'Yo Aslyn, it's me Rocky.'
There's a shocking intimacy to singer-songwriter Aslyn's debut album, Lemon Love. Listening to the album, which was produced by Guy Chambers (Robbie Williams, Jewel) and Eric Valentine (SmashMouth, Third Eye Blind, Queens of the Stone Age), you get the sense that you've stumbled across a trunk full of a stranger's letters and that at any moment you'll be discovered reading them. They reveal the stories behind breakups and betrayals, yet they are buoyant, intoxicated by life and love. They are pure Aslyn.
Chatting recently with Aslyn, noting that her debut CD was chock full of personal experiences, which song she thought encapsulated her the best? ”Well, I think to choose one that captures everything is hard. There’s so many different moods on the record, from song to song, and I reflect back to all of them when I’m playing them. To be honest, with a lot of the songs on the record there’s still not a lot of closure. So I’m able to just go back to that original place on stage and feel the way I felt when I wrote the songs. I think that definitely captures the emotion of it all and I hope that the audience can connect to it as well.”
Is it true that clunkers of cars in your life led to the album title?! ”It really is," she smiles broadly. "Several. I actually went through four cars in one year. Beat up old cars, yes, but you’d expect them to live a little bit longer. But they would always break down and I would have to take them in to see how much it was gonna cost to fix and it was always more than the car was worth. So, I was always left trying to figure out my next situation. So, yeah, that song on the record ‘Lemon Love’ is also about relationships and how sometimes they can also break down on you if you’re not paying attention to them.”
Are there any other continual ‘lemons’ – of any nature - in your life?! ”Well, I don’t have a car or a boyfriend right now, so I’m lemon free, I guess,” she laughs loudly. ”I don’t even like lemons,” she then admits. ”I don’t. It’s bitter. It’s sour … but I like lemonade! Add a little sugar and it’s all good, right!?”
What makes Aslyn stand out from the other female singers of your ilk? ”I hope by every night, trying to wear my heart on my sleeve when I play in front of people that they can help me stick in there for the long run. It might be a marathon and not a sprint, but I know that music that I wanna listen to all the time is music that move some in a certain way. So I’m hoping that people will also feel that certain connection with my music too.”
Does the # ‘493-1023’ still exist?! ”Oh yeah,” she laughs. ”It was my phone number growing up and it does exist, yeah. I don’t live there any more, but people have tried calling it. And what’s funny is the people that have called there have been asking for Wally … who doesn’t live there either,” she laughs again.
Tell me more about the song ‘Wally’ ”Yeah, ‘Wally’ is the story of my grandmother and grandfather and is such a reflection of their lives and how exciting it was to watch their relationship throughout all those years. And there’s so many details of their relationship that I don’t get to tell the audience about every night. It’s really made me a true believer in a love that can stay together, which you don’t see a lot anymore.”
What’s been the highlight of being in the recent touring and TV spotlight? ”You know what, I remember the first show that I went to where I could hear the audience sing my songs back to me. That was in New Orleans. That was the moment of ‘you know what, this is it. I could do this every night and feel this.’ That made it worth everything to me.”
Based on the fact that during this entire interview Aslyn's new puppy 'Rocky' (a Maltese) has been tearing around like some ritalin-addicted freak, the next question comes spawned from her continual use of his name.
Why did you name your dog ‘Rocky’? ”I called him ‘Rocky’ because I wanted to give him a tough name ‘cause he’s so little … although I would have probably have named him ‘Fluffy’ or something,” she laughs. ”I have four brothers and when they saw him, separately from each other, one walked in and said I should name him ‘Rocco’ and one said I should name him ‘Rocky’.”
Talking of names, where does the name Aslyn originate … is it indeed even your birth name?! ”Yeah, it’s my real name, but it’s my middle name."
What cheesy '80s song would you love to cover today if asked ... and why?! ”It would have to be ‘You’re The Inspiration’ or ‘Hard Habit To Break’ by Chicago,” she laughs. ”Theirs was the first CD that I bought with my own money.”
If you were asked to record a single for charity, and had to choose 3 other musicians to aid you in the project, who would they be, what instruments would they play, and what would the name of the song be?! ”Stevie Wonder on keyboards and drums, Paul McCartney on bass, and Brian May on guitar … and the title would be ‘What Could I Say’.”
Finally, Sum up Aslyn in 3 words ”Loyal, driven and honest.”
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
Back To Archives