"Growing up, I always heard stories about my great grandfather who was a musician and who played with amazing musicians like String Bean back in the day. This inspired me to want to play the guitar as a young child, as well as a gut feeling of something trying to tell me I need to do this." ~Ashley
When Classic Rock meets Modern Hard Rock
Modern Hard Rock spews with a fury from The Ashley Bean Band. The band was
nominated by the largest independent music award show, recognized for two music awards in 2020 thru The Josie Music Awards. These awards included, Best Song of the Year for "Don't Go Away," and Best Music Video of the Year for the single, "Halloween." By 2020, the band signed a major distribution deal with Rock Avenue Records USA. The Band’s music has the flavor of some Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, and a bit of Alice In Chains. However, The Ashley Bean band is truly innovative with their own heartfelt original style, where Classic Rock meets Modern. We caught up with Ashley, their guitarist/singer/songwriter.
By Kreig Marks, July 2021
KM: Hi Ashley. Welcome to Tru Rock Revival Magazine.
AB: Thanks for having me!
KM: 2020 was a mess and the music industry really took a beating. What did you do in 2020 to make it less of a mess?
AB: I really focused on the business side of my music to really push my music to radio, magazines, interviews, and to get my name out there.
KM: How did you do this? That's a pretty big undertaking. Did you do this on your own or with a PR team?
AB: Ever since I started my own band I pretty much did all the marketing and promoting of my music, pushing it to as many people in radio, magazines, etc until these past couple years I have had help from Rock Avenue Records USA helping even more to get my name out there.
KM: Very important that you used the channels to promote yourself. Going back to the 70’s and 80’s, a strong female fronted band was pretty common: Heart, Joan Jett, Pat Benatar, The Pretenders, Berlin, Scandal, Alanis Morissette. Then, in the 90’s Avril Lavigne, Amy Lee with Evanescence and now, we’ve got Halestorm and Pretty Reckless all over Octane. What does Ashley Bean bring to the table?
AB: I’m someone who loves to be myself on stage. I love standing out with how I write my music, to my appearance on and off stage. I'm really getting more into theatre type performances, where people will remember me as an artist, and my music.
KM: When you say "theater type performances," you mean like Madame Mayhem or Beasto Blanco? Why not just get up there, play the hell out of your guitar, sing your ass off and give 100% rock and roll energy? I've seen your videos, heard the songs. You've got it. Why theatrics?
AB: I’m the type of person who really wants to leave an impression on people. It’s not only about the music to me, but how I present my music to a live audience.
KM: Take me back to your childhood. What got you interested in music?
AB: Growing up I always heard stories about my great grandfather who was a musician and who played with amazing musicians like String Bean back in the day. This inspired me to want to play the guitar as a young child, as well as a gut feeling of something trying to tell me I needed to do this.
KM: If he was around today, what do you think he would say to you with regard to your music?
AB: I really think he would say how proud he is of me, and how far I’ve gotten to where I am, and how he would be so pleased that someone else in the family is a musician just like him.
KM: Sounds right! How about the guitar? When did you pick that up?
AB: I started playing the guitar at 10 years old, and playing in my local church at 11.
KM: Lessons or self taught?
AB: At first I played by ear and then eventually went and got lessons.
KM: Has music always been your life-long ambition?
AB: Yes it has. I love how I can express myself through music.
KM: Are your parents supportive of your career choice? Music is not an easy profession to break into.
AB: Yes, my parents have been really supportive of my music ever since I started picking up the guitar and play it.
KM: Do your parents go to your shows?
AB: Yes they do.
KM: Which parent is more vocal when watching you on stage, mom or dad? Who's the one screaming the "Yeass!"
AB: They both pretty much shout and scream while being at one of my shows.
KM: Ha. Did you go to college?
AB: I did go to college for a short time but realized it wasn't for me.
KM: In 2019, you released your first EP, “What you Deserve.” What I really like about the album and the songs is there’s a strong Classic Rock sound to a lot of the songs on there, and nothing seems to be over-produced, which has really become the norm with a lot of bands these days. Is that the sound you were searching for?
AB: Yes, I'm someone who doesn't like to be like everyone else.
KM: That's great. The title track from the album, What You Deserve, I definitely hear some 80’s rock influences there; Joan Jett and the band, The Donnas. What’s your thought on that?
AB: Joan Jett has always inspired me as an artist. I really loved how she wrote her music and was a badass doing it!
KM: Have you had the opportunity to meet her?
AB: I haven’t had the chance to meet her, but I’m hoping on my music journey that one day, I will have the opportunity to meet her.
KM: What have you found to be the most challenging for you in the music profession?
AB: I would say it would be finding the right fit with musicians in a band. I feel like it needs to have the right chemistry and that everyone has to be in it for the right reasons.
KM: Tell me about your first experience on stage.
AB: I was a little nervous for my first show and had a great turnout of people coming out to support me. As I started to perform I could feel the energy the crowd was giving off, and that was a great feeling.
KM: What about in the recording studio, working on the first album. Were you nervous?
AB: In the Studio I wasn't really nervous at all. I took it as a learning experience, to understand how the whole process works.
KM: Most memorable show you’ve done so far, good or bad.
AB: I would say it was a show I did in northern Illinois where I got to meet the A&R Rep Diana Meltzer who signed Seether, Evanescence, Creed, etc.
KM: Did she give you any positive feedback about your performance?
AB: She really loved my performance, my uniqueness, energy and passion.
KM: Very cool! So now, what are you planning for the rest of 2021 and then moving on into 2022?
AB: Writing more music, getting into the studio, pushing my music as much as possible and getting out there.
KM: Is there anyone you want to thank or give a shout out to?
AB: I want to thank God for this amazing gift he has given me, Maryann and Louis of Rock Avenue Records USA, Anthony Streeter, Lara Whelan founder of Bandemonium, my fans, and my family.
KM: Stay in touch and thank you so much for this! We wish you the best out there.
Kreig Marks, Founder/Publisher, TRR
Kreig Marks is the Founder/Publisher of Tru Rock Revival Magazine.
Rock music has always been his passion, and promoting musicians. In is spare time he is an internationally recognized neuro-fitness trainer/ kinesiologist.