Trace Cyrus: Q & A
Two years after Metro Station decided to part ways, front man Trace Cyrus is back with his solo album Geronimo. Cyrus’ solo project was released January 2012 under the name Ashland HIGH and girl fans have already begun getting lyrics inked. Like his sister Miley, Trace has gotten a lot of slack for his tattoos. Particularly how quickly he has become practically covered. Since getting his first tattoo, “Songs of Victory,” etched across his chest at 18-years-old the pop rock vocalist has covered his body in tattoos from head to waist. After returning to California from a short tour Cyrus took some time out to talk to Inked about his tattoos, Ashland HIGH and his new clothing brand Southern Made Hollywood Paid (SMHP).
Inked: You get a lot of slack for how quickly you became covered with tattoos, what made you decide to get so many so quickly?
Trace: Well my parents were getting tattooed since I was a kid and I remember I hated
tattoos when my parents started. I was just disappointed, I thought it just made them bad people. I think just being around them they changed my opinion along with the music I listen to. A lot of the bands I looked up to, Blink 182, you know some of the older heavy metal bands, they had a lot of tattoos so they made me interested. After I got my first tattoo and I [saw] all the people in the shop, they were covered, it kind of inspired me to do it.
Inked: How does it make you feel when people talk negatively about you for getting tattoos so fast?
Trace: Anyone who gives me shit is on the Internet. No one ever gives me shit in person. Everyone’s soft in real life, that’s the thing.
Inked: Do you have any space left?
Cyrus: My legs are empty completely but I’m trying to start my left leg, hopefully in maybe the next couple of weeks. I just finished my head, I think you guys know about that, I was going to do my leg originally but the pieces that I was going to do I my leg I ended up doing on my head. I’m going to drive down to Vegas and get tattooed on my left leg. I’m going to try to save the right leg for stuff in the future. I’m only 23 so you know I don’t have a lot of room left.
Inked: How is what you do as Ashland HIGH different from what you did with Metro Station?
Trace: I just think it’s more grown up now. With Metro Station I feel like all the songs we did were kind of themed about our being young and youth, songs like “Seventeen Forever,” that was the first song that we did and after that I think we just kept that theme for the whole album. I just think I’m more mature now and I’m touching on subjects that maybe I was kind of scared to touch before. The music is still just dance pop music but I think lyrically it’s more mature. I have more fun because I get to be as creative as I want so I’m happy with that but still I don’t think that it’s changed too much because still I love the music I made with Metro Station so I kind of wanted to do the same thing just on a bigger level. It’s just what I would have wanted Metro Station to turn into I guess.
Inked: What is the inspiration behind Geronimo? Is it a mixtape is it an album?
Trace: Well when I first released it I was calling it a mixtape, but it turned out better than I expected. I think when people hear the term mixtape they expect it to not be as good as an album would be so I just started calling it an online album. Even though I released it for free and I had been recording it two years prior to that, you know my solo songs, so I had like 150 songs and there was a handful I was excited about but the batch of songs that made Geronimo the online album I recorded those within a week at my home studio. I was very happy with how it turned out. We shot the music video we dropped the music video and the online album January first for my fans so it’s been out of six months now and I just got off tour. I’m very pleased with how the online album has helped transition my career from metro station.
Inked: You’re going to be making music videos for each of the songs on the album?
Trace: Yeah that’s the goal. I plan on shooting a couple higher budget videos; none of my videos are too high budget because I’m paying for everything so it gets tough to do. I just want every song on this mixtape to get noticed, I don’t want people to over look anything, so I’m going to make a video to each song. They might just be me in my house drinking a beer, smoking a joint or something [laughs], I just want to put a visual for each song so the kids can really get into it because I feel like everything that I’m doing is working great I just don’t think I’ve been on the internet hard enough. I feel like the tour that I just did was awesome, just got back from a big music festival, had bamboozle in New Jersey, it’s been a lot of great things I just need the kids to find out about the songs faster I feel like so that’s kind of the goal with making all the music videos.
Inked: Do you have any idea of when you will be putting out the next one?
Trace: No, not yet, I think I just found a guy to come out and start shooting videos with me. We’re going to go over concepts, I really can’t give a for sure date. Everything I do is pretty spontaneous so I’m not quite sure yet.
Inked: You said you had over a hundred songs, are you going to be putting out another mixtape or album any time soon?
Trace: I definitely have a bunch of songs I plan on releasing but I want to get back in the studio now since I’ve been off for maybe two weeks now. I just want to get back in the studio and see what else I can come up with. Like I said I did that mixtape within ten days so I feel like if I got to be in a real studio for maybe like a month or something, I could come up with really great stuff. The goal right now is to be doing everything on our own; I’m doing everything on my own, no label or anything. I have people who help me I have a manager, I have producers and stuff like that but I’m doing everything on my own so the goal is to get some labels and to have them want me. I’m not trying to pitch myself to any labels right now if they want me they’ll find me pretty much. The goal is to get an in store album by the end of the year or early next year.
Inked: Do you plan on going on another tour any time soon?
Trace: There are a couple options that we talked about, I actually just turned down an option. Everything for me touring has to be perfect, the bands I’m with, the timing. We’re kind of just waiting for the timing to be right. I’m going to shoot these music videos and then get back on the road and promote them. I just need the kids to really realize that I’m not in Metro Station anymore, they need to see these videos. I have one music video online for this song called “Jealous Lover” and I just think they need more. I feel like the kids want to get as close to the artist as they can. Once they can learn the songs I’m going to jump out on tour. I want to play shows and have the kinds know every word to every song even though like I said it’s just an online album I still want it to be as influential as an album would be for these kids.
Inked: You have Ashland HIGH tattooed on your face so you have any other tattoos related to your career?
Trace: On my right hand it says Ashland my left hand says Ashland. On the very top of my left hand I have an anchor that says metro across it for Metro Station. I have my SMHP tattoo across my left eyebrow, for Southern Made Hollywood Paid which that same slogan Southern Made and Hollywood Paid is tattooed across my back. So I have quite a few tattoos the represent my career and just things that I’m involved with. A lot of people think that I regret the metro tattoo I have because it represents Metro Station. I really don’t regret any of my tattoos just because even the Metro Station time period of my life was just so awesome that I don’t regret it you know. I’m excited the future but I like my tattoos because they remind me of the past too.
Inked: When and why did you decide to start your own clothing company (SMHP)?
Trace: I just wanted another outlet to be creative. I’m always thinking about different stuff and I feel like I dress different, or at least I try to be unique. There’s always just things that I’m like “I wish I had this” and it’s kind of a way for me to get to really make what I want, not what other people want. I started out really trying to make it where I make money off of the company and now I let my music do that, I make a living off of music and I like to do the clothing line for fun. I don’t do it for profit, if I do [make a profit] well that’s awesome but I just put all the money right back into the company. It’s just something I do for fun, it’s no pressure and that’s kind of why I wanted to do it.
Inked: How involved are you with the design process?
Trace: I’m getting involved more. I’m kind of doing what I want, designs that I would wear. My fans are obviously like younger girls anywhere between 15 to 18 mainly, so our kind of designers kind of made the designs that they would want and I came up with almost every design. I worked with my partner his name is Johnny and he has a clothing line called Kill Brand and he was my drummer for my last tour. His clothing line is doing really well so he was there to help me get everything together. I kind of just drew out and told him what I wanted and he just put it into reality.
Inked: Is there anything else you want to tell our readers?
Trace: I would love to tell everyone to go to Ashland High.com and download the album
since it’s free, check out the music video and stay posted for the new music videos
because I’m sure I’ll have it up real soon.