Albums Out This Month
The Weekly Tour Round-Up
Hawthorne Heights // Hope EP
Mixtapes // Even On The Worst Nights
Sleeping With Sirens // If You Were A Movie, This Would Be Your Soundtrack
Memphis May Fire // Challenger
Every Time I Die // Ex Lives
Romance On A Rocketship // Creates Of The Night
A Place In Time
PropertyOfZack had the chance to interview Trace Cyrus from Ashland High several weeks ago for an in-depth interview. Trace and I discussed the band’s 2012 release, touring with The Ready Set, growing from Metro Station, the future, and more. Check it all out below!
So you’ve slowly been working up Ashland High for the past 6-8 months now with the release of Geronimo at the beginning of the year and then you just had a big tour with The Ready Set and Breathe Carolina. Are you happy with how much progression you’ve made in the past few months?
I am happy, but I always am my biggest critic. So of course, I want more for myself immediately. I’m just trying to get to that state where I’m content with where I’m at. You know? I’m so hard on myself and I’ve got to step back and realize that I’m doing a lot of things that artists only dream of doing. So I think I’m starting to become happy. I think now that I have a little time off after the tour, it’s making me step back and appreciate all that I’ve just done. Because I’ve done it on my own. In my last band, we did things on a way bigger level, but I had millions of dollars of label support behind me. So not having that now, and doing so much, I’m very happy and content, I must say. I think I just started figuring it out. Yeah, I feel good about it.
Has it been a learning process as well? Trying to learn how to operate without major label support or budget. Has it been interesting to navigate?
Yeah. It’s been very interesting but I actually feel good about it. I’ve built my team around me: pretty much everybody except a label. It feels good because if things don’t work out how I want, I really can only blame myself. There was a lot of things with my last band that didn’t go how I wanted them. Of course a lot of great things happened, but at the same time, major labels really kind of take control of the artist and they do what they want with them. Everything I think that people have seen with Ashland High is me to my fullest potential. You’re seeing me for myself and not what someone else is trying to make me. I’m having fun doing it though. I just now found a guy to come up, he’s a homie of mine from Nashville, and my next step is to shoot… I have 11 songs on my mixtape; I shot a video for the song “Jealous Lover” and I want to shoot a music video to every song. Because I really feel like that internet content can make or break a career in this day in age. That’s kind of the next step. I’ve never had to coordinate this much stuff on my own, but still having fun doing it and figuring it out. The next step is going to be me doing the same thing I’m doing for myself for other artists. Once I feel like I have my career on track, I want to get my label up and running and do the same thing for them. But I’m definitely still learning as I’m going.
So are you preparing a label launch as well?
Well that’s the deal I want to propose to any label. Basically I don’t want to sign any deal unless they want to sign my imprint as well. I definitely think a label like how all these rappers have labels. Like Young Money and stuff like that. That’s the kind of thing I want to do with my label. I want to have SMHP Records and I want to sign my own artists of all different types of music. That’s the goal. Because I have a team of producers. A producer made my mixtape. Like I said, I have my team built around me. So if I could sign my own artists and hopefully they could be compatible with me and could go on tour with me. I don’t picture myself signing to, say like Akon wanted to sign me, he built Lady Gaga, and he’d build me up. I don’t think that would be a right fit for me because I truly think I am going to be an icon like that hopefully sooner than later and I want to be someone that can be like an Akon and sign artists and develop them. You know? That type of thing. Like I said, I’m learning, but I’m still young. I think a lot of people think I’m older than I actually am. I think I have time to figure out this business a little more and I like to say that I’m an entrepreneur in this business.
So far over 2012 you’ve released the mixtape for free and it got a bunch of downloads. Are you happy with its success as a launching point for you?
I was happy with the success. It has almost 200,000 downloads or something. But like I said, I always want more. The goal is to shoot these music videos and get that download count up even more. Even though I’ve considered this a mixtape, I’m trying to work it as I did with the Metro Station Album. I truly feel like the songs on the mixtape turned out really good. I’m proud of the music and the work that I put into it. If I release a song from this mixtape, it’s work for the world to hear. I don’t feel like any song should be missed by the public eye. I want everyone to have a chance to hear the music so I feel like me making those videos is an easier way. Kids these days, I feel like, need a visual contact to put the person to the music. A lot of people still think of me as how I looked in Metro Station and stuff like that. I was 18 at the height of our success. So I just want people to kind of see what I am now. I want to tour a little more with this mixtape and then hopefully get in the studio and do my first album.