"I Do All Kinds Of Illegal Things, I Love Breaking The Law": 13 Questions With Ash Costello

New Years Day frontwoman Ash Costello talks ghosts, dogs and a never-ending love of Disneyland

"I Do All Kinds Of Illegal Things, I Love Breaking The Law": 13 Questions With Ash Costello
Paul Travers

Fresh off a headline tour of the UK, we catch up with New Years Day vocalist Ash Costello for a fiendish round of 13 Questions. Here’s what she had to say on meeting ghosts, overcoming fears and much more…

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
“My mom told me I always said I wanted to be a performer. I didn’t really know what that meant when I was little, but I knew I wanted to be onstage in front of an audience. It’s embarrassing but I was the sort of kid who was always putting on little shows for my friends and family.”

What happens when we die?
“I don’t know but I really hope there’s something. Like, if our consciousness stays alive and we just dream forever. There’s nothing I believe in really, I just hope there’s a good place.”

Where’s the best place you’ve ever been?
“My favourite place in the world is Disneyland. This month I’ve probably been five times and in my life, hundreds and hundreds. I grew up going there and I worked there as a teenager. It’s just such a big part of who I am that when I go there it feels so familiar. It’s such a magical place where you can go and forget the outside world. All my stress and worries melt away and I’m just focused on having fun and being a kid again.”

What would you like it to say on your gravestone?
“I would like it to say I was awesome. Let’s keep it simple.”

What is the funniest rumour you’ve heard about yourself?
“The one that I love a lot and wish was true is that I have millions of dollars. It usually happens when I’m posting asking for public donations to an animal rescue or when a friend of mine had cancer, I shared her GoFundMe. Some people will say, ‘Well you have millions, why don’t you just donate it all?’ I really wish I did.”

What is the most illegal thing you’ve ever done?
“I do all kinds of illegal things, I love breaking the law. It might not be a good idea to tell you the most illegal thing so here’s one that’s not such a big deal – I really love jaywalking. You can get a ticket for just walking across the street and I just love walking in front of the traffic. I don’t care, I’ll do what I want.”

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What is your party trick?
“I’m always the toast person at parties. It’s not really a trick but it’s kind of an entertaining thing. Whenever there’s a call for a toast everyone always looks at me because I’ve got this long repertoire of funny toasts stored in my mind. I can always pull out the appropriate one and get a good reaction.”

What is your biggest fear?
“I used to have a fear of failure and a fear of abandonment, and that’s probably what I would have said a year or two years ago. But now, I don’t really fear anything any more. It’s a good place to be in.”

Have you ever seen a ghost?
“Tons of times. I don’t mean I’ve seen like a floating body but I’ve definitely seen figures, I’ve seen shadows and I’ve had things happen where you know something is in the room but you can’t actually see it. So I’ve definitely encountered ghosts in different forms. I never really get scared, I’m more in awe. There’s a moment of shock and then it’s, ‘How cool!’ and it’s more a feeling of excitement.”

What do dogs think about?
“I feel like their thoughts would be very simple but they probably think about love the most.”

Who is the most famous person in your phonebook?
“Cherie Currie gave me her number recently. She’s one of my heroes as the singer of The Runaways, who were one of the first female rock'n'roll bands. We were at an awards show and I told her she was such a big inspiration and she went, ‘Here’s my number, text me any time!’ Another really cool one is Greg Nicotero, the director from The Walking Dead. I met him in the airport when we were on the same flight to Ireland. He said when I was back in LA he’d take me on a tour of the zombie house. That would be awesome but I’ve not got in touch with either of them. I’m the person who feels like they’re bothering people and doesn’t want to be that weirdo! Maybe some day I’ll text them.”

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What is the worst job you’ve ever had?
“I’ve had a lot of jobs because I tend to have a problem with authority and I was never really good at holding down a day job. But I think the worst one was doing face-paint on kids at Disneyland in the heat of the summer. The kids were fine, it wasn’t that, I just remember it being so hot and I had to wear long sleeves because I had tattoos.”

If your house was on fire, what one thing would you save?
“Besides living things like family and animals, I would probably save all my photos. I have boxes of photo albums and I love having actual photos that aren’t just digital. Just in the past few years I’ve bought five of those disposable cameras that you have to wind on. I took it to Disneyland for meeting all the characters and people were like, ‘Whoa, I remember those, where did you get that?’ And they still sell them, it’s not that crazy!”

New Years Day's latest album Unbreakable is out now.

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