Broke-Ass Band Interview: Ash Reiter (Wed @ Rickshaw)

This week’s Broke-Ass band is local leading lady Ash Reiter. Voice of an angel, that one. And she’s working on so many rad projects right now, you’re gonna feel super lazy by the end of this interview. Fun for you!

Ash and her band are playing Wednesday night (Sept. 28th) at the Rickshaw Stop and if you don’t go, you’re not only a mediocre person because you missed a good show, but you’re actually a bad person because the show is a diabetes benefit. Bam! Now you have to go or you’re a dick.

(Making everything some sort of benefit is going to be my new strategy for getting people to come to my shows. That way I can add run-of-the-mill it’s-a-good-cause guilt to my standard Jewish guilt trip. Thanks for the idea, diabetes!)

L R G Capitol Group and the Knitting Factory present the Joe Toucan Diabetes Project featuring Nikki Lang, Ash Reiter, and Adios Amigo at the Rickshaw Stop (doors @ 7pm). You can buy tickets here. Do it. God is watching you right now. Alright, things are getting weird now so just read this interview because Ash is funny and talented and gives a really good birds-and-the-bees talk right off the bat. And one more thing: mark your calendars with Ash’s EP release show on November 3rd at Brick & Mortar.

Describe your sound in five words or less.

Sunny California Indie Pop.

Tell us about your band name.

My father was born he was named Daniel Reiter. He fell in love with a woman, and we all know what happens when a man loves a woman: a baby. And of course they named her Ash Reiter. Ash Reiter grew and she came to love some musicians and they loved her too, and we all know what happens next- a band. And they called their band Ash Reiter. And so it is.

Favorite thing about San Francisco?

It’s so pretty.

Favorite SF restaurant?

The papusa place on Valencia and 23rd. I don’t even know what it’s called but you can get a super filling meal for $4.

Favorite SF bar?

Bourbon and Branch.

How do you prepare for a big show? What will you be doing the night before?

The day before our last big show we had all our friends over for champagne brunch. That really made me happy and ready to make some good music. Usually on the way to the gig we either sing along to songs in the van or play songs on the acoustic guitar.

What can people expect at your shows?

They can expect to dance a little and they should expect at least one eighties cover. Lately we’ve been doing Heart and Soul by Huey Lewis and the News. But I think what makes the band is we all come up with very melodic parts, even on the bass Scott plays very memorable lines.

What do you do during downtime on tour?

I have a lot of pen pals. I’ve collected postcards all my life. I send them off to friends in other states. I also happened upon a very juicy novel called Fear of Flying by Erica Jong on out last tour to SXSW. Now the guys always tease about how I love erotica, but who doesn’t? Right? It’s only weird if you make it weird.

What’s next for the band? (i.e. plug your next show!)

Well we have three new recordings coming out very soon. An EP which we recorded at Different Fur with Patrick Brown, a full-length called “Hola” recorded at New Improved with Carlos Arredondo, and another full length of some folkier tunes. So right now we’re really excited about these releases.  As far as live shows our last show for the summer is this Wednesday august 3rd at Café Van Kleef.

Our EP “Heatwave” comes out in early November (EP release show on November 3rd at Brick & Mortar). We are really excited about finally releasing some new material. Until then we’re only playing one other show this fall at The Rickshaw Stop on Wednesday September 28th with Nikki Lang and Adios Amigo. It’s a benefit for diabetes, which is a disease that has affected many of my family members, so come out for a good cause.

Three things you’d take to a desert island?

A family of Ferbies to keep me company, my cat Jasper (he would be the leader), and some cream puffs.

What movie can you watch over and over and never get sick of?

Selena.

Favorite season or time of year?

Summer. I love the heat and all the chances to BBQ and go camping and swimming. Plus I usually find a way to not work during the summer or at least have a job that doesn’t feel like work.

Three things that are in your fridge right now?

Spanakopita, apple cider, potstickers.

Anything in your sock drawer besides socks?

Well I don’t think that’s your business, now is it?

Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty, i.e. money: Have any tips for aspiring musicians trying to make it on their craft?

Play with good musicians and listen to them when they dork out about music and recording. Read as much as you write. Be sure everything you write has meaning to you.

Best money saving tip in general?

Don’t buy so much stuff. And if your going to get a tour van, make sure it doesn’t have a million problems before you buy it.

Where do you live now and what are some good cheap/fun things to do in that area?

In the Berkeley hills. Go on hikes. Get a slice at the cheeseboard and listen to free music there. Scouring the dollar record bins at Amoeba.

What do you refuse to spend money on?

Pretentious vegan food. I like vegetables but I mean come on, $15 for some pickled green strawberries with almond paste, really?

What is the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought and how did that feel?

Our band van and my Nord Electro 3 keyboard. Spending all that money is a little scary but both things serve important purposes.

What’s the best deal you’ve ever gotten?

I found a guitar in the street once it was just sitting there I thought someone forgot it, but on my way back from breakfast it was still there. Free is a good deal.

What is your favorite free thing to do?

Read and play music and make dinner with friends, play music, go for walks, reading.

If you woke up a millionaire, what’s the first thing you’d buy?

A cabin up in the mountains in Calaveras County and some really good music gear. The band and our friends could go hole up there for a couple months and record an album and hangout.

What’s one GOOD thing about not having a ton of money?

You have to work and usually work gives you interesting stories.

*photos via Facebook

Share This Page

About the author

Chloe - Pennywise Reporter

Chloe's youth was split between California and Kauai, frolicking on a macadamia nut farm in the tropics and landing finally in the Bay Area. Raised by super-Jew hippies, and the youngest of three sisters, Chloe learned early the virtues of thrift, economy, and green living. To the chagrin of her parents (who hoped, of course, for a Jewish doctor or lawyer), Chloe has put her degree from UC Berkeley to great use by becoming a folk singer. As "Chloe Makes Music" she plays shows throughout SF and beyond, donning vintage frocks, selling handmade merch, and pinching pennies as she sings for her supper. Calling Berkeley home for the last six years, you can think of Chloe as the website's East Bay Correspondent, opening your eyes to the hippie-filled, tree-hugging, organic-loving, vegan-eating, but way-overlooked and awesome assets of Berkeley, Oakland, and beyond.