Symphonic rockers Worhol have released an album titled "The Awakening" with hit single "Already Forgotten", that was released as a video as well. The band is currently in the working process of a new EP release, set for release later this year! The band got together to disclose the matters on the EP and their music in general, and the future ahead.
1. Can you tell me about Worhol. Why did you decide to name the band with such title? What kind of ideas do you explore?
Ashley: Worhol is a symphonic metal group that likes to push the boundaries when it comes to instrumentation and orchestration. Worhol blends their music with a visual appearance that incorporates a stage show that will draw an individual in for an experience. Since my father is the guitarist, we decided to name the group Worhol because we thought it would stand out. We knew it would be memorable and would draw in questions about the group. Such as, are you related to Andy Warhol? And the answer is yes. When I was in college, I actually had a lot of professors call me by my last name instead of Ashley and I realized there's something about "Worhol" that I needed to pursue and incorporate within the band, which ended up being the band name itself! We love to explore with the ideas of staging and how we can express our music visually. Whether that be music videos, wardrobe, stage props, etc., we want to create an atmosphere that isn't your typical performance.
2. What about the history behind the band, how did the formation occur and what particular style of music do you make possible?
Larry: Ashley and I started writing about 6 years ago. We were both playing keyboards at the time and was not quite sure where things would end up but at that point we just wanted to write songs. As songwriters, we were creating the sound that we thought fit us, we were going for something that could sound as if it was a track from a motion picture. Then I decided this wasn't going to work, because having two keyboardists wasn’t going to be enough so I picked up the guitar after a number of years and began practicing. We started recording our material and used studio musicians for bass, drums, and strings. From there we reached out to drummers and bass players through social media and word of mouth that would be interested. Went through a bass player, and three drummers until we found Craig and Marty. So really the band has created a huge momentum for these past 2 years.
3. Where are you in the recording process of the new EP?
Ashley: We are at the point where we can see the light at the end of the tunnel! We are about to go back into studio early this summer to lay down the final track of the EP as well as record the orchestral parts. Once that is finished then we go into the mixing and mastering phase!
4. How would you describe this EP in comparison and contrasting to your previous full-length album "The Awakening"?
Ashley: We are very excited with the presentation of this EP. We wanted to stay true to our sound but incorporate some ideas that we did not explore when we recorded "The Awakening". We played around with different instruments and sounds to express the mood we were trying to portray. I also pushed myself vocally both with melodies and harmonies that I think truly adds some texture within these new songs. I also feel that this EP is heavier than "The Awakening" which is the direction we are going.
Marty: I think this EP is showing a certain growth and maturity of our music and songwriting. The music on the EP is turning out to be heavier and darker.
5. Did the band have any definitive goals they were shooting for before the recording process began for this EP?
Larry: I wanted to put a little more drive in our music by adding more crunch in my guitar rhythms. I know as a group we still wanted to focus on a symphonic rock sound, but a bit of a change in texture and scale patterns. More runs and breaks to affect the overall listening patterns for our audiences. We were looking for more enchanting and mysterious sounds, or should I say haunting sounds .
6. Do you plan to use any new instrumentation you've never used in the recording process before?
Marty: I already have! There’s a tune on the EP that has sort of a Celtic/Irish flavor, so I needed to come up with a drum sound that matched. I ended up using a little 10” x 6” “popcorn” snare drum and a set of Roto-Toms that I’ve had for 30 years or so, and hadn’t used them in the studio on a release.
7. When did you start writing for this EP?
Ashley: We are always writing. I think that is just part of being a musician. When something comes to you, you can't help but express yourself in that creative manner. The tracks on the EP were in the beginning phases last year and in-between our shows and traveling for music videos, we now have been really able to pick them a part and build the songs.
