Interview with Worhol

Worhol

Symphonic Rock band from Texas

“And darkness was upon the land. All that was, was no more. The land lay wasted in ruins. No words were spoken. No songs were sung. Music was in a state of chaos. Its direction unknown. But one day, in the forest and through the trees, a voice came calling. Calling from above. Calling for “The Awakening”. The wind carried the voice throughout the land in hopes that it would be heard. When all had seem to fail, there stirred a movement in the ashes. And from the ashes arose a strong and powerful group of musicians called – “Worhol”. An army of chosen ones who would bring forth to the land a new and inspirational voice in music. Thou shall be Awakened! An era of music that would be expressed in the creation of multiple personalities. The rebirth of the long lost heart filled lyrics. The memory of mesmerizing melodies. The rhythms of thunder in the night. Arise to “The Awakening”. Listen to its voice.”

This great band is coming from Katy, Texas and it has been founded in the year of 2013 when the lead singer Ashley and her father Larry Worhol decided to make their dreams come true.

Their music can be described as symphonic and theatrical Rock. In 2015, Worhol released their first album “The Awakening”.

1. What is your biggest inspiration in creating such an amazing music?
Larry: My daughter is my biggest inspiration. She has such a positive attitude. No matter what, she always sees the bright side of things. She never gives up, and works day and night at promoting us through social media. She also keeps me motivated. Every time I think I have completed a project (composition) or halfway through a project (composition), she dumps a new one or two in my lap. No rest for the wicked. Anyway, she puts the fire under me to keep the ball rolling and therefore I finish all the projects we start. We both share in the joy of hearing what we have created.

 Ashley: For me personally, creating music is all about touching the lives of those who are listening. Every morning, evening, and night I have music in my head. It’s just a part of me and who I am.
I am surrounded by talented musicians and so fortunate to have the team we do and they inspire me every day. I grew up listening to my dad playing the piano. I would either sit in his lap while he practiced or I would crawl under the piano to listen because that was my safe haven.
At an early age my dad inspired me to be the best I could be and now we are reaching our dreams together. We as a group are able to put our hearts and souls into melodies that speak to us and in return we hope our music will remain a rememberable impression. Being able to orchestrate and compose music alone is an inspiration. The art of music while composing melodies is a gift we are able to share and in return our fans are a gift to us. Our fans will also always be our inspiration.
There’s nothing better than to be the reason to cause someone to smile. You never know what someone might be going through and if we have the chance to provide happiness, then that puts a smile on our faces.

2. Can you name your biggest influences and role models in music?
Ashley: I grew up listening to all genres of music but really enjoyed studying classical composers. The way they structured their pieces sonically is what I strive for as a composer. Of course, if one listened to our music, some of my biggest role models would not be shocking to hear!
I love Evanescence, Nightwish, Within Temptation, Epica, Kamelot, In This Moment, Linking Park, 30 Seconds to Mars and more! I would love to share the stage with all these talented artists.  It’s safe to say my music playlists will keep you on edge wondering what is coming next!   

Larry: I would have to begin with classical music. Studying piano at an early age and performing piano pieces by the great composers – Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms, Debussy, and especially Liszt. I began expanding my music education by listening to great orchestral works laid down by so many great composers. Then there was Elvis Presley. Wow. What a change. Then came the Beatles. Another great change in the era of new music. Rock and Roll. The music of Jimi Hendrix, Cream, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Black Sabbath. Along came Michael Jackson.

Then came Donna Summers and the disco era. I could go on forever. I have had such a great life with the variety of music I have experienced. Every era of music has had such an imprint in my life and especially those artists that arose with the era.

