The People Vs. Ash Costello: New Years Day’s vocalist on finding confidence, making music for Rhea Ripley, and her odd choice of comfort movie

Ahead of New Years Day’s fifth album Half Black Heart, we invite you to become honorary K! interviewers and find answers to all those questions about Ash Costello that have been keeping you up at night…

The People Vs. Ash Costello: New Years Day’s vocalist on finding confidence, making music for Rhea Ripley, and her odd choice of comfort movie
Rachel Roberts
Matt Akana

There’s two things we know Ash Costello loves: Kerrang! (we promise, she told us), and New Years Day fans. She never forgets a face, seriously. It’s quite freaky. And it just so happens that she even remembers some of your usernames.

New Years Day’s new album, Half Black Heart, is landing this Friday (March 1), and to celebrate we asked K! readers to send in their questions for everyone’s favourite split-dye queen.

So, why does Ash love the colour red so much? And who makes their cool-as-fuck merch? Thanks to you, we have all the answers…

velvet.vicc asks… How did you get the confidence to sing and perform live?

“Confidence, for some reason, people think I have in abundance. I struggle with confidence, just like everybody else. We just got off tour with Ice Nine Kills, we were playing arenas, and I get so nervous beforehand! I always tell myself before I go onstage, ‘You can either get out there and give it your best, or go home,’ and going home is not an option.

“When I was younger I had no confidence. What I learned as I got older is that confidence is built. Like a muscle in the body, you have to go to the gym and work it out. The way you work out your confidence is through a lot of self-love. Through time, it’s this thing that just grows in you.”

Pedro asks… Why do you love the colour red so much?

“You know what? I don’t know. Even in high school, I was dyeing my hair with red streaks. I grew up goth – my mom was a single mom, so I was babysat by my grandma and my two uncles who were pretty young in the ’80s, and they were goth kids. They were traditional goths, and always wore black and red. It’s just a colour I resonated with.”

hall0w33ngh0ul asks… What is your favourite stage outfit?

“It’s always the most current outfit because I get over things really quick, then I look back and go, ‘I can’t believe I ever wore that onstage’. I love to wear skirts because I love playing heavy metal and being powerful, but also being girly. I’ve been really into shiny black vinyl lately because it just looks so incredible. I usually have a lot of my outfits made by a designer, her name on Instagram is @metalbec_gear.

Steveojh1 asks… What is your favourite song to perform live?

“Right now it’s Vampyre. That song makes me feel like Maleficent. I feel so dark and powerful when we perform that song and it resonates with people live, especially when we get to the bridge. The last time we performed the song, [it was the] first time we ever had pyrotechnics. We had these big fireballs and I just felt like I was going to take over the entire world.”

Wez Skinner asks… How did you get to do Rhea Ripley’s entrance theme? And are you a wrestling fan?

“I am a wrestling fan. I’ve always resonated with wrestling because to me, it’s not much different than being a rock star – you have this character that you cultivate. The way that Rhea Ripley’s theme song came to be was totally by accident and fate. I was in New York doing a songwriting session for our last record, and I get sent to different songwriters and some work out and some don’t. This particular songwriter was more of a pop songwriter; I was describing what kind of song I wanted to write, and he said there were two guys down the hall that were metal songwriters. He was like, ‘Why don’t you knock on their door and see if they’re free?’ So I [did].

“We hit it off. They said, ‘We write music for WWE and we love your energy. If a theme song comes across our studio, we’ll call you.’ A year later they go, ‘We’ve got a new wrestler, she’s up and coming on NXT.’ They told me about her and I was like, ‘Oh my God, this woman is the bridge between wrestling and metal!’ They said, ‘Do you want to do her theme song?’ I was like, ‘Absolutely. 100 per cent yes!’ She’s such a kind person, so down to earth.”

Amy Suarez asks… If you could tour with any band, who would it be?

“Oh man, that’s always such a hard question because I would tour with any band. I guess if I had to choose my dream band it would be No Doubt, though we’d probably scare all of their fans. Iron Maiden or Judas Priest would be awesome.”

artbyamixx asks… Who does your graphic design? It looks sick!

“Thank you! We have a team of people that do it. It usually starts out with a mood board by me. We have several different artists that we incorporate depending on what we’re doing. Our most long-term artist is @denny_danger on Instagram, she’s been doing our merch designs since 2010, and she’s a big part of our aesthetic.”

Tom Morley asks… What is your comfort movie?

“I’ll watch one movie for like a month straight, and then I won’t watch it again for years. I’ve been watching Eyes Wide Shut by Stanley Kubrick probably four or five times a night, and it’s such a weird comfort movie, because it’s kind of messed up.”

Emxoxo222 asks… How did you start your career?

“I always wanted to sing in a band. When I was [about] 10 years old, I would line up stuffed animals in the living room and perform rock songs for them, so maybe that’s where my career started. I spent a lot of years playing shows for nobody, playing for two people or just my parents. I had to have this belief that it would go somewhere someday. I always tell people that’s the difference between people who make it and people who don’t. I don’t think I’m any more talented or have more financial backing or connections than anyone else.”

Imcorrinesaintmartin asks… Do you like Bad Omens?

“Oh my gosh, I love Bad Omens. We actually toured with Bad Omens in 2018. They’re really good friends of ours, because we had the same producer for a while back in the day. They are very sweet, very humble, and I’m so happy for their well-deserved success right now.”

Petra Cyanide asks… Who is your biggest fashion or style inspiration?

“I don’t think I have any one person as a fashion inspiration, I think it’s more of an idea people give me that makes me inspired. The first time we played with Ghost was in 2016 or 2017, and they played at 3pm in the sun and they were all in costumes. I remember being so inspired by that. They didn’t compromise their style.

“You know what else is a big inspiration for me? RuPaul’s Drag Race. It’s like, you treat every show like it’s your only show and you do not compromise the hair, the make-up, the look – you give it your all every time.”

britt_purple_butterfly1 asks… What would be a theme that you’d want for a future album?

“There’s always a similar theme going on in New Years Day. There’s always blood, anatomical hearts. There’s always some sort of black goo, usually coming out of my mouth and eyes. I’ve been thinking lately, what does all that mean to me? I keep getting pulled to themes of Hell and demonology, of occult and vampire lore. That’s just who I am and I can’t really stray from that.”

Jenna Spiegelberg asks… What is the hardest part about making an album?

“The hardest part for me is articulating the vision I have in my mind sonically, because it’s not something you can show someone. Over the years, I’ve had to learn how to verbally express what I’m hearing to other people so they can help me make it a reality, because I don’t play any instruments, but I like to call myself a visionary or a composer. It’s taken a lot of practice to figure out how to do that.”

Sabbathcostello asks… Do you remember certain UK fans, no matter how long you’ve been away?

“I remember certain fans from all around the world, no matter how long I’ve been away. That’s something I’m really good at. I’ll never forget a face. Especially if someone is constantly commenting on my Instagram or periodically sending me DMs. A lot of New Years Day fans have become very much like family to us. I know exactly who Sabbath Costello is. I just talked to him a couple of days ago!”

_.bloody.mary._ asks… Which song did you put all your heart into and how does it make you feel?

“I feel like the pageant answer is that we put our heart into every song, but I’m going to be honest. If I’m just going off Half Black Heart, it’s a tie between Secrets – I had to be very vulnerable in the studio for that one, [as it’s] about what was a very hard thing in my life at the time – and a song no-one’s heard yet called Bulletproof. Man, recording that song put tears in my eyes because it was so emotional. I feel like the listener is going to hear it.”

Half Black Heart is out March 1 via Century Media

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