Although summer has long since ended, bands are still making their rounds across the country. New Years Day, for example, took the typical touring season off to take care of some writing, recording, and numerous side projects. Lead singer Ash Costello has been taking the world by storm with her many talents. Within the last year, New Years Day have released their full-length album, Malevolence, Ash’s side project The Haxans have shared their first three songs, and she’s put out a clothing line in Hot Topic as well as a set of jewelry at Never Take It Off. Does she sleep? Probably not.
But now she’s back on the road with New Years Day and ready to tear up the music scene this fall. After 11 years in the music industry, the goth-rock band has exploded into the spotlight and they’re ready for anything. With Malevolence’s success, Ash, Nikki Misery (lead guitars), Jeremy Valentyne (guitar; backing vocals), Frankie Sil (bass), and Joshua Ingram (drums) are pumped to get their next record started. And with the excitement, it’s hard not to rush into the project—but with cool heads and complete focus, they’ve decided to tackle it with patience.
With all of the opportunities that have been presented to Ash, there’s no wonder she’s so stoked. Even this tour sounds as though their sets will be bigger than ever. Before New Years Day set out for the road, I was lucky to catch Ash between meetings and rehearsals to talk about her recent releases, new ideas, and what to expect next from the fiery singer.
How’s the tour prep been going?
It’s going really well. I’m actually on my way to rehearsal right now. We’re bringing production with us for the first time ever, so we’re gonna go practice on an actual stage and learn how it works, see what it looks like. I’m actually pretty excited.
What do you mean by “production?”
We’re bringing some stage sets, bringing some lighting, we’re bringing—you know, just some pieces we’ve never had and have had to rely on the venue and sometimes what the venue has is kind of shitty, so it’s nice. We’re excited.
Have you rehearsed at all with this or is today your very first time?
This is the very first time. I’m so stoked!
You’re touring with Crown The Empire. Have you played with them before?
Yeah, we did a couple years back. They’re the nicest guys.
What are you looking forward to most about tour?
We took a long break for the summer, which is really weird because we’re used to touring non-stop. So I’m just excited to just play. I’m excited to go talk to the fans after the shows. I’m excited to take pictures and sign things. I’m just so stoked for all of it.
What were you guys up to over the summer?
I was focused on my other projects. And then I was focused on the clothing line and then New Years Day was writing new music for our next record. We didn’t tour but we were so busy.
You’ve got The Haxans now, too. How do you juggle both The Haxans and New Years Day?
It’s really hard because Matt (Montgomery) plays with Rob Zombie who toured in the summer and I play with New Years Day, obviously. And so, finding a time when we’re both home, it takes a lot. It’s a labor of love, it’s a project of passion, and we’re both exhausted, but we find the time to do it because we really care about it a lot and we just discovered some unexplored musical territory and now it’s kind of like our duty to put it out there. Like it’s our calling. So, it’s hard, but we make it work because we love it so much—so much.
The Haxans have a very different sound when compared to New Years Day; how do you manage writing music for both bands?
I kind of let Matt take the reins when it comes to The Haxans, so that helps me out creatively so I’m not, like, creatively drained. He’s a genius. That guy can shut his eyes, write a song, and then open them in a matter of five seconds. He just hears things that no one else hears floating around in the universe. He just plucks it out and puts it into the computer and just—there it is. And it floors me every time because for New Years Day, the writing process is very long. The songs just take a long time to come together.
But with The Haxans, he just—boom. There it is. And it’s awesome. Very different writing style. It’s kind of like New Years Day and Rob Zombie put together. There are Rob Zombie elements and there are definitely New Years Day elements, but we like to call ourselves like a gothic Tina Turner. It’s like fun, funkadelic, groovy. Maybe we’re the goth Sonny and Cher. I don’t know.
I can see that for sure. How did you get involved with this project?
I bumped into Matt walking the black carpet of the Golden God Awards in Los Angeles. And we bumped into each other—there’s probably a picture of when we met, too. He told me later down the line that he got a feeling that we just, we were supposed to do something together—and it’s very true. Matt and I are, like, two peas in a pod in a brother and sister way.
