A first headlining tour has been a new and slightly intimidating experience for California hard rockers New Year's Day.
One one hand, singer Ashley Costello says, "It's been, like, a dream." But it's also throw down a different kind of gauntlet for the quintet, which is supporting its third album, "Malevolence," which came out earlier this month.
"Y'know, being an opening act is really exciting and it's really fun because you know you're going out to someone else's crowd and you get to show all these people what you can do and I've always loved that, and if something goes wrong it's the headliner's fault," Costello says by phone from the group's tour bus. "Now we're the headliner. This is putting our stamp on it. We're on our own. Can we pull our own crowd? It's all on us.
"So it's a little scary, but so far I'm floored. We're playing these clubs and they're packed, or we've had a venue upgrade. So for us it's the most incredible pat on the back. It's good to know people are that interested."
The success is a payoff for Costello and company after a few years of turmoil. New Year's Day switched three of its five members between albums, and Costello says other life situations came into play as well -- much of which are reflected in the angsty tone of the "Malevolence" album.
"Family issues, family problems, relationship problems, losing best friends to drugs, best friends stealing money from me -- dude, anything you can think of. When it rains it pours," Costello explains. "There's definitely some songs about the member changes, about being taken advantage of as your band grows. You find out who the sheep are, who the snakes are.
"And there's a lot of songs about me personally and don't have anything to do with the band. It was just kind of a rough year."
But Costello -- who's both a horror film and Disney fanatic as well as a PETA spokesperson -- she feels like the clouds have passed by and the silver lining has taken over, with a slew of additional touring and other opportunities on the docket for 2016, too.
"That's the upside; my career couldn't be going better," she says. "So right now I'm feeling really incredible. I'm just looking forward to getting out into the world and showing everyone what I've got now. I feel really confident, really hopeful for everything."
New Year's Day, Get Scared, Eyes Set To Kill and New Volume
Friday, Oct. 23. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Hatchy's, 7759 Auburn Road, Utica.
Tickets are $13.50 in advance, $15 day of show.
Call 586-991-0407 or visit hatchys.net.
Send your thoughts and comments to