Thursday, 19th July 2018. 4:49:18pm ET
Interviews (EBM, Electro, Electronica) Interview- Angels On Acid

Interview: Angels On Acid

Interviewer: Phill Bruce

Date: 6-22-11


Facebook has become a huge influence on your lives since it was created.  A social network to connect to people that you would never have the fortune to meet in life, keep up with friends, even organize your life around and keep in contact with long lost relatives. The music industry have cleverly used this medium to help band’s jump on the band wagon for free publicity and to share their latest song’s, albums, merchandise, promote yourself and touring guide.  It was by pure coincidence that I come across a band called Angels on Acid by a friend’s recommendation, being curious I added them. What I came across blew my mind, the music I discovered was amazing.  Listening more I really enjoyed what I heard.  So I asked Angels on Acid if they would like to talk more to Grave Concerns about their music and more information on their amazing band.

Phill – Thank you so much for taking time out of your very busy schedule to give Grave Concerns this interview.

AOA – Michael: Our pleasure Phill! I have to agree that social media has brought so many of us closer together. I consider it to be a double edged sword, but I absolutely love to talk with fans. Word of mouth and our incredible fans have led us to you and your readers.

Phill – Can you please introduce your selves for our readers at Grave Concerns, what talent you have in the band and where in this glorious world you come from?

AOA –  My name is Michael. I started Angels On Acid as a solo project in 2003. Our original guitarist Damien worked with us on our first two full length albums “Eyes Behind The Curtain” (2007), and “Blood Sweat and Tears” (2010). Jessica has been helping us live with programming and backing vocals since 2005. We also have 2 new live members in 2011. Eirik Ashe on drums and Saint Sacrifice on lead/rhythm guitar. Without a doubt we are a powerful force live. With our new EP coming later this year we are all looking to hitting the road.

Phill – I would love to know what are everyone’s musical influences in the band?

AOA – Thanks to my brother I had the opportunity to experience a lot of music that I would otherwise have been too young to know about. We grew up outside of DC in the music explosion of the 80's. I remember looking at listing to early Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Ministry, Front 242, Skinny Puppy, Stone Roses, The Smiths, Depeche Mode, you name it. That's when albums still meant something to people. It used to be hard to find great underground music. But you felt like you really discovered something precious and unique. You couldn't visit a website or something.

I got my start in punk and hardcore bands in the mid nineties. Shortly thereafter I started wring my own solo stuff using analog drum machines, and a shitty one tone synth. I just didn't have any money back then so I used what I had available. Because of the limitations of my equipment my early stuff was super rhythm based. It was all good practice for what would eventually become Angels On Acid.  I have always had the DIY attitude.

Phill – Is there any of your interests that inspire you when you create your lyrics?

AOA –  Life experience is the most natural influence for any artist. As a fan of music not just a musician I want something tangible that I can relate to. Something that makes me feel. Writing good lyrics is a craft.

Phill - How were AOA formed and where did you all meet?

AOA –  After years of producing I knew I wanted to bring a more “live” approach to my music. Adding vocals, guitars, and other live instruments was inevitable. It was extremely important for our sound to be unique. I was originally performing live as a solo artist. In 2004 Jessica and I started dating and I added her as a live member later that year. I was always friends with The Omen (Guitarist 2005 – 2010). He was a fellow dj/producer in the mid nineties. We randomly reunited in 2005 and the rest is history.  We are now drawing closer to our next EP with a brand new live line-up. Eirik Ashe is now our full time live drummer. We performed together for the first time in Texas at a festival and the response was AMAZING! We are also now working with our new guitarist Saint Sacrifice who used to be in the Industrial metal band Fractured Fairytales. Both bands were playing a festival together a few years ago and we stayed in touch. They are both extremely talented and well skilled musicians. Needless to say the next tour with be sick!

Phill – At what point did you develop that Angels on Acid sound we all love and what was the feeling like when you knew you had discovered your own sound?

