After touring alongside Our Last Night, alternative rock band Ashland released their sophomore album Over The Moon today via Rise Records.
Asia Marie provides rhythmic vocals that share heartfelt, personable lyrics. Guitarist Aaron Wood accompanies her. He brings the carrying tones that give weight to Marie’s voice.
“I know a lot of people out there have no clue who we are,” Marie says. “I know we have a very pop sound. We love our music and what we do but there’s so much more to it than that. But we have quite a rocky story and we want to share it and encourage people who might not know there’s hope for them. That’s what we’re here for. And I think the album shines a light on that. We know our sound isn’t for everyone and that’s okay. We just want people to at least be open to what we’re trying to say.”
Over the Moon contains many personal themes that resonate not only with listeners but with the band themselves.
“Every single song on the album is so personal and important to me,” says Marie. “But ‘Gotta Go’ does hold a special place. My struggle with mental health has held me back a lot in life. I battle with some serious anxiety but in the past year or so I’ve gotten pretty good at quickly casting my cares.”
“I admit I hit a couple rock bottoms during the making of this album but I’m proud to say they didn’t last as long as they have in the past,” she explains. “This song came from one of those rock bottoms. I remember I was literally eating carrots and lettuce every day because my situation at home was so messed up. This was like last year by the way. I literally didn’t think I was going to survive. And all I could do was write songs to encourage myself. ‘Gotta Go’ was one of them.”
Wood notes that the track “Motivation” is one that resonates with him.
“We literally went through so much bullshit making this record that this song honestly makes me feel like it was worth it and inspires me to keep pushing,” he says.
Marie says that there are many sources of inspiration for this album between music, nature, art, faith, conversations, etc.
“It all makes a way into whatever I’m working on,” she says. “Like most song-writers, playing an instrument or humming a melody or writing lyrics is a part of me, it’s just something I do on a daily basis. So quite often, songs just come out. Sometimes it’s while I’m driving, sometimes it’s while I’m playing for fun and sometimes I hear songs in my head when I’m in bed in the middle of the night.”
“It’s a combination of real life experiences and all the emotions that stem from them- love, hate, anxiety, confidence, pain and even some humor,” Marie explains.
When the band made their stop in Royal Oak on tour with Our Last Night, Marie gave a heartfelt speech about the importance of mental health and spreading the awareness of it.
Marie shares that when starting the band, anxiety was something that she worked hard to overcome.
“There have been a lot of consistent obstacles for me because I struggle with anxiety,” she explains. “Any time I perform I have to do a lot of emotional/mental prepping. But knowing that I have the strength to not let anxiety hold me back from doing what I love gives me a sense of responsibility to use my platform to share that message. And knowing that what I do might help someone in a similar situation always overrides my own personal fears of doing it in the first place.”
“There are always obstacles that we’re facing and overcoming and it will probably always be that way,” Wood notes. “But all those bumps in the road are what make us stronger and keep all of this interesting. Never a dull moment!”
Marie also says that there are many songs on the album that touch on these themes.
“Writing songs is one of the best ways for me to handle those battles,” she says. “‘OMG’, ‘Motivation’, ‘Gotta Go’ all really touch on the subject.”
Prior to the albums release, the band created a music video for the albums title track.
“We originally wanted to do a 20s theme for the video but we ended up going with a sort of 50s Hollywood vibe cause the song has this fun doo-wop swing to it,” Marie says.
“We practiced a big, elaborate routine for that “dip” like 800 times but ended up using a Great Value version in the video because we kept tripping over each other,” Wood shares.
“Our friend Juan Ibanez who we’ve worked with a lot has a new studio and we thought it’d be fun to create a small theatrical set,” Marie says. “It ended up being perfect for the video and we had a great time creating it. Aaron and I got 3 hours of sleep the night before because that glittery silver moon took forever to make haha. And yes we are keeping it.”
View a gallery of images from their stop in Royal Oak below!