I sat down for a quick chat with the charming Ashestoangels before their recent one off show supporting DEAD at the Talking Heads. What followed was an entertaining, if slightly surreal, hour during which we discussed, among other things, the wisdom of giving out one’s home address on the internet, why you should always check exactly what it is your fan has given you before you attempt to eat it and numerous other topics that would make this interview decidedly NSFW if they were published. Oh, and we did briefly find the time to touch on the sound of their new album, ‘With Tape and Needles’ which was released yesterday, August 26th.
So, how would you guys describe your album to someone who’s never heard it before?
Crilly (vocals): Synthy goth punk. The press pack of that album actually came with a syringe full of our blood as well. We just thought, why not?
On your website you’re listed as a five piece band. What happened to the other guitarist?
Crilly: He just left, and he took the stuff with him that lets us update the website! We’re working on getting a new one, but at the moment we can’t update anything on there. He left while we were all at work, and took all the stuff he wanted and left what he didn’t. He just fucked off with all my stuff and left a shitty note! [laughs]
What did the note say?
Crilly: Oh, just some crap about how ‘there’s no enjoyment left in it anymore’. I mean, if that’s how you feel, I guess that’s fine and I don’t want to be in a band with a guy who’s not enjoying it, but I was a good friend to him, and he just left me with a load of bills and broken stuff, so that was a bit shitty.
Do you enjoy taking other bands on tour?
Crilly: Well, yes, but every time we find a band that we want to take under our wing, they break up! Or one of them does something to piss me off. [laughs]Or they just turn us down. We tried to take Ugly Love on tour in September and they said no! [Ugly Love singer enters]
Tom (Ugly Love – vocals): That never happened! Seriously, I don’t remember that at all. [group laughter]
Crilly: We love taking people on tour though, it’s all good fun. And anyone who might be reading this, looking for a hardworking band to take on tour, we will be that band! We will complete you!
You recorded your album with William Control. Did you enjoy working with him?
Crilly: Well, Nico [bassist]had an existential crisis during recording, but it was great! We’ve actually already started planning the third album with him.
Have you ever had a really bad experience at a show?
Crilly: So many! This band’s been going for years, it only really got going when Jim [drums]joined us.
Nico (bassist): Oh, great! Thanks so much for that. [laughs]
Crilly: Oh you know how it was! We had a guitar player who was so drunk at every show that no promoter would call us back, even if we were good! He tried to head-butt one of them. Seriously, though, we’ve had shows where no one showed up, right up until the last tour. Two tours ago we played a show where the promoter booked us and then went on holiday without telling anyone. We showed up to no equipment, no support band or anything! One show in Newcastle, we drove hundreds of miles and even the promoter didn’t bother to show up. Jim wanted to quit on the way home from that one, but I gave him a sandwich and that perked him up.
Jim (drums): I remember that, it was cheese and pickle! He just passed it back, not a word was said. Silent moment between men, right there. [laughs]There was a show where they wouldn’t let our sound man touch the PA system once, that was pretty bad. It was such a tiny shitty system as well!
Crilly: We did one show at a youth club that was no over 18s, but there was a giant free carnival on down the road and they didn’t tell anyone we were playing! But one person did show up, so we had to give it 110%. That girl had the time of her life though! Then, at the end, one of the disinterested youth club regulars came up and asked if I was famous.[laughs]
Nico: God that show was awful. I think we got one free bottle of water; they didn’t even give us a soft drink.
Falkor (guitarist): What? I didn’t even get a bottle of water!
How do you deal with hate you get online?
Crilly: It doesn’t bother me in the slightest. All my details are up online anyway, and I respond to death threats with my home address. I don’t give a shit! I’m a pretty intimidating guy; I’m really not scared of anyone or anything! And sometimes, I get sent nice letters and I write back.
Do you ever have any intense fan experiences?
Crilly: Well, I’ve been sent razor blades and stuff like that before, but I just think, if we’ve helped someone get their shit together in any way, then that’s great and I’m happy about that. I learnt quite early on though; if someone gives you something at a show, don’t just put it in your mouth, because it might be a razor blade wrapped in paper! Usually our fans give us cupcakes; so that’s what I was expecting. Worst cupcake ever!
Falkor: It could have been worse, they could have baked the razor blades into a cupcake!
Crilly: Our fans are brilliant though. We put up tickets for a Halloween show, with no venue or city listed, and some people still bought tickets! We like our fanbase to feel like a family, which it is.