EVEN Interview - Oct 2001

EVEN Interview - Oct 2001
Writer - Annemarie Failla (michelle@girl.com.au)

"A Different High" is the latest album release from Melbourne Band "Even". After two and a half year's since the release of their second album "Come Again", the Trio have provided another great release. The album includes a swag of hits, including "Shining Star", "Life Gets in the Way", "I'm Gonna Try" and "Electric Light".

Girl recently got to catch up with vocalist and guitarist Ashley Naylor from Even.


Full Name: Ashley Naylor
Nickname(s): Ash
Star Sign: Aquarius

Fave Food: Indian
Fave Actor: Drew Barrymore
Fave Animal: Llama

Describe Yourself In 3 Words: Not Quite Sure
Best Feature: Soles of my feet
Worst Feature: Palms of my hands
Person You Would Most Like To Meet: The true me
Hobbies/Interests: Listening to music and living

First Job: Delivering leaflets
A Talent You Wish You Had: The ability to stop talking at the right time
The Best Advice Given To You: Think what you say but don't say what you think
If you were a cartoon character, which one would you be? Road Runner
If you were told you had a minute to live, what would you do? Call my girlfriend!

GIRL: How did all you guys meet?

Ash: Matt and I met at school in the deep, dark eighties! (laughs) We met Wally around the Melbourne pub scene in the same era, so we've all been knocking around for awhile.

GIRL: What was the first gig you ever played at together?

Ash: Officially it was 1994 at the Empress Hotel in North Fitzroy.

GIRL: Was it a good gig?

Ash: Yeah it was great, we were all excited because we'd all been playing in bands for a long time but it felt like we were getting away with it as they say!

GIRL: In the past few years you have toured with some big names including Placebo and the Dandy Warhols. Are these bands you have looked to for inspiration in the past?

Ash: The Dandy Warhols definitely, they are a great band and one of the finest American rock bands at the moment. In the glut of Post Nirvana bands, they are like a breath of fresh air.

GIRL: When you were all growing up, what were your musical influences?

Ash: I guess the first band I fell in love with was KISS, I sort of wear that like a badge of honour. I go through periods of coming out of the KISS closet. I think Wally was a massive Elton John fan and Matt grew up listening to Kat Stevens and the Rolling Stones.

GIRL: You have toured extensively overseas. What overseas gig stands out in your mind as being special?

Ash: They're all pretty special, we had a chance to play with Silverchair in 1997 so that was a spin out. Prinzenbar in Hamburger in Germany was also a magic gig. It was just one of those gigs where you look back and think, I'm so happy I'm doing this.

GIRL: So what were you guys up to between the release of the album "Come Again" and "A Different High?" Were you off touring or were you writing?

Ash: Yeah a bit of both I mean we were just living our lives and doing a bit of sporadic touring here and there. Our tours were more like weekends away. We were fine-tuning the process really.

GIRL: How did you find the process of recording your new album "A Different High"? Was it enjoyable or stressful?

Ash: A bit of both actually. It was stressful at the beginning because we wanted to self-produce our own record; we sort of had to convince the powers that be that it was the right thing for the band to do. And one of the most enjoyable aspects about doing this album was recording most of it at home.

GIRL: Are you happy with the final result?

Ash: I was when I last heard it and I am very proud of it in terms of where we fit and our body of work, I think it's a fine record.

GIRL: Many of the songs on the album seem to be very personal and from within. How hard is it putting lyrics such as "Life Gets in the Way" down on paper and basically spilling your soul to hundreds of thousands of people?

Ash: Well it's not that hard, it's the way I deal with things. I relate to music as an outlet to express my feelings and thoughts. I think it is important to be honest in your lyrics and just say how it is.

GIRL: Listening to your album in full this week, there are many songs on there that got huge airplay from JJJ. How much has their support of your music meant to you guys?

Ash: You can't really quantify it to be honest. Their support has enabled a band like us to become a national band. We have been very fortunate in relation to the JJJ airplay, and it's a great feeling to have your music played on the radio.

GIRL: I have to ask about the song "Kommercial Radio". What or who was the motivation behind this song? Where does the line "Pissing in the wrong pockets" come from?

Ash: I tried to shroud my metaphor for any form of commerciality where people are spoon-fed by the media. Commercial radio just survives on advertising. In all honesty, I wrote that song a year ago and it was something I was feeling at the time.

GIRL: What is the best aspect about performing live?

Ash: I guess that suspension of reality aspect - I mean if you can imagine that feeling of light headedness and freedom that you usually gain from illicit substances, that is what playing live is like for me.

GIRL: Have you ever encountered any bad experiences during one of your live gigs?

Ash: Well yeah, just invariable members of the audience doing unexpected things.

GIRL: You have just finished touring, how do you guys unwind after a demanding performance night after night?

Ash: Let me put it this way, we do more unwinding than touring! But hopefully we'll reverse that trend.

GIRL: Your 'Less is More' album released in 1996 was highly successful. Were you surprised with how much attention it received?

Ash: Yeah in all honesty I was, we were pretty proud of it at the time. It's like a lot of debut albums, there's the initial hype but then you have to earn your keep as they say.

GIRL: What do you feel are the main differences in the band since the first album "Less is More"?

Ash: A better taste in shirts! (laughs) As human beings we have come together more and can relate to each other a lot clearer and there's more of an understanding, which is probably the most important thing.

GIRL: You recently finished a tour with "You am I". What was it like touring around the traps with Tim Rogers and the Guys from "You Am I"?

Ash: It was actually a lot of fun. It was great to see them every night put on a great show, it was quite inspiring.

GIRL: Are you planning any overseas tours and releases of the Album in the next few months?

Ash: Yeah we are planning it but it's just a matter of when we can pull it off because these things tend to take forever. The album will be coming out in Japan in six months.

GIRL: Where do you hope to see yourselves in 12 months?

Ash: Hopefully having a couple of international tours under our belt for this album and having a crack at our next album in the New Year.

Writer - Annemarie Failla