Back-to-back spreading the energy

P.J. Nutting | Boulder Weekly

The Acidophiles want to take you on a trip

In Amandha Gilson’s biology textbook at CSU, the word “acidophile” referred to an organism that flourished in an acidic, normally inhospitable environment. As a band name, it evokes lonely, beautiful imagery of obscure microcreatures, but it’s also pretty catchy to LSD lovers.

Gilson and then-boyfriend Zac Rachid admittedly fit into the latter category when they first met working together in 2008 at the Fort Collins head shop Lazy J’s. But the two didn’t realize they shared a deeper connection until an experience at a Sound Tribe Sector 9 show at Red Rocks Amphitheater. That fateful night, they encountered the type of energy and experience they realized they had been living to recreate.

“We’re kind of past that whole phase now,” Rachid says. “At Red Rocks, when we had that crazy moment, I’m not gonna lie, we were definitely on a lot of acid.”

“But when we took acid,” Gilson steps in, “we weren’t doing it just for the party sake. We’ve always looked at those types of drugs as things to use to increase your self-knowledge and awareness of the universe. So we did it for a while and learned so many things about this life and what everything means, and we got what we needed to keep us going with the music.”

Gilson and Rachid decided to create The Acidophiles, combining their love of trance music with hip-hop rhythms that weave together strands of sound that mellow and excite simultaneously. The acid in Acidophiles is actually an acronym, standing for “awakening and creating individual dreams.” With their music, they hope to distribute the flame that was passed into them to as many fans, drugfueled or not, as possible.

“Now we get that same, fulfilling experience with our audience,” Gilson says, “so we’ve kind of tapered off from doing [drugs] at all because we get what we were ultimately looking for every time we’re on stage.”

They have gathered a whole family of good vibes for their live shows, with live instrumentation (including bassist Randell LaMontagne and drummer Dan Irving), dancers, painters, and especially the projection art added for their appearance at The Fox Theatre. Gilson and Rachid hope that what they call “The Acidophiles orchestra” will become a family of artists, never excluding the audience in attendance.

“We’re both Rainbow Family,” Rachid says, referring to the egalitarian collective that holds meetings in national forests. “When we think of home, that’s where home is. It’s the definition of a tribe, like a 30,000- or 50,000-person tribe. We definitely like that whole idea and are very into it.”

The two have not only given up psychedelics for their music, they’ve ended their romantic relationship, as well. It was a worthwhile sacrifice, they say.

“As soon as the music became serious and [took] the forefront of our mind, we knew we had to take care of the music,” Gilson says.

“We’re definitely not in a romantic relationship,” Rachid says. “However we are completely sure we are soul mates, that we are supposed to be together on stage and doing the Acidophile thing. Amandha likes to put it as, instead of facing each other on stage, we are now back-to-back facing outwards so we can focus our energy on the people we play music for.”

“What may have been lacking in our heart from breaking up has been filled by all the wonderful people who are much more involved in what we are doing,” Gilson says. “There was no loss at all. It was just a transfer.”

Much of The Acidophiles rapid success, which is evident in their appearance in this summer’s Sonic Bloom festival, has been made possible by a deep faith in what they are doing. At the end of their interview, Rachid tentatively offers one more piece of advice.

“We have a belief, a faith I guess, in the Law of Attraction,” he says. “What it says is that everything that is happening to you, you attracted it. It says the universe can hear your thoughts, and the more you think about one particular thing, the more it will show up in your life. For us, it’s really how we’ve gotten as far as we’ve gone. We picture in our heads all the time what our concerts will be like and who we’ll see, and 99 percent of the time, it’s exactly how we pictured it. It’s our faith, and we strongly believe in it.

“The most important thing is that it’s not your thoughts, it’s your feelings,” Rachid says. “If you’re happy right now, you’ll attract happiness in the future.”


On the Bill

The Acidophiles play the Fox Theatre on Friday, May 28.

Doors at 8:30 p.m.

Decauchery and Omega open. Tickets start at $8.

1135 13th St., Boulder, 303- 443-3399.