2015 has already been a monstrously significant year for the band New Years Day. It saw them play this year’s Van Warped Tour, as well as frontwoman Ash Costello hosting the Alternative Press Music Awards Red Carpet and taking an active role as a spokesperson for PETA.
Malevolence is the title of their forthcoming album, produced by Erik Ron (Escape The Fate, The Word Alive, Motionless In White, Set It Off) and is the band’s first release on Another Century Records. New Years Day will be heading over to the UK as tour support for Motionless In White, beginning November 23rd in Belfast.
So impressed were we with the single ‘Kill Or Be Killed’ when we played the track on ‘The Classic Rock Show’ the other week, we got in touch with Ash Costello and had a chat about all things New Years Day.
TCRS: New Year’s Day, formed ten years ago?
Ash: Well, if you think about just ten years. Yeah, that sounds like a long time, but then again you have to also realize that all the Wikipedia…How do I say this(?), it looks at our high school years and counts that. You know, I feel like the first five years don’t really count because we were children. I mean we were a band, but we were kids and we didn’t know what we were doing at all. So I don’t really count that. But New Year’s Day as an adult got serious and became a real band I’d say was about five years ago…2010.
Ash: Well, I mean that couldn’t gone any better we weren’t originally put on Main Stage, we were put on the stage below that. But, we got put on Main Stage all the time. And you know we got put on Main Stage more than any other band that was moved around and it just went so well. You know our crowds were bigger we expected. It was just a really good place to be this summer. You know, we really felt like we’re actually making a difference here. You know we’re doing the things we set out to do and it feels like for the first time we’re seeing them happen in front of our eyes.
TCRS: What were the highlights for you?
Ash: Every time we got moved up to Main Stage was a highlight for sure.
TCRS: How did you entertain yourself in between shows?
Ash: We play a lot of drinking games [Laughs]. Yeah, we’ve done Warped Tour before so we kinda knew what to bring, what to expect! Like, okay, we need to be the band that brings the table with the chairs and the tent so we can all hang out and invite other bands. We have board games and ping-pong tournaments and so we brought all kinds of board games and drinking games and tables and chairs and coolers. And we’d set up behind our trailer. and just invite other bands. We’d always have something to do to Escape the Fate or Memphis May Fire or Pvris; we’d just play games all day!
TCRS: So that experience from the previous tour was put to good use this time round?
Ash: Yeah. I learned, you need a tent to sit under, you need chairs to sit on and you need a table and the rest just kind of brings itself. We didn’t think of it last time, so we were all just burning in the sun, sitting on the ground.
Ash: Yeah, we were actually signed to a subsidiary of Century Media before called Hollywood Waste Records. When they abolished that they really didn’t take any bands that were on it. Ss we had one record that we put out that was on your own, but then I guess what had happened was the owner heard the record and was like “Oh my gosh! This is so good. What do we do with this?” And we had to tell him, “Oh you guys dropped us” and he was like “What?”. They re-signed us basically and that’s pretty much what happened there. I’m really glad that we did because we were having offers come in from other labels. I’m just glad we went back to Century because they honestly they feel like family. They really do.
TCRS: What made you all decide to go back into the studio?
Ash: It was about that time. It had been about two years since our last full length. So it’s just about that time and we were about to head on warped tour and generally before you leave for a big tour like that you want to have an album before you embark on that busy schedule. Otherwise you just get sucked into the schedule and pretty soon there’s no time. We were still recording when we started Warped Tour and I had to fly home to fly home on the days of to finish the album. So it was a pretty hectic time and it was the only time we had to do it.
TCRS: And this time your back working with Eric Ron who produced your previous album Victim To Villain. He’s been such a positive influence on the band, right?
Ash: Oh yeah. I mean he’s a genius you know. That’s why everyone wants to work with him. He’s a goddamn genius that guy! He took a liking to New Year’s Day, he also manages us and we’re the only band that he manages. And he’s like a brother to me now and has influenced me in a way or he’s made me better. He’s made me a better front-person, he made me a better vocalist, a better songwriter, better marketing, just better at everything. He has had a very positive influence and it’s really hard to find people because even though we have Eric Ron, we still branch out and work with songwriters. We are so different and so unique; I have such a specific vision that it’s very hard to find people that understand that. Eric Ron has always understood it from the get go, so that’s why we tend to stick with the people we love, that we call family and we’re very rarely branch out from that.
Ash: Oh god. I hate songwriting. I’ll just be honest I hate it. It’s the worst for me because it’s, you know, you have to go back and find the perfect way to say some sort of hellish way to say some sort of hellish pain you went through so that other people can understand it and relate to it. It’s generally not a very fun process for me. That’s why it takes me a long time to write a song, but in a way that’s a good thing because I truly care about what I’m saying. I truly think about how the person will relate and I really think about how I’m saying what I’m saying. You know, I put a lot of thought into it and with Malevolence the songs are the most honestly, purely from the heart lyrics I’ve ever done and that’s what makes me the most proud of this album. I think people are really going to relate to it.
TCRS: We played Kill Or Be Killed on the show just the other week. It sounds tremendous. Tell us about that song.
