Scorching summer of festivals for No Hot Ashes

No Hot Ashes. Photo by  Sam Crowston.
No Hot Ashes. Photo by Sam Crowston.

No Hot Ashes guitarist, Luigi Di Vuono, says the four-piece are enjoying an ‘exciting summer’ which has been packed with gigs and festivals, writes Amos Wynn.

Luigi and bandmates Isaac Turner (vocals and guitar), Jack Walsh (bass) and Matthew Buckley released their last EP, ‘Skint Kids Disco,’ back in March.

Releasing music is something the guitarist relishes but wishes that they were able to do it more often, stating that working under a label “they can almost dictate when we release music and when to give it a big push.”

Luigi said: “We would love to record things and get it out the next month, but it very rarely works like that. One of the tracks on the EP had been recorded a year before, you often wait so long to bring them out; by the time it is released you’re pretty bored of it.”

The feedback for their music has been ‘generally good all round,’ with the most support coming from those closest to the band members.

“We don’t really see much of our families but we always try to make sure they get first listen to our new stuff. All our mates also love it and are big supporters and have always helped us from behind the scenes.”

Di Vuono admits, “it is always dead stressful when bringing something new out but also quite rewarding once it is released.”

The Stockport band are currently enjoying a list of tour dates, with a mix of headline shows and festivals, Luigi admits going on tour seeing people singing their songs back to them is‘crazy.’

Festival season includes an appearance at Y Not, which the guitarist states he is really looking forward to as “it isn’t too far away from Manchester so has a bit of a hometown feel.”

For the band this is their favourite time of year. “The sun is out and instead of playing small festivals where you are absolutely sweating you’re outside. We’re lucky to have the whole experience of travelling to them and meeting people.”

Meanwhile they will also head to London for a headline at Camden Assembly at the end of July.

“This gig will be good as we have quite a young fanbase and in the past a lot of our fans have been unable to see us as it has been 18-plus to get in so hopefully this time we’ll see a difference.”

The summer tour also has a lot of places where the four-piece will be visiting for the first time.

“We need to spread out and go back to a place we haven’t been before, we haven’t scratched the surface of getting around every city.”

One show the band have played in the past that sticks in the mind of Luigi is the band’s last Manchester gig at Academy 2.

“It was the biggest headline show we have done, it was unreal and has become a bit of a blur. We sort of went into autopilot mode during the gig and just remember people standing in front of you.”

Appearing in Manchester is something the band always enjoys with even the smallest gigs ending up being fun.

“I guess hometown gigs are that bit more special because it’s to your home fans. We don’t play Manchester an awful lot any more, we’ve gone from being a small band to playing every month to now only playing once or twice a year.”

Luigi does now feel out of town gigs are important and special as it is an opportunity to play to new fans.

“We try and go back to a place quite soon after playing there to keep things fresh, if you don’t play there twice in the same year, there is no point. The reason hometown gigs do well is because we played Manchester every week building the fanbase.”

One place they have tried to achieve that is Liverpool, playing there twice and enjoying ‘mad’ shows.

“The first headline show there was at The Magnet to nearly 150 people; we were shocked it was such a good show, you remember certain ones and that was one of them.”

Another appearance in Liverpool came at this year’s Sound City festival. Luigi said: “I liked the feel of it and walking round all the different venues but it did feel quite weird playing in the middle of the day.”

“We had a dead good crowd but I feel if it was in the evening it would’ve been livelier once everyone had drunk a bit more.”

Coming from the North and Stockport in particular, has had an effect on the band.

“I guess as typically with Northerners we are realistic and pessimistic at the same time; Southerners are probably a bit happier than us. Stockport is quite a miserable place, I don’t think any of us particularly want to stay here and we enjoy travelling away on tour.”

Despite that he admits: “it is not the worst place and it has moulded the way we are as people with our surroundings and the people we know.”

Di Vuono praises fellow Stockport band Blossoms for helping to put their hometown on the map.

“In recent years they have had major success. Love them or hate them, they have done really well for us a lot of there fans now know Stockport and will find us.”

The guitarist notes how a lot more bands are now proud to admit they are from Stockport because of the ‘Cool Like You’ five-piece.

“Loads of acts have always been here but used to say they were from Manchester, now because of Blossoms it seems like a cool place. It’s mad to see someone from your hometown doing well; Sheffield had Arctic Monkeys while Manchester has had loads of big bands; Stockport has gone from a small town on the outside to somewhere people know.”

Luigi remembers a time before Blossoms formed. “We were quite young but I remember playing when they were with other bands then all of a sudden they started Blossoms.”

He believes Blossoms name is perfect for them, “it is such a random word but suits them because it is so poppy,”

Their own name, No Hot Ashes, comes from seeing it on a wheelie bin.

Luigi said: “Not much thought went into it, you don’t think of a serious one you just need one but now we regret not coming up with another one as I don’t think any of us likes it. We’ve dreamed of changing it but it’s a bit late now and we couldn’t think of anything else.”

The name has also caused some confusion as it can be hard to pronounce unless truly emphasised, “it does our heads in if people come over asking are you called ‘no moustaches.’”

The band have plenty planned for the future, “Now we have a booking agent, hopefully we will have more music and more shows, I can see us getting bigger because at the current rate we are playing bigger shows every six months. I’d also like to be doing it full time because we are currently in work and at uni; to do it full time you either have to be very lucky or have rich parents because we definitely couldn’t afford to do it.”

With big plans and things falling into place, the Stockport four-piece could soon be on their way to achieving their goals.