It’s taken The Aces nearly ten years to do their first headline tour. Okay, not quite. Not at all, actually. They’ve just been a band since they were about 12, and are about to embark on their first ever headline tour around the UK and Europe.
“We’ll headline Europe before we headline the States, which is kinda crazy,” says frontwoman Cristal Ramirez. “I was talking to our label the other day, and the ticket sales are doing amazing, especially in the UK, so we’re really excited about that. London and England in general seems to be really into The Aces.
“I think the fact that we’ve been a band for so long has definitely influenced how much experience we have and our sound for sure, just because we’ve been together for so long.”
When Dork calls, the band – Cristal, plus guitarist Katie Henderson, bassist McKenna Petty, and drummer Alisa Ramirez – are prepping to go on tour across North America, supporting pop giants 5 Seconds Of Summer.
“We’re in Utah at the minute. Then we go to New York for a weekend, then back to Utah to rehearse for a week, then take off on tour at the end of the month.”
And it’s been non-stop since their debut album, ‘When My Heart Felt Volcanic’, was released back in April. They just did a whistle-stop press tour around the UK, visiting a bunch of small radio stations and having a lil road trip through the countryside.
Their debut album is back to back indie pop gold, with some R&B twangs. But make no mistake, their genre is not ‘girl band’. “I think people think girl bands are a genre, and that’s literally just our gender. Like it doesn’t have anything to do with the kind of music we make.
“We’re big fans of Haim, we’re big fans of Muna, and loads of really awesome all-female bands but I think to say we sound like them just because we’re women is just kind of naïve, or just silly to me. Because it’s like, are you actually listening to the music or are you just seeing that we’re women on stage and thinking ‘you’re the same’?”
Their influences are all over the place. From Paramore, The Cure, and Tame Impala, to Michael Jackson, The Weeknd and hip-hop, there’s no boxing in The Aces in. Cristal says, “We have like rockier influences and more R&B stuff, and you marry the two and get The Aces.
“We just love so many different kinds of music, and we never wanna put ourselves in any box. If we feel like writing a song like, you know, whatever that day, we should just be allowed to do it. And our sound is our sound because it’s us, not necessarily because we stick to a status quo and a formula for a song. As an artist you have to have that leeway, you know?”
Between tours, they’ve been putting the graft in for their visuals. Drummer (and youngest member) Alisa has directed three of the band’s videos now, including the freaky video for ‘Stay’, and it sounds like there’s more to come.
Cristal says: “She’s really, really talented. She has such a vision for video, so she’s really fronted that part of our band and has done an awesome job. It’s like a little extra step into like painting the picture or telling that story, so we definitely will always be excited about making music videos, and hope that people like them, for sure.”
Being huge Michael Jackson fans, the video was obviously inspired by ‘Thriller’, but there’s more to it. “When Alisa wrote the shoot, we really wanted to take ‘Last One’ in a more interesting way than a relationship. So she had this idea like, ‘I don’t wanna just show a relationship I want to take it almost literally and show that this is the last one, it’s almost like killing us off’.
“We just thought it’d be left of centre and very different to have us like dying off and put this morbidness into the video that I don’t think you’d expect because the song is so sugary, and poppy. Alisa had the idea [for the gummy bears] because they’re very visually stimulating as well as a play on sugar addiction and addiction in general.”
Fear not, this isn’t the last time you’ll catch The Aces – they kick off their first UK headline tour later this year. That’s why she has to dash off, to get back to rehearsing.
Taken from the October issue of Dork. The Aces’ debut album ‘When My Heart Felt Volcanic’ is out now. They tour the UK from 14th November.
Words: Abigail Firth