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The Santa Ramona Chronicles

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In the first in of a series of interviews that follows local talent, up and coming Indie-punk, blues infused rock band The Ashes, The Chronicles had a chance to sit down and talk to the band members about their music, their influences, favorite songs---and even their least favorite gig...!

[The band: Asher Santa, lead guitar, Serina Del Nero on bass and Joanne Steel on drums]

Chronicles: How did you all meet? Asher: "I own the record store in town Asher's Music Serina came in a few times and i ended up hiring her as a clerk and Joanne came in a few times as a customer and we all just sort of clicked.."

Serina: "..i was poor and in the need for a job as any Italian backpacker worth the definition. I've been lucky enought to search for a copy of Bloody Kisses from Type O'Negative and stopped to chat with Ash for a long time. We had a lot of music in common and in the end he proposed a job. While i was tending as a clerk i saw them playing together and offered to help having been a 'bad' bass player in Italy. And here we are now!"

CHRON: Are you all natives of Santa Ramona?

Serina: "As you can guess from the accent no. I come from Italy, still my English is not so bad, accent aside."

Joanne: " I'm from New York..I guess we all have our own reasons for coming to Santa Ramona Valley but it's a great place especially to be a musician with the amount of places there are to play.."

Asher: " I am not, I am from the South East originally .. i lived here previously and moved away to New York and now i have been back 6 months or so "

CHRON: What draws you to this city and made you want to stay?

Asher: "Well I had lived here before and after dealing with a New York winter i decided the climate here is more my speed and i like the people and my shop and my band mates."

Serina: "Can i say it was a Visa? I am here with a student visa. Always been a globetrotter and a nice cook, unfortunately missing the proper piece of paper. I came here for the sun, the sea, the vibe and for a boring Cookery School out of town. What made me stay where the wonderful people, my beloved terrible man Joseph and of course the best band mates a girl could ask for."

Joanne: "I was actually working in Louisiana and things weren't good, I was a reporter with the local newspaper there and it was becoming more obvious that the pay wasn't worth the risks involved so packed up with a plan to move to Los Angeles but once I saw Santa Ramona kind of made my mind up that this looked like a much better option, the people and the city keep me here it's just a really nice place to live plus the band is based here now, and I've settled in to living here not sure I would want to move."

CHRON: Who musically influences you?

Asher: "My influences are all over the place.. from classical and early blues jazz hip hop metal just kind of all over the place.. but band wise Black Sabbath, The Cure, Smashing Pumpkins, The Ramones, Tom Waits .."

Serina: "..I'm totally curious about a lot of music, so if i listen to a good flow here i am getting the idea to add it to my style. So i could say Battisti influenced me. Pink Floyd too. Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Gogol Bordello.. The list is endless.

Joanne: "Anything really, punk rock, heavy metal, rock, I mean off-hand not sure I can pick a genre of music that at some time I haven't listened to. Just being around different people you pick up their listening habits and get an eclectic range of music that you like. Think I have mentioned before that I'm from the same district of Queens the Ramones came from, Forrest Hills, so they were always one of my favorite bands, then I guess bands bands like Siouxsie And The Banshees, Phantom Blue and other girl orientated bands got me more interested in music in my early teens. As far as my drumming goes well I really like Deep Purple and Ian Paice is one of my favourite drummers, Jon Bonham of led Zeppelin, Budgie of Siouxsie And The Banshees, Glen Evans of Nuclear Assault and Dave Lombardo of Slayer."