Ashes of Our Sins Interview #2
Written & Produced by Meryl DeWitt
Edited by Rachel Rosell
It’s safe to say one of the most interesting interviews I ever did was with Philly hard rock band, Ashes of Our Sins. Our first chat was released on Valentines Day, so when it came to finding a band for the Christmas special, there was no question! This cast of characters not only looks good, but they sound good. On top of it, they’re all class clowns, making for an act you won’t forget.
Meryl DeWitt: It's been awhile since our last interview. What have you guys been up to since then?
Zak Riott: It’s been pretty much business as usual. Writing music, practicing, sexually abusing each other, playing shows, eating pizza, and full-time self-hatred. It’s been a great year.
Tommy Hayze: I just wrote a novel about dealing with bi-polarism and the effects it takes upon the human mind when dealing with a rhino attacking your parents from the sky. Also been spending a lot of time in South Korea. Brought back a lot but nothing I can show, only give.
Izzy Addams: Bailed on my parents, turned on Luke, had an internal struggle between light and dark, decided dark was cooler (better costumes too...score), killed my dad, it got super emotional and shit for a second there, and now I’m just doing me, ya know?
Austin Balthaser: We have been really busy! Working on making a music video, looking to start recording our sophomore EP in the beginning of 2016, and constantly writing new material. 2016 is gonna be the busiest year yet for us.
Izzy: ^^ What an asshole...
Meryl: Christmas is coming up. Any rockstar plans for the holidays?
Zak: We’re planning to go around to nursing homes and do charity. Like popping out of a giant present naked or changing diapers provocatively. Really giving back, you know?
Izzy: I am currently for hire to anyone who wants to dress me as the elf on the shelf and sit me on any surface in their home during their holiday parties. $50/hour plus an extra $5 for each time I’m able to change location without anyone seeing.
Meryl: I might regret asking this question, but what are you hoping to get as a Christmas gift this year?
Zak: I asked my mother for a sex slave. So...fingers crossed.
Izzy: Custom fit casket with black velvet interior and a bucket of chicken.
Tommy: What Charlie Sheen has. This year has been so negative, I need positivity in my life.
Austin: A bouquet of dildos. I hope the fans don't fall short on this one.
Meryl: What's your favorite holiday horror movie? (Ex: Gremlins, Santa's Slay, Gingerdead Man, ect.)
Austin: Never really seen many Holiday Horrors, maybe Black Christmas?
Meryl: Of all the classics (Leatherface, Freddy, Jason, Myers, ect.) which infamous horror villain do you relate to the most and why?
Izzy: Jason. Quiet and destructive mama’s boy.
Zak: Jason Vorhees. I went to camp once and just wasn’t feeling it either. My reaction was pretty similar.
Tommy: Angela Baker from Sleepaway Camp. A transsexual murderer related to Bruce Springsteen, all I could ever dream of.
Meryl: Who in the band would be most likely to snap and become an actual murderer?
Austin: More than likely Tommy.
Izzy: I’d say Tommy but it would be just recurring accidents. He wouldn’t MEAN it...so it’s forgivable.
Zak: Tommy. Hands down. It’d be elegant as hell though. Like, he would kill them and them have them stuffed and dress them up like Batman characters so he could live in the comics. It would make for a great headline.
Tommy: That’s a great question!
Meryl: New Year's resolutions?
Izzy: Sleep all day, party all night, never grow old, never die.
Tommy: Make all kinds of gains and get rid of this itch.
Zak: Those never work out for me. Last year I was all, “This is the year, I stop killing people,” and dear God, you should see my basement.
Meryl: How about a full length album? ;)
Izzy: This is my personal belief and honestly, I hope I’m wrong, but I feel like full length albums are on their way out. Even the huge bands just aren’t selling records anymore. They’re selling singles. I’d rather just put our best stuff out there instead of just throwing 6 filler songs that no one will really care about and I don’t think I’m alone here. Sooner or later, artists are going to get tired of putting their hearts into 12 songs when they only ever play 4 of them (tops) live. So right now, as an unsigned, self-sufficient band, there’s no full length album plans for the foreseeable future.
Meryl: How many songs do you currently have written that have yet to see the light of day?
Izzy: Some complete, some in the early stages. Bits and pieces here and there. But we’re all constantly writing and bringing ideas to the table and we’re all VERY excited to get our next EP out there and have people hear all the great stuff we’ve been coming up with.
Tommy: I only write in the daylight, so all of them have seen the light of day.
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Meryl: Have to ever written a song that you deemed too personal to bring to the studio? If so, what was it about?
Zak: My homo-erotic dreams about watching Tommy and Izzy engage in coitus.
Izzy: Great White Buffalo.
Tommy: Yes, it was about the test results...
Meryl: On a less depressing note, if you could describe your sex life with one of your lyrics or song titles, what would it be?
Zak: I don’t know what is depressing about my dreams, but fine. I’d have to go with “Such a Beautiful Crime Scene.”
Austin: “Cemetery Dreams”.
Izzy: “Refuse to Fall”.
Tommy: “Happily Involved Vengeance”.
Meryl: Is there ever a song you've heard and wished you had written yourself?
Zak: Many times. A notable one is “Forever,” by Skid Row.
Tommy: “Waterfalls” by TLC.
Austin: “I Remember You” by Skid Row. Hands down.
Izzy: For my own personal joy, “Chemical” by Crashdiet. That song is just a fucking masterpiece to me. But for the money, “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi. Let’s be real. Dude could’ve only written that song then stopped and still be loaded.
Meryl: Crazed fans are a nightmare, but they can be a sign that you've "made it". Is there any insane shit you've seen fans of other bands do, that you secretly wish someone does for you someday?
Zak: Fan fiction all day. I want some weird shit. Like, depraved and fucked up so I have to get three more locks for my doors and bulletproof glass windows.
Izzy: Not gonna lie, kind of looking forward to seeing fucked up fan fiction/cartoons about the band. We could sell a million records, but it all means nothing if I don’t see a cartoon of us all fucking each other. Glad Zak and I are on the same page.
Austin: A couple of years ago I saw Avenged Sevenfold play at the Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania. Halfway through the set hundreds of people ran and jumped over the barriers separating seating from GA. They all swarmed into a huge mosh pit. That was insane and I could only dream of something like that happening for us!
Meryl: What is one thing that you hope doesn't ever happen when it comes to fans?
Zak: I don’t want anyone to carve my name into their own arms. Like, don’t be weird. I’ll do it for you.
Meryl: Finally, speaking of your fans, is there anything you'd like to leave them with?
Zak: “Fear me, love me, do as I say; and I will be your slave.” - Jareth