VQDM: When did you first realize that you were going to be a vocalist and what was the story behind that?
Ash: As cliché as it may sound, I have always known that I was destined to do something with my voice. Music simply became the first thing available. It was around 2008, I was questioning myself and my personal direction in life. It was music that helped me discover the many talents lurking beneath the surface.
VQDM: I have listened to many of the songs from your band Prey 4 Me and I have heard influences from many styles of music, what would you say has been the most influential artist for you?
Ash: Marilyn Manson was my idol from early on in life. I found Antichrist Superstar and fell in love with the sound, and visuals. Only later did I start to appreciate the words Manson wrote, and his personal “out of this world” style. He never gave a damn, and neither have I. Secondly the band KITTIE had a deep, and very personal impact on me. As a young girl, there weren’t many “metal
women” to look up to that weren’t hypersexualized. KITTIE came onto the scene when I was young, and to see those women, that were only a few years older than me, killing it really resonated that I, as a woman, could do anything if I wanted it badly enough.
VQDM: Do you recall a moment in your musical career that sets all others apart (good or bad) what and when was it?
Ash: I remember the realization that this was MY dream and my dream alone. That if I was going to make it in this Industry, that the responsibility was solely my own. You can’t rely on others, even those you think feel as strongly as you do. At the end of the day it’s really only you and your dreams.
VQDM: Many people have related to your music based on their own personal struggles in life, is there any words of inspiration you would give to those upcoming writers?
Ash: Learn everything you can. Don’t worry about insecurities; they will fade in the presence of knowledge. Once you learn
everything, learn some more. The moment you’ve stopped learning; you’re done growing. You will NEVER master everything in this craft, or any craft. Never count failures as a means to an end, instead let the hiccups and roadblocks be a source for your inspiration. Dig deep and find out what you’re really made of.
VQDM: Food has always been a big part of life for musicians, what is it that reminds you of home when you’re on the road at mealtime?
Ash: On the road there isn’t much food to go around so, I don’t have anything that really makes me feel “homey”. If anything the situation on the road makes me LONG for a good home-cooked meal, hah!
VQDM: What artist dead or alive would you want to share the stage as well as a tour bus with?
Ash: Stevie Nicks; and let me just say before you start laughing, that woman is a genius. Not only does she resonate with my Witchy side, but her words and abilities far surpass average humans. I adore her, and will always and for eternity beckon to the White Witch when the world gets too troublesome. Listen to her music, she has answers. I promise.
VQDM: Have you ever played an instrument and if so why did you choose to pursue vocals only?
Ash: In this department, as with most everything else, I know a lot about a lot, but I am a master of nothing. I can create progressions on keyboards, guitars, make drum beats, and I love anything synth related. I got beats for days, beats for daaaaaaays. I chose vocals as my dominate pursuit because I love utilizing my voice in a variety of ways. It’s an instrument as well, and I have taught it to do many things.
VQDM: As a child what music did you grow up listening too? How do you see children now and what they may grow up listening to?
Ash: My mother and father were both into metal. My dad liked “Hair Metal” and my mother liked heavier bands. She would listen to Pantera when I was in the womb, hah! I’m pretty sure some sort of connection started right then and there. When I grew up and was able to explore my own musical adventures I found that Metal was NOT my thing. It’s shocking I know, but honestly I
was more into the Spice Girls and a lot of Joan Jett, HEART, and Yep, Stevie Nicks. It wasn’t until I found Manson, KITTIE, Slipknot, and others that I really fell hard for Metal. Kids... I don’t stress much over what they listen to. Yes, a lot of it is garbage, but my parents
said that about my musical choices too so, it’s really a matter of personal taste. Who gives a sh*t what anyone else thinks? In saying that, I do try to influence the younger generations to give Metal and music that’s not on the radio a fair shot. It’s really up to us as the adults to share what we know about music and help expand children’s taste. No forcing though! Just share, laugh, and help them outside of the box.
VQDM: Social media has a huge part to play with how big or how well known a band is, what motivates you to be so connected to your fans?
Ash: I have something to say, and if I don’t get it out, it manifests in self-destructive behavior. On a personal level I deal with social anxiety, depression, and a heap of other mental illnesses that make it difficult to want to get out of the bed every day. Connecting with like-minded people that also feel out of place in this segregated, hate-fueled world helps me with my own demons. You’re
right though; social media plays a HUGE part in the development of band’s fan base. If you’re not privy to all of the constantly changing technology it is easy to become lost in a sea of ever emerging artists.
VQDM: Does there ever come a moment where you feel like this is the best it will ever be or you feel like giving up? What do you do when that hits as a writer/vocalist?
Ash:Well... I’m not doing this for anyone but myself. I don’t create for others; I create because I have to. It’s sheer luck that anyone else gives a d*mn. I’m thankful, don’t get me wrong, but the opinions of others don’t weight heavily on me. This gift will dwindle or continue to grow depending on the way I feel at any given moment. I will say that the creativity and drive have yet to cease, so don’t fret just yet!
VQDM: If you had a choice to change one thing in the music industry what would you do with it?
Ash: In order to change one thing you would have to change many. Instead of taking on a global market such as the Music Industry, I would choose to change myself to fit better into this new way artists are selected.
VQDM: Who was your (STAR STRUCK) artist? Someone you shared the stage with in your past or simply met while at a show.
Ash: Not that long ago I was attending a One-Eyed Doll show and after their set I was walking toward the back door to see what the merch booths looked like. I averted my eyes for one second and felt someone tugging on my Artemis necklace (Arrow, Sword, Crystal). When I looked back, to my surprise, Kimberly Freeman (OED) was eyeing it, and me. Needless to say I had to take a moment. She went on to compliment the necklace, as well as me, and there was this moment, a really hot moment, when we just made eye contact. Then she tried to steal my date.
VQDM: Who came up with the costumes for your band mates and do they have meaning behind them?
Ash: I came up with the idea of having the Prey 4 Me Fiends. They’re my mythical guardians, mental provokers, and companions. Each mask was chosen by their respective wearers, and they developed their own personal stories.
VQDM: Can you explain the lyrical content from "The Wolves Song" and what it means to you?
Ash: While performing a bit of Astral Projection (which I do a lot of), I found myself in a dark forest filled with ravens. In the distance I could hear the howl of wolves, and as I moved down a narrow path the cries became louder, and louder until I reached a throne in the middle of a clearing. Upon this throne sat a woman smoking from a long, ivory stem. The forest fell silent except for the cackling of the ravens, and she spoke in a booming voice; “You should know, this path you walk, there are wolves along the way.”I awoke covered in a cold sweat and immediately wrote the song. In my personal opinion I was being told that the path of being a free-thinker, an artist, and activist was paved with those who would seek to destroy. Wolves; poised to take me down.
VQDM: Last but not least where do you see yourself in five years compared to now?
Ash:I’m honestly not sure. We can make all of the plans in the world but life isn’t a game, you know?You can plan out your moves in advance, but it’s not always going to work out that way. I know where I would like to be, and that’s making music, movies, and voice acting professionally. Will it happen? Only the Universe can say for certain. I’ll keep doing what I love though, no worries!