On the fifth episode of Backstage Pass, Mike Shea (along with his bulldog familiar Paulo) welcome Ash Costello to the podcast. When not taken by Paulo’s snoring, the frontwoman from New Years Day addressed the double-edged sword of social media and how it has changed the way she has interacted with, well, everyone.
“Can you imagine having Myspace or Facebook or Instagram when you were a teenager?” she asks Shea. “I can’t get mad at it: It comes with the territory.” By way of being a goth version of Miss Manners for the internet, Costello has no patience for “when assumptions are being made and the things start to get ugly. One of the things I post a lot is ‘kindness is goth as fuck.’ I just want everyone to be kind to each other. But when really dark assumptions start being made and then fans starting fighting with each other and start calling each other really awful names, that’s where I wish the line becomes cut off. If I could make the rules of Instagram, I’d make the rule where you can’t have an anonymous account. Who uses an anonymous account to do good? Nobody.”
Costello also discovered that people she had gone out of her way to help in various capacities were using fake accounts to throw shade on her. “I’ve never seen ugliness come from a specific anonymous account,” she says. “It’s always some sort of fake account. After being in the music business, I had to learn to be a little less open to who I let in now. I’m not trying to paint myself as an innocent or a victim or an angel or anything: I’m a human being with all the downfalls of every other person. People who generally have good intentions or a good heart tend to let bad people in. People I’ve given money to or people I’ve helped out business-wise or let into my world, I’ve noticed are always the ones who fuck me the hardest. One of the most heartbreaking ones was an ex-band member’s girlfriend—who I barely knew.”
It’s not all dark, though: Costello riffs on picking your battles in animal welfare debates; having tarantulas crawl on her face (“Its feet have these little hooks on them, and I could feel those little hooks in my cheek”); feeling the influence of her grandmother (making fake intestines for theater productions); enduring the brotherly shove of William Control; and getting excited over old-school German industrial bands. (You might want to stick “Einstürzende Neubauten” in Google, just in case.)
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