Tuesday, September 8, 2009

"Help Us Help" ACIDIC's Young Musicians Make a Difference

What happens when a young up and coming band in California decides to help animals? You have an interesting phenomenon that could serve as a lightening rod for others.

ACIDIC Lead Singer and Guitarist, Michael Goassard, started the band in early 2007 when he was a freshman in high school. About 15 months ago ACIDIC took its current form when drummer Matt Whitaker and bass player Ted Dubrawski joined the band.

What makes these young men stand out from others is that they started “Help Us Help,” before Christmas 2008.

“There was a really bad brush fire in Sylmar,” Michael recalls. “The fire burned a lot of people out of their homes. We heard from volunteers at the East Valley Animal Shelter that everything there was getting really stressed. Animals lost their homes too and people who were burned out couldn't keep their pets. Those pets wound up at the East Valley Animal Shelter. Lots of people donate dog toys and blankets and stuff but nobody thinks about how the volunteers need other supplies, and they run short of money for vaccinations and other things. They were dreading kitten season because they'd have to provide foster care themselves for the animals and cover all the expenses out of their own pockets. And then there was a foreclosure crisis at that time with lots of people losing their homes because of money trouble. That was bad for pets, too. We thought we might be able to help because we all have pets and they're rescues. So we thought if we split the money from CD sales with the volunteers with that shelter, our fans and friends could "Help Us Help." Seemed like a good idea,” he recalls.

Their charitable efforts started there but didn’t end there. These young musicians are serious about continuing “Help Us Help.” The charities they support usually are something meaningful to them on a personal level, starting with animal shelters.

“Ted's a surfer so he cares about the ocean and Heal the Bay. We're all into environmental protection and preservation. And Matt's a cancer survivor. He had childhood leukemia. He's been active in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society that helps sick kids and their families,” Gossard explains. “We've played at a lot of their events and we'll do more for them whenever they ask. There's this place in San Pedro called Beacon House - it's a rehab center that helps a lot of people conquer addictions and alcoholism. They invited us to play at their Summer Block Party two years ago - it was one of our first gigs ever. Then they kept inviting us back, like for Halloween and the next summer. We just played our third straight Summer Block Party a few weeks ago. We love those guys! They had faith in us even before we did! We'll go down there and play for them forever! They really make a difference,” he enthuses.

“And there's one more. We heard about the horrible car accident that Deftones bass player Chi Cheng was in last November. He's still in a coma and his family didn't have health insurance. There was a fundraiser on Ebay last spring and we raised the most money for him. They were able to get him some treatments they couldn't afford before. What we got in return was the chance to play Main Stage at Bamboozle Left at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater last April! That was THE BEST!!!!”

How many charities they will help will depend upon what their fan base and other compassionate people could support. “And how much strength and how many gigs and other opportunities we have and how little sleep we need,” Gossard adds. “We'll help whoever we can - however we can, and whenever we can. Life's been pretty good to us. We want to give back - kind of like saying a big thank you to the cosmos….”

They’re always open to new charities, “Whatever pulls at our hearts. There's an awful lot of need out there. It's a way we can say thank you for everything nice that's happened to us - by giving back. And hey, people need the help. I was in another band last year that put on a concert for my high school. We raised 5,000 dollars!” he adds. “But we won't forget our favorites!”

When asked what he wants people to know about ACIDIC, Gossard says, “I'd LOVthem to know that ACIDIC is a band definitely worth their knowing and their time. We work harder onstage than you can believe! We figured each of us probably loses two or three pounds after every show. Our drummer, Matt, had to go to First Aid right after we finished our set at Bamboozle, and have his hands all bandaged up. I'm told our tunes are good to drive to, also. And don't forget - if you support us, you're probably going to be supporting one of the charities we care about, too. Like I mentioned earlier - you'll be helping us help. And thank you for asking! Please check us out - www.acidicband.com - which will take you everywhere like Myspace and Facebook and YouTube. Check out our video - "Ironic Dreams," too, and also - there's a link on our home page where you can join our mailing list and find out what we're doing. We'd really appreciate that a lot!”

ACIDIC has been described as “the youthful exuberance of Green Day with Coldplay sensitivity” is currently touring in conjunction with the release of their debut CD, “Ironic Dreams.”

It’s nice to know that they understand that there’s more to life and they use their music to make a difference.