Interview: Ashley Hataway
Ashley is the Lifestyle’s Lyrics Expert, an incredible mom and amazing artist. I’m so lucky that I was chosen to interview her this week about all of those things and more.
Bella Wolf: Ashley, you’ve shared some of your Third Eye Blind fan art with us. Thank you for allowing us to see them, you are amazingly talented. What’s your favorite piece and why (and pretty please, include a picture)? And I know you did a Summer Gods road trip, did this inspire any new pieces?
Ashley Hataway: Thanks so much! I'm really glad someone else has enjoyed the things that have been created from the inspiration the band has given. My favorite thing I've made so far is the drumstick holder. It's a very simple piece, and only Third Eye Blind related because it has the logo on it. However, it was created because I needed somewhere to display my drumsticks from Brad. I hope to get focused and possibly create something that is Summer Gods inspired soon!
BW: It’s the 20th Anniversary of the Self-Titled album. For me, some of the songs have changed in meaning over the years. Do you have one song from that album that has really grown up with you, so to speak?
Ashley: The band has definitely been the soundtrack to my life. Some songs that were only great tunes at one time turned out to be exactly what I'd experience later in life, like a beautifully tragic prediction of my future. "Motorcycle Drive By" has taken on a deeper connection through the years. Between the musical wave it is (beginning with a slow, calm sound and then building into an intense crest before it crashes down into a calmness again) and the emotional connection I have with it having used it as a lullaby for Noah... it's the one that has brought me to tears time and time again. Where it used to be "just a song," it's now a trigger for emotional joy as it brings back many memories of me and the munchkin singing to one another at home and at shows.
BW: Ashley you are the Lifestyle’s Lyrics Expert, so my next question is obvious. What are your favorite lyrics and why?
Ashley: What are your favorite lyrics and why? This is like picking a favorite child. All of the lyrics have their importance, charm, and depth. Some of the ones that have hit the hardest are:
"How'd you like to be alone and drowning?" - (Narcolepsy) Because I've been that person. I have been in the middle of the ocean, without sight of land, sharks circling, and my arms and legs are getting tired. I could feel the water going over my head...and not a rescue boat in sight.
"And the bruises that you feel will heal." - (Wounded) That reminder that the pain will get better was SO important. That was hard to remember some days.
"Can we talk about tomorrow and the promise that it brings?" - (Crystal Baller) Inspirational AF. Just sayin....
"If nothing else, I am myself. That's all I have to give." - (Bonfire) Because, literally....that's all I can give to someone else in this life. And I think that's a pretty pure and honest thing.
"You're a question mark and a scar." - (Water Landing) Every. Relationship. EVER.
"Let that feeling born in shadow, let it make you, make you strong. And the demons you've got to carry, carry you on...and on....and on." (All These Things) Because you grow through what you go through. What doesn't break you, will make you. And if that ain't my life I don't know what is.
"From the margins to the core, I wanna feel it just a little more." (Weightless) Because when you're feeling these songs so deeply and you just want to feel it a little deeper.....I can't get "high" enough off of the music. These are the ones that jump out at me without thinking.
BW: The Nobel Prize in Literature 2016 was awarded to Bob Dylan "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition". He was the first musician honored. A lot of Third Eye Blind fans love the music in large part because of Stephan’s lyrics. You post a “Lyric of the Day” for us and it has really brought home for me that, unlike a lot of other musicians, Stephan’s lyrics stand on their own without music. Why do you think that is? What special qualities are in Stephan’s lyrics that make them more like poetry than those of the average songwriter?
Ashley: Well, honestly, most songs are simply poems set to music. There are many songs that I can use lyrics from that stand alone and are meaningful for me. But Third Eye Blind's have been more pertinent in my life on a consistent basis. Their lyrics seem to be exactly what I have needed to make it through to this point. The songs tell a story and give inspiration more so than just a catchy tune would. They offer an insight into pain, sorrow, and triumph.
BW: I think most of us have a variety of Third Eye Blind playlists. What’s the most interesting or unusual one you have and what songs are on it?
Ashley: I don't have any playlists. I just tend to put my entire collection of music on shuffle and let whatever needs to play, play. Sometimes a song I didn't know I needed to hear makes itself known to me and it's just what I needed at the time.
BW: You and I both have kids that have found a connection to the band through our love of the music. Is there a special moment that you had with your kids that came about because you’ve become a family of fans?
Ashley: There are MANY special memories with this band and my kids. From singing "Motorcycle Drive By" with Noah at shows (while tears roll down my cheeks), the days that my kids met all of the boys in the band, the smiles and happiness on their faces during the shows....It's all beautiful moments. The one that is most touching is the day after the kids had all written thank you/fan letters to Stephan. Brad looked at Noah and said, "You're Noah, aren't you? We have a picture of you on our bus." The little dude's face lit up.
And then Brad looked at the girls and said, "Which one of you is Johnna?" And she very timidly said, "Me." He remembered her bullying story and told her he hoped that that had gotten better and it was cool that she stood up for herself.
BW: What’s your favorite line of the Mission Statement and why?
Ashley: Without a doubt, that has to be, "We believe in the gathering power of music." No matter what race, gender, socio-economic status, nationality, or religion you are...music does draw us all together through our similar struggles and triumphs.
BW: Last question, besides the songs, what is the greatest thing that being a fan has brought into your life?
Ashley: It's no secret that my family life wasn't ideal throughout my life. This band and the community it has built has given me the family I always so desperately wanted/needed. Without the support and love of the people I have met because of them...I don't know where I'd be.