This past Tuesday, December 6th, I had the chance to catch up with New Years Day before their set at their homecoming show at the Key Club in Hollywood. They were full of energy and excitement after being away from home for over 2 months, and had plenty of stories to tell me about their life on the road. Read on to see what crazy things went down on the All The Rage Tour, their plans for the next album, and how much they appreciate their fans’ support.
So you guys have been on the road for like 2 months now, so how’s tour life been so far?
Ash: (pointing to Anthony) You don’t answer that question! (pointing to Nikki) You answer that question! In a nice manner!
Ash: Okay, you. (points to Jake)
Jake: Uh, fun…
Ash: Oh my gosh…
Ash: It hasn’t been that bad, there’s been a lot of, like… dysfunction – when it comes to people that work at venues, venues, sound, equipment, vehicles, weather… I mean, we’re all great. Well, I can’t even say that! Half of us are unhealthy at the moment. Food poisoning, cold and sicknesses, pneumonia, (points to Nikki) some weird ear mystery disease… Just, it’s been a WILD ride, but -
Jake: It’s what we love to do!
Ash: It is what we love to do. It’s better than working for something you don’t care about. So, we’re happy as clams, and it was really fun… Besides all of that.
Alright, well you guys just finished touring with Blood on The Dancefloor, so how did you guys feel going into that tour? Were you more excited or were you kinda nervous about how the crowd was going to respond to you?
Anthony: We were a little skeptical. Only because – I would say – of a little bit of… reputation involved with them.
Anthony: But, the first week in, we realized we were having so much fun, and that these kids that were coming out were just the most amazing fans. And all those perceptions that we had just went away.
Jake: Yeah, they were quickly squashed.
Ash: AND, I don’t think we’ve ever become closer to a band on tour than we did with Blood On The Dancefloor! Like, it seriously breaks my heart that they’re not here and they’re not gonna play after us. They ended up being the coolest guys ever.
Anthony: We have a lot of good memories with them.
Ash: A LOT of good memories! A lot of strange memories… (laughter). A lot of weird, scary memories… But a lot of good memories too.
What would you guys say was the craziest moment on that tour?
Anthony: Anything involving Carter.
Ash: Oh god. Carter, their [Blood On The Dancefloor’s] keyboard player, is one of the gnarliest people I’ve ever met when it comes to – he just lives in his own world! That guy does NOT live in our world.
Jake: In a good way! In a good way.
Ash: In a good way. Like, Carter would get upset and he’d go, “Carter, SMASH!!!”, and he wasn’t kidding! He wasn’t kidding. He’d like, start punching the ground to the point where his hands were bleeding, and…
Nikki: Yeah. And then he would paint pictures – beautiful pieces of art – with the blood….. (pause) Alright, that didn’t happen.
Ash: And uh, he tried to jump a fence that was clearly too high to jump at Zombie Burger – and drunk – and he hit his head SO hard on the ground, we all heard it. And he started moaning on the ground, and I didn’t know what to do, I was just going, “Uh..Uh…What do I do?! What do I do?! Someone tell me what to do!” And then he just got up, he was like, (shrugs) “It’s cool.”
Ash: Okay, I think the weirdest crazy story though is the “taser night.”
Anthony: Ohh, yeah.
Ash: Okay, well… We were all safely nuzzled in our van. What state was this in?
Anthony: Uh, Minnesota. St. Paul.
Ash: What venue?
Nikki: I don’t know. Can’t remember.
Ash: Well, apparently after the Blood On The Dancefloor tour, there was a metal show that went on afterwards. And this one guy was outside calling all these amazing fans that like, bought our merch, sang along, had an amazing time that night – he’s just outside calling them “f**s”, and “emo f**s”, and being an a**hole, calling them “posers”… So finally, Dahvie [lead singer of BOTDF] had enough of it, and just called him a “f**king a**hole”… And the guy came at him with a taser and tased his face! So we start hearing all this…
**At this moment, the interview was briefly interrupted as the band were saying hi to some friends they hadn’t seen in months due to their touring schedule**
Ash: So anyway, we hear all this screaming coming from outside the van. So we were like, all full of pent-up energy, we were like, “FIGHT!!” We throw open the doors of the van and we all jump out, and we’re running, and we find out someone tasered Dahvie and they’re chasing him down the street. So while Nick – the drummer from Blood On The Dancefloor – is beating the shit out of this guy, and their tour manager was holding his arms wrapped around a pole, Sally – their merch girl – starts getting into it with the guy’s girlfriend, who was a very large, weird, scary-looking metal chick… So we all start going, because we knew – Sally’s a scrapper. She’ll kick your ass.
