Introducing: Ask Carol

Ask Carol is front woman Carol and multi-instrumentalist Ask. Norway based, Ask Carol challenges the traditional conception of what a duo can be. With Ask Carol’s guitars, drums and fuzz-synth, and front woman Carol’s distinctive, dynamic range and bad-ass vocals, this two-piece creates a wall of sound. Here is our introduction to Ask Carol.

What are the origins of the band, how long have you been playing together?

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. The summer of 2015 we stayed at a cabin in the Norwegian mountains, with no electricity and no water, far away from people and civilisation, 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. You can read all about that story here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ask_and_Embla

How did you feel performing your first gig? And how was it?!

As mentioned, we did our first ever gig in South Korea. The thought of singing in front of people for the first time was so scary. Before our first concert I (Carol) had never sung in front of anyone, so we thought it would be better to play our first concert far far away from Norway, so that no one would know us. The feeling of doing our first concert was both “nerve wrecking”, exciting, and a big relief. This was something we both had been talking about doing for almost seven years! The audience and the venue was awesome, and it was a great night for us. We will never forget Strange Fruit, the small blues bar in Hongdae, and we’ll never forget the super welcoming owner, our friend Jihong.

What should people expect when they check the band out? How would you describe yourself?

They can expect two colorful, dorky, geeky people from Norway. We love the color yellow, so there will be a lot of yellow. Think we’re kind of down to earth at
the same time as we’re kind of all over the place and a bit whimsy. Our music has a grungy, alt-pop rock vibe with a lot of guitars and female pop/rock vocals. The vocals can be soft then suddenly turn mean, fierce and badass.

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?

We’re not experts on this, but we think that you should believe in your own style, don’t compare your art, or yourself, to everybody else. Be yourself. Try to do something that has not been done before. Don’t underestimate the power of social media.

What are you working on at the minute that people can check out?

We are currently working on the debut album, but the first single will be released already this May, on the 15th! It’s called «Run With You» and will be out on
Spotify, Apple Music and everything else.

What band out there at the minute do you feel that you would be best suited to open for?

Right now we think maybe the perfect artist to open for would be The Kills. We’re both guitar based duos, and we have some musical similarities.

Who do you feel is the next band to break out?

That’s very hard to say right now, as many young and promising bands just starting out have had a huge set back with this crisis… The main scene to spread your music and get exposure disappeared completely overnight.

What are your first musical memories? And what was the light bulb moment that made you go “I want to do that”?

Ask: My first musical memories are a mix of me jumping on a trampoline listening to Micheal Jackson, and my dad annoying me with his “stupid adult music”, especially a Norwegian band called Norsk Utflukt, which he used to play all the time. It took many years after that before I started doing music myself… Can’t really recall a specific moment, but it was some time after listening to The Clash a few years and reading their biography that inspired me in the beginning. Did you know that Paul Simonon had never played bass before he started in The Clash?

Carol: Not sure What my first musical memories was. I’ve been surrounded by music since before birth My dad put headphones on mums belly when she was pregnant. Haha. But my first memory was/is probably of my dad playing “The Stones” or Deep Purple and my mum ABBA or something on vinyl records. I don’t have an actual lightbulb moment, cause I’ve been super interested in music since I was small, but when I saw the movie “Sister act 2” with Lauryn Hill (when I was maybe seven), I knew I wanted to sing, but it took me almost twenty years to actually do it. I fell in love with the sound and the looks of the guitar about the same time, but that was also an long process. I bought my first guitar when I was 15, super inspired by the grunge era. You can say I’m I late bloomer. Haha.

What was the last gig that you attended as a fan?

The last concert we both attended as fans was Tame Impala at the Øya Festival last year. Since then we’ve been too busy recording and touring, but on the tour
we had some really great concert experiences. We might not have been fans, or heard of them, before, but after seeing some of those shows, we can definitely call ourselves fans. A couple we would like to mention are the Manila, Philippines, based bands Monkey No Hero and Dani. They were awesome!

The album that you have in your album collection/spotify playlist that would surprise most people?

Ask: Oh, that might be many, hehe. I actually dig a lot of electronic music, not that pop, trendy EDM stuff, but more obscure electronic stuff. I think it’s cool, it
might surprise some people.

Carol: I think I have a lot albums that would surprise people, or maybe people already know that my taste is all over the place…I love a lot of different genres. Talkin’ Verve by George Benson, would maybe surprise someone. I love some old funk/blues/jazzy guitar. Or the “Geogaddi” album by Boards of Canada. It’s rad.

What are your plans for 2020?

Well, for obvious reasons, many of the plans for 2020 had to be suddenly changed…. the main focus now is our debut album, which is scheduled to be released
early 2021. We’re doing what we can to prepare for touring and other stuff when the concerts can begin again after the outbreak. No one knows exactly when
that will be, though, so we are all a little bit wary, but we try to keep our hopes up and stay positive!

How active are you on social media and where can people connect with you?

We are on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and more. Would love to connect with all of you, especially in these times, when we cannot meet you in person at
concerts. Here are the links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/askcarol
Twitter – https://twitter.com/askcarolmusic
Website – http://askcarolmusic.com/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/askcarolmusic/
Youtube – https://youtube.com/c/AskCarol

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