Oslo based duo, Ask Carol, talk about their music and influences
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR NEW SINGLE
Our last song is a guitar-driven alt-pop tune built around a laid back beat, with a kind of mystic but chill and almost cinematic vibe. It’s the third single we released on our own label, and where we did everything ourselves.
HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT THE SONGWRITING PROCESS?
We started writing the song almost two years ago, but never got around to finish it. We always change stuff around, and try different things. Summer last year (2019) we made the last changes before we started recording. Of course, during recording we realized we didn’t like everything, so we scrapped everything we had recorded so far, and started again. Then it was
pretty quick, and as we’re a DIY band, we did all the production and mixing ourselves.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
We can get inspired by anything really, there is no specific way we do things. It could be another song we like (or don’t like, for that matter), something we saw on TV, the news, or a movie. Or just something totally random that pops into our heads from (apparently) nowhere.
Both of us get inspired and influenced by different things, so there isn’t necessarily one meaning behind it, or any of our songs in general. We don’t necessarily discuss it between ourselves either, that’s one of the magical things about it. It can still mean something deeply personal, and we believe others often find their own personal meaning and interpretations in
music. Regardless of what the songwriters original inspiration was. That is the beauty of it. This is one of those songs. No song is the same though, and sometimes we discuss broadly, and specifically, what it’s about. But this time we didn’t. What we can say is that a feeling we had in mind, is that intense feeling you have when you have a profound realization, or
revelation, kind of, a new understanding of something, that could change your life. And you feel a weight lifted off your shoulders, and all the shame just washed away…
WHO ARE YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCES?
We have many common influences, like 70s rock, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and on of our biggest guitar idols, Jimi Hendrix. Also the grunge era (Nirvana and more) is a big influence.
Both of us also have our own things, with Ask’s favorite band being The Clash, and Carol’s idols Lauryn Hill and Norah Jones.
WHAT RECORD CHANGED YOUR LIFE?
Ask: London Calling by The Clash
Carol: Nirvana MTV Unplugged
WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING IF YOU DIDN'T MAKE MUSIC?
Ask: I think I would either do something with computers, or something with words, cause I like to write.
Carol: Drawing or painting.
WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO RECORD ONE OF YOUR SONGS, AND WHICH ONE?
You mean like do a cover of one of our songs? Would be awesome to have Norah Jones do a mellow jazz version of Caught Up In A Race.
HOW DID YOU FORM THE BAND?
We, Ask and Carol, the two members of Ask Carol, became friends right after
high school, when studying music in southern Norway. We were always talking
about starting a band, but it would take about 7 years before we finally went
through with the idea. The summer of 2015 we stayed at a cabin in the
Norwegian mountains, with no electricity and no water, far away from people
and civilization, only a few sheep outside the windows. That's where our first
songs were made, and where the seed to what would become Ask Carol
started. One more year went by before we started for real, and Ask Carol was
officially born, in 2016. Our first concert ever was at a small blues club in Seoul,
South Korea, called Strange Fruit. At that point, Carol was already a somewhat
known guitarist-for-hire in the Oslo music scene and had never ever sung in
front of people before, or at all for that matter. That's why we wanted to try out
our music and hold our first concerts far away from our hometown.
After thinking hard and long about the band name, with many pretty good
suggestions, we ended up with the simple band name Ask Carol, the first names
of our two members, Ask and Carol, put together. Ask is a real Norwegian name,
coming from Norse Mythology, the Viking religion; Ask was the first human
being, created by the God Odin, out of a piece of Ash-wood. You can read all
about that story here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ask_and_Embla
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ANYONE STARTING OUT?
Just do it, go for it, and never give up. Don’t listen too much to what other people are saying, and do your own thing.
WHAT IS NEXT?
We’re in the midst of recording our debut-album, which will be released sometime in 2020.. The main goal for 2020 is also to do a US Tour. The first thing we’ll do though is a short tour of the Philippines.