Jake: Yeah, we were basically protecting the grown woman from Sally. (laughter) So yeah, Sally gets into it with this chick and we all jump in, and it was crazy…
Ash: So what happened was, it’s just words at this point. But the metal chick makes the big mistake of calling Sally a “skinny c**t”…BAD mistake! [Sally] gets out her lanyard with her keys, swings her keys around and gets the woman right in the face! So then they start going at each other’s hair, and I’ve got the other woman’s hair, trying to like, get her claws out of it. And I’m like, “I don’t even know how I got this hair in my hand.”
Jake: I found hair in my pocket, I don’t even know how.
Ash: He had blood all over his hands. We don’t know from what… And um. Yeah… That’s the craziest moment, the end!
Anthony: [Me and Nikki] had nothing to do with it! We weren’t there.
Ash: Next question!
Okay, you guys just started this tour immediately after that one, and I think I remember you guys saying you’re starting ANOTHER tour after this one too?
Ash: Yes, but we do have a 2-and-a-half week break between this and that tour. For my friend’s wedding. My best friend’s wedding. So yeah, we’re gonna be out till February.
Awesome. Alright, now about your music – I know you guys get asked this a lot, but how would you describe your sound? Each one of you answer.
Nikki: I call it “Haunted Mansion” rock.
Ash: That’s a good one.
Anthony: I was gonna say that! Um….. Yeah, yeah. “Haunted Mansion rock” sounds good.
Ash: I like the way that – I forget the website that described us as this, but I really loved it – they said, “If Eric Northman had a late-night talk show…with Dexter Morgan as the side host, New Years Day would be the house band.”
[Interviewer’s note: this quote was actually from Kick Axe Music. You can read their review of New Years Day here: http://www.kikaxemusic.com/features/item/2074-roxy-horror-music-show-new-years-day]
Yeah, I remember reading that!
Ash: That’s perfect!!
Jake: I would describe it as Elvira and Eric Northman…and Dexter Morgan all had a baby – the three of them – with Elvira, had a baby… that baby was born and made music.
Ash: (laughs) Wow, that’d be such a kickass baby! That would be such a sick baby.
**At this moment, the interview was once again briefly interrupted so that Ash could say hello to some family members J **
Ash: I’m sorry, go on.
It’s okay! Alright, I know you guys said that you’ve been working on a new album, so when do you guys HOPE to get it out by?
Ash: We always have a hopeful date, but it’s always – the reality is 5 months after what we hope. SO, my hopeful date is uh, spring. February, March, or April would be great. Any time before the summer would be fantastic.
Anthony: Definitely before summer.
Ash: Yeah, hopefully. These things always go a lot longer than you expect.
Okay, so do you guys have any pre-show rituals, or stuff that you do before you go on stage?
Nikki: Um, well after hanging out with Angelspit, we do a bloody pentagram on the ground and summon the spirit of David Lee Roth.
Ash: Oh that’s right, we did do that! We did. We did that in a church, no less. This one random show we played was in a church.
Jake: Yes, in Delaware.
Ash: (quoting Wayne’s World) “Hi..… I’m in Delaware.”
Nikki: That’s where we were known as “the freak show.”
Ash: Oh my god, that’s right! We went into a liquor store to buy some stuff… and the old man that runs the liquor store was eyeing us the whole time we were there. And then one of his like, normal customers came in, and he was like “Hey! You look pretty busy today,” you know, meaning there was a bunch of us in there. And he goes, “Yeah, with this freak show.” All loud! I’m like, “Have a nice day, a**hole!”
Okay, last question: You guys are known for being really close with your fans. So what would you guys say is the best thing about having that relationship with them? How does it help you guys?
Ash: It gives us a reason to do this. If it wasn’t for the relationship we have with our fans, there’d literally be no reason for us to freeze in a van, fly off the freeway in a van, drive for thousands of miles in a van, wanna kill each other in a van… It just – it makes it worth it.
Anthony: I think – how else do you know it’s working? You know, if you can’t communicate on that level with that person, how do you know that your music’s good? How do you know if you’re being nice? How do you know if you’re looking good?
Ash: Yeah, how do you know if they like you?
Anthony: You get that instant, you know… gratification.
Ash: That’s a good way to put it.
Anthony: It helps me know that what we’re doing is working.
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Thanks so much to Nikki, Anthony, Ash, and Jake for taking the time to do this interview! Unfortunately New Years Day announced that they had to drop off of the rest of The Wake Up Tour due to transportation/safety issues the day after this interview took place. But check out their latest EP, The Mechanical Heart, available now on iTunes; and keep an eye out for more tour dates to be announced very soon!