Radio Milwaukee had a chat with Ashley Smith, front-woman for rising rock act, Whips. The band had a full summer of festivals and block parties around the city, but they are ready to buckle down in their new studio to write their next ripper.
When did you get started in music?
I sang in church and I was in choir in school. My mom was the worship leader, so I always sang with my mom at church and then choir in middle school. I did a “battle of the bands” in high school. Our band was called The Uncrustables, which is the best band name ever.
I was in a band with some high school friends for a hot minute and then Chris [Hanson] asked me to join Red Knife Lottery. We were in that for…six years? Seven years? A long time. We took a break for a while and he had started Hot Coffin. About four years ago he asked me to join him and Andy to write some stuff. He asked Tyler and that’s how Whips formed.
What do you think of the Milwaukee music scene right now?
It’s amazing. There is so much amazing music, it’s insane. I don’t really get out that much anymore, or as much as I’d like to, but every time we go out to play a set I get to see a bunch of bands and artists that I’ve never seen before. I listen to a lot of Milwaukee music in my free time but getting to see shows is such a different thing. The energy and the vibes at the WebsterX and Lex Allen show at Summer Soulstice…I was just blown away by that. It was amazing.
How do you describe Milwaukee – musically, culturally, or in general – to people that don’t live here?
I think Milwaukee is a city that just keeps getting better. It had a lot of real issues to cope with but I feel like creatively, it just keeps building and growing in the best ways possible. Everybody’s kind of joining in and there really is a sense of community in music right now.
This story is from our partner 88Nine Radio Milwaukee.