AOA – Angels on Acid is influenced by so many different styles of music. Some more obvious than others. We choose to stay experimental and not peg ourselves. When the project started in 2003 my main focus was to bring all of these elements into fusion. Behind every great band there is what I like to think at least one rouge influence that makes their sound unique. I just so happens that we have quite a few of them. I think our fans have grown to love are willingness to be different among other bands in our genre.

Phill – Do any of you hold full time professional jobs, outside AOA? Do you find it difficult juggling work life and band time?

AOA – We all have at least part time jobs. The economy has effect every aspect of the music business. I was laid off in 2009 and took up a job helping friend move furniture for his consignment business. It's been humbling to say the least. Working has kept us honest and allowed us years to learn how to operate independently from the corporate music death machine. There was a time when we were signed to a record label. I learned a lot of what to do and not to do in the music business. More importantly Angels On Acid will always be a band for the people. We speak from the heart and stay honest with who we are. Our fans seem to respect that about us.

Phill – So how did you come to be included on the film soundtrack for Defcon 2012?

We were asked by the director pretty early into the process. I was surprised to see bands like Die Krupps, and FGFC820 on the bill. I'm a big fan of horror and sci-fi so I was excited to be selected. The used the Industrial Metal track “The Vile” from our first full length album “Eyes Behind The Curtain”.

Phill – You’ve performed on the same bill as a lot of major bands, so which band hold the best memories and why?

AOA –  Oh man. Each show is special in its own way. Mainly due to the energy of our fans. It's a very interactive experience. When it comes to headlining bands I really enjoyed hanging out with the guys from Tactical Sekt, My Life with The Thrill Kill Kult. Getting to take En Esch and Gunter to get burritos was pretty memorable as well.

Phill –  Haunt Me has been described recently as having the ethereal quality of Joy Division, how does it feel to be compared to such a great band and have there been any memorable comparisons people have made?

AOA – I find comparisons to a band as influential as Joy Division to be a great complement. Of course I hope that new listeners con discover what make our sound unique.

Phill – What is the reasoning and history behind the name Angels on Acid?

AOA –  I have always had a fascination with the paranormal. From my own personal experiences and those of family members and friends. I don't claim to know or understand what the eye can't see. But I do know I have experienced things I can't explain. In fact our new drummer Eirik Ashe is an ordained minister for the Church of Satan. So something as tongue and cheek as the subject of “angels” only comes naturally.

During the early 90's I was a big acid head. And my taste in music at that time definitely reflected it. I was introduced to Acid based Techno and Psychedelic Trance through some massive parties we have in the mountains of North Carolina and started producing my own later that year. Acid and other psychedelics certainly changed the way I write and listen to music. You can still hear the influence in our style today.

Phill – You’re style is quite unique especially the combination of Michael and Jessica’s vocals seem to complement each other perfectly and the infusion of the guitars The Omen brings to the dark haunting melodies.  So how would you describe your style?

AOA –  It's a combination of so many elements. Everything from classical to dark electronica, metal, synth pop. We want each track to have its own unique sound.

Phill – What is the evolution process of songs in Angels on Acid?

AOA – Most songs start out with a melody and basic vocals on the piano. From there begins the process of turning the basic elements into a song. Inspiration is extremely important. I sit down to write and arrange the music and lyrics. Then we add the guitars to give the track a little flavor.  Perfroming new songs live can really be helpful as well. It helps to give you new angles on the piece.

Phill – You are headlining Zombifest this year, we wish you all the best from us at GC, how did this come about and what does it feel like being the headlining act?

AOA – It's great to be a part of the festival. There are a lot of amazing bands on the bill so we are really looking forward to it! I'm most excited about performing unreleased material from our next album with our new line-up!

Phill – As a vocalist myself I know how hard it can be to maintain the quality of your vocals when you are going from melodic to dirty, how do you sustain this Michael?

