cinqque5tion x 2 with Acid Test (by: Jovin Tardif)

Today, I bring to you an interview with Acid Test. Acid Test is a Canadian experimental band from Toronto, Ontario in 1990. Acid Test consists of vocalist and bassist Lucy Di Santo, guitarist Steve Fall, keyboardist Atom Percy, and drummer Tim van de Ven.  The 90’s…Why do I do this to myself? Reflecting back, I can chuckle. In the ’90s, well…I was a teenager just trying to figure it all out. The music world was changing. Instead of your 80s pop, you were surrounded by new genres including alternative music, grunge, hip hop and much much more. Weirdly enough, walking around the hallways in high school, your fashion sense more or less told the story of what you were interested in. Well, in my case, I wore hand me downs. I’m sure people looked at my wardrobe and smiled but hey it’s cool…it’s cool. I may have not looked hip but…thankfully I had a Sony Walkman to listen to the music that I really liked. In the 90s, technology was also evolving. Cable television and the internet were allowing us new opportunities to watch our favourite bands in new ways. Well, of course, dial-up was a challenge … but we will save that for another day. What a time we lived in. Wow!   Thank you for the opportunity.

cinqque5tion x 2 with Acid Test

How was the group formed? Where did you all meet?
“The band was originally created in Toronto as a writing project. Lucy and Steve formed the band after meeting in another band.
Mike joined the group by visiting a studio we were working in and played us a recording of his DJ work and music and it knocked us out. Mike brought along Adam as we needed some keys.”

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These hot plates came in just in time! Going out to our fans on release day April 27 – you can have one too, and they come with a free digital download. Limited run, so check out our store page on to get a copy (link in bio) #vinylporn #albumrelease #indiemusic #alternativerock #acidtest #jusrite

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Can you walk us through the process of being signed by Sire Records (Warner Music Group)?

“The band had been building a following via radio support on CFNY, CKLN, CIUT and several clubs…in the 401 Circuit where the band used to tour. Much Music was playing a few independent videos and filming the band at live events. As the band grew, we were the opening act for the Sugarcubes last performance before Bjork went solo. This was at the famed Concert Hall. At the time Sugarcubes ‘ Hit’ was number #2 on CFNY while Acid Test ‘ Mr Skin’ was number 2. We also had another track called ‘Dance’ charting and a 3rd called Higher later on a few other stations We also played the New Music Seminar in New York and MTV filmed us on this Day in Rock which Seymour Stein saw on MTV addition to our manager giving him a demo.”

Can you describe the type of music that can be heard on your debut album ‘Drop’ by Acid Test?

“Drop” was ahead of its time in ’92 with a hybrid style of grungy guitar, funk, and electronical mixed with a unique slant on songwriting. We knew when we recorded it that it would be a cult record and not so easy to market. But we were proud of it as art.”

Acid Test was the opening act for Nine Inch Nails, Grace Jones, Snow, 54-40, The Ocean Blue and The Sugarcubes. Any fun stories that you would like to share about these bands?

“5440 were amazing to us. Brad, in particular. Trent from Nine Inch Nails was a big source of inspiration and enthusiasm.”

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Last day of practice before the album release – with ALL THE TOYS. #bandpractice #veryloudnoises #indiemusic #altrock #toronto #albumrelease #acidtest #jusrite

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You performed across the US, Canada and the UK. Does Acid Test have any favourite spots?

“Salt Lake City Utah in the 90s was a fun place as the kids were so into live music. New York City and playing at home in Toronto was always special. ”

You contributed soundtracks for Martin Scorsese’s Naked In New York and to the documentary Talk 16. Can you let us know more about these experiences? Did Acid Test reach out to them or did they reach out to you?

“Adrian and Janice from Talk 16 needed extra source music and they were friends of Bruce MacDonald. He helped hook that up. Seymour from Sire asked us to submit music for Naked In New York and the director liked our track “Shake” so it was selected to be in the movie and the soundtrack.”

How would you describe your latest album, “Jus Rite” EP (April 27, 2018) released with ‘At Last Music’ compared to your debut ‘Drop’?

“Jus’ Rite is us 2 decades later rediscovering each other as we parted ways long ago. The sound is Acid Test Through and through.”

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Today is the day!!! Our first recording in 25 years is officially out. Much love to everyone who backed us in this journey – from our friends who egged us on, the people we worked with to make it, and of course the fans who told us they were still with us. Thank you, thank you, thank you – we hope you love this record as much as we do. #indierock #altrock #alternativerock #indie #albumcover #albumrelease #newalbum #acidtest #jusrite

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Can you tell us about that night at The Garrison in Toronto? How did you feel and how the crowd respond.

“The Garrison was a fun night. The crowd was a feel-good vibe.”

Where can we see Acid Test next?

“Lucy and Steve have reactivated their solo band “On” and we are writing right now (Dan Cornelius, Steve Fall, Lucy Di Santo)”

Just for fun. Describe each member of the group in one word.

“Lucy Di Santo (vocals) Funky
Steve Fall (guitarist) Loud
Adam (Atom) Percy (keyboardist/producer) Vegan
Tim van de Ven (drummer) Kiss
Mike Harland (former member) Missed”

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5 years ago today Mike Harland passed away – he was our friend, and not just a great DJ but also a brilliant musician. He was our brother on the road, collaborator, and instigator of some of our best times as a band, and as friends. With all the really horrible events and tragedies that seem to keep going on as recently as yesterday, we really don't want to offer sadness when we talk about Mike if we can help it – while he's gone, as the acknowledged comedian of our little band we're not sure he'd appreciate it to be honest. Instead, over the course of the day, each of us is going to share our own thoughts about the good he brought to us. Hopefully with some humour, and definitely with fond memories of our friend who changed us as a group and even as people – so much so we're not sure he ever knew how much. Today is about Mike for us, and if anyone else who knew him wants to share their own stories, feel free! We'd love to hear them. Photo was taken at CBGBs by Lawrence Brissenden.

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About the Author
Jovin Tardif
Press/Media What On What’s Good
StorytellerConversation Starter,
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