3. The music on the album covers many different musical genres, do you feel that you are creating an original with your music approach so far?
L: As the year progressed, we realized that people have short attention spans. We also find it incredibly difficult to accurately describe our music. Put two and two together and there’s your answer.
4. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band has explored so far with the music?
J: I try to draw from my subconscious for my lyrics, especially for this project. A lot of it is me trying to replicate or evoke dissociative experiences, drawing from memories, dreams and fears to conjure a certain atmosphere. You can’t really tell what Lyrics I’m reciting, but I think that the lyrics impact the way I perform vocally.
5. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Ashbel'?
L: There’s no grander meaning outside of a shared love for Miyazaki films with their overall sentiment. Our name was short and thought that it looked appealing on a poster when lined up with the other choices we inevitably cast off.
7. On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music so far by fans of underground genres?
J: I don’t think we’ve really reached any sort of worldwide success, *laughs* but I feel very humbled that people are interested in what we’re doing and have taken the time to interview us or review the album.
8. Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
J: Ska punk with a modal jazz influence.
L: Precisely that. And more of an emphasis on the idea of an aural zoetrope and a heavier focus on silence and dynamics. We’re still finding some semblance of salvation amongst the stasis, so we’re focusing on finding novel ways to bleed it. Upon the cusp of the pandemic, Khoa and I had brought on another guitarist, Tristan, to help flesh out some ideas we’d been brewing for quite some time now. Revisiting that dynamic sounds incredibly exciting. The musicianship of the band now is such that I don't have to over-exhaust so much as I did throughout last year. What I'm looking forward to when COVID restrictions are lifted enough is getting deeper into our unfinished record. A number of the weekly rehearsal songwriting exercises happened to have a lot of arms to them and paths that we turned down to have them sit on our “stripped-down” demos right. That really could open itself up to coming alive once we’re all in a room in the flesh, and I do think we're a good enough band to pull it off.
9. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
J: This question completely fucked me up and made me come to the realization that I barely have any non-musical interests... I have been meditating a lot recently, does that count?
L: If you have to ask, you haven't been paying nearly enough attention. I think I'll be able to say it better on subsequent albums and auxiliary side-projects/collaborations.
11. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?