Whilst at the Dot To Dot Festival I had the chance to interview Dev (lead singer) and Jay (bass guitar) from the upcoming Nottingham-based band Ashfields. We talked about their inspirations, aspirations, and opinions surrounding their musical career – as well as Morrissey and the Backstreet Boys.
What’s the story behind the name Ashfields?
Dev: It originates from where we live, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Sutton-in-Ashfield, Mansfield – it’s a small past-mining community North of Nottingham.
What are your musical influences?
Dev: I like Catfish & The Bottlemen and I’m actually a big Backstreet Boys fan. Not gonna lie, they’re one of my guilty pleasures.
Jay: Nothing But Thieves and The Hunna – fun fact though, my first gig with Ashfields, I gave Dev a lift and on the way home, he had the Backstreet Boys on all the way home.
Dev: Spandau Ballet, I’m into that too
I don’t really like to talk about genres, if it’s good it’s good if it’s not it’s not. The only thing that makes it Ashfields is that it’s us.
How long have you been writing music?
Dev: I’ve been writing songs since day 1, but whether they had been any good or not that’s a different story. I started writing music professionally about 4 years ago.
Do you play in the band as a full-time career?
Dev: We all have jobs – unfortunately bands are expensive, there are lots to pay for. However recently the band has become more or less full-time so it is finally getting to the point where we are able to leave our jobs and be in the band full-time.
What’s your opinion on using Spotify as opposed to CDs?
Dev: Spotify is the way to go, but it isn’t the way I want to go – we live in a world where technology rules everything, no one buys CD’s anymore, no one has a record player. No one has a Walkman – it’s all on your phone.
Jay: I really like the feeling of having a CD and opening it to play it, I still buy CDs.
Dev: I still buy CDs too, I drive a car and I can’t afford a fancy car where I can hook my phone up to my Bluetooth – so I have to buy CDs for my car. In the world we live in Spotify has taken over.
There is also the argument that you can’t get paid as much through Spotify as well.
Dev: You really cannot be paid as much, it’s as simple as that, a CD would cost £5 and how much is it per listen on Spotify?
Me: Artists receive around £0.0004 per listen on Spotify.
Dev: Are you joking? Daylight f***ing robbery.
What’s your favourite venue that you’ve ever performed at? Fave crowd?
Jay: Rock City
Dev: Definitely, I’m assuming that’s gonna change today maybe.
Jay: We have just finished sound checking and it’s very very nice.
Dev: Rock city is one of my favourite venues to play to, and it has been one of the best crowds so far – but I’m assuming when we play at YNOT and Splendour that will change.
Are there any bands you’d love to tour with?
Jay: The Backstreet Boys?
Dev: Yeah definitely! *laughs* No not really – but on a serious note, probably Catfish and the Bottlemen or Nothing But Thieves
How about people you’d love to tour with dead or alive?
Dev: That’s a very good question, Queen all the way.
Jay: Yeah but then we’d play and instantly get sh*t on straight away
Dev: Like I say I’m the best singer alive besides Freddie Mercury, but he’s dead so he doesn’t count. It would be nice to be there and shake his hand though.
Do you think that bands should talk about political issues?
Dev: I believe in some sense that bands have the ability to persuade others and have some kind of projection onto the public, where they can make their view and make a difference – yet in the same sense should they really? Probably not.
Jay: I think artists are given a platform to use, so they may as well use it. I listen to Rise Against who is quite a political band, they are vegetarians, activists – but it can get to the point where they are shoving it down your throats and singing about it in every song.
Dev: There was that thing where Morrissey stopped a gig because there was a meat van nearby, I am a Morrissey fan but I want to eat a f***ing cheeseburger.
Jay: There is a line on how far you should go with it but if you are given a platform you should use it for positive reasons.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start a band?
Dev: Go for it, it’ll be the best laugh you’ve ever had in your life, don’t let anything get in the way, but at the end of the day you just have to be f***ing good.
Jay: Hard work does pay off.
What can you expect from you in the future? More EP’s?
Dev: If I tell you I’d have to kill you!! There’s lots of stuff in the pipeline regarding songs and recording. There will definitely be an album, more gigs, more tours, we are supporting the Libertines and Happy Mondays, alongside a few others tours but they haven’t been announced yet.
Jay: Watch this space and all that.
Dev: Watch this space and all the cheesy sh*t that the bands give you.