INTERVIEW: ZILLAS ON ACID PRESENTS STICKER SHOCK





2019 was the year that Zillas On Acid (Thomas Roland and James Weissinger) transitioned from DJ to up-and-coming producer. Having honed their DJ skills at Philadelphia's revered clubhouse Making Time, the pair released "Acid Straps" on Optimo Music, a collaborative EP with Brussels-based major artist Strapontin, which has been released on labels including I'm A Cliché, Hard Fist, La Belle or Nein Records. In this album they work with a pure and uninhibited rave sound, the opposite of subtlety and the sonic equivalent of a video that bites your hand, with a musical style located somewhere in an unknown territory between post punk, tribal downtempo and the dark disco.


Now they publish. a Playground Records Ep with remixes by Toulouse Low Trax and Martin Noise & DELLA. We have had the pleasure of speaking with them and this has been the result.


Hi guys, It’s a pleasure to have you on board.

The European summer is around the corner, What are your plans for it?

We are incredibly STOKED to finally bring a bit of Zilladelphia to Europe this year. We’ll be playing in Palanga, Lithuania with the Opium Club crew, Le Sucre in Lyon, and then Panorama Bar in Berlin! After that, we’re headed to Lausanne, Newcastle, Frankfurt, Bristol, San Sebastián, Vitoria-Gasteiz, and a few other places.

Which is your sensation? Do you think that this year we will finally return to normality or will we continue to navigate in the uncertainty of recent years?

Hoping the good parts of “normal” return and the bad parts stay put! Things most likely will be weird for a bit though…


When was the first time you meet and how did you end up making music together?

We met through mutual friends back in 2005. Shortly after that, we began DJing and throwing parties in Philadelphia’s Gayborhood at a dive bar called Sal’s with two other friends as “Broadzilla” (taken from the Ninja Turtles movie). We would lug a terrible mixer, shitty purple Numark turntables, and many crates of records up and down lots of stairs, then the venue would flood... It was a fun, sloppy time fueled by Sparks energy drinks and being 22. Over the years, two of our members left to become responsible adults and eventually we became… Zillas on Acid. We began producing music together in 2016 and self-released our first 12 inch “Back to the Beast” in 2017.

What can you tell us about this new Ep ‘Sticker Shock’? and about the remixers? Why have Tolouse Low Trax and Martin Noise & DELLA been chosen for this job?

These are all nighttime tunes variously talking with a Moog we found in our studio. “Paper Party” started years ago as a bit of a Metroid Boogie and recently found completion in the Intense Conga Zone. “Wake in Fright” is an (un)conscious tribute to Devo’s “Swelling Itching Brain.” “Cracked Fish Tank” is the soundtrack for an acid aquarium panic attack. And the title track “Sticker Shock” is big mood Audrey Horne lounge music.

Tolouse Low Trax is one of our all-time faves; his remix of Sticker Shock is now one of our favorite things with “zilla” attached to it. Martin and DELLA took the best parts of “Paper Party” and really helped the song achieve its FINAL FORM. It’s… INTENSE! We love it.

Why ‘Sticker Shock’?

The world is falling DOWN and prices are going UP. We’re staring into the void of TOTAL GLOBAL COLLAPSE but there’s still time for optimism and a DRINK. These are songs for deliberate End Times Dancing at maximum volume. Also, it reminded us of Buzzcocks’ “Spiral Scratch”... still figuring out the connection there.

And how about Playground? What can you tell us about the label and its way of working?

Martin & the Playgrounders are a delight. 1000% attention to all the things that matter. They selected the songs on the EP from a big playlist of new material, and we really like what they ended up putting together.

Let’s get nerdy. What hardware and software have you worked with? When you produce... what is your work criteria?

Lately we’ve been working with the Arturia MiniBrute and Drum Brute, the Roland TS-8, a Moog Slim Phatty, our Dave Smith Instruments Mopho (R.I.P. Dave Smith!), and a Sequential Six-Trak. In between: some Space Echo, our trusty Memory Man, bass guitar, and weird voices conjured via seance from YouTube and beyond. Everything gets sliced, diced, and arranged in Mother Ableton. In terms of criteria, we’re always looking for: hypnotic but not boring, trippy but not dippy. Does it make us dance around the studio like idiots while we’re recording it? If so, we’re on the right track.

Well, before saying goodbye, we would like you to tell us what things you have prepared for the near future?

Watch the skies for a new Zillas EP coming soon from Dischi Autunno… we also have a remix for the one and only HEADMAN out very very soon. Finally, we’re currently wrapping up a new collaborative release with Strapontin–a follow-up to our Acid Straps EP last year on Optimo Music. It’s _bonkers_ and we can’t wait to share it.


Bandcamp: https://is.gd/tFQpL6

Beatport: https://is.gd/OKHHIU