Interview: Ashley Batten
This week’s Expert Of The Week is Ashley Batten, the fiancee of last week’s Expert, Ryan Spitzer.
Read on to find out who Ashley would pick to solve a world problem, five songs she would put on a set list, and more.
JM: Do you recall the very first 3eb song you have ever heard? If so what song was it and how did it make you feel?
AB: So this is kind of a funny one for me. I said in my lyric assignment that I was a “doo doo doo” girl. The first Third Eye Blind song I ever heard was, of course, Semi-Charmed Life. I can remember the video on TRL coming home from school in late elementary school. I was so young I didn’t know that the edited blur of lyrics was “doing crystal meth” I would just mumble those lyrics and skate right through the song. At that point it was just a super upbeat song that continued to be stuck in my head. Now that I am much older and wiser, I feel like that song represents any 20 something adult that feels stagnant in their current circumstances.
JM: Tell me about your first Third Eye Blind show.
AB: My first Third Eye Blind concert was special to me for so many reasons. At that point I had been to many christian concerts growing up but never a true concert. Third Eye Blind was my first official concert and it gave me the bug - Ryan and I ended up seeing them three times that year! I studied the songs and prepared for that show October 2015 in Charleston. The pulse and the music it was magic. Ryan and I were in our own 3EB world and we were on top of the world that night. I can remember sitting there in the folding white chairs laughing with Ryan when MDB came on, Never Felt So Alive! It was perfect, it also created my first love of the acoustic set. I look forward to the acoustic set every show, and I have my particular favorites of course, I remember sitting there kissing Ryan and remembering how jealous everyone must be around us, the love we have for each other, the band, and that moment.
JM: You get 1 Band Member + 1 Dead Celebrity + You, together for a brain trust to solve 1 world problem. Who are they, what do you guys solve, and what’s the secret solution?
AB: Okay so follow me here...if I had Stephan Jenkins and Martin Luther King Jr. I would want to sit down and discuss the current state of affairs of our country. I know this may not be a “world problem” per say, but I guess in my mind I would want to delve into the appreciation of each human on the Earth, for that very reason We Are Human. The respect and dignity we all possess and the way we should all be treating each other. The Golden Rule if you will. As far as what the secret solution would be? Respecting each person and showing love to all, learning to build each other up instead of breaking each other down.
JM: If you could choose 5 songs to put on a set list, which ones would you chose and why?
AB: For me this is such a hard question, but that’s why I have picked it! I know that I for sure would be disappointed if I ever went to show and did not hear God of Wine. God of Wine to me represents the things in life that we can become indulgent in and before you know it you have lost sight of your purpose or your focus in life. It speaks to my heart every time I hear it on such a deep level that I can’t hardly put it into words. I think we can all find things, work, a hobby, or a goal, or a vice that pushes farther than we ever mean to go and we feel like we are searching to become grounded again. Slow Motion is next, this song is one that rocks me to my core. I am a hospice nurse and I have been into some of the roughest places in Richmond. This song gets me because the reality is most of us sit on the outskirts of troubled areas and form our own judgements. I can promise you, if you have to run out of a home because there is a fight with gunshots, that you will start to take a deeper look into your community and the surrounding areas and look for things you can do to provide support. Slow Motion reminds me that there are so many that need us and are trapped, and it drives me to find ways to aid my surrounding community. Monotov’s Private Opera is one of my all time favorite songs, for me it represents the internal dialogue. The love you can have for someone and think you show them but the reality is when you are without them you analyze all you do for that person and the ways to show them you are there and the love you have. It also represents to me the internal examination we tend to do on all of our important relationships. Something In You has to be on the list because that song is the essence of Ryan and I (check out my lyric assignment). Something In You is like the powerhouse of how I feel Ryan and I support each other. Again, this is so hard! And while there are so many more I would love to hear live, I have to admit that it just wouldn’t feel complete without Semi-Charmed. It’s the source, where it all began and if I went to a show that didn’t play Semi-Charmed I feel like I would leave feeling incomplete. Haha.
JM: If the band offered to let you perform with them, what part would you want to play? What songs would you want to sing?
AB: I cannot play an instrument. It’s actually sad. I have dabbled in piano and guitar but I have not mastered any. That being said, I studied vocal music for about eight years, so it is a safe bet I would love to step up to the vocal plate. Slow Motion is one of my personal favorites to belt in the car, and given the chance I’d add that to my list. I also love to jam out to Another Life and the harmony on this one is amazing.
JM: How many performances have you been to?
AB: The first concert had me hooked, and if I didn’t have littles our total number of shows would be so much higher!! I have seen the band live 5 times. Every time is new and exciting all over again. If we figure out a way to master cheap air fare it’s game on!!