The iconic line of this interview is as follows: “When you were playing, I wasn’t even a sperm in my father’s ballsack”
After a 25 year hiatus, Acid Reign have returned hard and fast. I spoke with Marc Jackson and Howard “H” Smith about what it’s like to be back, the future and playing the Sophie Lancaster stage.
It’s early for you guys! You were playing late.
H: We had very little sleep, spent most of the night – well I had to put my earplugs in – I was sharing a room with our driver who snores like a fucking Harley Davidson of snores, just unbelievable. Knackered! I went to bed about four.
Marc: I slept great!
So you’re back and you’re playing the Sophie stage. Talk about coming back hard and fast!
H: It was fucking hard and fast last night! It was just like, it honestly genuinely – when we walked out – felt like those people had been stood in that tent for 25 years, waiting for us. It was kind of like ‘you alright?’ and they’re like ‘yeah!’; ‘are you ready?’, ‘aye!’; ‘do you know what to do?’ , ‘yeah’. It was fucking awesome. It was old-school. I keep saying it, it felt like playing this tent (press tent) it felt small, it felt like we were all in it together.
Did you feel 25 years younger?
H: I always do, for my age. It was fucking amazing.
Marc: It was just a big party really, everyone was in it together.
H: The crowd surfing was mental.
We are talking about how we prefer to be more casual instead of dead serious in interviews.
H: Oh yeah those interviews are always question-answer. The thing is, what you can do is point out the futility of it by going: “is that the most fun you ever had?” “Yes.” “Is ‘Motherly Love’ your most popular song?” “Yes.” “Is the new album coming out soon?” “No.” But when you do that you just come off sounding like a twat, but the penny hasn’t dropped with the interviewer that they’ve just asked a load of closed questions so there is nowhere to go with it. It’s just a series of statements of that you’re supposed to encourage along and stretch out.
You’ve been gone for so long, people are going to be wanting to know where you have been. By the time you formed and split, I wasn’t even born. Now we’re all here together – how weird is that?! When you were playing, I wasn’t even a sperm in my father’s ballsack… wait, what?!
H: There’s a mental image that I can’t rid of! You swimming around in your father’s balls. Oh dear. Hey! I’m the sexy spunk.
H: That’s the album title right there: swimming in my dad’s ballsack. We could do a megadeth with it…swimming in…then flip it over…my dad’s ballsack. Killing is my business…my business is good…swimming in…my dad’s ballsack.
We have a concept, we can start writing.
H: Grease sells.
I can see the artwork now. Acid reign have made a cum-back!
H: We can post the video on lubetube. We can post it up there or slide it in.
People are happy that you’re back.
H: The five of us are happy about it! I think there is an incredible amount of goodwill and like I said right at the beginning last night, who wants to feel 18 again? What a fucking cheer! Who is 18 and wants to feel 12. Because of when we were around and stuff, people have hit that age where you go through your life and turn your back on certain parts of it and then you hit 40 and suddenly want to re-examine loads of stuff from your life. But the most important thing for me and for the rest of the guys is that this is about new memories: moving forward. Somebody said to me, are you going to play ‘Postman Pat’ something to do with Genghis Khan – no we’re not. Those were silly songs to pad the set out back in the day. We’ll play the Acid Reign songs, but eventually we want to get more and more new stuff in it. My first goal is 50-50: 50% new tunes, 50% old tunes and to have people going as nuts to the new stuff as they did to the old stuff, which will probably never happen.
Marc: What’s really cool about it is that there’s no vibe like, “oh these are new guys in the band” – it just feels like we’ve been part of Acid Reign. Everyone’s been appreciating the band for what it is now and not comparing it to what it was.
H: We were walking around after the show last night and all people wanted to do was come up and say “fucking great, fucking brilliant”. We came in today via the merch stand and straight away people were around us saying “that was fucking brilliant, we loved it”. No one gives a shit – we did a signing last night at 6 and we sat all in a row and these people were getting copies of ‘The Fear’, of ‘Obnoxious’…it’s mental.
Marc: Ended up drawing cocks on them.
H: As we also did back in the day. That’s why everyone fits in so well.
Cocksurgence! People I have been talking to say that metal is going through another revival.
H: I don’t know – I don’t think it ever went away. Fucking hell, this is sounding like some Blackie Lawless interview now. I don’t think it re-emerges: I think it just becomes slightly more mainstream for a bit and then it goes away again, but the underlying support is always there. There are peaks in the mainstream and it just pops its head up occasionally. I think – all in all – not that much has changed really, this festival has gotten bigger each year and people try to tell me that’s something new, well, no. It’s got bigger every year for God knows how many years.
So coming back after 25 years, you don’t make it sound like a fuckton has changed!
H: The only that has changed is that the audience is slightly older. That’s it. I mean, they’re the same fucking nut jobs that they were always, they’re just a bit older. We were walking across the main area, we were stopped by this guy who was like I have never heard of you before last night but when I get home I’m going to get everything you’ve ever fucking done – that was just mind-blowing.
That’s what you want!
H: Well, not really – you want it to be cute women, but it’s Acid Reign, so it’s always men, or women who look like men! Sorry to every female Acid Reign fan!
The one thing that has changed is the media and the press. Now, you get people that are genuine enthusiasts and sometimes enthusiasts do just come at you with a list of fanboy questions and it is quite hard to make that into an engaging interview when it is just like very simple questions. You have to be conscious of everyone’s skill-sets and you don’t want to be rude or anything like that.
Interviewers take note! Regardless, we’re glad you guys are back and we will keep pestering you for the next 25 years!
Acid Reign can be found via the following: