By Kreig Marks, June 2020
TRR: M99. I feel like I've heard that before. How did you guys come up with that name?
CRIS: I was laying in my bed watching Dexter, and the tranquilizer he used on his victims is called M99 (Etorphine). I thought, "If I ever start a new band again, I would want to call it M99."
TRR: Growing up, if you had listened to your grandmother, if you weren’t in this band, what type of profession would you be working in today?
ASH: Teaching Elementary students.
CRIS: A lawyer.
TRR: What was that moment when you knew you wanted to be in a band and perform in front of thousands of people?
ASH: When I was a freshman in high school, putting on Avril Lavigne concerts on in my room, with my karaoke machine and cool ass lights.
CRIS: I don’t think there was ever an Aha moment. I’ve wanted to play as long as I remember.
TRR: Ash, do you miss working at Radio Shack?
ASH: Yes if they hadn’t gone bankrupt, I would be managing a store!
TRR: Do you know that Nirvana once played in a Radio Shack?
ASH: No! That’s bad ass. When did they do that?
TRR: That was way back in 1988. Check it out here on YouTube. Maybe M99 could have done a Nirvana follow-up Radio Shack session.
TRR: Ash, to date, your greatest accomplishment as a singer?
ASH: Everything we’ve accomplished so far.
TRR: Your greatest accomplishment as a woman?
ASH: Becoming a mother of two.
TRR: Nice. Cris, when did you first pick up the guitar?
CRIS: When I was nine years old.
TRR: How long before you were comfortable enough to join a band?
CRIS: I wasn’t allowed to join the band when I was living at home, so I didn’t join the band till I was 19. But I would’ve been comfortable probably by the time I was 12 or 13.
TRR: What was it like the first time you performed on stage?
ASH: It was scary but epic, almost almost like I was in a tunnel and all I could see was the stage lights, and everyone’s hands in the air. It was truly the most spiritual moment of my life.
CRIS: I think I had practiced so long before we actually booked a gig, I felt pretty comfortable in a couple of minutes before I got on stage. I got the butterflies, but the moment we started playing, it was gone. I was having the time of my life.
TRR: Who in your family is your biggest fan?
ASH: My mom and children.
CRIS: none. I came from a very religious and conservative family who only listen to traditional gospel.
TRR: How challenging is it to be in a Rock band and raise children?
ASH: When I first started with the band, I didn’t know how it was gonna work out with having two kids. But luckily for me, I had a very supportive team of friends and family who helped make it possible, additionally, both of my children support me. They are my biggest fans. It’s a matter of taking the band seriously and treating it as a career, and being responsible with my time.
CRIS: I’ve had very supportive friends during the period where I was a single dad. I was able to work out the time with her mother, so it’s never been too difficult. And we’ve been able to work in family time, and keep it very separate from band time. We make it a point to keep it separate.
TRR: That is very important to balance things the right way. How challenging is it to be in a band with your boyfriend?
ASH: Not challenging at all, it’s more natural.
TRR: Cris, how do you feel about being in a band with Ash? It is tough or easy?
CRIS: I love it. That’s what brought us together to start with. Ash and I have very similar ideas musically, and we get to talk about what’s next with our plans and ideas, and then we get to create them.
TRR: It's great you two can share that. Who is your biggest critic?
ASH: Myself and my grandma, ha ha.
CRIS: I would have to say me.
TRR: What’s your dream show? (venue and supporting acts)
ASH: I think my dream show would be sharing the stage at Earth Day Birthday with Halestorm, Shinedown, Underoath and Disturbed.
CRIS:My dream show would probably have to be House of Blues for Sevendust and No Point. I’ve played with those guys a couple of times. They are the nicest bands I’ve ever met. I’ve seen them perform a lot and they never disappoint.
TRR: Cris proposes tomorrow. Do you say yes?
ASH: TBA! LOL
TRR: How did Curtain Call find you guys?
CRIS: Will Read of 106.6. The Blast was playing a lot of their bands, and he was the first to play us. He thought we would be a great fit with them, and gave us their contact info. We messaged them, and the rest is history.
TRR: How about Maverick Apparel?
CRIS:They put on a type of Battle of the Bands event, and we won and got our endorsement that way.
TRR: Where is M99 going to be 2 years from now?
ASH:The sky is the limit let’s see what happens.
TRR: Who would you like to give a shout out to?
ASH: I’d like to give a shout out to all of our fans friends and family to Supa Dave and WJRR 101.1 FM. To Maverick Apparel Company and Curtain Call Records. Also, Chris Ryals for being a fantastic producer, working with our band for as long as he has, and being a longtime friend of mine. To everyone out there. who has a dream of playing music, keep the dream alive and never give up. Anything can happen.
TRR: Thanks guys. This has been a lot of fun. We're looking forward to seeing you out there on stage as soon as this pandemic ends.
For further information about M99, check them out on Bandivious and on Facebook.