8. It's been three years since the release of "The Awakening". Why such a long time period between releases?
Ashley: When starting a group the initial goal is to release music so the world knows your presence. When we first created Worhol we knew we wanted to release an album so that was our number one priority. Outside of working on the album we were focusing on our UK tour as well as branding our image. Sometimes the behind the scene work is what takes the longest and making sure we had everything lined up accordingly. During the time we released "The Awakening" we had several opportunities which led us into signing a record deal. Part of that signing was bringing on the label to help promote and expand our reach worldwide. We ended up actually releasing "The Awakening" through the label and our publishing company late summer 2017. While we were gaining momentum that is when we started our writing process again for new music which has led us to the release of our EP later this year!
9. How is the vibe in the studio?
Ashley: Anytime I have the chance to record music I get extremely excited. The overall vibe for me is comforting because I know when we walk out those doors our ideas are now all combined and we have created something that is ours. Every musician has their own preference on how they like to record but for me, I love having the lights out when I record my vocals. There's something about being in the darkness that allows you to truly bring out your emotions.
Marty: The vibe is very relaxed! We all respect each other’s abilities on our given instruments, and have played together long enough to stay out of each other’s way! Having said that, we do all have some very strong ideas about what we want to achieve, so we do have discussions (sometimes loud ones)! Former Evanescence guitarist, John LeCompt is our studio engineer/producer, and working with him is a hoot! He’s very good about hearing things in the music that we may not hear or may not have thought of, and he’s willing to experiment with those ideas. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t, but it’s nice to have someone there who is not actually a band member, and can give us a more-or-less objective viewpoint on things.
10. When can we expect the new EP to be released?
Ashley: We plan to release the EP late 2018. We have some things in the works that will truly bring this EP to life.
11. Why was your single for "Already Forgotten" released via Imminence Records 'YouTube channel in November 2017 then re-released via your own YouTube channel February of 2018? Was it because it was "Already Forgotten"?
Ashley: Imminence Records decided to release "Already Forgotten" via their channel. Majority of groups you will find their music videos both on the labels channel and the bands personal channel. After speaking with our label we knew we wanted to give our fans the opportunity to also see the video via our channel so after they watch the video they were already in the position where they could see the next video of their choosing that is on our personal page. Music videos are reposted quite often because they are used as a promotional tool especially when a band has something coming up, for instance a tour, etc. It is a great way for new fans to hear your music but also feel your presence visually. We have multiple things in the works and we wanted to make sure we allowed our fans and new fans multiple avenues to where they could find our music and our latest music video.
12. Give me a brief explanation as to what your book titled "Perception" is all about and why should we check it out?
Ashley: Perception is an interactive hybrid poetry and photography book. The stories within Perception are based on my perspective of this mysterious place we call our world. Our world is changing-and with change, I continue to seek answers of the unknown-the physical things one cannot see. The idea behind Perception is that you, the reader, may enter my world. Although a painted picture is already present, while reading the words, I invite you to visualize these poems through your own eyes. It is now your turn to share with me your perception of my world.
13. Besides that book a jewelry line entitled Testament Designs is available, dislose the details about those gems?
Ashley: The story behind Testament Designs is that you can "wear art". Every unique piece whether it's a necklace or a bracelet are personally hand created by me. Not only does this make every piece one of a kind, you will also have a part of my heart.
14. What else does 2018 have lined-up for you guys?
Ashley: 2018 so far has been a year of doors opening for us and us walking through. We have endless opportunities ahead of us that consists of shows, music videos, exhibits and more. Along side our musical progressions we are about to advance our image to a whole other level that I am personally stoked about. Our dream stage show is becoming a reality and we can't wait for the world to experience us.
Marty: I think besides the EP release, we’re going to be doing a fair amount of touring. I’m looking forward to it!
15. Is that your final answer?
Ashley: I would like to take the time and thank you for having this interview with us! I hope that one day we will be able to meet in person! I also would love for our fans to know that they can always reach out to us. We love having that personal connection with them. You can listen to "The Awakening" via iTunes, Spotify or connect with us via social media!