3. I know that you’ve been working with some amazing people from the world of music, such as: John LeCompt from Evanescence, Stephen Bogle from the Hunger, Mark Ander from Heart, etc., so can you share some details and feeling about that experience?
Ashley: There comes a point when you get the opportunity to work with such names as we have, you can’t help but think what a highlight in your career! What I will remember most is how humble each and every one of them was. It’s not always just business. There are true friendships there.
If someone would have told me years ago that I would not only be face to face with these talented musicians but actually working with them, someone would of had to pinch me because my mouth would of dropped! My favorite memories about each of them would have to be, with John, his sense of humor was a breath of fresh air. He decided to give me the nickname of, “Little Girl”. Now keep in mind I’m 5ft 1 in so that fit me perfectly and I thought it was priceless! He made us feel at home and we will always value his professionalism. With Stephen, you could tell he truly cared about giving us the best track he could. He really took pride in his work and made us feel comfortable. He welcomed us in and we will always respect him. Last but not least, with Mark, our first time meeting him was in the studio.
He drove down from Austin with his family and all of them were so down to Earth. It didn’t take him long to put down the bass track to, “The Darkness” and when he finished, they just stayed and hung out with us. Overall, we are truly blessed to have worked with these fine gentlemen and we will always respect their love for their art.

Craig: Working with Stephen Bogle was great. He was the first I had worked with while with Worhol. It’s great to see that we can find someone to work with that is very welcoming and professional and so close to home. Meeting and working with John LeCompt was awesome. The drive to Arkansas was a bit long but it was a shock to work with a guy that I had listened to that influenced me so much when I was much younger. It’s always great to get advice and listen to someone who’s been around the circuit. His sense of humor and personality reminds me of that of my brothers in my own family.

Photographer: Wilkinson Image & Design,  Wardrobe: Black Angel Clothing, Hair/Make-up Artist: Yvonne Hunt

4. Both of you are professional musicians and you have degrees in music. Can you tell us little more about your musical education?
Ashley: Through all my years in education, I was always involved in music somehow. I remember being in Elementary School and one of our teachers was leaving, so I wrote her a song and played it in front of the entire school. I was never a shy girl. Even as a little girl when my parents would want to go out to eat I would stop at tables on the way and try and talk to people! I guess I broke the, “No talking to strangers” rule (Laughs)!
So with me not being shy, I knew this industry was exactly what I wanted to pursue. This led me to attending the University of St. Thomas here in Houston, TX. The same university my dad attended.
I received my degree in music composition and with a minor in voice. During my years I studied under incredible professors. I was provided with courses such as, music theory, ear training, music history and performance. There was such beauty in the Middle Ages, Baroque, Classical and Romantic Eras but I really found and interest in the Renaissance Era and you can see that influence in a few of our songs. While I was there, I studies piano, voice and violin. The irony in my violin lesson is that I actually ended up recruiting my violin teacher to record on our current album, “The Awakening” and he performed as the violinist in, “The Darkness” music video. I lucked out with that connection!  

Larry: I began piano at the age of 6 and guitar at the age of 13. I was a church organist at the age of 13. Began playing in rock bands at the age of 15 and continued until I was19. Studied music at the age of 20 at the University of St Thomas in Houston and completed my degree in music there in 1978. My studies at the university included piano performance, orchestration, elementary music education, and composition. I also took up alto sax as a second instrument and played in the UST Jazz Ensemble.
After college, I studied private classical piano lessons with Albert Hursh and also studied private piano lessons with Mozart Hammond at the Houston Conservatory of Music. I studied Jazz with Sidney Davis who is a great jazz pianist. After college I began a career playing piano for special events, hotels, happy hours, fashion shows, and any event that needed a piano.

Marty: I attended both Sam Houston State University and The University of Houston where I majored in Music as a Percussion Primary and Piano Secondary. I can play not only drum set, but I also have an extensive performance background in Marching Band, Symphonic Band, and Symphony Orchestra percussion.

5. You produced your first music video “The Darkness” which Houston Press awarded as the Third Best Music Video out of the Houston, TX for the year of 2014. Are you planning to make other videos for the songs from your latest album?
Ashley: The moment we shot, “The Darkness” I knew I wanted to start planning for multiple videos. It was a time where I got to be an actress and let’s be honest, I love being in front of the camera! The day we shot, it was raining and freezing outside but it ended up being the perfect outcome for the vision we had. The bed in that video was my bed from High School. My dad literally had to break down the bed multiple times to reset at different locations. The last shot when I had mud on my face, the crew took mud from the ground and smeared it all over me. We were on a ranch that has cattle, so you can only imagine what I thought they were putting on me! On the topic of new videos, yes, we are currently debating between “Voices From Above” and “In This Town” as to which will be next. The concept we have for “Voices From Above”, the message is so powerful and so beautiful.

