen AK perform before noticed Kasso’s crazed image on Joey’s kick drum. The guy had brought along his copy of SYLS – just purchased at the airport – and couldn’t believe the very group he was watching was a rocking tribute to the book’s protagonist. Exciting, but weird.
Despite all this coolness, there were some chemical imbalances within the King. Surprise, surprise. Dan bid bye-bye on amicable terms – he never read the book, don’t forget – and Brian Hill (ex-Buzz Ov’en, Spilth) was brought into the fold after doing his required reading. Brian worked with the band this past year to record the new CD and do some touring along the way. He has since departed. Surprise,surprise. Lori stresses that AK’s personnel changes have been motivated by many different circumstances. Enter one Guy Pinhas the ultimate of rock Bass players former member of The Obsessed and Goastsnake. He will continue on with The King and bring them into the year 2000′s and hopefully then some.
The vibe is clicking and album, Busse Woods, has spewed forth on Man’s Ruin. More Kasso-inspired tunes are the rule rather than the exception, but a departure of sorts will emerge with AK’s cover of “39 Lashes” from the Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack. The band has steadfastly resisted doing covers, but they decided to do this one for kicks. Brian handled the talking parts and Lori says there’s a whip in the mix, too. ” I tried the whip once and I couldn’t do it, so a trained professional had to be called in!”
One more release would come out before the demise of Man’s Ruin. The Acid King/Mystick Krewe of Clearlight split. AK had the honor of playing several shows with the band in New Orleans and worked with Jimmy Bauer (Eyehategod/C.O.C) and leslie keyboard master Ross Karpleman to make it happen.When the Krewe enlisted the one and only Wino (Spirit Caravan/Obsessed) to add on some vocals it was an extra added bonus! The band also contributed a song to the new compilation called “Daze of the Underground” a tribute to Hawkwind, released in 2003 by Godreah records out of the UK.. Their quaalude version of Hawkwinds, Motorhead is quite unique.
After the end of Man’s Ruin AK took some time off and came back with their latest release CD “III” on Small Stone Records. They bid farewell to Guy on bass and say hello to Rafa Martinez and Mark Lamb on the 4 strings. Rafa – former guitarist for Gammera, former bass player for 16 and current drummer for Black Cobra – will join the band for an unlimited amount of time to play the new songs for most of the live performances. Mark Lamb, frontman for Scorched-Earth Policy will also be filling in the 4 strings and both kick major 4 string ass! With 2 European tours, 1 U.S and 1 Japan the band has taken some time off and is now in the process of writing a new record…….