Last month we featured the stellar new single “Nowhere” by Ashley Purdy. The song is the debut release of Ashley Purdy as he ventures out as a solo artist. The song instantly garnered high praises from longtime Black Veil Brides fans as well as a completely new musical audience. The song catapulted him into the spotlight as the personal track captivated the listener and firmly cemented them as new fans. The song which Ashley explained,
“It was written and inspired when I felt all hope was lost in my life. After many tragedies of losing close family members and contemplating if I still wanted to be here or not, I turned to my art. Began to write poems, lyrics and songs that led to the main feeling and concept of “Nowhere”. The song basically came when I literally felt all alone. After all of your family members die and home is gone, you’ve got to figure out how to exist by yourself and for yourself.”
I’ve said this before…
“You never realize how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice.”
We are pleased to bring you an interview with Ashley as he discusses the song, his solo career and how his art kept him alive during a dark period. It is time for Ashley to shine as a solo artist. It brings to mind one of my favorite quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson,
“When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.”
Ashley Purdy Interview
MJP: Happy New Ashley! New Year, New Music! We have been so excited for your new music and you completely blew us away with your debut single, Nowhere. The song is not only an emotionally driven song but is captivating and addictive. How has it been to see the overwhelming support and love for the new song? Not only from your longtime fans but a whole new audience as well?
Ashley: “Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I didn’t go into this endeavor with any sort of expectations or agenda like you would approach other musical aspirations or a typical release. This time it was personal. The only person that mattered in this instance, was myself. This song in particular was unintentionally written sort of as therapy and it was freeing just to express how I was feeling and what I needed to say.
I was pleasantly surprised though by the overwhelming response. I mean honestly, I thought there’d be a lot more criticism, just the typical and then there really wasn’t even much of that. And you’re right, the song in itself reached a whole new audience attributed to just the honesty and relatability. I’m really writing and coming from a more mature aspect than my previous project. Just more ethereal, very vibey, that still leans moody and dark. Kind of a new romanticism.”
MJP: The song is a true tale of survival. You shared with us how personal Nowhere is for you and how it was like a lifeline for you during tough times. With the release of the song, did you feel a sense of catharsis, or vulnerability, as you released such a personal emotional song?
Ashley: “Yes, it was very cathartic. But the song itself wasn’t written as a whole. The lyrics, like a poem were written while I was in therapy. I spent a week in a psychiatric hospital to undergo intensive grief counseling and therapy from a few recent deaths and tragedies.
I wrote a lot in there. Just lots of words and emotions on the page, and a literal page, because I didn’t have a cell phone at this time either, it was a small pencil with no eraser and paper.
It wasn’t until later where I’d start constructing the music and then it garner those same emotions that you match the words with the feeling of the music where it compliments each other and then it all comes together.
And I didn’t really feel anything… it’s more like a state of being and bleeding on a page. Letting yourself go, becoming completely vulnerable without thinking about it, just bleeding on a page. “
Lyric video for Nowhere by Ashley Purdy:
MJP: You have turned to your art during these times and your music has become a source of hope for others. When you were growing up, who were some of the artists or songs that kept you going through your darkest times?
Ashley: “As a kid, I don’t really recall any dark times and if there was, well i know there was some, but I blocked all that out, mostly abandonment issues. But I was never a depressed kid, I grew up pretty tough. I did however lose myself in my music though. Many hours listening and reading the liner notes. Imagining in my head what their lives were like or what they were doing and wishing I could be like that, but more in the rock stardom sense.
With fans of this new song though, yes, I do see how there’s a sense of hope that they relate to with the song. Because I already see many inspired tattoos and covers of the song as well as people sharing their stories on how the song relates to them on their journey and what they’ve been through.
The most rewarding thing is to hear or read that my songs or words resonate with people. That would be the biggest compliment. To me the greatest thing as an artist one can do is move a person. Make them think, evoke an emotion; if my experiences can help an audience or give them strength, then I am very humbled by this and proud I was able to give back.
We’re all connected. I think that’s what drew me into the music I like or my influences, because they were saying the words that I have yet to express but were feeling. So, I do relate to my fans in that sentiment. “
MJP: What is next with your new music? Videos, New singles?
