It’s been a minute since we’ve caught up with our dear friend and musician Kane Acosta, a.k.a Ashes to Amber. Now with over 100k monthly listeners on Spotify, he has just released his newest album, titled Do Not Pick the Flowers. We got the chance to sit down with him and this is what we got.
Howdy Kane, how goes it?
You know, another day missing Del Taco. Enjoying the city, reveling in the times, thinking about some girl. Learning some lydian scales and trying to hydrate.
Haha so nothing’s changed. For our new readers, could you tell us a little bit about your background and what got you into music in the first place?
Well I have always been well versed in wanting to play guitar. It started when I was running for president of my middle school. I wrote a heater called “Vote For Kane.” Everyone cheered and I was like damn this is fun. So I just started grinding guitar. Then out of nowhere sophomore year of high school, the EDM lords of the north descended from the cosmos and turned me into a DJ and mixologist known as Steedy Royce. I was making EDM music all the way into college while also writing some guitar melodies such as Iris. Something was lacking though. I didn’t produce music and I really wanted to be more actively engaged in the songwriting process. So at the beginning of my sophomore year in college, I met up with my now great friend named TJ Wee. He has the most soul from Seoul by the way. Anyway, we just made the entire Voodoo Blu EP in a week and sent it out to the world. That started the journey of Ashes to Amber. We still work together quite often and feed bangers to the Ashes to Amber community. Currently I'm focusing on becoming the best guitar player I can possibly be. MODAL SEASON
Rumor has it you’re still in school, Thornton School of Music at USC to be exact. How do you manage ripping the guitar and warbling while still maintaining a decent GPA?
Hahaha who said GPA was involved here? Jokes aside, I have no idea. I'm not the sharpest bowling ball in the toolbox. But yet I still get decent grades. I never thought I would be at USC, so my brain really had to come to a realization I had to work my hardest while I'm here. What is life without a little challenge? I just break my schedule into a day by day process. I wake up, promote, practice guitar, do homework, go to class, then practice more and write songs. Throw a little raging in there and we have quite the business model.
Bowling balls and toolboxes... Well, in the spare time you do have, how do you like to spend it?
Surfing, surf boarding and riding surfboards. I used to skate too but gotta save them digits so I can shred all the chords. But mainly I just practice guitar in my free time.
Wow, potentially jeopardizing your art with skating is quite the conundrum. Going back to your music, we understand you have just released a new album... Care to share a little bit about what it means to you and how you settled on the title?
This album is a follow up to my Jade project. All of my songs tell the story of a coming to age experience. I am a very infatuated philosopher when it comes to love. For some reason all aspects of my life dive directly in my relationships with others and how I go about my day. I learn a lot from past experiences. Jade was a time in my life where I was stuck in this mad-happy world where sadness and happiness were equal and I felt nothing. Now, I decided to go out and get my heart and brain stuck in a whirl wheel. I DID NOT learn my lesson haha. So now Do Not Pick The Flowers is an ode to not being over confident. Don’t go out and pick some flowers if you're not ready for the consequences. Remember if you go out searching for hot, don’t act surprised if you get burned a little bit.
That’s some philosopher shit right there. Who are some musicians you currently have in your spotify playlists? Maybe some that specifically influenced Don’t Pick the Flowers?
SHEESH I don’t know... No one in particular, I just like all genres of music. Everyone from Chet Atkins to Jimi Hendrix to Frank Sinatra to Herbie Hancock. They all inspire me.
That’s a very diverse set of artists. To get a better grasp of the noises you make, what genre would you say suits your sound best?
Contemporarily relic indie psychedelic music.
We’ve seen you play guitar with more than just a pick, what is your favorite non-conventional item to play the guitar with?
Honestly no idea, but when I played with a drill things got super sick. I sounded like Dick Dale on a methamphetamine binge. I have also played guitar with a lava lamp that was also sick.
Power tools and psychedelic toys… I like it. Now, I know we’ve all been wondering, but who is your favorite monster?
Dracula! For sure.
Solid choice. Before we let you go, what can we expect coming up? Shows? Singles? Music videos? Porno?
PORNO DUH. Janet music video, live shows, new music. I already have 15 more songs done, just any and everything you could want. Just prepare yourself for some crazy songs, videos, shows, and shredding. Have a great day :)
Thanks Kane, you’re really one of a kind, have a nice day yourself. Check out Ashes to Amber below and give Do Not Pick The Flowers a listen or two or four thousand.