Ashleigh Wyatt is the front-woman and drummer of multiple bands in Melbourne, visual artist, and one of Phoebe's oldest friends. Her band Red Red Krovvy are currently on tour for their first album, Technical Ecstasy. Phoebe and Ash caught up on the internet to chat about the release, hometowns and living up to our teen expectations.
Photos by Hannah Roche.
PP: Hey Ash!! How are you?? Congratulations on the record <3 - I can't wait to hear it. I've been binging on the Ubik demo for weeks now.
Hey thanks a lot! Only took 10 years for this band to record an LP. Feeling vindicated.
I honestly don't know how you manage to tour so much and juggle a full-time job. It's pretty awe inspiring. Are you excited for the RRK tour? I'm so fuckin stoked to have you back in Brisbane this weekend/month!
Ahhhh i'm just an exhausted idiot with no spare time or voluntary social life hahaha. Very excited for this tour! I'm really happy with the line ups we have and I'm proud of this record. Keen to be back in my favourite freak show state, Queensland.
How have you found organising a long distance band? Adam has been in Melbourne with you for a few years, but with Ben in Sydney it sounds like recording was a bit fkn chaotic.
Thing move slowly with the members spread between two cities, but look I've seen bands who's members all live in the same suburb and have no full time jobs getting less shit done so I'm happy with how this is going. Recording took nearly two years or some shit, which is bad because there's so much time to listen back and change your mind about various aspects. But, I'm glad we took our time, because we did everything together. It feels more complete than a lot of other recordings I've been part of.
I've literally never heard anything but good things about RRK. You guys have had hectic praise from Rolling Stone and Vice to tiny, neckless goblin Henry Rollins on his radio show; and manage to do this somehow without much of a controlled internet presence, which is pretty unconventional these days. Same goes for Ubik actually! You're also one of my last friends who still doesn't really interact with Facebook much on a personal level - do you think there's value to bands staying off FB?
I think bands using Facebook etc is totally fine - it makes things a lot easier, plus connects international scenes and whatnot. I don't know why RRK decided not to, it just doesn't feel right.. It's taken a while to get where we are now, partly because of minimal internet spam, but it kinda makes things like praise from whatever music publication or Henry Rollins (bless his cotton socks) feel a bit more special. Like someone actually had to sit down and listen, or make it to an actual gig, not just take our word for it on the internet. My personal reasons for not using Facebook are varied, but I'm sure we can all agree it's a fuckin shit storm out there and I realised I could actually minimise some of my general anxiety by leaving it. My life is better for it - although yeah of course I do spend too much time refreshing Insta. SMASH THAT MF LIKE BUTTON IF U AGREE.
So by my count currently you're playing in 5 bands(?), either drums or vocals. Do you prefer being in front of or behind the kit? I feel like the personality of Ash drumming is so different to Ash singing.
Yeah 5 bands egfruihfkjsfhs. I think I prefer being in front.. less gear to carry. Also - It's the best fun.. But also more difficult in terms of nerves and anxiety. I often throw up before we play hahaha. Drumming is also pretty cool, and it's chill being behind the band and it's like the only physical exercise I get.
How do you think growing up in Cairns impacted you creatively?
Ummmm it meant I grew up viewing punk and whatnot through a very weird lens.. I was trying to explain to someone the other day... There was no punk scene in Cairns, and the only people who wore shit like studded cuffs and other punky paraphernalia were into Blink 182 or Avenged Sevenfold.. So I hated the punk look and always just tried to dress colourful and weird. Then I moved to Melbourne and all the cool punks wore studs and stuff and I'm like "wot this isn't what I expected" Admittedly Adam (of RRK) sports a studded belt from time to time but he is also probably the most stylish in the band. Anyway the point is I came to Melbourne with a very different idea of how punk should be and creatively, I reckon it's kept me a little more open minded in my approach to music making and booking gigs.
Considering this is coming up to your 10 year anniversary, how do you think you square up to teenage Ashleigh's expectations? You've done so much cool shit/have much much better hair now I think she'd be stoked.
This question killed me hahahaha. Fuck I dunno.. I'm pretty sure I was expecting to be famous at 21 and The World's Greatest Person. I am definitely hotter than I expected so that's good. I dunno, I think my teenage self would be fairly happy, although confused why everything took so long for me to achieve and wondering why I dress so fuckin boring now.
Love you Ash! See you this weekend :O <3