He definitely feels like an older brother and he looks out for me like a younger sister. Plus the shit we have in common is like, no one else in this world could possibly share the love that we share for some things because it’s so specific and weird and macabre and bizarre. Even down to my favorite issue of Fangoria when I was a little kid. It’s just weird—separated at birth weird. So, he came to me a year or two later with a few songs that he’d written and ask if I was interested and I was like, “F***ing hell, yeah. Sign me up. Let’s do it.” And it’s taken us over a year to record these songs.
Wow. A year! And you guys just released three songs in October. What do you feel about letting them out to the public?
I was really nervous because it’s so different and there’s really no one else doing this kind of music. So it would either make a wave or it would just fall under and no one would give a shit because it’s just too out there. But we feel like there is a void to be filled. There should be a female, psychedelic, funky, poppier… There’s a hole waiting to be filled and The Haxans fit right in there. It’s fun!
And talking about releases, New Years Day released Malevolence about a year ago. With a year of touring the album and letting it be heard, how do you feel about the record’s success?
I think it did exactly what we were hoping it would do. We took it to the next level, take it a set up, grow up a little, put it on a platform and that’s just what it did. I feel like the door has been kicked wide open for us and we can go as heavy as we’ve always wanted to go. And now the writing process for New Years Day is so exciting because we’re kind of surprising ourselves with our capabilities for songwriting. We’re taking it above and beyond, where New Years Day has never gone and I’m really excited.
So can we expect some new material soon?
Probably mid next year. We’re getting started early. We wanna put a lot of thought into it and not rush it. Malevolence was very rushed, so it’s still gonna be a while.
Since you’re going to be on tour, will you be able to get some writing in on the road?
Oh, yeah. We write on the road all the time. We’re always writing.
Perfect! And I saw that you have a clothing line at Hot Topic. How’d that come about?
That was an accident. That’s usually how things happen in my life. The universe opens doors and it’s up to you to see the doors and walk through them and I’m very in tune with that. So I was invited to play the role of Nikki Sixx’s wife at the funeral announcement at their last tour. So they wanted goth girls to pretend to mourn over the members of Mötley Crüe. And I didn’t wanna do it because I didn’t really have time, but then I thought, “This is a door. There’s something on the other side of this door. I should go.”
So I met someone that worked at Iron Fist, who is the company that Bat Royalty is manufactured with. They were like, “You know, we love your style. You should come into our office.” And I did a week later and they asked, “How’d you like your own clothing line?” And I was like, “I would love that.” That was a couple years ago. It took us a couple of years to finalize everything and sample everything, design everything, get it made and all of that. But it finally came out last year and now we have Bat Royalty.
That’s so cool—I love looking at the line whenever I’m in Hot Topic.
Thank you! I actually just left a meeting where we’re coming up with the next line. And the next line is so f***ing sick. I thought people loved the bat boots, but the next stuff is gonna blow them out of the water. It’s so sick. And in my mind I’m like, “How has no one done this before? It’s such a sick idea!” It’s like making a record and you’re so excited about the songs and you can’t wait to see it and hear it, buy it, wear it, love it. It’s just fun.
Do you know when this new line will be out?
Yes. We are putting out a small line within the next month just to hold us over. It’s the half purple-half black line. But the actual new line is actually gonna be coming out in fall of 2017. So we still have a while, but we’ll be posting about it and sharing what it is around the spring.
I’ll keep my eyes peeled. But once this tour is over, what can we expect from you?
More touring! (Laughs) More music. More Haxans music. More New Years Day music. More Bat Royalty. God, who knows. Maybe I’ll do a makeup line (laughs). I don’t know. Who knows?
Don’t miss as New Years Day pulls into Irving Plaza in New York City on Nov. 22 and the Theatre of Living Arts in Philadelphia on Nov. 23. For more information on these rockers, visit facebook.com/nydrock.