We had the opportunity to interview the band Ashley's Kryptonite. This was a week after their first EP Launch and they were still in the zone of being accomplished musicians.
“But it was just the three of them, Red, Josh and Sage, who were part of that org. I was in a different org,” Cholo Ledesma, the band’s drummer mentions. He joined the band on the summer before their second year in high school.
Inspired by U2’s song, they decided to name their band Sunday Bloody Sunday. This was before Cholo’s arrival in the band. They decided to change the name to Ashley’s Kryptonite when they decided to release their EP.
Apparently there is no actual Ashley that inspired the band to use that name. Only until people started asking who she was, Sage Ilagan, the vocalist and guitarist, confessed he had one in mind. However, none of the band members gave any info on who she was.
“Let’s say para siyang “x” sa math. Variable lang siya,” Cholo says.
“Ashley is typically someone who’s special. Yeah. That’s it,” Sage explains.
Josh is into more the classic and heavy rock bands, “I guess my biggest influence would be Jimmy Page.” He also adds John Mayer to his list of influences. Cholo cites the Beatles as “one of the nebulous influences” in his style. Other bands such as Death Cab for Cutie and Cambria as well but he says, “ Not really drummers in particular, but I guess how they sort of blend with the sound in terms of the band and I guess what really drives the music.”
On the other hand, Sage tells us that he was into boy bands before, like West Life and Backstreet Boys, which changed into Fall Out Boy and Blink 182. “In terms of song writing, I’m inspired by how Rico Blanco writes lyrics and also how Paul McCartney and John Lenon. On how they create these masterpieces by just using very, very small words, but could put them together to create one.”
As a band, they draw their style from Itchyworms, Sugarfree, Led Zepplin and U2. “There’s a lot actually. The ones we’ve mentioned just touch the surface,” Red mentions.
“Sometimes, with the lyrics, you can write it in 15 minutes, may kasamang melody na ‘yun. But the development of the song never stops. It can take years, ‘di pa kayo tapos na parang kahit after five years ‘di pa kayo tapos,” Josh says.
“That was the main difficulty also getting us to agree to gigs. We had to turn down some because of scheduling problems. Social life, parang, ‘di naman no?” Cholo elaborates.
“It’s like the band kinda becomes your social life. Actually, that’s an interesting thing. Your social life benefits from the band. If you love what you do,” Red says. According to Josh, bands actually score some dates from performing at all-girls schools. But Sage inserts that gigging becomes a commitment and it’s all about balance.
During the launch itself, these guys were experiencing a lot of emotion. Josh was organizing the logistics and he almost had a breakdown. However, when they went up for their performance, they believe that they put up the best set they ever had. “In the end, you’re going to feel so fulfilled. Even the audience, may mga umiyak sa show. It was really something.”
Their advice to other small and up and coming bands: Keep sucking.
“Yeah, keep sucking. And you realize that you’re never going to not suck. You’re still going to think you suck,” Red says.
“Proceed with passion,” Sage states.
“Before anything else, make sure that your band mates are your friends. Talaga, clique sila,” Josh advises.
“…as a band, you’re having fun. That’s the main thing. And tune before your set,” Cholo says.
“Finally, find a purpose. What’s the purpose of your band? Why are you playing? Why are you doing this?” Sage adds.
Finally, they all agreed with Red when he said, “Also, when you’re recording, never have the producer pissed at you”
Cholo: I’d like it better if it were my first pet, ‘cause his name was Fluffly. So Fluffly Alta Vista would be my stripper name.
Sage: I have a pet named Punky (?). And I live at Promenade. So I think it’s Punky Promenade.
Josh: I have a bunny. It’s Jesse Burgos.
Cholo: Sounds like a pretty common name.
Red: My dog’s name is Jude. I live at Villa Venicia. I’ll just use Venice. Jude Venice.
Best pick-up line?
Josh: Cholo Ledesma.
Cholo: Weh? Me? Ulol.
Hugot line, then?
Cholo: Buti pa ang Toyota, moving forward.
Cholo: Buti pa weather, may PAGASA.
Sage: Hindi. Buti pa bagyo, nagbibigay ng signal.
All: AYYY OHHH.
Josh: Pwede ba buti pa kahoy?
Red: Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay… May stripper name, na eh.
Sage: Next question?
Red: We might get carried away.
Cholo: Napanood mo na ba yung the Room?
Josh: Maganda siya kasi sobrang panget. That’s actually known for being the worst movie ever.
Sage: ‘Yung may beast?
Red: Not the beast? The Wicked Man? The Re-make. The original was awesome.
Cholo: I don’t remember any movies talagang I hated.
Red: How about a movie that you liked so much because it was so bad?
Josh: The Room. Batman and Robin.
Cholo: ‘YUN, ‘YUN, ‘YUN.
Josh: I loved that movie.
Cholo: I watched that movie maybe more than ten times.
Josh: It’s always been Ryan Gosling.
Sage: Siguro si Captain America, Human Torch… Oo si Chris Evans.
Red: I don’t know but Robert Downey Jr.’s awesome. He’s awesome.
Cholo: Oh my god, ako na lang? Baka si ano…
Sage: Cholo Ledesma.
Cholo: Hindi, hindi. Baka si Andrew Garfield. Crush ko ‘yan. O, baka crush ko lang girlfriend niya.
How do you like your potatoes?
Josh: I love fries and mojos dipped in whatever. Cheese and whatever. Sauce, yeah.
Sage: Ako, basta may ketchup.
Cholo: I want them buttered all over.