1. Introduce us to your band!
We (Ask Carol) are a multitasking alt-pop rock duo, with a punk-ish DIY style. We do everything ourselves, from songwriting, to mixing and producing, to merch-production and video-editing. We’re based in Auma, a small place in the Norwegian mountains, but often travel to Oslo, the capital.
2. How did you guys start out?
We (Ask and Carol), the two members of Ask Carol, became friends right after high school when studying music in southern Norway. We were always talking about starting a band, but it would take about 7 years before we finally went through with the idea. During the summer of 2015 we stayed at a cabin in the Norwegian mountains, with no electricity and no water, far away from people and civilization, only a few sheep outside the windows. That’s where our first songs were made, and where the seed to what would become Ask Carol started. One more year went by before we started for real, and Ask Carol was officially born, in 2016. Our first concert ever was at a small blues club in Seoul, South Korea, called Strange Fruit. At that point, Carol was already a somewhat known guitarist-for-hire in the Oslo music scene, and had never ever sung in front of people before, or at all for that matter. That’s why we wanted to try out our music and hold our first concerts far away from our hometown. After thinking hard and long about the band name, with many pretty good suggestions, we ended up with the simple band name Ask Carol, the first names of our two members, Ask and Carol, put together. Ask is a real Norwegian name, coming from Norse Mythology, the Viking religion; Ask was the first human being, created by the God Odin, out of a piece of Ash-wood.
3. Describe your band’s sound
Our sound 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 in our performances. We like a lot of 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. For bigger concerts/stages we use either a third person or a little bit of tracks to fill in.
4. What influences your craft?
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.
5. What makes your project different?
What makes our project different is our unique blend of different genres, which is hard to categorize (and we believe music shouldn’t always have to be categorized). Also, the way we play and perform live (we’re always working on our live performance). We’re only two people, sounding like a full band, through multitasking etc.
6. When introducing people to your music, what song should I show them first? What is your quintessential track?
One of our first songs, which has become kind of our theme song, is Gonna Do It. It’s not necessarily our best song, but up until now it has always been the last song in our live set. It was also the first song we released ever, and the first we ever wrote together. It was an idea Carol had for a chorus, and a guitar riff idea from Ask, put together, and through a lot of changes it ended up being Gonna Do It. That was our thoughts at the time, and it still is.
7. What has been the biggest struggle in your career so far?
The biggest struggle for us was to start. That’s why it took so long – it was having to take the step out of the comfortable life with education and a steady job, into the unknown where anything can happen. The sky’s the limit, but it can also go straight to hell. We have to swallow our dignity, ask our brothers and sisters to sleep on couches, crawl home to get fed by mums and let friends buy the beer. But now the hardest part is over, (or is it, who knows), and the only way is up.
8. What has been the biggest highlight in your career so far?
There are several highlights, but one of the most important and personally big things for us, was the first time we got accepted to play at the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas. It was a festival we had read and heard about since we were teenagers, when we started out playing – tales of this magical and mystical thing, happening on the other side of the world. Then we got invited to play there, as one of the first things to happen in our career. That was a big moment.
9. How bright is the future of your band – what are the plans?
Very bright. We are currently working on our debut album, scheduled for release late 2020. We’re also working setting up our first US tour late Summer or Fall, with UK and Germany coming up before that. But first, we’re going on a tour of the Philippines.
10. When all is said and done, how would you like to be remembered?
In the end it doesn’t really matter that much how people remember us, but if anything hopefully they still enjoy our music.