At 36 years old, Jared Ashley’s got more life under his belt than many of his country music contemporaries. During his time working in the Navy for four years in Yokosuka, Japan, Ashley began his career playing gigs halfway across the world at country bars in Japan. This propelled him into playing two Persian Gulf DOD tours for over 20,000 military personnel in more than 10 countries around the world and eventually, a headlining spot on Nashville Star back in 2006.
Since then, Ashley’s recorded and toured relentlessly throughout the country performing hit songs like “Stained” and “Last Train From Memphis” off his self-titled LP Jared Ashley. We got a chance to talk to Jared about his life on the road, his deep connection to Remember Our Heroes and what the event means to him, and much more. Check it out below.
When did you first start performing music?
As far back as I can remember I’ve been infatuated with being a musician, but it didn’t start to take shape till about my 9th grade year in high school, the summer before my sophomore year my Dad moved the whole family to a new state and not having any friends in that new state allotted me the time to sit in my room bored out of my mind with a Service Merchandise guitar that had two rusty strings on it and try to write songs. So thanks Dad!
How do you feel being an unsigned artist in the internet age? Is getting signed particularly necessary anymore with all different ways you can reach fans now?
Being an unsigned artist does allow you more freedom and I feel that when you’re unsigned you work harder and you achieve a level of success that you’ve earned the hard way. You can make a living as an artist via internet, it’s crazy how things have evolved! BUT it’s still true that the only way to get over certain humps, like being played on radio and what not you still need a record label with a radio promotional team calling all the stations and begging them to play Jared Ashley’s next single, without a label radio is near impossible! Radio drives the country music industry and without a label radio will not play your records.
How often do you tour/ play live?
We tour all over the country, this year we’ll probably have played 150 shows or more.
Are you more of a touring on the road or recording in the studio kind of guy?
We tour, we love to play shows and meet new people and see the country, but when we’re back home here in Nashville we love to record and write songs writing songs is our lifeblood.
How often do you write? What’s the process like when you write a song?
I try to write as much as possible, sometimes i’ll go weeks without writing a song, but during those off times I still jot down idea’s, hooks, melody’s. Songs/melody’s come to me in different ways it’s all pretty random how it unfolds, no real rhyme or reason. But when the song is done and you play it for a packed house the first time, it’s the most exciting internal feeling ever.
Tell us a little bit about your involvement with this Remember Our Heroes concert.
Anytime we can be a part of an event like Remember Our Heroes we jump at the chance, me being a former Navy Vet. I have a special place in my heart for the men and women who are serving or have served in our country’s armed forces we love being involved with anything honoring our service members and or their families.
As a veteran yourself, I’m sure you can explain much better than I can why fundraisers like the Remember Our Heroes concert are important.
In order to do the amazing things that Soldiers Angels do for our service members and they’re families it requires money with everybody pitching in and showing up at these events just helps one more soldier or family member. Just look at it as a way to give back to those who have sacrificed they’re own lively hood so that we can all live in peace. Supporting events like this changes lives!
What do the next few months look like for you? Any interesting plans in the works you’d like to tell people about?
We’re always doing new and exciting things, We’ve signed a record deal and are heading out on a radio tour in October add that to our busy tour schedule already in place it’s looking to be a pretty busy fall, so just expect new music and coming to see us in a city near you.