Ashbury Heights in a victorian interview

Ashbury Heights - Interview 2018

Anders and Tea reveal deep insights and present exclusive content

Read why the release of 'The Victorian Wallflowers' was delayed, the secret behind the album title and the strange con­nec­tion between Black Sabbath and Spice Girls in this open and hon­est inter­view with the lovely band Ashbury Heights.

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It's a pleasure to have you for an interview. How are you?

Anders: "Thank you, it’s nice to be doing inter­views again."

I love your new album and I think it's your best work so far.
What's your personal feeling of 'The Victorian Wallflowers'?

Anders: "That’s great to hear, per­son­ally I feel like it’s the end of a road we star­ted down with ‘Masque’, the first track on our last album 'The Looking Glass Society'. We’ve explored all kinds of mod­ern pop expres­sions through the lens of the mod­ern goth­ic, and on Victorian Wallflowers, I think are some of the best tracks I’ve ever been a part of creating."

Tea: "By now my main feel­ing about it is relief. It’s been delayed so many times I was con­vinced it did nev­er see the light of day. "

You already announced the album for a release last year.
What happens that occurs this delay?

Anders: "The album was fin­ished last year in March, but we talked with Out Of Line and they felt the mixes weren’t quite there yet. So we hired Mario Rühlicke to give my pro­duc­tion some extra pol­ish, he did a great job."

Please explain the meaning of the album title 'The Victorian Wallflowers'.

Anders: "It’s how I felt when I began work­ing on it, how I still feel most of the time; like some­body out of my own time ’pos­it­ively vic­tori­an’. And I’ve always been a wallflower."

Visually, the new album artwork is very close to 'The Looking Glass Society'.
Is 'The Victorian Wallflowers' a direct sequel? What’s the link between those?

Ashbury Heights - The Victorian Wallflowers
The Victorian Wallflowers cov­er artwork

Tea: "They were recor­ded at the same time (with the excep­tion of Long Lost Dead And Gone, which came about later because I kept insist­ing that we needed to build some­thing around a clock), and were meant to be released togeth­er. So yes, I sup­pose you could call it a dir­ect sequel… but then again it’s also a pre­quel and a midquel."

Anders: "Yes ori­gin­ally the two records were sup­posed to be released togeth­er as a double album. But it was impossible to fin­ish it in any reas­on­able amount of time so we split them up. We’ve also worked with the same pho­to­graph­er now for five years and she’s become part of our visu­al expression."

I know only a few artists in our scene who can live from their music.
What do you do to pay your bills beside making music?

Anders: "I’ve been study­ing for six years now and just star­ted look­ing for work, wish me luck because I’ll def­in­itely need it."

Tea: "I’m work­ing on a PhD in crim­in­o­logy, so I basic­ally get paid to read, write, teach and learn. It’s the best."

What are your personal favourite tracks on the album and why?

Anders: "It has changed over time. ’Missing Mr Marchie’ is the old­est track on the album, it was writ­ten just weeks after ’Masque’, and it was long my favour­ite because it felt like a high point in my lyr­ic writing.

But then Tea joined the band and we made ’If You’re Shooting With Your Left It Means The Right Side Is Working’, and that track just rep­res­en­ted a leap in what Ashbury Heights was able to do. After that, we became more fear­less, and songs like ‘Firebird’ and ‘Tomorrow’s Dead To Me’ were the res­ult. All those songs were favour­ites at some point. I’m really proud of this album."

Tea: "'Headlights' because it’s one of the very few times I felt good about my own record­ings (that nev­er hap­pens). And 'Long Lost Dead And Gone' because it’s a concept I’ve been want­ing to work on since forever, both lyr­ic­ally and music­ally. Building a song around the tick­ing of a clock is some­thing I’ve been want­ing to do since I heard Ayreon’s The River of Time."

On your YouTube channel, you have presented some awesome cover versions under the working title 'The Skeleton Tree Season 1'. I really hoped that some tracks will appear on the new album as additional bonus tracks.
What's the status and future plan of 'The Skeleton Tree Season 1'?

Anders: "We are still inter­ested in doing a col­lec­tion of cov­ers and unre­leased tracks in the future. We have a couple more cov­ers lying around and there are about 8 tracks that didn’t make the cut for ‘Looking Glass Society’ and ‘Victorian Wallflowers’ which we really want to release at some point. Skeleton Tree was an amaz­ing exper­i­ence, but mak­ing it was incred­ibly time con­sum­ing and I’m not sure when and if we’ll be able to start work on sea­son 2."

