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| 26 April 2019 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “Female fronted rock band New Years Day is gearing up to release their new full-length album Unbreakable on April 26th via RED MUSIC. The Billboard charting band just released their empowering anthem “Shut Up”, which already has over 200K streams and is climbing the Rock Radio charts. The track, which impacted radio jumped from #44 to #26 on the chart. “Shut Up” was also featured on Spotify’s “Rock Hard”, “Heavy Queens”, “New Metal Tracks”, “New Noise”, and “Fierce Femmes” playlists. Additionally, Apple Music featured the track on their “Breaking Hard Rock” playlist and Amazon Music featured the band on their “Rock Scene”, “Brand New Music”, and “Fresh Hard Rock” playlists. Topping it off, the band’s pseudo video for their debut track, “Skeletons”, off of the forthcoming album has raked in over 3 million streams.” We get Ash to discuss new music, touring, and much more…

Ash: Oh, hi!

Toddstar: How are you doing Ash?

Ash: Hi, I’m good, how are you? I’m just getting ready for the day.

Toddstar: I’m well. Appreciate you taking the time out, it’s only been a few months since we spoke last, but I’m, I’m very excited to speak to you just days before Unbreakable is released.

Ash: I know, I’m really excited, actually. It’s been a long time since we’ve released new music.

Toddstar: Tell us what is it about Unbreakable. What do you think your fans may or may not grab the first or second time they listen through, Ash?

Ash: You know what’s really crazy is, I’m not worried about that. Like I think they’re going to grab it. I’ve become a person that has a really, like, strong connection with our fans. You know, I feel like I know them really well. And I can just tell that they, even from the previews, like the tiny little 15-second snippets we’ve released that, that they’re going to grab it.

Toddstar: Are there any nuances in the lyrics or in the music that, or any quote-unquote Easter eggs that anybody should be looking for as they listen through Unbreakable?

Ash: Nothing hidden. So no Easter eggs, nothing like that. But I think it’d be really cool, because we do a lot of songwriting sessions, so I think it’d be cool for fans to like, try and guess who, like who from their favorite bands we wrote each song with. You know? There’s some co-writes with Lzzy in there, and Against The Current, and gosh I’d have to really think about it but there’s more. And I want to see if they can guess.

Toddstar: Building on that, Unbreakable drops April 26, and will be supported with the band’s first headlining tour. What’s that like for you guys knowing that you guys have a headlining tour coming up where and it’s going to be your show?

Ash: I’m not going to lie, little bit of pressure. Just a little bit. But I’m very excited. I’m very excited, I’m very ready. I feel like we’re long overdue.

Toddstar: You’ve got about a month of dates with Falling In Reverse and then you’re doing some headline dates, and then a few festival radio shows in the middle. What kind of things have you learned? You Lzzy from Halestorm – you guys have been out with them and you’re going to do some dates later in 2019 with them. What kind of things have Lzzy or Maria [Brink from In This Moment] who you were out with taught you or what tips have they given you that you think you can bring to a headlining tour that you may not have thought of when you first started kicking this off?

Ash: They’ve given me a lot of tips in just like life, you know? I’ve learned a lot from those girls about business and outlook on being a front person, male or female, you know I’ve learned so much, specifically from headlining. I’ve learned two very different things from each band. You know, from In This Moment I learned to go for it. You know, if you have a cool idea or vision to make your show more fun, or more visually stunning, go for it! Make it happen! There was one date earlier in the tour when Maria didn’t have a lot of the stage stuff she had in the end, so she was out in the forest picking branches and taping them to mic stands, you know. So if you have a vision just make it happen. And then, from Halestorm, I learned that you don’t even need production. You know? They didn’t have all the- they had lights, you know, but that was it. And they didn’t need it, you know. They relied on their musicianship. And I thought that was really cool.

Toddstar: Getting back to Unbreakable, the song “Shut Up” is out there and it’s killing it on the charts. What was it about that track that made it right for you guys to kind of lead with it? What about that song prompted you guys to say, “This is the track the needs to show what we’re about”?

Ash: I think because it was one of the more poppier songs? We just wanted to kind of shock everybody, wow everybody. So besides “Skeletons” and “Shut Up” there really isn’t, there’s no other like poppy songs on there. So we just wanted to kind of go ahead and show that to the world. We were really excited.

Toddstar: You mention “Shut Up” – it’s poppier; how do you approach it differently – not only from a songwriting view, but from the vocal standpoint?

Ash: It was very different. I did that song with Scott Stevens, who has written with Shinedown, Halestorm, In This Moment, among many other bands on the radio. I was so used to singing rock music – heavy, powerful rock music and he kept wanting things softer and softer. And that was actually the hardest part for me. It was really hard to find a soft singing voice. It was a challenge.

Toddstar: You mention that on this album you’ve done some co-writes. Who’s out there that you’d like to collaborate with?

Ash: Oh, I would love to collaborate with In This Moment – we haven’t yet.

