Houses Of The Unholy: Ash Costello, New Years Day

You’ve got an absolutely bizarre collection here. What is it all?!

“Weird stuff. I collect anything unusual, obscure or anything with some shock value to it. Basically, if it’s something that will shock my neighbours, then I love it!”

How did you begin amassing it all?

“My grandma was a practising Wiccan and she babysat me all the time. She had some weird stuff around the house. She was a prop maker, mainly for horror movies, so there was a box of severed heads and fake entrails lying around. I never knew that stuff was considered weird until I went to school. I liked the reaction of other kids to that stuff!”

Is that blood we spy in that jar?

“Yeah, I’ve got some blood I collected from different friends and there are a few ex-boyfriends in there as well. It’s usually something that happens right away – we get to know each other, we start talking and I’ll say, ‘You know, I love collecting blood, if you’d ever be willing…’ If the guy thinks that’s weird, then right away I know it’s not going to work out.”

So, uh, how does the blood get from inside the boyfriend and into the jar?

“It’s always different. It’s usually a little bit at a time with safety pins or razors on the fingertip. One guy slit the inside of his cheek and just spit up a bunch of blood into the jar. It was romantic at the time, but he turned out to be crazy. Can’t have it all, I guess!”

You collect teeth as well, right?

“Yeah, I had this friend tell me that she was having her wisdom teeth pulled and I asked her if I could have them. Now, whenever I hear about a friend or family member getting their teeth pulled, I just ask if I can have them.”

Tell us about those devil masks.

“Our guitarist Nikki [Misery] has a house in Mexico, so we go there a lot. We know all of the botánicas – the off-the-beaten-path shops. Every time we go, we pick one up and put the date on it. They’re a little on the pricey side, so there’s only seven for now. We usually have them throw in little skulls or trinkets as well.”

What’s that jar of dirt about?

“Nikki and I go to Louisiana a lot because he has family there. They’ve lived there for ages; it’s where he grew up and his family are deeply rooted in the culture there. So they know all of the cool shops, the cool swamps and the old voodoo plantations. A lot of his family members are buried in the Holy Savior cemetery in Lockport, so I thought it would be really cool to have a jar of dirt from that cemetery.”

**You’ve also got some paintings from the Disney Haunted Mansion… **

“I grew up down the street from Disneyland and my family would take me there three or four times a week when I was younger. The Haunted Mansion was always my favourite, so I’ve got a strong nostalgic connection to it. I’ve got the stretch room painting and the family portrait. I also have a painting of Madame Leota and the Hatbox Ghost and other paintings that can be found around the mansion. I get a lot of these at haunted trade shows and horror conventions.”

Fair! So on a scale of 1-10, how metal is this collection?!

“It’s still a baby collection that’s growing, so I’d give it an 8. I mean, having tarantulas, bat skeletons, blood and human teeth lying around the house has a pretty big shock value, so that’s pretty metal to me!”

New Years Day’s The Epidemic EP is out now via Grey Area

Joe Daly

Hailing from San Diego, California, Joe Daly is an award-winning music journalist with over thirty years experience. Since 2010, Joe has been a regular contributor for Metal Hammer, penning cover features, news stories, album reviews and other content. Joe also writes for Classic Rock, Bass Player, Men’s Health and Outburn magazines. He has served as Music Editor for several online outlets and he has been a contributor for SPIN, the BBC and a frequent guest on several podcasts. When he’s not serenading his neighbours with black metal, Joe enjoys playing hockey, beating on his bass and fawning over his dogs.