Forming in 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa, Asila are a four-piece hard rock band with added elements of blues and soul. New single ‘Hot Blooded Woman’ is available now, and band-member Richard (guitars) joined us to go through the background of the band, as well as his own personal musical memories.
What are the origins of the band, how long have you been playing together?
We started out in 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa. We met through the music scene and when we formed, we were initially called Revery. But after many member changes, we decided to rename ourselves to Asila in 2018. Musically, we were also quite eclectic initially, but we settled into a more hard rock style sound when we changed our name.
How did you feel performing your first gig? And how was it?!
I think our very first gig was at my house and we just played for some friends. I think we were all still very nervous. It was a lot of fun and we had a party. Good times, so that’s what matters.
What should people expect when they check the band out? How would you describe yourself?
We’ve got a solid hard rock sound – high energy and powerful songs, but we like to add elements of blues/ soul music in the vocals to give it more emotion. Our singer is very influenced by powerful soul singers. We also like to layer our music to give it a slightly symphonic sound sometimes and to add a bit of interest for those who listen deeply.
The new music scene is bursting at the seams with fresh talent, in what ways do you feel that a band has to stand out from the others trying to build a name?
That’s a tough one. I think you just need to play to your strengths. But either way, it’s hard to stand out. You need to try to stand out musically, visually, and through your marketing. And it’s tricky to be strong in each of those departments. So we just try to play to our strengths and make good music.
What are you working on at the minute that people can check out?
We just released our latest single Hot Blooded Woman! It’s out on all streaming platforms. We’re working on the video for Hot Blooded Woman at the moment.
What band out there at the minute do you feel that you would be best suited to open for?
I think musically we would fit quite well opening for Halestorm. But opening for Evanescence or Within Temptation would be a dream as well.
Who do you feel is the next band to break out?
That’s a tough one as well. Usually, we go out to local venues and watch bands a lot, so usually, we’d be able to give you an answer, but with Covid we haven’t seen bands in a while.
What are your first musical memories? And what was the light bulb moment that made you go “I want to do that”?
For me, Richard, it was just hearing Beethoven’s Fur Elise. That somehow triggered my love for music. I think Queen’s Brian May got me really intrigued in the guitar. But ultimately listening to Megadeth made me pick up the guitar and play heavy music.
What was the last gig that you attended as a fan?
I watched Lacuna Coil at the end of 2019. Or was it the beginning of 2020? Man, this lockdown messes with your perception of time.
The album that you have in your album collection/Spotify playlist that would surprise most people?
My tastes vary a lot, but probably Tatu. Remember them? ‘All the things she said’? Haha, love that band. I like a fair amount of pop in general as well.
Although 2020 was a year to forget for many reasons, there was some incredible music released; what would be your album of 2020?
I really like the new Puscifer album. It’s really quite out there. They’re such an interesting band. For 2021 I’m looking out for the new Liquid Tension Experiment album. The first few singles have been awesome!
How active are you on social media and where can people connect with you?
We’re quite active on Facebook and Instagram. We usually post the latest things we’re working on or acoustic version of our songs or just even small jams. Our tag is asilaband on all social media. Otherwise, you can also check us out on www.asilaband.com!