LSD and the Search for God
time well spent
by Sean Blake


Andy of LSD and the Search for God answered some questions via email a little over a month ago about his band's history, the genre they work in and their mouthful of a name. The band just released their debut EP on Mind Expansion Records (obviously) and are currently on tour with England's The Telescopes.

So you just got back from Vegas with Sciflyer right? How was the response to LSD in Sin City?

LSD in Vegas, huh? I think I see a marketing angle for the Nevada Commission on Tourism!

The trip to Las Vegas was great. I know Vegas isn’t thought of as a haven for experimental or psychedelic music, but we’ve played there a couple of times and have been pretty well received. As you mentioned, we traveled there with Sciflyer. We really love their music, and they’ve been incredibly supportive of us from the very beginning, so that was fun. We also had a chance to play with our friends The Pandas (ex-Warlocks), and it’s always a good time for us when we get to play with bands that we respect. We’re going back in a few weeks and are really looking forward to it.

We love traveling, and I suppose we’ve done our fair share of it for a relatively young band. Right now we’re getting ready to hit the road for a few shows with a fantastic band from Philly, The Asteroid #4. In November we’re going to do a handful of shows with Fuxa and our long-time heroes, The Telescopes. That’ll be for our record release, so we’re really looking forward to that.

How did the band come together?

Chris Fifield and I put the band together about a year and a half ago.

At the time I was helping my good friend, Chris Streng (ex-Stratford 4), with his Dazzling Strangers project and I temporarily kidnapped him for LSD. I basically tricked him into coming to a practice. Over the years I played him some of the material that eventually became LSD stuff, and he liked it. I knew he’d be receptive to playing with us and that he and Chris F. would hit it off immediately. I was right, and Chris S. became our original bassist.

We played our first gig in May ’05. At the time, it was pretty funny to us; Chris S. booked a Dazzling Strangers gig at The Rickshaw Stop with Dengue Fever, except we hadn’t had any Dazzling Strangers practices since he began working with us on the LSD songs. Less than a week before the gig, Chris S. asked me if we could change the bill from Dazzling Strangers to LSD. We decided to go for it, but had just three practices to mix in a drummer and a female singer! It was pressure-packed and nerve-racking, but in an exciting and invigorating way. We played five or so originals and ended the set with a drugged-out version of ‘Candy Man’ from Willie Wonka that we practiced only twice. The show went surprisingly well, and we haven’t really looked back since.

After that we played a series of gigs with a different lineup each time; Chris F. and I were the only constants from show to show. Chris S. moved to Grass Valley and that’s when we fell in with Caleb. He’s been a wonderful addition from the beginning, and we felt really lucky to find him. The same is true for Sophia and Steve. They’re both friends who were involved in other music projects that we truly loved, so it was flattering for us that they wanted to be part of LSD. Plus, they’re brilliant musicians and we immediately knew what they’d be able to bring to the band, so we were ecstatic.

When I did a google search for the band, I found out that your name is based on a book, The Private Sea: LSD and the Search for God, what made you decide to name your band after this?

I love the name and think it’s fitting for a number of reasons. I think the band name—or the book subtitle—sums up the universal theme of the human condition, and I think it does so in a pretty clever way. It acknowledges the burden of consciousness: our need to make sense of and ascribe meaning to our existence and, consequently, our pending death. To take it even further, I believe it’s this self-indulgent fascination with and fear of our own mortality that is the true motivation behind everything we do.


Being that shoegaze bands, historically, have had a fairly set formula (soft vocals, fuzzed out guitars, booming drums), do you ever feel restricted with the band's link to that genre? And, do you consider yourself a shoegaze band?

These days, I think the term ‘shoegaze’ is used endearingly by people who are both aware and appreciative of the aesthetic you described. So when we’ve heard people call us a ‘shoegaze’ or ‘spacerock’ band, they’ve usually mean it in a complimentary way.

Nevertheless, we don’t feel at all restricted by any label—‘shoegaze’ or otherwise—that anyone would or wouldn’t use to describe us. We’re keenly aware of the fact that we have no control whatsoever over how people interpret us or our music. In fact, we wouldn’t even want to control that. While external reassurance is always flattering, it has nothing to do with our ultimate goal. As long as we continue to play music that we believe in, it honestly doesn’t matter to us what others think about it.

As far as the second part of your question, do you consider your band a "shoegaze" band? I consider our band to be just that: a band. Our primary loyalty is to our vision, not to a socially-constructed genre or category. All we’re trying to do is express ourselves and our music in an honest and sincere way, and it often feels like we’re communicating something that I don’t think we even understand. Due to this approach, if I had to throw us in a genre I’d say we’re creating soul music.


Can you talk a little bit about your writing process? Is a song virtually complete before it is brought to the band, or is it more of a
collaborative/improvisational style of writing?

Every song takes a unique path to fruition, but for the most part the songs are sorted fairly well before we fuss with them in the band context. Yet a collaborative nature and effort is essential to our sound and what we’re doing.
One thing about this band that’s been so inspirational for all of us is the energy and ingenuity we all bring to the band and our individual roles. We’re inspired and motivated by each other, we hold ourselves and each other to an incredibly high standard, and we feed of each other’s creativity. The songs would sound really different without every member and their individual contribution. I think our band is an excellent example of a project where the sum is greater than the parts.



 

"I love the (band) name... it sums up the universal theme of the human condition, and I think it does so in a pretty clever way. It acknowledges the burden of consciousness: our need to make sense of and ascribe meaning to our existence and, consequently, our pending death."

 


LSD and the Search for God
Self-Titled EP




"Backwards"

www.myspace.com/lsdandthesearchforgod

what it is

Soul Music.

 

 


 

 

THE DELI MAGAZINE 2006