Headline Act: Ask Carol

All the way from the lovely country of Norway comes this rocking twosome. Like what you read and hear (check out their recent video below)? Then they’re on tour in the UK this month!

Simple things first – where are you guys from?

We are from a small place in the Norwegian mountains called Auma. About 150 people live there, and the nearest “big” city, Trondheim, is a 2.5 hour drive away.

How did you meet?

We met at something called Folkehøyskole (folk high school), it’s a year of semi-high school, but it is sort of an off year, because the focus is more on making friends and having fun. That’s where we met, at Jazz and Rhythmic studies.

How long have you been playing as a band?

After the Folkehøyskole, it took many years of doing different things, studying different things in college, in different cities. We always kept talking about doing something, but it wasn’t until we both moved to the same city, Oslo, that we actually started playing together. In the beginning we tried different things, different other musicians etc, but in 2019/2020 we decided to try being a duo, and the pandemic years really cemented that thought. It was during the covid years that we really developed the duo concept and the Ask Carol sound and the Ask Carol universe. That’s when Ask started playing the drums, and Carol started doing looping for real, and playing the trombone as well.

Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?

Our band name is pretty simple! It is just our first names, Ask and Carol, put together: Ask Carol. Ask is a real Norwegian name btw, it is from the old Norse and Viking times. Like Adam and Eve in Christianity, Ask and Embla were the first humans in Norse Mythology, created by the god Odin from a piece of ash wood. Long story.

What are your influences?

We have many common influences, like 70s rock, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and one of our biggest guitar idols, Jimi Hendrix. Also the grunge era (Nirvana and more) is a big influence. Both of us also have our own things, with Ask’s favorite band being The Clash, and Carol’s idols Lauryn Hill and Norah Jones.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

Our style is a mix of different genres, but we like to call it grungy alt-pop rock. Usually we sound a little more rough live than on the records, with more of our rock influences shining through live. We like so much different music, and different genres, and we believe by blending them we can create something a little bit new. Being only two, playing almost all instruments live on stage, our live-style is multitasking, with both of us often playing two instruments at a time, maybe even more, and live looping.

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

Well, more often than not, the songs tend to be about going your own way and doing things without caring what others think, the haters and stuff. Usually we don’t think too much about exactly what the songs should be about, and instead let it come to us naturally.

If you like what we do, consider joining us on Patreon for as little as £1 per month!

What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?

We plan to get all our stuff on the plane to bring with us our full duo rig on the UK tour. There will be guitar solos, there will be looping, there will be multitasking and there might even be some trombone! People have told us they don’t understand how two people can make such a huge sound, and that is lovely to hear. Can’t wait to show you guys this.

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

The wildest we’ve seen on a live show must be our first concert in the Philippines. We were scheduled to just do a short appearance on this Valentines day event thing in Manila, and we thought it would be a small venue and a few people. When we got there it was this huge open air auditorium! We though no way this is gonna fill up… no one was there, so we went backstage and waited. When it was a few minutes left before our slot, we had a glimpse outside, and wow, shocked we saw that it was actually full, probably around 1500 people! People were even waiting outside! That was wild, and I guess in the Philippines anything could happen!

What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?

Ask uses Pearl drums usually, and Fender guitars.

Carol uses Gibson Les Paul and Fernandez, as well as her unique Carvin guitar. We also have lots of other gear, guitar effects, midi-keyboards, drum pads and technical stuff etc.

What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?

We are coming on our very first UK tour this October! Starting off in Plymouth on October 11th, then Bristol 12th, London 13th and Manchester 14th, before heading up to Scotland, where we’re doing Perth, Falkirk, Stirling and Glasgow on October 18th to 21st.

What are your plans for the next 6 months or so?

After the UK tour, we are releasing the first single from our upcoming second album! On October 27th. We are very excited to show you this one, it is a bit more on the mellow side than our debut album, more in the vibe of the cover of “Ohio” we released before the summer. After that we will get back in the studio and continue working on our new album, as well as prepare for our first US tour as well, for 2024.

If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!

We would love to do support for The Kills or Battles. Although a bit different musically, I think it would fit, and be awesome. And it would be great to have Moriaty (who we are actually playing with in Plymouth and Bristol!) join us in supporting them, then it would be an amazing evening of rocking duos. That would be pretty cool.

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If you want to check out more new music, then fire up our Headline Act playlists on Spotify and YouTube!

Ask Carol: official | facebook | twitter | instagram | spotify | bandcamp | youtube

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