WORHOL is another fascinating band that needs your attention like right now. Read this interview and then check them out further. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
What fascinates me is how you can still come up with new combinations of chords to make new songs and sounds that have not been heard before. What is it that fascinates you into coming up with new songs and albums?
Larry: Basically there are 7 letters in the music alphabet and each alphabetical letter makes up a common triad chord. I want our songs to be different from everyone else, so I strive to create songs by taking the basic cords and scales and produce new melodic structures. I do this by trying not to be influenced by other artist and performers. My main goal is to find and create new rhythms, strumming techniques, and unheard scale runs and patterns. In other words, I want to create what others have not done.
How is this new recording different from the previous? How do you take your sound one step further?
Ashley: When we were starting to write for our next EP we really pushed ourselves. The Awakening will always be dear to our hearts but we knew we had to top that album during our next recording. I actually had a song I had written a long time ago and I knew this would be the perfect timing to create it in our Worhol style. We sat down with all the tracks and thought how can we compose these more in terms of sudden transitions as well as incorporate unconventional dynamics. Not only did we use new instruments in these tracks I also wrote a lot more harmonies for my vocals. This next EP will be very powerful, driven, dynamic and full of surprises!
Larry: These new tracks are different in the sense that they are being musically versatile with each song. We strive to create music that will attract a variety of listeners, with the hope that each listener will respect and enjoy listening to each song. A lot of times a group will produce a CD with one or two hit songs, and our goal is to have songs that are respected enough to where we can have multiple hits on every album.
When you write songs about the topics you do what kind of reactions do you get? How important is it to have a message in your lyrics? What kind of topics do each song deal with? Is there a red thread to the songs?
Ashley: When I begin to write lyrics to a song I always think to myself what situation have I been in my life that might be able to help someone else overcome that same situation. When you think in that manner it allows your audience to connect with you. Once that connection is made the reaction we receive is very endearing. All I have ever wanted to do is connect with people and help them in any way that I can. When people listen to our music they might hear the lyrics in a different meaning then how I wrote them but that’s how exactly how it should be. It’s very important to me that our fans can have a safe haven with our music. Several of the tracks also represent my spiritual side but it’s very important that our listeners know that I will never push my beliefs onto them. I am very open with who I am and if someone wanted me to share my beliefs with them then of course I would but I will never judge anyone for what they believe in. We all deserve the freedom to believe in what we want to believe. With that being said, every one of our tracks have a deep meaning behind them and a few have a created story within them. For instance, “Bowing Before You” is a story I created where an angel has fallen from Heaven to help save the world from the wickedness it has turned to. While she walks the Earth, she herself is consumed by evil and her savior returns and tries and bring her back to Heaven before it’s too late. This is where the chorus lyrics begin their dialog. She says, “I’m bowing before you, please forgive me. You see I live eternally.” This is when she realizes what she is becoming and she is asking for forgiveness. In this same sense when I sing this song, this is my moment when I can also ask for forgiveness. I certainly have flaws and I have been consumed with this world so even though this is a “story” there’s truth within what I am singing because it also represents myself.
Whenever I think of you I cannot help wandering off to different bands. What bands/sounds do you indentify with?
Marty: I would like to think that we sound a little like a cross between Nightwish and Evanescence, while at the same time, we’re developing our own unique sound.
How did you go about choosing art work for this new album? What was important to have in it?
Ashley: I am a very visual individual and I knew that I wanted our album cover to be both eye catching as well as include an image that represented a message. When I was talking with the graphic artist I gave him the concept I was wanting and he then created the world I was envisioning. The color combination reminds me of “Constantine” which I love! I wanted us to be placed in a world, our world, a world which is turning into destruction. The idea behind “The Awakening” is that we want our music to bring awareness to what is truly going on. We want our music to bring this world back to life. This is why you will find rose petals in my hand that are falling. The petals are decayed but as they fall from my hand they are gaining life back. Once the petals land on the ground before our feet they bring the ground back to life. This is a metaphor to what’s to come. I believe in hope and I believe that through darkness we can always find the light.
Something that scares me a bit is this I hear from more and more bands that they aren’t that bothered with art work anymore because people today download rather than buy physical. To me the whole point is to have art work that matches the music. I don’t know how many times I’ve been disappointed by weak art work to an otherwise cool album. What’s your opinion on this subject?
Ashley: I absolutely love art work and love to see what bands come up with in regards to photoshoots, album covers, etc. So I can see where you are coming from! It’s an interesting subject because there have been some album covers that I have seen that are just a symbol or a detailed design and I find myself intrigued and couldn’t picture anything else there. I think no matter what art work is presented, every viewer will always see what they want to see. As a result, they will then create their own story as the viewer/listener. But I will agree that art work is very important because it does define what people are about to listen to. I personally always want our images to tell a story whether we continue to lead in the direction of digital or physicals.
How do you come up with song titles? What do they have to have to fit the songs?
Ashley: There are two ways I typically come up with a title. I generally either think of the lyrics first, then I think about the overall message and choose a title from there or I choose a title first and write my lyrics based off of that title. With “Voices From Above” I gave that title after I had already wrote all of the lyrics. The chorus signifies what I have been through in this journey and since I am singing about failure and constant feelings of breaking down. Every time I fail I have to remind myself to keep going and this song speaks about me hearing angels. Their voices are what reminds me my purpose and that I must never give up. The last line of the chorus, “I have fallen. Can’t seem to get up. Your voice is ringing. Voices from above” has such a personal connection for me I knew that’s what the title had to be.
I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when you’re out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
Craig: Music has surely changed over the years. This digital age does hurt bands as royalties and financial gain are also hurt. The regular consumer will now purchase a single song instead of being exposed to a full album. This also applies to streaming. The royalties and payments for streaming a song are quite insignificant. This does make it harder for a band to flourish and grow with less physical albums and full length digital albums being sold. I hope that we can expose our music to fans around the world enough to keep doing what we do. They are our lifeline.
How much of a live band are you? How important is playing live?
Marty: Playing live is extremely important, especially if you have a new recording out. There’s no better way to connect with your fans than to play a live show where they can see you in the flesh and interact with you. We’re a very accessible band, after our show we can always be found manning our merch booth, meeting and greeting our fans, signing autographs, etc. Plus, playing live is a ton of fun! Worhol presents itself very well onstage, with our stage clothes and props, we have a fairly involved production, and I love seeing the looks on people’s faces when they’re enjoying our presentation.
Craig: We put everything we can into our CD and music but we really strive to make am impact at our live shows. We try and make our show theatrical and match our music to the visual elements on stage. Playing live shows also lets us connect to fans with more than just music. As a band we like to collaborate and add elements to our show, or even make a themed show such as having actors, dances, and building sets like castle pieces. Touring with these is much more difficult but we make it work because we want to be the best we can be.
What lies in the future?
Ashley: We are always constantly working and we will always have something up our sleeve. What lies next for us is public appearances, tours, music videos and writing. We have plans to film multiple music videos, so we are in the storyboard phase of how we can capture what these songs truly represent and how can we paint that picture visually. Although we have recorded the majority of our next EP already, we are still writing and have some great ideas that we would love to do outside of the EP. Some ideas that I don’t think anyone would expect from us and that’s the exciting part! Outside of behind the scenes work, I think what I am most excited about though is all the people we will start to meet. I love having conversations with people and learning what their dreams are. We as people all have dreams, and I am very determined to help people achieve theirs. We in Worhol are just blessed that our dream allows us to create music.