In Denver, Colorado two of us from the Tuesday team (Trinity and Alex) had the pleasure to sit down and chat with our favorite ladies, The Aces. Keep reading to hear about their favorite memories on the road, their upcoming debut album, and talks of a headlining tour! Meet McKenna Petty (Bass), Cristal Ramirez (Guitar, Lead Vocals), Katie Henderson (Lead Guitar, Vocals), and Alisa Ramirez (Drums). Head to their website here for tour dates and to pre-order their debut album, 'When My Heart Felt Volcanic', out April 6th.
Trinity: We wanted to start off by congratulating you guys on finishing your first full North American Tour!
Aces: Thank you!
Trinity: We are so, so proud of you. We wanted to ask what have been some of the highlights or favorite memories?
Kenna: There’s been a lot.
Cristal: There’s been so many. We were talking about this at dinner, Dallas, Texas was one that was huge for us. I feel like the energy in the room was so crazy. But honestly, all of these shows with COIN have been better than we could have ever imagined.
Kenna: Salt Lake City was really incredible too.
Katie: Honestly, DC was still one of my favorite shows, 9:30 Club was so fun.
Alex: What’s one thing you guys have learned from this tour?
Alisa: Where do you begin? I feel like self care is such a big one for tour- stay hydrated, sleep as much as you can- that’s very important.
Kenna: Yeah, and eating as healthy as you can.
Cristal: If you are a touring musician, eat healthy! Because I have gone on stage some nights when I just smashed a taco or something, and I’m just like, they can’t know but I’m about to throw up.
Alisa: That’s true! I think it was in Seattle, me and Cristal literally pounded four doughnuts and were like ‘let’s hit the stage!’. We both locked eyes mid-set and were like ‘I’m gonna throw up.’ It was so bad.
Cristal: Which like, I think we’ve always known this, but it always gets reiterated in your brain. Touring is quite vigorous, and you just have to take care of yourself, and sleep is SO important.
Katie: If you don’t get sleep, nothing else matters.
Kenna: I think that realizing that every little thing counts. Some nights, we go out to meet fans and it’s the funnest thing ever, and sometimes we’re like ‘Oh, we’re so tired, maybe we shouldn’t’, but it’s so worth it every time. It’s so cool to be able to talk to everyone, and we can tell it’s making a difference. It’s cool to see the fruits of all your efforts.
Cristal: That’s the one thing, rain or shine, we will always try to meet fans. I don’t care if we’ve slept thirty minutes, we don’t care. That’s the most important thing to us, there’s never an excuse to not go and make those connections and friendships with those people that support your band.
Trinity: And that’s so special. There are some bands that just don’t care, and that’s fine, but it’s hard to make-
Alex: An emotional connection, a relationship.
Alisa: They’re the ones that are missing out honestly, because fan connections are REAL. You just meet your friends. People that like your music- music is just your personal experiences, you’re just talking about your actual lives. You’re connecting to our music and what we’re talking about, we’re gonna get along great.
"There’s never an excuse to not go and make those connections and friendships with those people that support your band."
Trinity: Your debut album, ‘When My Heart Felt Volcanic’, it’s coming up soon, April 6th. We wanted to know, which song are you most excited to release?
Cristal: I’m most excited- well I don’t want to say most excited because they are all of our babies, but I really love a song called ‘Holiday’. Yeah, I’ll leave it at that.
Katie: Yeah, I’m excited for all of them to come out, because I love them so much, but a song that I think is really cool on the album is called ‘Put It On The Line’.
Kenna: Mine is called ‘Strong Enough’, I’m just really excited, especially to play it live.
Alisa: Yeah I’m excited for all of them. I mean, I think ‘Last One’ is gonna be really fun, just because we’ve been playing it live and people already love it live. And the recording slaps, so get ready. She is a fatass mix.
Cristal: She slaps!
Alex: I’m sure you guys have heard, especially on this tour with COIN, of fans camping out all day and sometimes overnight for a front row spot. What artist would you sleep on the sidewalk for?
