Some fans might miss the poetic, open-ended meanings of old, but there’s no denying that the more direct lyrical approach used on songs like I Survived and Come For Me hits with greater impact. Unbreakable is a statement of intent from an artist finally feeling confident enough to set aside the safety of allusion.
Perhaps surprisingly, in today’s climate and certainly given the tone of that song, the singer says she doesn’t actually face a lot of negativity online. She’s comfortable with fame, its trappings, and loves being the centre of attention. At the same time, she’s learned to be cautious about expressing herself on social media.
“I don’t feel like I’m allowed to have my own opinion on anything, because in today’s world, if you’re going to put your opinions online, it’s going to piss somebody off,” she admits. “I tweeted, for example, that I was donating to a kitten rescue. And someone wrote back, ‘What about pigs? Here’s a link to help pigs, no one’s helping them.’ And I was like, ‘Jesus Christ, man, I’m only one person. Let me just save some fucking cats!’”
When she’s not busy saving kitties or attending to band business, the singer likes nothing more than relaxing in her PJs and bingeing on box sets, just like everyone else. It’s when New Years Day are gearing back up for action that she really comes alive, however, and a life on the road, while hard, is one that she loves.
“One of the reasons the album took so long is that we decided that touring was a priority,” she says. “We said that if an amazing tour was offered to us, we’d do that and then make the album after. The problem was, we kept getting offered incredible tours, one after the other, and it was a case of, ‘Seize the day, let’s keep going.’ This has been my life consistently for the past 10 years, so I don’t really know any other way of living, but I thrive under pressure. When there’s not much going on at the end of the album cycle, I start to feel down. When there’s a lot going on and it’s all ready to explode, that’s when I feel most like my true self.”
With the band’s new album having dropped and recently completing their first ever U.S. headlining tour, things look all set to explode once more. And perhaps for the first time, the real Ash Costello can finally enjoy it all.