Ash: Kill Or Be Killed is about how I was pushed around a lot in the beginning and still am sometimes in the music industry, because I’m a girl. I think that doesn’t help any and I tend to get knocked around. I hit a point a year ago and it was like I’m gonna push back from now on and I don’t care who doesn’t like me. And I don’t care who gets mad or who says bad thing about my back. Like “Oh, she’s a Diva. Or she’s a this, that and the other”, I just know what I want and I’m gonna fight for that and so that’s where the saying, you know, Kill Or Be Killed…backs against the wall, bloods gonna spill…! While I was recording some of the songs, I would get emotional and cry. And I know it sounds like so cheesy and cliche, but I think if you’re not feeling what you’re writing to that degree, I would sit back and go, well, I didn’t try hard enough. I didn’t push myself hard enough. I didn’t dig down deep enough and I need to go back and revisit it and try harder. ‘Cause I know that everyone is different. I know that for me, that’s the standard I have for myself.
TCRS: What’s different about this album compared with your previous releases?
Ash: I think with the previous releases, I had a vision of what I wanted to sound like. You know, who is to say that you’re gonna achieve that the first attempt out the gate? And I feel like Victim to Villian was a great record and it came very close, but it still wasn’t enough for me. So with this album, although I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied, this is a lot closer to the way I envisioned New Year’s Day sounding; it’s much heavier, much more emotional, a lot darker. So I feel like this is New Year’s Day growing up in a way. You’re always learning and I don’t feel like on Victim To Villain I was as honest as I am in Malevolence. So I kind of go there a little bit more, emotionally, you know?
Ash: Yeah, yeah. Personally, I’d had a really hard year. I mean New Year’s Day was starting to take off and I really, for the first time, had never dealt with negativity in my life. For the first time, I was starting to see what losing a friend to drugs was like. Or losing a friend to money. Like disagreeing on money and losing a friend. Or, you know, watching people get greedy because they see what you have. You know people using you. People using you then stabbing you in the back. Being cheated by someone that I’ve been dating for a very long time. I mean just pretty much all the nastiest things you can of happened this year and I had to become stronger than all of it. And so the album, the reason it’s called Malevolence, is because I really identify with the character Maleficent. You know she started out as a pure person, but kind of the wrongdoings of the world turned her into this evil, vengeful, powerful being. And I just felt I related to that and so that’s pretty much what the album is about.
TCRS: What’s been the reaction to the new songs out on the road?
Ash: I’ve never had such a good reaction to new songs, in my life! Normally, there’s at least someone who’s like “Ah, I liked your old stuff better” or “I don’t get it”. You know there’s always someone, but even YouTube, where it’s like the worst of the worst comments ever, I’ve not found anything negative. You know people are just really loving it and so I was a little worried at first but now I’m like “Fuck! Okay. Let’s roll with this. This is great!”
TCRS: You’re heading over to the U.K. to tour with Motionless In White.
Ash: Yeah! I’m so excited. We’re going to share a bus. It’s going to be all nothing but board games [laughs]. I’m so excited.
TCRS: Do you have any particular favorite board games?
Ash: Yes! Yeah, there’s two that we play. No, there’s three that we play constantly and one is called Geek Out, which actually gets us into serious fights because what you do is you pick up a card and it’ll say “Name six planets from Star Wars”. Or “Name seven comic book super villains”, and you’ll get into arguments with your friend and legitimately get pissed off. So we play that a lot. Like I’m talking hours! And then we play Pictionary and we play…oh what’s the other one? Oh, Scategories is our big one. Yeah. We get pretty serious. And then Scene It because we’re all really into movies. We play Scene It a lot. it’s like a movie trivia game.
TCRS: It won’t be your first time over in the U.K. What are you looking forward to most on this tour?
Ash: Yeah, last time out was with Escape the Fate which was our first time, they’re also our best friends. So I mean talk about the funnest time of my life. I mean honestly like I get butterflies when I think about how much fun it was. And then we came back for a week to do the Metal Hammer Awards thing. So this will be our second real tour but the third time we’ve been over. As for waht we’re looking forward to most, oh, the sightseeing! We get super into sightseeing!
TCRS: What message do you have for your fans out there for coming to see you this time?
Ash: Y’all better bring the pain. We demand a lot of audience participation. So there’s no free rides in our shows. You have to crowd surf. You have to circle pit. You have to do these things or you’re just going to get a shoe in your face. Just prepare yourself.
TCRS: And as for your album?
Ash: I would just like everyone to have an open mind and to let out the little angry monster we keep inside all of us. And usually quiet up and kind of shut down. I would like people to listen to it and kind of release that monster for a little bit.
New Years Day supporting ‘MOTIONLESS IN WHITE’ UK Tour:
23 NOV Belfast (IRL) Mandela Hall
24 NOV Dublin (IRL) Academy
26 NOV Manchester – Club Academy
27 NOV Leeds – Stylus
28 NOV Glasgow (SCO) – Garage
29 NOV Nottingham – Rescue Rooms
01 DEC Birmingham – Asylum
02 DEC Bristol – The Fleece
03 DEC Southampton – 1865
04 DEC London – Underworld
06 DEC London – Underworld
The new album from New Years Day ‘Malevolence’ is out on Another Century October 2nd. We dig ’em and we think you will too.