Interview: Riding Easy Records
"As long as people are digging to Brown Acid, I'll keep curating the Trips."
Over the last couple of years RidingEasy Records have been releasing a series of compilations of obscure proto-metal and psych from the 60s and 70s under the moniker The Brown Acid. They have been consistently excellent with some serious lost gems on there, so we thought it was about time we caught up with their acid dealer; Lance from Permanent Records.
(((o))): You’ve been running this series for a couple of years now, what got you started on this quest?
I’ve been DJing hard rock / heavy psych / proto-metal 45s at a bar called the Black Boar here in LA for almost 4 years now. I was having a hard time finding copies of some of the rarest heavy rock 45s from the 60s and 70s, even at the usual online outlets, so I started tracking the band members to find copies of these records (with hit-or-miss results).
Also during that time, people were telling me that I should sell the mixtapes I was making of my DJ sets at the shop. I felt uncomfortable with using other people’s music without their permission. However, through tracking band members, I’d amassed a fair amount of contacts, so I started to reach out and got a good response. Right around the same time I met Daniel from RidingEasy and he expressed interest in releasing these comps. And so it began…
(((o))): Did you know all of the music before hand or are you on a voyage of discovery too?
I know most of the music beforehand, but occasionally through digging, I’ll discover something completely unknown to me (and sometimes to collectors in general). There’s a seemingly infinite amount of this kind of stuff to find. You just gotta get out there and find it! Tracking the bands and obtaining permission, however, it’s an entirely different beast.
(((o))): The consistency across the 5 installments has been very good, have you found it harder to get the good stuff as time has passed?
I appreciate you saying that. I always aim to please. I only attempt to track records of a certain caliber and we have a lot of good tunes lined up for future volumes. Although it gets harder and harder to find band members as time passes (unfortunately we’re not all immortal), I am constantly on the hunt for fresh material and sometimes people come out of the woodwork that I thought were lost causes. It’s not an easy job, but somebody’s gotta do it before it’s too late.
(((o))): How do you go about finding this stuff, some of it is pretty obscure?
Any which way! I’ve been turned on to records by other collector friends and dealers and various other resources: the internet, books, zines, etc. It doesn’t matter how you find something, as long as it gets found. I try to always work smarter and not harder, but sometimes the harder way is the only way.
(((o))): Do you try & curate the theme or the flow of each addition?
The flow, yes. The theme of each volume, not so much. However, the theme of the series as a whole is pretty consistent, so it kinda comes naturally. In hindsight, making the Sixth Trip the 666th Trip might’ve been fun, but I like the fact that each volume has a good variety of tunes on it and there isn’t just one Satanic Trip.
(((o))): Our reviewer Chris Ball has compared the series to Lenny Kaye’s Nuggets compilations. Was that always the ambition, to build a reference library of this stuff?
That’s high praise and I really appreciate Chris saying that. I wouldn’t say that it was an ambition at first, but it’s become a part of it. I like the idea of Brown Acid being a series that people can go to from now on anytime they’re looking to get into outstanding obscure heavy rock that was lost to the sands of time.
(((o))): How long do you think you can keep it going? Is there enough good stuff out there?
I’m down to keep it going as long as I can. There’s plenty of good stuff out there to do 50 volumes or more and we already have enough tracks licensed to do at least 10. It’s all just a matter of finding the band members before it’s too late. As long as people are digging to Brown Acid, I’ll keep curating the Trips.