There's a new band in town with a message of hope for those that want to listen. Dallas based Ashlynn formed in October of 2009 mixing their individual talents into an ambient progressive sound that sweeps the listener up and wraps them in a blanket of emotion.
How do you describe your style?
Giovanni Salvatici, Guitar/Vocals: Very atmospheric, a little bit raw...
JR Rich, Guitar/Vocals: In places it's really raw, in places it's chill, we try to go for more of the progressive approach. We like the verse and chorus approach, but we're trying what is different as far as structure goes in song writing.
Ryan Ledet, Drums/Vocals: It's important to us not to fit inside a genre, and so, it's kind of hard to label ourselves. We try to touch everything we can.
Sam Solano, Bass/Vocals: Diversifying our sound is pretty important to us, we want to be able to write what we want to write and not be tied down to one sound.
You list Ashlynn as an ambient band? How do you describe ambient?
Sam: Soft, it brings a lot of emotions, ambient does.
JR: Airy, really atmospheric, chill
Giovanni: Instead of riffs, it's more like a feel.
JR: Yeah, it's a feeling.
Sam: It's just pretty. That's what I want to say about ambient. It's pretty.
Interviewer: Is it pink?
Sam: It's pink.
JR: Sometimes. More times than pink, it's purple.
Sam: Yeah, definitely purple.
Why do you think you work as a band?
Giovanni: Because we're all really weird. (Laughter)
Ryan: We're all crazy.
Giovanni: We all have similar music styles. Some of us are more hardcore, some are a little chilled out, but we all have areas where we overlap in interests so it helps us whenever we're writing together.
Sam: Which helps us work together, but sometimes causes us to butt heads from time to time.
Ryan: Another reason we work together is, I can safely say, that all of our lives have been changed by music. We all share that passion. We know we are committed to each other and putting time and effort into the band.
What is your target audience?
Sam: 80 and over. (Laughter)
Giovanni: I guess like 16 to 25? I mean, generally, that's who I can see liking our music.
Ryan: Whoever wants to listen to us, whoever enjoys it, whoever wants to take the time to understand it.
JR: I think music is a really powerful thing.
Ryan: Music is, to me, the most important medium to speak to people.
Giovanni: It's universal. No matter what language you speak you'll always understand music. You'll understand the feeling.
Sam: You can't pour your emotions into something as much as you can music. You're able to fully channel your emotions, good or bad. If we can make people feel the way we feel when we play our music, then that is great.
Ryan: Music enables us to perform it live.
What inspires you as musicians?
Sam: People, making differences in people's lives. If I can do that, I'm happy.
Giovanni: Relationships, being able to influence people in a positive way.
Ryan: Offering hope and showing people through our music that there is hope out there for whatever they're going through.
Giovanni: There's two sides of it. There's kind of like the selfish side where I just love the feeling I get when I write a really cool part or when we're performing live. And there's the other part of it where I can see people getting into it and I can see people enjoying themselves.
Is there any organization that as a band you would want to support?
JR: There's a lot of things we want to support.
Sam: To Write Love On Her Arms
JR: We would be very happy partnering with any organization that offers love and hope to those that for whatever reason can't experience it.
Sam: Something human oriented.
When you have a concert what is the main idea you want to leave with your audience?
Giovanni: Love, I know we say that a lot, but it's really important.
Sam: I want them to want more of our music, want them to be interested in our music and be interested in talking with us.
Ryan: Definitely, I hope they know that they can come talk to us anytime.
Giovanni: I don't want them thinking that we're above them. I want them to know that we're just people that love doing what we do for them.
Ryan: And not that they can come talk to us, we want them to talk to us.
Why are you named Ashlynn?
Giovanni: It's Irish or Gaelic for "dream" and that can mean reaching for your dreams, hope, dreaming for a better world.
Sam: No matter how far you fall there is always hope.
You've mentioned hope several times. Do you feel your message is hope?
Giovanni: For sure.
Sam: Hope for tomorrow.
Why is hope so important to you?
Ryan - Hope is essential to living life.
JR - No matter what you're going through in life, like your trials and whatnot, hope is what gets you through that, I think.
What type of music can you not stand to be in the car with?
Giovanni: Ghetto Rap and Country where they say "y'all" with a heavy twang.
Sam: I was a DJ for a really long time so I can tolerate most music, but some rap just makes me angry.
Sam: Do you like Shania Twain? I love her!
Ryan: Okay, actually, I think more along what he said, twangy Country. That's what I don't like.
At this point in the interview several quickly created lyrics about cows, horses, beloved dead dogs, and plumbers were thrown out with heavy twangs. The reader will be spared.
JR: I was raised on Country, so I like that 90's Country, but a lot of Country I can't stand. I can't stand, like 100% Ghetto rap.
Sam: It blows my mind that someone can make money saying, "Yeah, yeah, say what?"
JR: With the same measures, it all sounds the same.
Ryan: I have a new one. Worship songs that I played a long time ago when I first started being in a worship band I hate with a steaming passion now, just because I've played them so, so much.
At this point in the interview they broke out in a much played Praise song while Ryan begged for them to stop.
Sam: It was C, G, A minor, F the whole entire time. (Laughing)
Giovanni: I guess I'm the only one that hasn't been in a worship band.
What is a materialistic thing you would have trouble living without?
Sam: If I didn't have any type of transportation, that would be bad.
Giovanni: Maybe hair, because head banging just doesn't have the same impact.
Ryan: Oh my gosh...you just said your hair...Dude, you totally said your hair!
Giovanni: If I was bald it just wouldn't be the same.
Ryan: You just solidified us making fun of you for the next year. (Laughter)
Interviewer: So you want to say water above transportation?
Sam: Water transportation.
Interviewer: Boats! (Laughter)
Sam: I couldn't live without a boat.
Ryan: Yeah, I go in a boat every day. (Laughter)
Interviewer: So does water outweigh transportation?
Sam: I guess water is obvious. (Laughter)
Ryan: Dude, we are not gonna be like shelter, water, food, air...air totally wins here. No, okay, it would be hard for me to live without my phone, keeping in contact with people. That's a really obvious answer.
JR: I'm serious, if I couldn't touch anything musical again, like if I lost my hands or some of my fingers...It's something I've thought about.
The band has written their EP with a theme that draws inspiration from the cycle of the day. They will go into the studio next month with producer, Austin Browne, and are shooting for an April release.
What else do you want to share?
Ryan: To people reading this, come out and see us and support us. Come and talk to us. Hang out with us.
Ashlynn will be at The Door in Plano on March 6th.