When Lords of Acid toured America this past summer, it was with a line-up so new that founding member Praga Khan hadn’t even met his bandmates until the day of the first show. Having been away from the project for many years, he felt that the best way to get back into it would be to do a tour, and then create new material. The new incarnation of Lords of Acid is rounded out by Lacey Conner (“Rock of Love”, Nocturne) on vocals, former Ministry/RevCo guitarist Sin Quirin, bassist M3 (Powerman 5000) and drummer Kirk Salvador (ex-Society One). In this following phone interview, Praga Khan talks about how the group came together and the future of Lords of Acid.
What made you decide to bring back Lords of Acid at this point in time?
“Because I felt it was the right time to do it. The thing is that I cannot make music on command, so I always have to feel ready, you know…to write music, or do a tour, or whatever. I’d been doing experiments in Europe, working with the Royal Ballet, working with filmmakers, and doing all this crazy creative stuff. I had the feeling that I had to do it, from an artistic point of view. And now that’s over and finished, I felt like it was about time to do another Lords of Acid record. But the best way to do a new Lords of Acid album is to go out on tour in America with Lords of Acid and then start writing the album right after the tour. Because then you are really into the atmosphere and vibe. So that’s why I did the tour now. Right after the tour, I go into the studio and record album.”
Will you be performing in other countries?
“We’re only doing America right now. But it’s been a crazy adventure. The thing is that I arrived in Seattle and we had to do this concert in the evening. But in the afternoon, it was the first time that I met the other people in the band. It was great! [laughs]. I didn’t even really know what they looked like. The only thing I knew is that they received very good feedback from our American manager, because they were rehearsing in LA while I was still in Europe. So it was completely crazy. But I have this good feeling about it. Because what’s life without risks, you know? Sometimes you have to take risks. But I had a very good feeling; that’s why I wanted to do it like this. And it turned out really, really well. We have a great band now, and this singer, Lacy, is doing so much better than I expected.”
How did you come to work with this line-up?
“Our manager in the States asked me if I would be open to work with American musicians, and I told him yes, as I’m always open for experiments. I think it was a very good move, because it’s kind of a bit more raw now. Because the guy is from Powerman 5000 and the other one is from Ministry and all that. It sounds more raw, but it has the Lords of Acid feel. It’s a very good combination. If this all turns out well, and it looks like it will, then I am planning to record the album together with these guys.”
How did you prepare to work with these musicians, since you weren’t with them?
“The first thing I did was send them some material of things we did in the past, like DVDs and stuff, so they could see what it looks like. And I sent them the playlist that I was preparing, the songs we were going to do. And right after that I sent them backing tracks, but only the parts I was going to do, and a click track for the drummer. So that’s how we did it. They were rehearsing in LA and I was in Europe. They were sending files over the internet from the rehearsals so I could follow the progress.”
Did they bring a lot of changes to the material?
“Yeah, that was also one of the first questions that they asked me, ‘do we have to copy it?’ And I said ‘no, no, no, don’t do it.’ Because also the guy Sin, from Ministry, he asked me if he could play his own guitar lines on top of it and come up with something different. I said ‘whatever you want to do, do it.’ Because that’s what makes it special this time. It sounds different, and it also gives me a good feel for the new recordings. I can really get influenced by the band at this moment.”
Did any of the other projects you worked on influence your current work with Lords of Acid?
“The thing is that it’s not having a lot of impact on what we’re doing now, but it’s going to have a lot of impact on what we’re doing to do on the recordings. And it’s going to have a lot of impact on the next tour. Because we are also setting up a company in America, and in Europe, called Sonic Angel. I’ve spent a lot of time preparing this. So we’re doing this new Lords of Acid album, and then we’re going to do a new tour hopefully in February or March. We’ll be coming out with the new album then. And there you are going to see a lot of influence from what I’ve done over the last couple of years, musically as well as visually.”
How have things changed since you last did a Lords of Acid project?
“Now with the modern technology, it really makes it possible to cooperate over long distances. Like they’re doing their stuff in LA and I’m doing mine in Brussels but still we can work together very easily. Also, promo-wise it’s completely different, because you can use your Twitter and Facebook and all that stuff. Information gets around very quick. The word is really spreading, and you can see on Twitter that people are really talking about it. It makes it so much more easy than years and years ago. I’m really familiar with the technology, because we’ve always tried to be ahead of our time. Not only music-wise but also using the newest technology, and we’re taking advantage of it now instead of complaining about people downloading stuff.”
What factors went into choosing the setlist for this tour?
“I thought it would be a good idea to do a sort of ‘best of.’ That’s what we’re doing now, so when people come to the shows they hear all of their favorite songs. It’s nice to have these songs here now for this first tour in eight years. Because when we come back it’s going to be a lot of new material and we’ll experiment more.”
What do you see as the balance between old and new fans at the shows?
“It’s a very good mix, and I’ve been surprised at how many people turned up. There are a lot of young people in the crowds, because they heard a lot about Lords of Acid from their parents or whatever, and everyone seems to like it. It’s the right time to come back with a great new album. There are a lot of people who listen to the songs and say ‘hmm, it sounds very very up to date.’ And that’s because there are a lot of new bands and new artists, like Lady Gaga, who are using these raunchy sounds that we were using years ago. So it connects in the kids’ heads. They are very familiar with the sounds, but the music is new to them.”
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
“Just that I’m very, very happy with the new line-up. I’m very impressed by Lacy, as I know there were a lot of people who were saying ‘is she going to be able to replace Deborah?’ But she’s doing a great job, she’s a real rock and roll girl. She’s very sexy and knows how to perform. It’s perfect.”