Cristal: Paramore, 100%.
Alisa: Would you? Have you?
Cristal: I mean, here’s the thing- when you’re in a band, I feel like it’s a little different, just because you’re so immersed in that world.
Kenna: I honestly think I would do it for Harry Styles or Justin Bieber. To be front row, to see them up close, I think that would be so sick.
Cristal: Actually, what the fuck am I even talking about? I waited in line all day for Tegan & Sara one time, like I got there at 9am and kept my spot. And there’s nothing more special, to be right there, inches from the people that you love and you love their music, that’s so special.
Alisa: I think if Michael Jackson was still alive, I would sleep like three days on the concrete for that shit, I really would.
Katie: If the Beatles were still alive, same thing. Beatles for sure, but today, right now, I’d probably do that for Tame Impala.
Kenna: That would be sick.
Katie: Or maybe even Cage the Elephant. Tame Impala though, I would wait a long time for them. But The Beatles, I would literally sleep outside for a month.
Cristal: A month!
Katie: I would die to see them live!
Alex: What are some new music releases that you’ve been loving?
Alisa: Post Malone just dropped a couple new songs that I really like. I always love anything Post Malone drops honestly.
Cristal: The Liza Anne record is really good. Obviously I’m friends with Zach (Dyke) and he produced it, and I saw him post about it and I was like ‘oh cool, I’ll check that out’ and I started listening to it the other night and I just feel like lyrically it’s so honest and amazing. I feel like it’s very rare that you hear a record that someone is able to tap into their inner thoughts like that, and make it feel so human.
Trinity: Yes! ‘Panic Attack’.
Cristal: So good!
Alex: I like ‘I Love You But I Need Another Year’, that’s my favorite.
Aces: Yep, such a good song.
Alisa: I have been shocking myself on these country drives, I started listening to Kacey Musgraves-
Cristal: Oh, we have been jamming to Kacey Musgraves.
Alisa: I don’t listen to country ever, but suddenly I’m like, ‘country girl!’, and I love it!
Katie: I love the Bahamas new record, ‘Earthtones’. COIN after soundcheck played one of the new songs, and I was like ‘oh what is this?’ and they were like “this is Bahamas’ new record, you have to hear it’. And I have always liked him a lot, but it’s such an honest record- the way he writes lyrics, he just says what he means.
Alisa: He’s really raw.
Kenna: I’ve really liked MGMT’s new stuff, because it’s really different from what they usually do, it’s not as electronic and kind of rave-y, it’s a lot more indie and cool 70’s style a little bit.
Alex: Do you guys have a dream venue or city you’d love to play?
Alex and Trinity: We’ll be there!
Katie: That would be so amazing.
Cristal: MSG, that would be a dream come true. So that’s what we’re working towards.
Trinity: You guys have been a band for a long time, how do you think growing up together and going through all the stages of becoming a real person affected your creative process?
Alisa: It changed a lot. As far as the creative process, it was the exact same thing as growing up, we had to find our sound. It was a total journey. From us as little kids to being teenagers, to now, it’s completely evolved. Just like you find yourself as you grow up, we also did that with this, because it was always parallel to our childhood.
Kenna: For me, it can be scary and kind of intimidating, and sometimes I don’t feel super confident in it or feel that I’m super creative, so I think it really helps that we’ve been with each other for so long, and it’s just like, my sisters. It helps me feel like I can open up a little more in that way, and I can feel confident in myself. Even working with different producers, like I loved working with Butch Walker and Greg Wells because they made it such a safe space to create. You have to have that environment in order to let it come out and just flow.
Alex: Do you guys have any specific goals for this year?
Alisa: We want to headline this year. Like, we want by the end of the year to be able to headline even some of the same venues that we’ve done with COIN.
Kenna: More music videos.
Cristal: Just putting out more stuff. Getting to travel to more countries. We’re about to go to Paris and Berlin for the first time, so that’s always really exciting. So just to keep growing and to be able to do a headlining tour by the end of the year, so we’ll see.
