Battlecross – Power Up

Sunday, 23rd August 2015

Dead Rhetoric: You are about to become a father – how will you handle the balance of touring responsibilities and parenthood?

Asta: Well, I am about to figure that out! Basically what I have prepared for is I’m expecting my son to be born in September and so for some of the dates I have a friend who is filling in for me. That’s just part of the preparation going on for what’s happening in my life. I don’t know exactly what dates- a lot of people know Joe Cady, he’s kind of the sixth member of the band. He’s been there all along, and he will do fill in duties for me for whichever shows I won’t be able to make until my son’s born. After that I have my ducks in a row for family and whoever else to help while I’m away for whatever needs to be done at home. I’m still going to do this, this is my career- Hiran and I started this thing a long time ago so I have to make both work. I just have to figure out how.

Dead Rhetoric: What did you think of your mom talking about you in the Metal Muthas column of Decibel magazine issue 131? Any special story you would like to discuss regarding her support of Battlecross through your career?

Asta: I thought it was great! My mom has been very supportive all along. I kind of grew up with the motto of being whatever you want to be and do whatever you want to do, just be respectful and polite. Whatever you want to do you have to be happy and work hard at it. That’s how I grew up. I have to give them a lot of credit for being awesome parents, not everybody has that. One of the memories that sticks out in my mind is she had never seen a big show with us- so she came to one of our Mayhem festival shows in Detroit in 2013. She followed us online, saw pictures but had never been to that kind of a show- she sees one of biggest crowds we’ve ever played for, hometown crowd with everybody there supporting it. It was a huge thing for her and seeing us on a tour bus, that was a proud moment for her.

Dead Rhetoric: Now that you’ve built this solid reputation on the recording and live front, where would you like to see Battlecross over the next 3-5 years in terms of your place in the metal realm?

Asta: Definitely want to go places that we have never been before. Other countries or other cities, what have you, we definitely want to go where people want to see us, and then some. I just feel like there’s so much out there to see and to do, if we work hard enough and are lucky enough we will be able to do that. That’s a pretty big goal- there are some amazing festivals all over the world that I would love to be a part of. Hopefully we can do that soon, if ever- if you ask Hiran one of the things he would say when he’s asked this question is he wants Battlecross to be a household name. I think that’s pretty cool, how realistic that is I have no idea, but if we could ever be that bad ass I would want to do that. For myself I take things one thing at a time, the next thing on the list for me is to play places we’ve never been to and then do the next thing. You start at one place and you just keep climbing the ladder, short term goals to get to the big things.

Dead Rhetoric: What has been the worst or most challenging weather related event the band has had to endure on the road – it can either be travelling or actual on stage action?

Asta: I’d say the one thing that stands out… it was pretty hot during the Mayhem festival season but we can live through that. The most life threatening thing that we encountered, thankful nothing really bad happened, was when we were driving through western Canada in 2013 in the winter for the In Flames tour. Right before we went into the studio to record War of Will we went on tour with In Flames, we had our van and trailer going through the mountains between Vancouver and Calgary/ Edmonton. So we are going over that pass, the one time in my life where I thought if I make one wrong turn or move we are going to fly off the road and never be seen again. That takes the cake on that as far as treacherous weather conditions are concerned. It was white knuckle for hours on end, and we couldn’t go any faster than 30 mph because you would slide. We had tire chains, fortunately we never had to use them- although there were a couple of times where we were prepared to put them on. That’s outside of my realm of comfort, so it was a pretty scary moment.

Dead Rhetoric: Given the number of strong albums that always seem to hit the metal scene in the third quarter of the year, which bands are you looking forward to checking out the most? Or does your playlist consist of revisiting a lot of the older artists?

Asta: I’m not really up to date with what’s going on as far as new music, honestly. There’s just so much going on for me right now in my life. If you ask somebody else in the band they may say something differently. I know what I like and I love the classics, that’s where my home is at. I have to have some extra special connection for me to get into a new band. Sometimes I’ll hear a new band right away and I’ll like it- nine times out of ten I don’t. That sounds a little harsh but I love the classics. I am influenced by newer bands too.

Dead Rhetoric: When looking at your life, has there been any particular moment when you think about where you were able to breakthrough a certain challenge or barrier that may have been imposed either mentally or physically?

Asta: Yeah. There have been a lot of moments like that but the one that really stands out where I didn’t know what we were going to do or what was going to happen, floating in purgatory was the period in time where we self-recorded our debut album and trying to sign to a label. It was a pretty rough time because at the time we lost our original singer, Marshall Wood, and we were trying to find a replacement. It was a period of time where we didn’t know… we just recorded this album, it took like a year, saved all this money to record it, bought a van and did all this stuff, so what are we going to do? We just lost our singer, and we haven’t even begun to get anywhere and we were knocked down again. We had already known Kyle before that, we hit him up and he had other stuff going on, finally somehow we made it work. We submitted three songs with him on vocals to Metal Blade and they gave us a shot. You just put so much in, and then you get knocked down, somehow, someway it all comes together.

Dead Rhetoric: You’ve done some great work for Wounded Warriors and the Boston One Fund among others – has charity work always been important for Battlecross to give back?

Asta: Yes. As far as the Wounded Warriors and supporting the veterans, I feel that’s like the least we can do. I wish it was more but we aren’t exactly loaded. Just being a part of that and shining a light on this is important. It’s something that everybody in this band can get behind. There are a lot of great causes out there but we felt this was one necessary for us to focus on. We are happy to be a part of it.

Dead Rhetoric: How would you define success?

Asta: Success… well. I think we’ve already been successful, but if you want something in relative terms, success would be the next thing. If you would ask me 10 years ago what would have been successful it would be to record an album, play shows, and go on tour. If you ask me today… well, we’ve already accomplished that, and that’s amazing and let’s do the next thing. I want to be able to live off this one day. All I would have to do is focus on my band and my family. But now I have to do what I have to do- I have to work odd jobs when I am at home and try to make ends meet. It’s not like I’m living on the streets by any means. I would like to contribute and be a productive person of society. Right now I don’t have an income from the band that would really make a difference. Another goal to be successful would be to make money off the band and go buy some groceries- you know what I mean? One day if that happened that would be amazing.

Dead Rhetoric: What does the rest of 2015 and early 2016 look like for Battlecross in terms of touring, product, videos, etc.? Will you consider compiling and releasing a live DVD/ Blu-Ray down the road?

Asta: We are releasing a brand new video off the album, it will be the third single. Outside of that, you can expect the band to hit the road hard once again, playing in North America and abroad. Hopefully hitting some new cities and countries along the way.

Battlecross official website

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