The Rocks Off 200: Ashley Worhol, Goth-Metal Queen of Katy
Welcome to The Rocks Off 200, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See previous entries in the Rocks Off 100 at this link.
Who? If you've been following our recent run of The Last VJ, where we look at the best indie music videos each week, you might have met Ashley Worhol of the titular Worhol. The video for her song "The Darkness" has held the title of top video of the week for two weeks running, now moving into a third, by being slightly cheesy and totally awesome. Houston has been without a really good goth metal act besides Silenced Within forever, and it's nice to have some new blood in the mix.
Photos courtesy of Ashley Worhol
Music has always been a part of Worhol's life because she grew up listening to her father, who plays guitar in Worhol, play ever since she was old enough to crawl on the piano bench. She earned a music degree from University of St. Thomas, and since 2012 works constantly with her father in producing new music through their music videos. The two form an effective team in writing and producing.
We can expect the debut Worhol full-length album in January, recorded at the legendary SugarHill Studios with the one and only Chris Longwood. "The Darkness" has managed to spread them far and wide thanks to the charm of the video, and more and more options seem to come Worhol's way daily.
Home Base: "I love to write behind the piano," says Ashley. "Most of the time I either write the piano part first and then add lyrics or the other way around. One little secret about me is when I am writing the lyrics I always keep what comes out first. I hardly ever erase anything.
"I figure if it came out while singing it was meant to be! Once I have the piano and lyrics down, then I bring [it] to the rest of the band members, and that is where the magic happens! Another form of writing that happens often is my father will write a song based off the guitar, then I add the lyrics to that. We actually rehearse in my parents' studio room and [are] currently looking for a bigger space.
Worhol goes on to say she's always wanted to play at House of Blues, because so many talented acts have performed there," but figures smaller venues and festivals are more her speed for now.
"A smaller venue allows us to be personal with the audience, and I love to be able to talk to the fans afterwards," she says. "The most recent festival we played was Texas Cancerstock, and I loved that as well because it was outside and it allowed our sound to carry very far! Outside venues are always a pleasure, because once again we can walk off the stage and relax with our fans the rest of the evening."
Music Scene Pet Peeve: In a somewhat sweet turn, Worhol's biggest gripe is that not every musician in the city can succeed. There's more talent than opportunity in Houston sometimes, and she wishes there were more fame to go around for everyone.
Interview continues on the next page.