Trinity: So now we’re going to ask some of the fan submission questions.
Alex: It’s not really a speed round, but more of just a what comes to mind.
Trinity: The first one is asking about headlining tours. Everybody is asking. We have people from South America-
Alex: Yeah, people are asking ‘when are you coming to South America? Or Brazil?’
Trinity: And coming to France-
Trinity: Yeah, they really want international tours, so bad.
Cristal: We want to go to South America, all those places, so bad.
Kenna: As soon as we can, seriously, as soon as we can go, we’re gonna be there.
Alisa: We’re gonna go.
Alex: Who’s the mom of the group?
Aces: *points to Kenna*
Kenna: I love these babies. And (Katie) is the dad.
Cristal: It’s literally *points to herself and Alisa* twins, *points to Katie and Kenna* mom and dad. Evil twins, mom and dad.
Trinity: What is your favorite lyric you’ve ever written?
Cristal: I feel like one that I really love, like we had someone get it tattooed, would be a ‘Baby Who’ lyric that says ‘nothing’s forever and it doesn’t have to break your heart’.
Aces: Yeah, I love that.
Cristal: That’s one that I feel sticks out and I feel so proud that we wrote that lyric, because I feel that it totally captures what life is about- that everything is ever changing, and you can either get on board with that, or it can continuously break your heart over and over, or just accept that that is life.
Alisa: I love that one. I back that.
Aces: We back that.
"...everything is ever changing, and you can either get on board with that, or it can continuously break your heart over and over, or just accept that that is life."
Alex: Is there an article of clothing that a few or all of you share?
Alisa: Me and Katie this whole tour have been having to text each other because we have the same pair of pants- we text each other being like ‘hey can I wear the pants tonight?’
Cristal: Honestly, this is savage, but we kind of don’t share anymore- it’s not necessarily because we’re pissed about it, it’s just, when you’re touring and you’re sweating and stage and all this stuff, sharing clothes is not very sanitary-
Katie: We do every now and then, we’ll be like ‘oh can I wear that jacket tonight?’-
Cristal: Jackets are fine.
Katie: We don’t do it a lot but every now and then.
Alisa: It’ll end up being the same situation as the pants because we get styled together and sometimes there will be a few of the same item and we all love it, so everyone in the band owns the same shirt, and it’s like ‘wait, can I wear the shirt tonight?’.
Kenna: We share an eyeshadow palette, curling iron, and straighteners. And whose are they?
Aces: *points to Kenna*
Kenna: Mine! The straighteners gone now, we lost one, but it’s okay, RIP.
Trinity: Favorite 90’s song?
Alisa: ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana!
Cristal: ‘Malibu’ by Hole is one of my favorites. What else guys?
Cristal: Guys, Beastie Boys, ‘What’cha Want’?
Alisa: So what’cha, what’cha, what’cha want?
Katie: A funny, silly one that I love is like, I think this maybe came out in the 90’s, ‘Lucky’ by Britney Spears.
Cristal and Alisa: I think that’s early 2000’s.
Katie: Oh, early 2000’s.
Alisa: So, tell you what I want, what I really really want, so tell me what you want, what you really really want!
Katie: Yeah, classic, a classic.
Kenna: Oh, the Cranberries! I love the Cranberries, that’s 90’s. Or the Cardigans, ‘Lovefool’.
Alex: Would you guys ever play a song from the Blue Aces era live?
Katie: We do sometimes.
Cristal: There’s one song that we always talk about that we secretly either want to re-record or cover, it’s called ‘Dear Moon’.
Katie: We have people ask us to do that sometimes.
Kenna: ‘I Don’t Wanna Know’ is pretty fun to play sometimes too. We play it at our hometown, because people know it. We should’ve played it last night (in Salt Lake City), that would’ve been fun.
Trinity: If you had to listen to one album for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Kenna: Probably Tame Impala.