If you really think about the title of the song, that will give you a hint within itself. The title is very literal and the message behind the song will come out visually. I’ve always said that I want to be known for my character and my beliefs and this song/video will state exactly what I stand for.

6. I read that you’ve been “sharing stage” with the bands such as: Saving Abel, Puddle of Mud, Surrender to Fall and many others. How did you feel when you performed with such great names?
Ashley: Every band you see had to start somewhere. So the fact that we have been able to share the stage for National Acts such as these means we are on the right path and our hard work is paying off. Now I’ve listened to these groups for years so when you get the phone call asking for you to be on the show with them, at first you get excited obviously, but when you are standing there next to them it’s a whole other feeling. Some people might say star struck, but you realize we are all just people, and then you realize you get to perform in front of the same crowd that they are about to perform for.
It becomes an overwhelming feeling of joy. The best thing about it is, we are all just trying to live our dream and there are times we can live that dream at the exact same moment they do.

Craig: Sharing the stage with national acts is always great. The following that these bands haven’t always been reached by our band gave us more opportunity to reach them. The bands always vary. Some of the national acts like to keep to themselves or catch up on sleep but there are some other bands that like to hang out. Worhol likes to hang out and chat with fans. There are a lot of National acts that also do as well. One that sticks out in my mind was Saving Abel. They were very cool and actually hung out with us extremely late after the show when all the fans and everyone had left.

7. Which one is your favorite music genre and what do you listen when you simply want to relax, close your eyes and just breathe?
Ashley: I listen to all genres of music. Anywhere from classical, instrumental, metal, rock and even pop. I love to dance so give me a song with a great beat and I’ll be pleased! The artists I mentioned earlier that were my role models I listen to their music all the time. I also find myself listening to Lindsey Stirling quite often when I want to relax. The violin is such a beautiful instrument and overtime I hear it, it soothes me. I hope to one day collaborate with Lindsey, you never know! I also enjoy listening to groups that are local and that we play with because at the end of the day they are just as talented and you can really hear their passion in their music.

Craig: That’s a pretty hard question to answer. My music tastes changes with my mood. I typically listen to various forms of rock but I listen to hard rock/metal when I have a lot going on or at the gym. I listen to more Instrumental or experimental music when I’m doing artwork. For the most part though, there isn’t a lot of music that I don’t listen to.

Marty: I love Classical Music in addition to Heavy Rock, but I usually listen to light Jazz when I’m driving in my car.

Photographer: Wilkinson Image & Design

8. Can you share some details about your personal life? What do you do when you’re not running on the stage, composing songs for new albums, doing interviews and smiling in front of the camera?
Ashley: I love adventure! I really enjoy taking spontaneous weekend trips and seeing the beauty life has to offer. Recently, I just went to the Palo Duro Canyons and really found pleasure in hiking and mountain climbing. There was even a point where I got off the track and thought I was climbing a mountain that had been marked as part of the path they give you on the map and then when I realized I just climbed the side of a mountain that was not part of the “safe” path, my first thought was, let’s do that again! This also might not be expected but some of the day jobs I have had consisted of me being a Tennis Pro, a Nanny and I worked at a Gym as the assistant. Sports and music have always been my two loves so still to this day you can find me on the tennis court and staying active and fit.

Larry: I teach a lot. I teach both piano and guitar. I guess one thing outside of music is, I like to collect things. I like to go to antique shops, resale shops, junk shops, etc. and find old and unique things. One thing I like to collect is monkeys. Not real ones, but you know statues, lamps, candle holders, and also have taken an interest in African carvings and safari items. 

Marty: I’m into long distance cycling and when I’m not doing that, you can usually find me in my office, building a model ship.

9. Do you personally attend a lot of concerts or you prefer enjoying in music in home atmosphere?
Craig: I do love to go to concerts and shows. Although I don’t go out anywhere near as much as i want to I do love go out and surround myself with music without having to worry about the band and all that that comes with. Even when I’m not out at a show I still listen to so much music all day every day. 

Marty: I like to go to concerts, but I’ll admit, I’ve gotten rather picky as to who I’ll go see.

