QUICKIE OF THE WEEK: A short interview with Ashleigh Semkiw und Colin Parrish (TULIP)

written by Marko Jakob

Pix666: Hello Ashleigh, hey Colin. Thanks for your time. How are you doing these days?

Ashleigh: We’re great!

Colin: Doing well, thank you for asking!

Pix666: Your band Tulip was formed in 2018. Please introduce your band to the readers in a few short sentences.

Colin: Yes, Tulip was created in the fall of 2018. Ashleigh and I tracked our first 5-song EP together, then our current drummer Ryan Claxton joined shortly thereafter. Our live second guitar player (and bassist on record), Cody Casillas joined us last year.

Pix666: About two and a half years ago your fantastic debut album was released – unfortunately almost at the same time as the outbreak of the Corona Pandemic. What influence did the pandemic have on your further plans in 2020?

Colin: It was a real catastrophe for us and many other bands. We were supposed to tour Europe with Tarja Turunen in April of 2020. We had flights booked, merch printed in germany and all the routing done with our European booking agent. We were able to recoup some of the costs of the tour, but the merch is still sitting our tour managers closet 2 years later.

Pix666: In the meantime you have released some new songs – how were the fans’ reactions to the new singles and video clips so far? When will your next full lengh album be out?

Ashleigh: The reactions have been amazing – we’re really proud of this album and so happy the fans are loving it so far. 

Colin: After releasing The Witch EP in 2021, we wanted to make a record that was a little more a straightforward metal album. The first two tracks for our next full length are out now and reflect this change. There are still a few progressive tracks on the record, but ‚Ghost Of Kyiv‘ and ‚The Hanged Man‘ have both been very well received. We filmed two really great music videos with our friend Michael Levine which have had a very positive response. We don’t have a final release date for the next record, but it will be out sometime in the spring of 2023.

Pix666: What inspires you to write your music – where do you get the ideas for your lyrics and who is responsible for what in the band in the songwriting process?

Ashleigh: Lyrics and storytelling in music has always been important to me. I’m inspired by many of the greats – Billy Joel, Joni Mitchell, Freddie Mercury, SIA. In metal, I love Nergal’s ideas, and Architects and Parkway Drive’s lyrics are also awesome. 

Colin: Inspiriation for me is entierly dependent on what I’m listening in my day-to-day life. Often this is not metal – it might be top 40, video game or film music. Of course there are still many metal bands that I get excited about, but usually what I’m listening for in metal is the production and mix elements of a song. I have been a big fan of Niklas Karlsson from Orbit Culture’s mixes. Buster Odeholm is great too. The Swedes seem to just do metal better than everyone else.

Pix666: Next year you will tour Europe as support for Tarja. Are these your first concerts in Europe – and how do you become a support act for the world-famous Tarja?

Colin: Yes, the Tarja tour would be our first trip to Europe. These dates are still tentative for us. We certainly are going to try to make it work. Our booking agent at the time was also booking Tarja and recongized that it would be a good fit.

Pix666: How important is styling, social media presence and marketing for you besides the music? I think nowadays it’s more important than ever to stand out among the multitude of bands and to stick out from the mass of music.

Ashleigh: I agree – for us, we just try to deliver the best, most consistent and exciting representation of ourselves that we can – people are drawn to authenticity. 

Colin: One of the great benefits to being an independent artist in the modern age is that the internet it lowers the bar to get your music heard by fans. At the same time, it means there is so much more noise and people tend to just scroll past your content unless it really grabs them in the first 2 or 3 seconds. I know I’m guilty of this too – eventually you just stop paying attention.

We would much prefer to only release albums, but it’s impossible to stay relevant if you drop a full album then have nothing else to keep listeners engaged for a year or two. So this is the new strategy – we write a record then release a number of tracks as singles. This helps to keep the momentum going and worked very will with ‚The Witch‘.

Pix666: Are you fans of the statistics and look at how many views and streams your songs and videos have?

Colin: I think we’re in the same boat as every other band. We would love to ignore those numbers but it’s very difficult to get booked if you don’t have the statistics to support it.

Pix666: As musicians, you surely spend most of your time creating music – but what else do you do in your free time when you want to distract yourself – are there any interesting hobbies you pursue?

Colin: We have a lot of children. The only time we have for hobbies are is time for their hobbies. Sometimes I take the kids to the skatepark or play pickup hockey on weekends for exercise.

Ashleigh: Ha ha yes, the kids keep us busy for sure – other than that, I like spending time outdoors here in Texas, reading, or listening to podcasts. I’m also a huge horror fan, so I like to stay in the know about what’s coming next.

Pix666: Do you have any other news about Tulip that you would like to share with the fans?

Ashleigh and Colin: Make sure to follow us on socials or on Spotify so you know when we’ll be in our area! We love to meet everyone at our shows – so come say hello!

Pix666: Thank you very much for the interesting answers – Good luck for the future and I hope to see you live in Vienna next year!



photos © by Tulip