Over three years after their last album, Malevolence, left its scars, Cali goth metallers New Years Day find themselves in the depths of a songwriting haze, letting their creativity flow at its own pace. Frontwoman Ash Costello updates us on their progress on album number four, and their blockbusting, women-powered US tour de force with Halestorm and In This Moment.
How have the last couple of years been so far for you, Ash?
“Last year went by so fast! An all-female tour has been talked about for years but it was always written off; it wasn’t until Halestorm came up with the idea last year and approached us and In This Moment. We’re in a day and age where tickets don’t sell like they used to, but here are these three girls selling out arenas!”
Your EP, Diary of a Creep, dropped early in 2018. Was that cover of Pantera’s Fucking Hostile important to you?
“I’ve wanted to record it for years but ex-members of the team would say, ‘Are you sure you can handle that? Can a girl sing it?’ and that made me want to do it even more. It’s my favourite part of the day: I wake up thinking. ‘I’ve got hours until I get to play Fucking Hostile.’ A lot of older metal fans come to our shows expecting our cover to be a trainwreck and we prove them wrong. I can tell everybody there who wasn’t a fan becomes a fan right away.”
It’s been more than three years since your last full-length, Malevolence. Is now the right time to reinvent yourselves for a new album?
“We’ve always been rushed on every record because of our busy touring schedules, so we’ve never found the time to just write naturally. Malevolence was recorded in the month before Warped Tour 2015. It was very draining and I didn’t get the exact product I desired. I tried to find the most honest and dark places I was going through at the time but I’m tired of slicing open a vein and bleeding everywhere for a record. I’m starting to realise I don’t have to. I can still write authentic, emotional lyrics but paint a more fun picture with them now I’m in a much happier place.”
Who is on production duties this time around?
“We’re using two very respected producers which is pretty unheard of, but I’m so blessed that I get to work with them both together. It’ll be a cross between Mitch Marlow and Scott Stevens, who are both responsible for a lot of Halestorm and In This Moment’s popular singles. They met up for the first time this week to talk things out and I can’t wait to see what they do together!”
Which studio are you using?
“There’s no particular studio yet, it’s been bouncing around from studio to studio. Once we have a big batch of songs that look like a record, we’ll pick one but it won’t be Grey Area in Hollywood again – we’ve made three records there and I don’t want it to be too easy or repetitive.”
Any other details you can tease us with?
“We have one song called I Survived. That’s a subject I talk about a lot because I feel I’ve survived quite a bit, but this time, it’s a different take. The album doesn’t have a theme yet but I want to let the record put itself together so we can run with it.”
Is this your first proper album attempt since 2015?
“We spent 30 days in the studio right before Warped Tour 2017 and we had a finished record of 15 songs, but I knew they weren’t great. We played them for the record label and everybody hated them. So we scrapped it all and changed our management, band members and record labels. Now we have a team surrounding us that understands us and lets us take our time.”
Originally published in Metal Hammer 315