"When I saw No Doubt perform, it was like the sunbeams came down and the angels sang." 9 songs that changed my life, by New Years Day's Ash Costello

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Since New Years Day burst onto the US metal circuit in the mid-2000s, frontwoman Ash Costello has remained a modern day heroine of the scene. Emerging at the arse-end of the MySpace era, the Cali metalcore mob have released five full-length studio albums, the most recent of which, Half Black Heart, was unveiled to solid reviews earlier this year, with Metal Hammer writer Emily Swingle paying particular tribute to Costello's "weightless, triumphant vocals."

We recently sat down with the iconically two-tone-haired singer to discuss the songs that shaped the woman and the artist she has become today. Here's what she had to say.

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Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody

"Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen was my first taste of what rock’n’roll was. My parents took me to see Wayne’s World and the scene where they headbang... I found who I am in that scene! That was my first introduction to songwriting, really. I tend to gravitate more towards bands that have an epic sound, and when bands have a grand, almost theatre-like aspect I fall in love instantly."

No Doubt - Just A Girl

"When I heard Just A Girl and saw No Doubt perform, it was like the sunbeams came down and the angels sang. I saw a woman onstage that looked very girly but was kicking ass. I was like, ‘That’s what I want to be.’ It made me feel very empowered very young."

Nine Inch Nails - Closer

"I would stay up late watching MTV After Hours, where they would play the more risqué music videos. This is where I saw Nine Inch NailsCloser and Tool’s Stinkfist. That changed my life, like, almost in one night – especially Closer. It was like this world opened up of this dark, heavy, disturbing lyrical and visual content that completely shifted me to something way more sinister. I felt like I was watching something I wasn’t allowed to be watching. I loved that feeling, and not only did I pursue that feeling in music from then on, it made me shift into what I wanted to be
as an artist."

My Chemical Romance - I'm Not Okay (I Promise)

“I was given Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge by My Chemical Romance on a burned CD and the first song I connected with on that album was I’m Not Okay (I Promise). It was so chaotic, so anthemic, and the lyrics were so to the point. I fell in love with that lyrical style. That’s when I started dyeing my hair red and wearing red eyeshadow. That’s where that all started developing.

The Used - The Taste Of Ink

"The Used's The Taste Of Ink became an anthem to me. It really made me feel like I could do anything. I would sing that on the way to a show when I was going to perform, on the way to recording, songwriting sessions... It made me feel invincible."

AFI - Girl's Not Grey

"I don’t even know where to begin with Girl’s Not Grey by AFI. Sing The Sorrow is probably the most important album in my life. I wouldn’t be the singer, the artist, anything without that album. I always try to remember that when we’re writing new music – to take risks and do something out of the box and surprise people. That’s what AFI taught me. My first time watching Davey Havok perform I wanted to be him so bad, more than I’ve ever wanted to be any other frontperson. He was flawless. Ever since that moment and to this day before I go onstage, I think, ‘Just be Davey Havok.’"

Rammstein - Sonne

"I didn’t really deep-dive into Rammstein until I discovered Sonne, and I still reference that song in songwriting sessions. It’s one of the most flawlessly written songs. Structurally, sonically, the guitar tones and the feeling it gives me, the video that went with it... But for me it was the guitar riff that I have tried to emulate in so many songs of ours. It shifted me to a heavier tone as far as New Years Day’s music."

Pantera - Fucking Hostile

"Fucking Hostile is my favourite Pantera song. We ended up covering it and still play it to this day. Whenever I wake up on tour, the part of the day I look forward to is getting onstage and playing Fucking Hostile. We got to play it in front of [late drummer] Vinnie Paul. We got his blessing and he loved it, so I feel very honoured."

In This Moment - Blood

“Before I ever met In This Moment, we were signed to the same label. I was at the office one day, and they played me the video for Blood, and I was an instant fan. I thought the song was so iconic and Maria Brink looked iconic. I thought she was so bold and so brave. I wanted to embody that in myself and it really pushed me forward in my own music. She’s an incredible visionary.”

With contributions from