Leo Ashline (Street Sects)
SPB: There is a fair amount of your new album that was written focusing on the subject of addiction, which stemmed also from personal experiences. Do you feel that Street Sects has aided you, in that it acts as an outlet for your emotions?
Ashline: Definitely. For my end, Street Sects was created specifically to be an outlet for that negative, self-destructive energy. Abstaining from drugs and alcohol hasn't eliminated those feelings, it just helps to keep me alive and out of jail. Street Sects gives me a reason to get out of bed, to do something with my life, with that energy. I'm still a mess even without those addictions, but if I didn't have Street Sects I would probably be dead, or worse.
For the record, SS isn't a straight edge band and we aren't trying to push some kind of sobriety agenda. I get why people want to get fucked up. It feels good. But, if people who are struggling with addiction or just a general lack of self worth hear our music or read the lyrics and get something from it that maybe inspires or comforts them in some way, then that would be priceless to me. I remember towards the end of my days as an addict, when I was still drinking every day and smoking crack as often as I could get my hands on it, I read this Vice interview with Tina from How I Quit Crack where she talked about how music was the sole thing that helped her get away from using. I was at an absolute low when I read that, and it even though it took me another 6 to 8 months before I went to rehab and started getting my shit together, I never forgot that. It was inspiring. For all the negativity and self-disillusionment Shaun and I pour into this project, I hope that maybe someday, something positive can come out of it.