AOA – It is a craft I have been working on for years. Dynamics are extremely important to our music. Through the years trial and error has helped to develop the Angels On Acid style.

Phill – Blood, Sweat and Tears was a very dark album, can I ask, what was the inspiration for the lyrics and emotion behind this album?

AOA –  “Blood Sweat and Tears” was written while there was a lot of uncertainty for the future, both personally and in the world around us. My brother who passed way about four months ago was in and out of the hospital with surgery complications.. Seeing his decline the last few years before his death was truly hard to handle. Not to mention with all the conflict going on in the world around us , it's hard to avoid fear toward the future of humanity and the question of  our own mortality. Not just for myself and the ones I love, but for future of humanity.

I know his passing has made me stronger. It's up to each of us to choose to enjoy each day. You never know which breath might be your last. So live for today and enjoy life and the ones you love. You can feel the pain in songs like “Haunt Me,”  “Epitaph”, and “Waiting For The Day”.

Phill – Where can you see Angels on Acid in the next few years and what are your hopes for the future?

AOA – I see Angels On Acid eventually touring internationally and continuing to find new and innovative ways to write music. Our fans are such a huge inspiration to us. It has and will always be our inspiration to keep pushing forward.

Phill – Is there any instrument or piece of equipment that is crucial to the Angels on Acid sound, what is it and why is it so important?

AOA – Without a doubt instrumentation is a very important part of our sound. We have always had a few instruments that were predominate on each album. My Access Virus C is by far my favorite synth though. I rejected using any vst's on our first two albums but I have since changed my opinion. Of course guitars are a big part of the sound as well. Saint Sacrifice DBZ Venom Thoracic -X and Line for amps and effects. We both use Sure Wireless Mics live and Blue mics for recording.

Phill – In your opinion where in this world is your biggest fan base?

AOA – Hard to say who the most veracious fans are. Texas, Philly, DC are all in the top five hear in the states. Word seems to be growing in the UK and Germany. We hope to be able to tour these areas when our next EP is released later this year.

Phill – Can you describe what a typical band rehearsal is like for you? I bet there is a lot of hard work involved, yet a lot of fun.

AOA – There is a lot of in depth planning and fine tuning that goes on behind the scenes. Usually multiple versions of each song are written and some are scraped all together. Since most of this is done on my own. I like to let our guitarist put their own heart and soul to the songs. It’s seems to be a great partnership.

Phill – What is your inspiration in life, that gives you get up and go every day?

AOA – My family, My Lover, and my Love for music (my other lover, LOL!) Jessica has been such a positive influence in my life. I never thought I would live to see thirty the way I was living. Without a doubt I wouldn't be doing this interview if it wasn't for her love and encouragement. Our fans and their undying support has also been a huge motivation over the years.

As I had mentioned I recently lost my brother Robert to alcoholism. He left behind a 4 year old boy who really needs a father figure in his life. I love to be able to spend time with him. The whole situation has really put life in perspective for me.

Phill – Would you prefer Pasta or Pizza if you had to choose in a restaurant?

AOA –  How about both? Hahaha! No, my favorite food is sushi. Without a doubt...

Phill – Who are your comedy heroes?

AOA – I always liked Canadian Comedy like Kids in the Hall or British comedy like Monty Python. I don't know. The weirder the better.

Phill – Do you have a favourite brand of car that you would like to own if money was no issue?

I hate driving for the most part. I have a huge road rage issue so the less time I spend behind the wheel the better....Hahahaha!

Phill – Thanks very much for giving Grave Concerns this interview is there anything you would like to comment on or add to the interview, please feel free to plug you album, band or any up and coming projects?

AOA – I would just like to that you and Grave Concerns for helping to spread the word about Angels On Acid. As always thank so much to our fans for all your love and support. And thank you to all the new listeners who have taken the time to learn more about our music! We will be releasing additional information through-out the year about our new 2011 EP. Please keep up to date with the latest info @


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