Ashley: “There’s a lot on the horizon, but as you know one can only reveal so much. I want it to be a surprise for the fans and a mystery that I believe everyone is anticipating now. There’s a whole, “what’s next” after Nowhere, since it kind of alleviated any doubters or nonbelievers. There was a lot of those comments that were like ‘Wow this is not what I expected, but this is really good’, to their amazement. I’m happy about that though, as I’m not to be underestimated.
But everything’s in the works. I’ve actually been working on songs for this project for over a year while my previous band was on another hiatus. I decided I needed to do something musically, if anything for the therapy sense during this time. So the songs were written and I never knew if they would see the light of day while I was in the other band. Now that I’m not, the light ahead is shining bright.
And yes, there will be more music or videos. However, with time and money permitting. Because now with this endeavor I’m going at it completely on my own, with no label or machine behind me or any sort of team or backing. I will have to find all the resources I can to fund all the production. So as freeing as it is, it’s a lot of work, but it’s just going to take more time and patience, and all come out when its able to. “
MJP: Do you have plans for live shows and if so, can we beg for West Coast dates??
Ashley: “Well as previously mentioned, I’m going at this alone with no current team at the moment. If anyone wants to champion this idea, go right ahead.
I’ve already fielded such questions from fans online, as I think this was their main question after the release was, ‘when can we see you live?’ or am I coming to their city.
As of now, I’m establishing the new project, maybe after the full record is out for a while, let say after this summer, I’d be able to entertain the idea of touring. It’s all got to make sense financially. The demand has got to be there. Fans have already started requesting their local radio stations to play my new music, as well as hitting up local promoters. That’s how it has to be done, grass roots, organic, the physical request for accountability that the industry can make a sure bet on. And I know with the dedicated fans I have, you can place a sure bet on that, they will show up.”
Nashville brings limitless opportunities.
MJP: Being in the music mecca of Nashville, has the musical inspirations been endless?
Ashley: “Inspirational? I don’t know about that. Educational. Yes. After living here a few years now, you realize how much more music there is here. It’s not just country or a derivative of. It’s all genres, and it’s kind of like the wild west in terms, because everyone here is going about it their own way. I have many friends and new acquaintances who are all musicians and each has their own style. Loosely under the genre of ‘Rock’. It’s a fun and exciting time in Nashville. The limits are endless. That’s why with my new project I’m going at it as just being genre-less and undefined. Coming from a band where you have a certain look and sound that you have to adhere to, or you will more less lose your fans interest. I’m able to write any type of song that I want to under the umbrella of Ashley Purdy as a solo artist. I love music, all genres, so like art, whatever mood I’m in or whatever style I’m feeling, I can just organically roll it out and work on it without any thought if it meets some guidelines I have to adhere to. I can just ‘create’. You’ll see this with the songs already coming down the pipeline, I’m intentionally releasing various Singles to give you perspective of the sonic abilities you’re going to get from the Ashley Purdy project. There isn’t any rules or guidelines in regards to music anymore. I believe just being authentic is the key to longevity.”
MJP: There are so many incredible musicians, artists, producers in the Nashville scene. Who are some of the great people that you have been working with?
Ashley: “Well the greatest thing I’ve come away with from living in Nashville is becoming a more experienced and knowledgeable musician, writer and creator. Coming from the LA hard rock / metal scene. That world was so elitist. How things were supposed to be done, like they had to be done that way, because that’s the way they always been done. From songwriting to the business associated to it. “
“The most dangerous phrase in our language is ‘we’ve always done it this way.’” – Admiral Grace Hopper
In Nashville, if there’s more than one writer, everyone works on a song collectively. There are no divisions of minuscule percentages in song writing, either you’re on it or you’re not and we just do the splits equally. Everyone does their part and contributes. You have dedicated people who either write the music, those studio players who track the music, and then you have the artists who perform the music. I don’t think a lot of the general public are aware of these 3 components that for a large percent are how songs are composed and performed, not just by one individual. I’ve been able to write or contribute in many ways I haven’t’ before. And everyone in Nashville are amazing players, most of the people who are in the cover bands downtown on Broadway, are the players for major artists on tour or studio musicians.
In regards to my project in particular, I’ve been working with Jim Kaufman as producer, Ryan Molder engineering and Josh Newell mixing (Linkin Park). Jim was a good fit for me in regards to what I’ve previously stated about the genre-less approach and creating a fresh sonic ability that lends itself to an all-encompassing broad sound. Jim has worked with artists from (Awolnation, Atlas Genius to Jon Pardi and Dustin Lynch). So, a pretty broad spectrum for music I like and what I’ve wanted to achieve in my project.