What are the current plans for the future of the coming years for Ashbury Heights?

Anders: "We have planned a goth­ic concept album for a couple of years now, it’s our next pro­ject. I hope we get to be out on the road a little more in the future, we haven’t toured since 2009 and I do miss it. I’m also work­ing on a side pro­ject to get an out­let for the more viol­ent parts of me which doesn’t fit into the Ashbury Heights sound."

Tell us a secret behind the scenes of Ashbury Heights.

Anders: "I always wondered why oth­er bands got wine or hard liquor in their lounge when all I ever got was (undrink­able) Beck’s beer. Took me almost ten years to real­ize I could order some­thing else on the cater­ing rider."

What's your current favourite quote?

Anders: “The most thought-pro­vok­ing thing in our thought-pro­vok­ing time is that we are still not thinking”

Tea: “Its habit of get­ting up late you’ll agree that it car­ries too far when I say that it fre­quently break­fasts at five‑o’clock tea, and dines on the fol­low­ing day.

The setting: "The DJ in your favourite disco must urgently leave shortly and ask you to represent him".
How does your spontaneous DJ set look like (List maximum 10 tracks)?


  1. Daft Punk – Derezzed
  2. Depeche Mode – Personal Jesus (Prydz Remix)
  3. Editors – Papillon (Tiësto Remix)
  4. Michael Sembello – Maniac
  5. Kavinsky – Roadgame
  6. David Hasselhoff – True Survivor
  7. The Presets – My People
  8. Nine Inch Nails – Copy of a
  9. Crystal Castles Feat. Robert Smith – Not In Love
  10. Sisters Of Mercy – Temple Of Love 1992

What is the most valuable (limited edition) album in your collection?

Anders: "I got rid of all my records in 2012, I moved to a smal­ler apart­ment and couldn’t keep them. I miss my David Bowie collection."

Please make a spontaneous Selfie with your Smartphone in a mysterious pose.

Not quite a selfie, but here is the very mys­ter­i­ous, goth­ic style, exclus­ive pic­ture of Andres Hagström from Ashbury Heights. Thank you very much for this great picture.

Anders Hagström (Ashbury Heights) exclusive picture in a mysterious pose
Anders Hagström (Ashbury Heights) exclus­ive pic­ture in a mys­ter­i­ous pose

Which band or artist would you like to record a song together?

Anders: "I’d like to do some work with Damon Albarn or Trent Reznor. Such col­lab­or­a­tions would make for intriguing exper­i­ments I think."

Tea: "In This Moment, because Maria Brink is the coolest and because it’d be fun to swap it up with people work­ing in dif­fer­ent genres. Or Gin Wigmore, for the exact same reasons."

What's your current favourite instruments you use and why?

Anders: "I only use soft­ware instru­ments because of space restric­tions, there’s just no room for big sexy syn­thes­izers. My favour­ites to use are ReFX Nexus because it does everything fast, and Arturia Matrix 12 because it does a great impres­sion of my favour­ite hard­ware synth."

Tea: "I strongly feel that everything in life needs more harp­si­chord. And drums. I’d love to have a drum­mer for live shows."

What important life wisdom, would you give yourself 20 years ago?

Anders: "'Never go into music', it’s pretty much ruined every chance of me ever hav­ing a func­tion­al life."

Tea: "Well, I was 8, so… Eat more cake and pet more horses. Which is basic­ally the same advice I’d give myself yesterday."

Tell me a particularly good and a bad property of you.

Anders: "I’m par­tic­u­larly loy­al and par­tic­u­larly dip­lo­mat­ic, I’ll leave it up to you to decide which is which."

Which bands/artists were your musical idols as a kid?

Anders: "I had ter­rible taste as a kid, I remem­ber record­ing mix­tapes from Tracks, the Swedish top of the pops. I think NIN was my first real music­al inspir­a­tion. And David Bowie is the only artist I’d ever con­sider an idol."

Tea: "I was all over the place, but three that I spun more often than oth­ers as a kid were Ayreon, Black Sabbath and Spice Girls."

Thank you very much for these inter­est­ing insights of Ashbury Heights.

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