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©2006 website by Gone West

Written In Ashes


© by Darkfiend for Girls and Corpses Magazine

issue #6

Among the burned out wreckage of cars and buildings in a secret location, I interviewed the band Written In Ashes. The backdrop seemed strangely fitting as they stepped up to the barrel that I had set ablaze to write my notes beside.

G&C: Tell us who are you and what do you do for the band?

KDH: Kevyn Douglas Hay lyricist, vocalist, poet, centerfold.

Sancho: What do I do?! I am Sancho!

TJH: I am T.J. Hamilton. I play bass and sing backing vocals.

G&C: How would you categorize yourselves?

KDH: WIA is so many different things. It's almost easier to say what it isn't, rather than what it is. Recently, we've been labeled as 'dark wave.' The media has always told us what we are. We create what we feel, and let our fans and critics decide.

Sancho: A bunch of hoodlums!

TJH: Darkwave seems to be the most appropriate classification at this time...but I like Kevyn's description of "Dark sex rock".

G&C: Explain the name of the band, who came up with it.*

KDH: After I have breathed my last breath,

And this life has left me, Burn my body...

After the flames have gone out,

And the embers have cooled,

You will see my name...

...Written in Ashes

its from a poem a wrote I long time ago.

G&C: I know, everyone always asks, so I might as well too, what influences you, not necessarily bands... and what lately has inspired you?

KDH: I draw my influence from life as it happens around me. People, places, events, and emotions of everyday life. My lyrics are a tapestry and a testament to my experience in this existence. The successes and tragedies, the observations and ignorance fuel my creative passion.

Sancho: I'm most heavily influenced by PBR and Jaegermeister!

TJH: My writing is mostly influenced by the other members of the band, the energy we generate when we get together, and however I feel at the moment.

G&C: With the advent of the Internet, do you think that your band *has* to have a web presence?

KDH: A web presence is absolutely critical these days. Unless a band or performer only wants to be recognized in his/her home geographic region. And considering that record labels are closing their doors every day, and the ones that remain have less and less money to spend, its really a DIY world we live in. Live Journal and My Space are great avenues to reach out to potential fans around the world. It's a fabulous to touch those who have no one or no means to express themselves.

Sancho: Hey, it's good enough for cam girls...

TJH: Absolutely. We're out to have our music heard and the internet is a wonderful medium to accomplish that goal.

G&C: What are your views on digital music sharing?

KDH: Digital music sharing is fabulous. Personally, high profile bands that have made their millions and now living the life of luxury should be thankful for music sharing. It helps to drive their success. (Remember when they tried to ban record lp's to cassette tape?) For smaller bands and labels, it's a great way to gain exposure. Chances are, if someone downloads a song, they are more than likely to purchase the album, come to a show, or buy merchandise. Its a wonderful tool that should be embraced, not scorned.

Sancho: Is that like aural pornography?

TJH: I am divided on this issue. On one hand, there is a lot of really good music out there that nobody would ever hear because the money men don't think it'll turn enough of a profit. On the other hand, it's taking money away from the musicians that need it just to get by. I'd be much more against it if I thought the artists out there on major labels weren't getting shafted by the money men.

G&C: If someone gave you $100 million, what would you do with it?

KDH: That's a loaded question now isn't it? Pay off my debts, set up a trust fund for my son, put money a side for his college tuition. Record the best possible record WIA could. Take a vacation with the people I care about most. Repay my debt to my father. Donate a pile of cash to a local charity and live modestly.

Sancho: Roll around naked in it!!

TJH: Feed my musical instrument addiction...buy a bus...plan a tour...start a label or distribution company.

G&C: What are your criteria for selecting what you record? Is it musical, lyrical, or a mix of both?

KDH: I think our criteria is a mix of both. However; it really comes down to the passionate, emotional content, and the over all feel. We would never allow anything onto a record that was substandard. Our policy has been to always pull the weakest track of the record, regardless of our attachment to that piece.

TJH: Whatever works, we use...if it doesn't work, we don't use it.

G&C: What are you listening to these days? Anything you would normally not admit to?

KDH: I wouldn't ever not admit to listening to something. My musical tastes vary from Abba to John Zorn and everything in between (no bubble gum pop please!) I love Mozart and Vivaldi, I also enjoy Motorhead and Metallica. Hank Williams Sr, Edith Piaf, and Django Rhienhart are also in heavy rotation in my media player.

Sancho: My collection of music is varied far and wide, if I had to identify one guilty pleasure it would be listening to anything from Kiss, up until the 'Dynasty' album. And of course it has to be played LOUD!

TJH: Lots of music from the 80's in addition to industrial, noise, mid to down-tempo experimental electronic, trip-hop, rock, classical...you name it...

G&C: Tell me about the best show you have done so far. What made it so?

KDH: The best show we've done so far? That is a very difficult question to answer. We love playing locally, our fans here are our friends, and they come out in droves to see us. I think with this current line-up, the best show we have done so far has been Bar Sinister in Hollywood September 3, of this year. Tricia LaBelle takes such wonderful care of us, and truly enjoys as people. The entire crew there is amazing. Our thing is to keep it real, and to be genuine, and people really seem to pick up on that. When we played our version of 'Everyday (is Halloween)' [Ministry] the crowd went completely wild, which was surprising and stimulating. I have a tendency to work the crowd, and I was off on some tangent. I caught a glimpse of this guy near the stage and started talking to him. We looked at each other and laughed, and the only thing he could think of to respond to me was 'Asshole!' I've never laughed so hard on stage ever. I then proceeded to ask him if that was all he could come up with. He laughed again and slithered away. The most touching event of that evening was finding out later that one of our newest songs 'You' and our cover of 'Creep' [RadioHead] made some young fellow ball his eyes out. We were all very moved after hearing that.

TJH: Hands down, September 3rd 2005 at Bar Sinister (so far). It was a long but good trip to Hollywood, many good times and obnoxious comments were had. The crowd was beautiful and wonderful and we were treated rather well by the people that put it on.



Written In Ashes is now working on their first single in 3 years -- A song called "Life" which they've been performing for over 6 months now. The plan is to release the single with a few remixes in order to satiate while they produce their next album.