Toddstar: Is there something specific that you’d like to do with them?

Ash: Oh, just see what kind of magic happens.

Toddstar: You know, it’s so fun to watch bands – New Years Day included – climb to where you’re getting your own headline tour. What’s it like when you meet some of these bands or some of these peers of yours that you are fans of? Are you ever starstruck?

Ash: I’m not starstruck the way you’d imagine the word. But I get very, like, “Holy shit, what is my life right now?” Like, “How did I get to this point?” You know, because we’ve toured with Marilyn Manson, and we’ve met pretty much all of our idols. We’ve met KISS and Alice Cooper, and we’ve met Motley Crue and, you know, we hear things like Alice Cooper saying we’re the future of rock, and things like that, and it’s just kind of this, “What the hell is our life right now?” moment.

Toddstar: On the flipside of that, Ash, what’s it like for you, and how do you handle when you get a fan who hits that wall, you know they’re just starstruck that, you know, they trip over their own tongue trying to even speak to you?

Ash: I mean, it’s not like I love it when people get tongue-tied, but I do love it when people share how much New Years Day means to them. Or, if it’s like a girl or a guy, New Years Day has inspired them to chase their dreams in some way, you know that obviously means a lot. Because, it was my favorite bands that prompted me to chase my dreams.

Toddstar: Well with New Years Day, what’s the echelon that you guys hit, to where you thought to yourself, “We’ve made it; we’ve hit the first plateau that I wanted to hit”?

Ash: In my mind, because I’m like a very goal-oriented person, we hit one goal and I’m like, “Okay, when’s the next one?” So I think for me it was a lot of things, it was getting to play main stage, you know, getting the main stage offer for Warped Tour, getting to be on the cover of AP Magazine, headlining in the UK. Gosh! Walking onstage in our first arena… Fuck! There’s a lot. Getting on Top 20 radio. All the things I hoped would happen have happened, or are happening right now. That is, it’s very strange because I get really excited, then I also am scared.

Toddstar: You’re doing a lot of press right now with the new album coming out and headline dates starting in a little more than a month. That said, when it comes to interviews, what’s the one question that may have bounced around in your head that you’ve always wanted somebody to ask you but never has?

Ash: I can’t think of a question that I’ve wanted people to ask me. I just don’t think of it like that. I love all the questions I get asked. I’m never like, “Oh man, I wish someone would have asked me that!”

Toddstar: On the flip side of that, what’s the one question you’re sick of getting asked?

Ash: Oh, well we all hate the “What’s it like to be a girl in a band?” Or I hate whenever anyone asks me like, “Are you excited for your tour?” I always answer like, “No.” Or, “Are you happy with your album?” Like, “No.” Those are the only questions.

Toddstar: What’s the one band out there that you think would make, in your mind, a killer co-headlining tour with New Years Day?

Ash: We’re doing it! We’re doing it right now! I was really adamant about taking out a band called Diamante. I couldn’t be happier with it.

Toddstar: What about her performance do you think complements what you guys do as well, you guys being able to complement what she does even though she’s the support?

Ash: I think it’s that we’re just both really strong bands, and both strong front women. Overall, you know, good singers, good performers, good people, good personalities, fun to watch, good with the fans. I think it’s just a good combination.

Toddstar: Looking through the track list for the new disc, what are the couple songs that you think will hold up the best in New Years Day’s legacy?

Ash: Oh man, you’ve got good questions. I think “Come For Me” and “Shut Up.” I think “Unbreakable” will. I mean, you hope all of them will. You know, obviously. But those are my favorites right now.

Toddstar: When you’re out touring, what are the couple top cities for you that you just can’t wait to get in front of the crowd? I mean, obviously you love all the crowds, but are there any cities that really stand out to you as far as crowds that really get into what you guys do?

Ash: Oh my gosh, yeah. We definitely have our favorite cities. So, I would say Portland, Oregon; Denver, Colorado; Wichita; New York; probably Houston, Texas.

Toddstar: I know you’re busy, so I want to keep it short so you can get on with what you’re doing and get on with your day.

Ash: Oh, thank you.

Toddstar: Is there a single moment or situation in your career that you could redo, whether it would change the outcome or not? Is there a situation you’d like another crack at?

Ash: No, I don’t think so. I’m kind of a hippie when it comes to that, I always feel like everything happens as it should, and I’m always very pleased and happy with where I’m at in the moment. So I think about that question a lot and I wouldn’t change anything, I wouldn’t go back, because I don’t have any regrets. You know?

Toddstar: Well, again, I appreciate the time, Ash, I can’t wait to hear the whole album when it comes out this Friday. Can’t wait to see you guys when you’re at DTE out here in Clarkston, but I can’t wait to come out there and rock with New Years Day once again.

Ash: Oh, I can’t wait. We’ll see you soon, right?

Toddstar: For sure – sounds good!

Ash: Okay. Thank you so much.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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