Off the back of their first ever visit to Australia to play Download Festival in Sydney and Melbourne last month, we stole a few minutes away from New Years Day’s ferocious frontwoman, Ash Costello to chat all about the festival, as well as their upcoming album, ‘Unbreakable,’ out this coming Friday!
New Years Day only just made it onto the Download lineup, following Andy Black having to pull out, and Costello tells us about getting the offer. “Somebody had to pull out and we were top of the list. We didn’t really have much time to think about it, so we just said f*ck yes!” she laughs. “We didn’t even need to think about it. It was surreal. Playing Australia was a bucket list experience. You know, starting a band as a teenager, you never think it’d bring you worldwide. We didn’t think anybody would know who we were, but the crowds for our sets were impressive, even so early in the day! Even out and about, there were people stopping me in shopping malls and stuff all the time, it was so unexpected.”
With their extensive touring schedule over the majority of last year being spent out on the road with Halestorm and In this Moment, we reflect on the writing process for ‘Unbreakable’ and how it differs from the process used for their previous work. “We took all the little two week gaps between tour legs throughout the year and focused on writing whenever we had the chance. It was weird because we usually have 30 days to get the entire album done, so this time we had a lot of time to really focus on getting it right and being able to rework things. I really enjoyed it because there was no pressure, we just got to have fun with it and work on the album in our own time, which is something we’ve never been able to do before.”
At the time of the interview, New Years Day had just released Skeletons as a single, with its upbeat vibe and catchy sing-along chorus proving to be a real treat for those who have already been lucky enough to experience it live. “The response to the singles we’ve released so far has been 98% positive,” reflects Costello. “2% of people have been complaining that the new stuff is too ‘poppy’ but that’s because they haven’t heard the rest of the album yet,” she laughs. “The rest of the album is really heavy, so I guess you could say they haven’t been punched in the face with the heavy songs yet. I get where the hardcore fans are coming from though – I mean, I hate it when my favourite bands change their sound, but as musicians, we can’t just keep releasing the same thing over and over. All I can do is write what makes me happy.”
Costello also reflects on the challenges that ‘Unbreakable’ brought to the table and cites the main challenge was in doing something different. “We wanted to do something different and step out of our comfort zone. Playing it safe is boring, we’ve got to keep challenging ourselves, and for this record it was simply chasing what made us happy. We wanted to have fun with the music we were creating. I really just hope people enjoy it. That’s the main thing I hope people take away from this record.”
‘Unbreakable’ is due for release next week, and whilst the band are looking forward to unleashing it upon the masses, Costello admits they have no special plans to celebrate the record’s release. “We’ll be shooting music videos, obviously touring a lot, we just want to bring the music to life now.” On that exciting note, and after such a positive response to their appearance at Download Festival, we couldn’t let her go without asking the last question left on everybody’s minds: do you have any plans to come back and do a headline tour in Australia? “Yes! We actually met with one of the promoters of Download while we were there and we were all so surprised at the incredible reception our set received at the festival, even though we were playing early – while people were walking in. We’re booked out for the rest of the year already, so it’s looking like it’ll most likely be 2020 but talks are taking place and it will happen! Next year!”
Well, if you’re anything like me and (admittedly) hadn’t delved into New Years Day’s back catalogue and gotten to familiarise yourself with their music before Download, now is the time to do so! ‘Unbreakable’ hits shelves on Friday – and don’t forget the warning about being punched in the face! You’ll want to have all the songs down before their first ever headline tour of our shores, which is sounding like it’ll happen sooner than we might think!
New Years Day’s ‘Unbreakable’ is released April 26. Pre-order your copy HERE!