For Halloween aficionados, like New Years Day vocalist Ash Costello, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.
New Years Day recently finished a Fall tour with two other powerhouse female fronted bands, The Warning and Halestorm. These ladies always deliver the rock show and never disappoint. NYD brings the performance energy with Ash Costello’s lead vocals and her signature red and black hair flying for the cameras and the fans.
The Travel Addict caught up with Ash to discuss her best Halloween experiences, her strong friendships with other female rockers and how a love for Disney gave her an appreciation for all things magical.
Louder than Life was one of your first shows back on the road after the pandemic?
We did Inkcarceration, but that’s the only show we played in three years besides WrestleMania, which to me doesn’t count as a normal show.
We took a break. I needed a break because we’ve been going non-stop for the past five years straight. We missed birthdays and Christmases and babies being born and weddings. I think we just needed to rest really badly.
Any favorite bands at Louder than Life?
Ministry. We love Ministry. They have a really bitchin’ Halloween anthem. “Halloween is Every Day” which is the song for people like us.
Your tour is going through October with Halestorm. Are you bringing any Halloween supplies on tour?
Yeah, of course! We’re all massive Halloween lovers in the band, so Halloween is a part of us year-round, but we’re always especially happy when we get to travel during Halloweentime because that means we get to decorate our bus for cheap; you have Walmart, Target and Dollar Tree and we can really go to town with Halloween decorations.
What’s your perfect place to be on Halloween?
Every year for as far back as I can remember, we’ve been at some sort of haunted attraction and I always really enjoy that.
We’ve either done Horror Nights or Knott’s Scary Farm or we always try to be at some sort of Halloween event around our friends and really celebrate the day.
Are The Haxans going to be coming back?
Yes. It’s tough between our schedules. That’s kind of always been the hardship of The Haxans and why we’ve been a band for so long but haven’t been able to tour much. Between him (Piggy D of Rob Zombie) touring with his group and me touring with mine, it’s hard to find the time.
Last year we did the most Halloween thing of all. We had a Halloween residency at a haunted theme park. Like a Halloween themed theme park. It was so much fun.
Was it at Knott’s Berry Farm in Orange County?
It was at Knott’s Scary Farm, which is also known in the Halloween community as the Halloween Haunt. It’s the longest running Halloween themed park in the country. I think it started in 1973. It paved the way for other parks to follow suit, which we’re all thankful for them for doing.
New Years Day is heading out with Halestorm again. You guys have done this ladies tour several times. Are there any cities that you’re excited to visit or activities that you’re looking forward to on the road?
This is the best time of year to tour because I’m looking at every haunted house, whether it be in someone’s backyard or a big, world famous one. I want to go to all of them. So, I’m always the one making sure that we’re planning ahead.
I think tomorrow we’re doing something called Scare Castle in North Carolina. And then there’s just all kinds of haunts to visit across the country. St. Louis has some that are great. We always look forward to going Netherworld in Stone Mountain, Georgia which we’re going to get to do this year.
That haunt is off the charts awesome. It is so cool. We love the people who run it. They always let us in to check out, even if we’re rolling through in April, they’ll open it up for us. I mean, there’s no monsters in it, but still, who cares? It’s still awesome.
The Fall tour heads thru New Orleans. Any must see attractions?
You know we’re going to go see The 13th Floor: New Orleans Nightmare!
I know you love Disneyland so much. What draws you to the theme park time after time?
I was very lucky to grow up right around the corner from Disneyland in California, so I could see the fireworks from my bedroom door and we had passes growing up. My mom and family took us all the time.
My family all worked there in some capacity at some point, and I worked there, too. It just feels like geographically where I was born and raised, it just is ingrained in my DNA. I really feel like having gone to Disneyland so much as a kid really developed my imagination.
My husband calls it my sense of magic and whimsy and it’s just a natural thing I have. I feel very lucky and grateful to have been exposed to it so much. But now as an adult, it just makes you feel like a kid and that’s the fun part of it. I feel like when I walk into the park, all my stress just goes away.
You got engaged married there at the Haunted Mansion, right?
Yes, we got engaged there. My husband loves to tell this story and I wish he was here to tell it. He had planned to ask me at the New Year’s event at Disneyland on the steps of Haunted Mansion, but he was so nervous because he’s not from California and he didn’t really know the park that well.
He was like, it’s going to be so crowded and there are going to be people all around – what if it doesn’t work out? What if we can’t make it in time? And it so happened at the New Year’s countdown that there was a firework show, so everyone was off at Main Street watching the fireworks show and nobody was at the Haunted Mansion.
It was completely desolate and empty. So, we got to ride it backwards and forwards because the employees were so nice and excited for us. We got to do it all by ourselves, just the two of us. And he asked me right at the countdown on the steps of the Haunted Mansion. It was the coolest.
You and Lzzy Hale have been known to collaborate on stage, you sing the Garbage cover, “I’m Only Happy When It Rains”. Are you planning any future collaborations this year?
I hope so. I’m mid record right now. I feel like I’m always so rushed through the album process that I never really get to play with the idea of having a feature. I would really love to do another collaboration with Lzzy again. I just feel so lucky and honored that she’s graced her voice with us for our cover EP. I just still can’t believe that, honestly, sometimes when I hear it.
Do you prefer festivals or smaller venue shows?
Honestly, I live for festivals. Don’t get me wrong, I love playing club shows. I love playing small shows. I think those are really magical. I love playing bigger arenas, too. We’ve played probably three dozen arenas, which I still want to go back and tell 12-year old me how fucking cool you’re going to be someday.
But out of all of that, festivals are my favorite. I love the energy. I love the people. I love how easy it is to get the crowd involved. I love seeing friends’ bands and getting to see bands I’ve looked up to. It really feels like some sort of reunion because you get to see crew you’ve seen throughout the years and catch up and you get to see people who work in the festival industry.
What does your perfect OC day look like?
I’m really laid back. My perfect OC day would probably be breakfast or brunch at the Orange Circle, which I call real life, main street Disneyland. It’s a time warp; you feel like you’re in 1950s Orange County.
I absolutely love the Orange Circle. They’ve got this place called The Filling Station. It’s this old 1920s gas station that’s still there and they turned it into a restaurant. I love it. And then probably go to the beach. I would go to Balboa Island, ride the ferry and hang out. Just walk the pier.
Dinner, depending on if we’re trying to be fancy or laid back, would be either the Shake Shack or the Beachcomber on PCH. At night, probably bar hop at downtown Disney.
I love Orange County events. I think it’s every Labor Day weekend that they have the International Food Festival and they close off the streets, so it’s like they have Italy, Scandinavia, Denmark and Japan and so on. It’s so much fun.
I also never miss the Orange County Fair. I never miss it. I go as much as I possibly can. And then Oktoberfest, the Old-World Village, the German village in Huntington Beach, is going on.
Has any travel ever influenced any songs that you’ve written?
Yes, actually. There’s a really old New Years Day song we wrote about touring called “Temecula Sunrise” because we used to rehearse in Temecula. We used to tour in a van in the early days and the song was about the long drive home after the last show and how tired we would be, but we would always be driving home to see the Temecula sunrise.
Do you have any must have items for tour and life on the road?
Oh, I always bring stuff to decorate my bunk. I’m a big make it your home kind of girl. This year I’ve been stalking HomeGoods, so I brought this really soft pumpkin patterned blanket and some pumpkin pillows that I’ve been collecting. And then I got some for my husband so he could decorate. That’s my must have. I have to have a mood light in the bunk and decorate it so it feels festive.