Give us a little bio about you as individuals and as a band. We are No Hot Ashes, a band from Stockport, Manchester. As individuals we have known each other for a long time and have practically grown up with each other since high school. We first started making music around the ages of 14/15 and since then have developed and grown together as a unit.
How long have you been doing music?
As the current line-up we released our first proper record around 2014, as musicians we have all been making music for the past 5/6 years.
What is your genre of music?
We never really set out with an aim to sound like any particular “genre” even though every band says this most of them are talking s**t and we could probably pick a list of bands that they’ve ripped but to be really honest all the reviewers really struggle to pin us down to a specific genre. Funk is definitely a massive influence to us but even that is a hard genre to pin down because so many other genres use elements of “funk music”.
Tell us more a about ‘Cool Cat’ as a track.
“Cool Cat” is an accumulation of Political anger that we wanted to put into words. We came up with a funky riff and some chords and it all came together really quickly. We were just trying to put some angry, punky lyrics in front of a funky backdrop. We recorded “Cool Cat” with our now long-time collaborator and producer Gavin Monaghan (Editors, The Twang, JAWS) and he really influences us. We take the song into the studio and he gives us suggestions and pushes us to play better and improve areas. We also work alongside Engineer/Mixer Joe Murray and in the end out pops in our eyes a banger and something we are really proud of.
“An assortment of instruments exploded and this song fell out of the sky. “Cool Cat” is cool, and Gavin Monaghan is a wizard.” – No Hot Ashes
Will you be doing any gigs or a Tour?
We are constantly gigging and currently have about 11 or 12 dates booked in till the end of 2016. There’s a mix bag of headline gigs, support slots and festival slots amongst that so it is really exciting to be so busy and have promoters wanting to book you so far in advance and especially the festivals which we love playing. We are yet to go on tour as of yet but it is something we are very eager to do, it’s tricky to drop everything and go out on tour and it’s a massive commitment so I think we are waiting for the right time and the right backing to go out and tour.
What’s it like working with ‘Gavin Monaghan’ ?
Gavin approached us in 2014 via social media and showed a keen interest in recording and producing music for us. This was a huge shock to us as nobody had every approached us showing belief in us until Gavin and now 2 or so years later we have formed a really tight bond with him and his Engineer/Mixer Joe. We went to meet Gavin before first recording and we knew something felt right and for us that’s important when there is really good chemistry between band and producer, its priceless.
Who are your influences?
Always a tricky one, we all come from different musical background but we all kind of meet in the middle somewhere along the lines of 70/80s Funk/Soul and Disco if we were talking about older music kind of like The Doobie Brothers, Chic, Parliament, Luther Vandross, Diana Ross. There’s also a lot of other influence closer to home such as big Manchester bands like Stone Roses etc…
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
We are always writing, it’s definitely something that comes naturally to us. Each practice we`ll be constantly trying to craft new ideas into something of a real song structure and we just keep going at it until we are happy. The writing doesn’t even stop there to be honest, once we have our final product we take this into the studio with Gavin and have a load of alternative ideas ready and we show him these and just go with what works best. Its always nice to get a second opinion from someone like Gavin who has so much experience.
Where is your dream venue or festival to perform in UK?
There are so many well-known festivals and venues in the UK its quite hard to choose If we had to go for a dream venue we`d probably say The Roundhouse in London, it’s a huge venue but we have big dreams. In terms of festivals we`d probably say Leeds/Reading Festivals. All of us have grown up in the North West and Leeds Festival is a festival we`ve all been to as punters and I think the festival means a lot to us all as we have all experienced the thrill of paying for your ticket and camping in a field for like 4/5 days to see your favourite bands. To experience being on the other side of that would mean a lot to us.
Where is your dream venue or festival to perform in USA?
I think only one of us has been to the USA so this is tricky. We’ve seen a venue called “Bowery Ballroom” in New York which looks like a beautiful venue, around a 500 cap venue but looks like it would feel intimate. We think any venue that has a surrounding balcony gives off a more intimate feel to gigs, instead of playing to a rectangle boxed room. In terms of festivals probably Lollapalooza or Coachella. They always have killer line-ups and probably get better weather than over here in the UK.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
There are a few rules we try to stick to as a relatively young band still. Always respect people who are giving you gigs and especially the crowds that are coming to watch you. Even if its 10 people in a s**t pub somewhere, there’s nothing worse than watching a band look as if they don’t want to be there, if you are starting out as a band you shouldn’t be doing it for the big crowds you should be doing it because you have a passion for music, performing and just enjoying yourself. It’s like having a strong work ethic. Another one we`d say is to try and stand out as much as you can, from our personal experience even if we have been the first on a bill of 4/5 bands we have always ensured that people remember us. You have to be different to make sure that after that 4th or 5th and have played that at least some of the crowd are still thinking about you and have one of your tunes stuck in their head. This is crucial we think, we have a strict policy that as soon as we finish our set we leave our gear and go and speak to the crowd, we want to know that they know we appreciate them being there. We think this is where a lot of bands slip up and you find them rushing off stage guitars and pedalboards in tow straight to the backstage area for a beer (because they are obviously rocks stars) and 15/20 mins later they walk out expecting to be flocked by a crowd but in reality the crowd doesn’t know who they are and can’t remember if you’ve played or not, there’s a slim time period in which you need to go out and sell yourselves because as a starting band there is nobody else who is going to do it for you. Its also a really good opportunity to go and stand behind you merch desk (which we always set up if possible) and try and gain some band funds, it’s an easy way to get people speaking to you.
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?
We are on pretty much all social media platforms; please find all the links down below
No Hot Ashes
Twitter – @_NoHotAshes
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/No.Hot.Ashes.Band
Instagram – @nohotashesband