Jon: Acid Cross was formed in July 2014. It was myself and Mich (Drums) just jamming some riffs I had written. We both were in a crossover band called REGRET together but he played guitar and I played bass. It started to sound like something so we named it and started writing more songs. Adam (Bass) joined a bit later on around November 2014 and we are now recording a full-length cassette and starting to play live rituals.
2.How would you describe your musical sound?
Jon: I would say we are black metal but with d-beat and thrash thrown in the mix. We use the label “Black n Roll” because we are influenced by bands like Motorhead, Venom, At War and Tank as well. We don’t rely solely on tremolo picking and blast beats, we try to have melody and more rock influenced riffs in the songs. At the same time, the sound is raw like old school black metal and it is kept simplistic in the riffing.
Adam: Definitely has the classic raw black metal sound to my ears. Probably more riff based and rehearsed if anything which lands us in the “black n roll” style. We're only a 3 piece so there is lots of room for each member to “move” around and have their own space. No one really shadows anyone else's part. As a bass player it’s easy to just hide behind the guitar but for me I try to accompany Jon's playing as well as add an additional layer to the song that stands alongside the drums and guitar equally.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Jon: Most of the lyrics are apocalyptic themed and occult/horror movie themed. No one in the band is religious or a Satanist so when I write lyrics about the devil or devil worship, I am speaking about the image of the devil from 60’s and 70’s horror movies. I read a lot of history books about WWI and WWII so there are a few songs related to war. We also have a song dedicated to the BAKU from British Columbia, which for the uninitiated are a group of militant skateboarders that only skate concrete barriers and listen to old school black metal. All three of us in the band are skateboarders, so it’s related in a way. I don’t like politics in black metal or any metal for that matter.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Acid Cross'?
Jon: Acid Cross means that the holy cross is corrupt, like how you see people say “Serpents of Christ” when defining Christians, it is the same as that. The cross is not a holy or good symbol; it is acidic and full of lies. It also just sounded fucking cool and no one else had the name because it’s really hard to come up with an original band name these days.
5.Has the band done any live shows yet?
Jon: No, we are playing our first show at The Bleak Life Festival in Ottawa at the beginning of May and then we have some more shows scheduled in the summer.
6.Recently you have released a rehearsal, what was the decision behind releasing this before an album or ep?
Jon: I always liked how the old bands would release rehearsal tapes before they did proper studio demos or albums. It’s recorded live, in the jam room, usually with a single track recorder and it captures the essence of the band better than anything else. We also just wanted to put it out to have something to show people before the album comes out.
Adam: It's pretty easy these days to record and share content with the internet. Even if it's just a one track demo, it shows people what we're up to and what to look forward to. It's always good to share and document your hard work. It shows people we aren’t lazy.
7. Currently you are unsigned, are you open to working with a label in the future?
Jon: We are going to release the album on cassette ourselves and then hopefully someone will find interest in it and want to release it on their label or maybe some bands will want to do some splits. We are open to working with labels and other bands.
Adam: The album will definitely help with this. It's going to be sick, I’m excited to start work on it.
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by black metal fans that have heard it so far?
Jon: From the feedback I have gotten through e-mail and on facebook for the two rehearsal tracks it has been good so far.
9.You have a full length cassette coming out at the end of May,what should we expect musically once it is released?
Jon: We are planning on recording the drums and guitars live off the floor to keep the raw sound and then we are going to track the guitar leads and vocals separately. The album will have 9 tracks, 7 with lyrics and 2 instrumentals. I think our thrash and d-beat influences will be heard more on the other songs that will be on the album.
Adam: I think its going to be a huge improvement from our early recordings. The challenge will be capturing the energy and rawness with a sense of clarity but also not putting too much emphasis on post-production. I really want it to have a live off the floor sound with minimal production but still heavy as fuck.
10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Jon: My playing style is definitely influenced by thrash and punk bands such as Slayer, D.R.I., G.B.H., Discharge, Sodom, etc. but I am also a big fan of NWOBHM and American Heavy Metal bands like Manilla Road, Angel Witch, Brocas Helm, Cirith Ungol, Satan and obviously Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. And of course I listen to old black metal like Von, Bathory, Mutiilation, Mayhem, Beherit and so forth. I think some bands that do the “black n roll” sound really well are Blizzard (Germany), Sodomizer (Brazil), Motor (Germany), Sardu (Canada), Drunken Bastards (Hungary) and of course Midnight, Nifelheim and the last five or so Darkthrone albums. Currently I have been listening to Nekrofilth, Zoroaster, Welkin Dusk, Sabbat, Aura Noir, Abigail and Autopsy, who are the best death metal band period.
Adam: I'm influenced by good music in general, all over the map. But I guess if we're talking bass playing and the heavy heavy stuff along the lines of Acid Cross I'm looking to bands like Converge, Russian Circles, early Opeth, Wolves in the Throne Room, hell even Primus, it's hard to say. I'm listening to new bands all the time. Yautja, Om, Pallbearer, Mindrot are some pretty awesome bands I've been listening to recently.
11.What are some of your non-musical interests?
Jon: I read a lot of history books in my free time. I have a zine called Metal Punk Death Zine and a small record label called Die Screaming Records that take up my time. I like watching old horror movies and exploitation films. I also skateboard and drink beer whenever possible.
Adam: Uhhhhh… I watch a lot of movies and play video games. Weekend beers with my buddies. I like to cook a good meal on the regular. Without music I’m a pretty boring person I realized.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Jon: Thank you for the interview and thanks to anyone that supports Acid Cross. Keep an eye out for our full-length cassette tape coming out this spring. Listen to metal and bang your fucking heads.