MJP: With your new music, were your songs new creations or have you always wanted to get your own music out there?
Ashley: I’ve always been a writer of poetry, lyrics, music, melody. I’ve actually studied creative writing while in art school. I have libraries of material, nothing categorized, more so just art and expression. I rarely go back and pull from something of the past. It just isn’t current, literally. I like writing and creating songs in the emotion I’m in, in that moment. Its more visceral, rawer and just fresh. So yes, all of my new music that is being produced and is set for release has all been written and recorded in the past year. “
MJP: Being part of such a big band as BVB for 10 years, you have truly been able to witness your fans grow over the years. During that time, did you find your music aspirations grow as well? What made you want to branch out and create your own music?
Ashley: “In regards to those fans. Some are still around as die hards and some are not. Just as people evolve, some have grown out of that group or that style of music and either have other musical tastes or just life obligations now as adults.
I think the same is true with myself. I honestly couldn’t keep playing the same type of songs over and over again. I needed to grow and evolve. I actually had this conversation with my band mate in that group during the last album cycle, that I wanted to evolve sonically from where we were. Many times, being in a band like that, even as successful as it may seem, is very limiting. A lot of restrictions on an artist to create, explore, and have a voice. Your talents are definitely marginalized. There’s either too many cooks in the kitchen and you take a back seat, which I had willingly done for years. Or you compromise and have to stick to the formula you are known for. Thus, basically crafting the same songs. As a creative person it just gets stale. “
The future is wide open for Ashley Purdy.
MJP: You have toured, traveled the world and so much more! With the new year, new decade ahead, what are some things you would like to achieve in the next year, decade?
Ashley: “Correct, I’ve seen a lot and done a lot, professionally and personally. I’ve been pretty blessed to have lived a well-rounded life of experiences and journeys. Many high highs and low down lows in very tragic senses, but it’s all a part of life. I humbly accept the life I’ve been given and chosen. With that said, I’m very content in how things are currently. I’m able to freely create art / music on my own terms. Just get down to being honest about what I create, knowing nothing was sacrificed or compromised. There’s blessing and curses within everything and life balances them all out. Without my last project, I probably wouldn’t be where I’m at now. But inversely, if I was still in that project, I wouldn’t be where I am at now… and I like where I’m at now. So, I’m just going to keep doing more of what I’m doing and staying on my path. “
MJP: We never seem to listen to advice as a teen but if you were to go back to your 14 year old self, what advice would you give to yourself?
Ashley: “Per life. Take it slower. Don’t stress too much about the things you want to achieve. Everything happens for a reason and when its meant to happen. If in any moment, you’re trying to give 10% or 1000%, the outcome will be the same. Just let things be. Acceptance is everything. “
MJP: There are so many people who look to the new year, new decade to make that “fresh start” or have that “start over” feeling, what advice do you have for them to move forward from their own demons?
Ashley: “It doesn’t have to be the ‘new year’ to be a ‘new you’ each and every day. A little goes a long way. Say hello to a stranger. Open the door for someone. Help an elder. Give a homeless person some food. Really just paying it forward. I think just keeping things in perspective is the best thing. Life is short, we’re all going to die. So just make the best of it.”
MJP: Lastly, is there anything else you would like to share with your fans?
“People who are different have a shot at being original”. – Jim Carrey
MJP: Thank you Ashley Purdy for the interview!
Make sure you pick up the new song, Nowhere by Ashley Purdy at the following locations:
- Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/album/nowhere-single/1491073525
- Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Nowhere-Ashley-Purdy/dp/B082LYCM6N/
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/7ELkJKqqwXLj0vBulTvmKv?si=lC8ij1iISeyRfImbw7wMmg
Also, head over to Ashley Purdy store for some new merch, https://ashleypurdystore.com/
Ashley Purdy is definitely one of the artists to watch out for in 2020! Make sure to visit his social media sites and stay up to date on his latest news.
Ashley Purdy Information & Links:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/officialashleypurdy/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/AshleyPurdy
- Store: https://ashleypurdystore.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ashleypurdyinc/
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCD9iewedBjtKBX24LS82rXQ
- Photo Credit: Jason Herring