Interview – Anthems in Ashes is Raw Power Ft. Harley Olivia
We sat down with Harley Olivia, lead singer of the Toronto band Anthems in Ashes. The hard rock group bring a blend of power vocals, strong riffs and energetic lyrics that will sastify your need for head banging. But much more than that, is the fact that you don’t have to be a hard rock fan to appreciate them, simply being a music lover is more than enough. Releasing their first EP Burn It Down last summer, they’ve performed in some of the most sought after club venues in the city, including the Bovine Sex Club, and recently released their music video for the song “Her Fire” just last month.
What type of music do you perform? Do you write your own material and/or play instruments?
We play a sort of melodic but heavy metal/rock fusion. We write our own stuff. Usually, Mike comes in with a riff idea or skeleton of a song and then we all expand on that.
What first got you into recording music?
I’ve always loved to sing. When I was in singing lessons as a kid, my teacher would record the songs we were performing and I've always loved that process. It gets more exciting as the gear gets more pro!
Have you had the chance to tour and/or perform any shows? If so, what has the experience been?
We have been performing in the Toronto scene for about 2 years now. We love playing The Bovine Sex Club, Cherry Colas, Lee's Palace ect. The next thing we want to do is tour different cities in Ontario and Quebec.
Do you ever get nervous playing in front of other people?
Always. I am a perfectionist and my harshest critic so I always get nervous. It's an excited nervous though, and I've learned to cope with it. Before I go on stage I like to take a couple minutes to myself and focus on my breathing.
How did you realize this was something you wanted to do?
I've always loved performing and I would get obsessed with bands to an unhealthy level. It was just a love that never went away. I go crazy if I can't write and perform.
Is anyone in your family a musician?
My mum used to sing jazz. She has a really beautiful voice.
How do you find the music industry in Toronto?
I think it's getting better. It was really disheartening for a while when venues kept shutting down, but The Hideout came back and has become a great venue to play at. Also, Locos Only has returned which is a once a month event where members of local bands can come and hang out and network with each other. It makes the music community stronger which is really encouraging.
Who are some of your musical influences?
As a teenager I was obsessed with Marilyn Manson, My Chemical Romance, Slipknot, and The Strokes weirdly. Now I listen to a lot of Deftones, In This Moment, Sumo Cyco and Silversun Pickups. I gravitate towards musicians that are dark and theatrical, beautiful but ugly.
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