Still Burning

Scratch Acid slouches toward Dallas.

In the end, it's nearly always about the money. Just ask David Yow, singer for Austin's legendary '80s noise rockers Scratch Acid.

"We got back together to play this year's All Tomorrow's Parties Music Festival in Britain," Yow says from his home in Los Angeles. "They pay ridiculous money, so we figured we'd get back together for the hell of it."

But instead of getting back together just for that lone Jeff Mangum-curated appearance, Yow — along with bassist David Wm. Sims, drummer Rey Washam and guitarist Brett Bradford — decided to do a full tour.

"It seemed a waste to do all that rehearsing for just one set of shows," Yow says. "So we decided to do a U.S. tour as well."

Even with the postponement of ATP until March 2012, Yow and crew have enjoyed the time back together. Instead of returning to business as usual, after what was essentially a two-decade layoff, Yow says the recent rehearsals were more like those of a new band.

"We are all such better musicians now, and it came together a lot quicker than expected. It was happily surprising. And, for the most part, we've played really well."

By the time Scratch Acid arrive in Dallas, the band will have a couple dozen shows under its belt, but fans hoping for new studio product will be sadly disappointed.

"It's just too difficult to go back in the studio," Yow says. "Rey and Brad are in Texas, David's in New York and I am in L.A. Plus, I have no desire to make another record."

Even without a new album to cherish, fans of post-punk and noise rock could do much worse than a Scratch Acid show. Known for his wild stage antics, Yow, who also fronted alt-rock heavyweights The Jesus Lizard, admits that at age 51, he doesn't have the angst of his glory days.

"The shows are a little bit calmer now,"Yow explains. "I was hurt many, many times back in the '80s. When I got back home the other day, I told my wife that I had not spilled any of my own blood this time around."

Another part of Scratch Acid lore is alcohol. Legend has it Yow never performed a show completely sober, but the singer claims otherwise.

"There were definitely shows when I had far too much to drink," he says. "I pretty much drank before every show, but we were never that bad where people asked for their money back."

Despite any issues with drink, Yow remains satisfied with the work his band did back in the day and what they continue to do.

"I am proud of the fact that I and the rest of the guys in the band always play as hard as we can. And that's the same whether or not there are 15 people in the audience or 3,000."

 
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