10. Tell us something about your national and international band tour. Are you planning to visit other countries in Europe beside UK?
Larry: The UK tour was great. We had a lot of great times and our booking agents; well, we couldn’t have done it without them. They drove us everywhere and between gigs went out of their way to show us the countryside. We loved it. We want to come back! The band really becomes family on our tours. We spent a lot quality time with each other and get to know each other more than just in the practice room. We have done tours in Florida, Colorado, London, Wales and other parts of the UK.
We especially want to tour Canada, Australia, Scotland, Ireland, Netherlands, Germany, Japan, and any other country that would have us. There are many parts in the US that we still want to tour as well!

11. What do you consider your biggest career highlight so far?
Craig: Right now the biggest accomplishments for me have been, touring the UK, and the publishing that we’ve reached. I, never leaving the country, have been a fantastic experience to go across the world and share our music and talk with fans that have been listening to our music while being so far away.
I can’t wait to go back, as well as many other countries around the world. Touring may be a more physical accomplishment but having publishing always have such an impact to me. It’s great to hear organizations that love what you do and want to talk about your music. People’s passions and business melding with your own is always a great feeling. 

Marty: I think having an album that I played on being nominated for multiple Grammy Awards, even though it didn’t win, just being on the Grammy ballot and being a member of the Recording Academy has opened many doors and made many connections in the industry that might not have happened otherwise.

12. Do you have other musical projects and/or bands beside Worhol?
Ashley: Worhol is and always will be our main priority. We all have worked so hard for this group and we know success is right around the corner! We are fortunate enough though those other artists have wanted to feature Marty on a track for drums and/or myself as a vocalist.
Dad has even scored the music for the film, “Diary of a Lost Girl”. We are all talented musicians and if we are asked to play on a track, and if we believe in the project or message, then majority of the time we would be honored to collaborate. Currently, my father and I are working on a project that will tell the inspirational story of a father and daughter but there is a much deeper message within this project/story that we will express at the release date. This story is something I knew we had to do.

13. Do you have some plans for this year or for the future that you would maybe like to share with us or simply “feed” us with small hint? Where can we see you performing these days?
Ashley: A hint you will be given! We are very excited to announce that we have two new sponsorships that we will announce this month! One is personally just for me and it is something I will be able to use every day. The other is for the group and it will allow us to stay healthy on and off the stage! We are also fortunate that our schedule is starting to book up fast so hopefully people will be able to see us performing close to their area of location. We have a few festivals we are participating in and I can’t wait to announce them! New material is also in the works and there might be an element of surprise that people would not expect. We are also very easy to get in touch with so if someone wants to book us in their area or for a tour all they have to do is reach out to us! We also hope to come back overseas again and branch out to new territories as well! You can always find our touring schedule on our website as well, www.Worhol.net

14. We came to the end of this amazing interview. It was more than a pleasure to chat with you, so what would you leave as a message to your faithful fans and our dear readers?
Ashley: First off, we want to thank you greatly for taking the time and getting to know us! We can’t express enough how much we appreciate Gothic and Amazing. If it wasn’t for you guys and other media outlets we wouldn’t be able to share our story and music. We so enjoyed your questions and thought they were original and unique! For our fans and your readers, feel free to contact us at any time!
We love to have a personal relationship with our fans and can’t thank them enough for their recurring support. Our fans are our lifeline and we hope after this interview, they have gotten to know us on a personal level. Like I stated earlier, our fans are a gift to us.
The feeling of being on stage and looking out to the audience and seeing them singing back our lyrics to us is a dream come true. Nothing goes unnoticed for us and we hope to have the chance to meet our fans in person!

Band Members:
Ashley Worhol- Vocalist, Pianist, Lyricist, Co-Composer
Larry Worhol- Guitarist, Orchestration, Co-Composer
Craig Malinowski- Bassist, Visual Artist
Marty Naul- Drummer

  

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Cover credits: Photographer: Craig Bryon Photography, Wardrobe: Black Angel Clothing, Wardrobe & Hair/Make-up Artist: Yvonne Hunt

1 & 2. Photographer: Craig Bryon Photography, Wardrobe: Black Angel Clothing, Hair/Make-up Artist: Yvonne Hunt
3 & 4: Photographer: Wilkinson Image & Design
5. Photographer: Wilkinson Image & Design, Wardrobe: Black Angel Clothing, Actor: Michael Dominguez