With Takedown Festival on the horizon, there are many reasons to get excited for this weekend. Goth-punk superstars-in-waiting Ashestoangels are one such reason. TMMP caught up with Ashestoangels frontman Crilly to talk creativity, memories, and the time his band almost demolished a music venue…
What are your earliest musical memories?
The rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars! It must have left some kind of impression, ’cause I’m pretty sure most of the time I’m just trying to channel Bowie.
How did Ashestoangels come to be?
Our origin story is so boring! I wish I could say we were brought together by fate and our bond was forged in the furiously flaming furnace of shared longing, despair and heartbreak – but actually what happened is I started the band a few years ago, and slowly worked my way through every single musician in the UK until I could find the right ones… Then the furnace thing happened. Really, the important thing is not where we came from – the important part is where we’ve been and where we are going! Oh I could tell you some tales…
How would you describe what you do?
Goth punk explosion, for those who like to dance and jump and punch each other in the face in the kindest way possible.
Describe your creative process.
Usually I’ll be driving the van, minding my own business when I’ll realise the song going round and round in my head doesn’t actually exist. Then I’ve got to go learn how to play it before I forget how it goes.
I’ve always got all these pieces rattling around in my brain, just have to work out how it goes together. And then work out if it’s any good. I’m always thinking about what the song is going to be like to play live; if I don’t think it’s going to make a connection then it’s not good enough. Recording is expensive and sets are short, no time for songs that I don’t 100% believe in.
You’re set to play Takedown Festival this weekend. How’re you feeling about that?
So excited. Last year was exceptional and I think this year’s going to be even better. Last year we headlined the Introducing stage which was awesome, but it meant I was pretty stressed all day. This time we are on one of the big stages and a lot earlier, so we can do our thing and then spend the day meeting people and catching some great bands. I’m so excited to see Creeper.
What’s your favourite thing about playing live?
Our audience. Every band says theirs is the best, but every band except for us is wrong haha! The people who are really into us are the best fans in the world. The audience is as much a part of the performance as we are. Like a choir built for fighting or something… I don’t know, it’s just my favourite thing in the world. Nothing else compares, nothing else makes me feel right.
What is the funniest thing that’s ever happened at an Ashestoangels show?
We nearly demolished a venue in Kingston. The staff had to come and ask us to stop the crowd jumping as the ceiling was beginning to give way. That was pretty funny – had to teach people the spy jump. It’s hard to explain with words; maybe I should send a video…
Performing live can be pretty nerve-wracking. Do you get stage fright? If so, how do you get past it?
I do sometimes get really nervous before we play. I don’t really like crowds, which is weird. What I need before we play is a bit of quiet time by myself to try and relax. Which I pretty much never get but I suppose that’s ok. Fear and excitement are pretty similar feelings so I’m never really sure whats going on. I play music to try and express myself, so any fear just climbs out of my mouth and into the microphone…then it torments the sound guy like a gremlin.
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