Katie: ‘Currents’ by Tame Impala, I could listen to that forever.
Cristal: Honestly, mine’s probably ‘Sweet Sexy Savage’ by Kehlani.
Alisa: Ah, this is so hard! One album for the rest of my life? Can I do a past and present? Like if an old me, an old me-
Alisa: Okay, if I could listen to one album for the rest of my life past, it would be ‘Thriller’ by Michael Jackson. If I could listen to one album for the rest of my life present, it would be, I don’t know, either the first The 1975 album or like, maybe, ‘Channel Orange’ by Frank Ocean is so important to me. Or ‘Back to Black’ by Amy Winehouse-
Kenna: Okay so you’re done!
Alex: I think (Trinity and I) both agree with you on the 1975, we grew up on that album. That was our first general admission show, our first time sort of touring.
Alisa: The 1975 was my very first, like that was my favorite band. They were super influential in finding The Aces sound. When we were in the studio, writing ‘Volcanic Love’, which is the first song we wrote for this record, we hadn’t really found our sound at the beginning, the first draft of it sounded way different. And then me and Cristal were like ‘we don’t want it to sound like this’, so we started telling the guys that we were working with what we wanted it to sound like, and we were both so in love with The 1975, and I was like, this is music that makes me feel.
Alisa: This is important to me and represents my emotions, and that’s what kind of turned into The Aces. So they’re super influential for us.
Alex: Can you describe your upcoming album in two to three words?
Cristal: I would say, fresh-
Cristal: I would say, what would you say?
Alex: Funky fresh?
Cristal: Funky fresh! And rhythmic. It’s very rhythmic. There’s a lot of good beats.
Alisa: We’re gonna drop a playlist that shows all of the songs that influenced the album, and I think some people might be shocked. There’s a few songs that were heavily influenced by hip hop music- and Frank Ocean, there’s a few songs that were heavily influenced by Frank Ocean.
Cristal: From people like Paramore to Father John Misty- we’ve written so many songs for this album, and really narrowed down the ones that felt the most like us, and the most representative of our band.
Alisa: And saying that, I think people might connect the dots in certain places. It sounds all over the place saying that, because you’re probably thinking the album sounds psycho, but it doesn’t. It sounds like The Aces, it’s all very cohesive.
Trinity: Is there one event you would say was a landmark moment in your career so far?
Alisa: Signing a record deal.
Cristal: It was very validating, we had wanted to sign a record deal for a lot of years but it never felt right, we had had some offers from different people, but it just didn’t make sense. I think that to finally sign our record deal and to be like, ‘okay, we’re doing this on a professional level now’ was a huge one.
Alex: What’s the one thing you need to have with you on tour?
Kenna: My blankie!
Cristal: Blankie. My leather jacket is just a constant staple.
Alex: That’s how (Trinity and I) are with our denim jackets, we’re always matching.
Katie: Honestly, something I would go crazy without is probably running shoes, like if I didn’t have shoes to work out in and exercise, I would lose my mind.
Alisa: I agree, running shoes and headphones are a big one.
Trinity: This is our last question- what would you like your message to be to young girls who want to get started in music?
Kenna: Do it!
Aces: Yeah, do it!
Alisa: We always say ‘do it’, have the confidence to do it, you’re meant to be doing it. Don’t be afraid, be fearless. Go for what you want.
Cristal: It all leads somewhere, you just need to start. It can be small. You just have to ask for that space and go and put yourself in that space. We started out in our hometown playing our friends’ birthday parties, you know what I mean? We were literally 12. And now it’s led up to the point where we’re getting to tour the entire world, putting out our first record. And it’s all building, you just have to start somewhere, even if that’s a tiny little scratch on the surface, because you’ll keep going.
Katie: And you never know where that journey will end up taking you, because you might think you wanted one thing, but maybe it leads you to someone or some situation-
Cristal: How will you know if you never try?
"Don’t be afraid, be fearless. Go for what you want."