If Cocteau Twins and Kate Bush got fruity in a basement-club toilet, and 9 months later gave birth to sordid, illegitimate offspring, their pained caterwauls would sound just like The Acid Portal. Laying grimy, 80s inspired synths under hazy, dream-laden vox, this London 3-piece are riding the crest of the recent experi-goth-electro wave, alongside the likes of Charli XCX, The Voyeurist and MNDR. Less ‘pop’ than their counterparts, The Acid Portal are definitely the new kids on the block – and perhaps haven’t quite hit paydirt with THAT song – yet. ‘Sleepwalker’ suggests the sweet spot isn’t too far off. We caught up with the trio to chat Beatles, Fisher Price instruments, and staying away from the woods.
The Acid Portal – what’s the story?
Robert: Initially, the three of us formed in order to make music that we love; songs as stories to be told at the dead of night, fashioned from sounds that might haunt an unsettling dream. We only started writing together recently, so we’re still constantly refining and re-shaping what The Acid Portal is.
What got you interested in music?
Tobias: Listening to my parents’ Beatles records at a very early age probably played a major role in this. I liked the idea of playing music to tell a story. I would use whatever instrument I could find, whether it was a broken harmonium, Fisher Price glockenspiel or just singing. Most of the time I’d make the story about something weird like ghosts, or just anything that might piss off my family. The music accompanying the words made the stories more vivid. I’ve always been fascinated by songs that transport you to a different world.
What was the first CD you ever bought?
Tobias: Being completely honest, my first CD was ‘Paranoid’ by Black Sabbath. At the same time, lots of my friends started playing electric guitar and I remember learning the incredible ‘Iron Man’ riff. It’s still one of the most iconic guitar pieces of all time.
Hekate: Well, my first CD was ‘Seal’ by Seal. No iconic guitar riffs there, but I guess there are much worse musical places for a child to start.
Robert: Mine was ‘Stay On These Roads’ by A-Ha. Only polite guitar on that one. And layer upon layer of massive 80s synths.
Describe your sound in 5 words?
Hekate: Don’t go near the woods.
Where do you find inspiration?
Hekate: The creepy, the demented and the unexplained. We tend to get carried away because we can spend days making our strange music, tucked away in Robert’s bedroom and writing about things we never did but always wanted to do.
You only have 4 tracks online – when we can expect more? Should we expect more of the same?
Robert: We’re recording all the time and now have a hoard of material to be unleashed in some form or other over the coming months. Our aim is to improve and evolve, with each new each new track being similar but different. Better and better.
Any live gigs / exciting collaborations on the cards?
Tobias: We’re throwing ourselves into writing and recording now – wishing to make the most of our ideas whilst they’re still feel fresh and new. Of course, we’ll be performing again in the New Year, developing our live show increasingly into something more dramatic and involving. In terms of collaborations, if something particularly interesting was proposed then we’d certainly be open to it. Our aim right now is to turn these ideas and hooks into great songs that’ll linger in the memory.
What are your plans for 2013?
Hekate: Finish our first album, travel to Japan. To never keep still and to rupture expectations at every opportunity.
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Download ‘Hell Hound’ free on the band’s Soundcloud page.