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These Rockers Want You!!!
By: Senior Staff Writer Jen Conrad

Wrightsville Beach, NC natives, ASG is a band who might be new to fans, but definitely isn’t new to the music world! The band is actually pimping their third release, Feeling Good is Good Enough. The band is a threesome comprised of Jason Shi (guitars/vocals), Andy Ellis (bass) and Scott Key (drums). I’ve got to say, that they’re perhaps one of the most sonically packing threesomes that I’ve encountered in some time! (NOTE: Now they’re a foursome, having added guitarist Jonah Citty to the band) Having been on the last few stints of the Warped tour, the band has been working hard to earn fans, and have created themselves an impressive local following! Now having teamed up with Volcom Entertainment, ASG is riding the wave of their third, most powerful release, Feeling Good is Good Enough. ASG’s tunes are full of blazing riff-packed guitars, forceful grooves and sometimes smooth, sometimes ruthless vocals. A bit of old school, a bit of various genre influence (classic rock & old school metal), and a lot of personality! Easily appealing to lovers of classic rock, guitar rock, hair metal, and modern day hard rock, ASG is a band that should be heard! Jason Shi took a few minutes to talk with me about the band, their music, and their plans. Take a few minutes to check out ASG!!!

JEN: What does ASG mean?
JASON: ASG stands for the Amplification of Self Gratification.

JEN: Please give us a brief history of the band, and how you got to where you are today.
JASON: ASG formed in 2001 in Wrightsville Beach, NC. We played garage punk rock for a few years in beach bars and clubs in Wilmington, NC. After a small following began to accumulate we started hitting the road, mainly playing along the East Coast. As we got better as a band, our following increased and we recorded and album on our own. This was right when CD burning came on the scene, so we just started burning copies of our cd, giving them away to fans and sending them as demos to small record labels. That was how we got Volcom's attention, eventually signing with them, and now releasing our 2nd album with them. In a nutshell!

JEN: The band started as an instrumental trio…how did the change to adding vocals come about?
JASON: The band started as an instrumental trio only because no one wanted to sing at first- but we also didn't like the idea of a "frontman" with no instrument. We never played a gig as an instrumental act- we eventually got over our shyness to sing and started to strengthen our throats by just screaming. At first it was kind of out of hand…- we stuck to ‘hey it's ok if it sounds like shit- we're punk rock!’ Through the years though we managed to get significantly better as a band and vocally, so now we can actually hit some notes. We remained a trio until after Feeling Good is Good Enough was recorded in May this year- adding guitarist Jonah Citty to the mix in July 2005.

JEN: How did you hook up with Matt Hyde and Phil Caivano for the production of Feeling Good is Good Enough? What did they bring to the album?
JASON: We just sent Matt Hyde a demo of the new material, and he called back the next day and said he wanted to do it. We were shocked! It's never that easy landing a producer, especially someone as high profile as Matt. Matt and Phil Caivano were so helpful it was amazing. They really helped us organize the songs better and cut out extraneous crap that didn't need to be there. Recording in Hollywood with those guys was definitely a good thang!

JEN: What was your goal with this album?
JASON: The goal with Feeling Good… was just to make a great hard rock record that was dangerous…flirting with punk rock and metal, I suppose, throughout.

JEN: You’ve done several stints on the Warped Tour. How has that experience been? Tell us some of your best Warped Tour memories.
JASON: We've done 3 summers of Warped Tour. It’s a grueling experience if you are an up-and-coming band with little fan support outside of our region. ASG doesn't fit in well with the popular pop punk acts or emo acts of today, so Warped is a love/hate relationship for us. We don't care for 85% of the bands on tour, but you can't turn down a tour like that either.

JEN: What are your tour plans to support your new release?
JASON: We plan to hit the road again in November and December- a tour with Mondo Generator and the Dwarves looks like it may work out on the West Coast. We will be on the road a lot for the next 6 months...

JEN: Have you gotten more comfortable with being a front man? What’s the hardest thing about this role for you?
JASON: I have gotten more comfortable being a "front man"....after a few drinks it's easier. I just go up there, hide behind my hat, and do my thing!

JEN: Tell us about the South by Southwest gig that pretty much cemented your future as a full-time band?
JASON: South by Southwest was a good time because we got signed a week prior. It was the furthest we had been from home and the longest amount of time spent away from home. We quit our jobs and were in the van heading to Texas. It was the first time that we were like, ‘Fuck, we're really a band now!’

JEN: What are you listening to now?
JASON: Right now I'm listening to Fireball Ministry and Ween. A crazy combination but we have always listened to all kinds of music.

JEN: You have many different genres of music represented in your work…from metal to rock to punk. Do you purposely try to appeal to everyone or do you allow your writing process to take you wherever it takes you? What are your influences?
JASON: All of our influences show up in our work, but that's just because we listen to such much different stuff- not to please the masses. We don't want to be stuck in any genre- and that may keep us from selling more records than well-defined bands. I think music right now is extremely regimented. If you refuse to make it clear what niche you fit in, you are almost punished by the media if they can't figure you out right away. We just want to be an edgy hard rock band. We'll take anybody…squatters, junkies, punks, metalheads, college kids,skaters....whatever!

JEN: What would you like to say to your fans?
JASON: For the fans- thanks......

There you have ASG! You heard it here…if you’re a squatter, junkie, punk, metalhead, college kid, skater, or anything else, this band wants YOU!!!! I highly recommend checking out ASG’s third release Feeling Good is Good Enough! If you’re a rocker of any kind…you WILL dig this record! As Jason said, ASG is on the road now, so head over to their website at www.asgnation.com to find out when they’re coming to your neck of the woods! Thanks to Jason and to Mike and Jose at Earshot for hooking this up for us!
11 Nov 2005 by jen

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