Beat from the street (Apr. 3, 2018)

Many stories lurk throughout Asheville, whether they are behind the Vaudevillian jazz-folk played by buskers around Pritchard Park, the colorful businesses decorated with funky, hand-made crafts or the laughter echoing from a patio as locals and tourists alike enjoy delicious beer. 

Austin Solo, 24, roofer, originally from Virginia

Ashlan Combs, 21, artist, originally from Kentucky

What do you think of Asheville so far?
Ashlan: “It’s a cool, cool town.”
Austin: “It’s definitely really cute.”

Yeah, that’s a good word to describe it.
Ashlan: “It’s  quirky. People have been really nice.”

Yeah, yeah. What inspires you guys creatively?
Ashlan: “My friends, my surroundings, experiences I’ve had.”

That’s cool.
Austin: “Me honestly, I feel that it’s harder now that I’m not a kid, but when I feel like I can get into my imagination and just drift off into a land, I’m mostly a writer, creatively. So when I feel like I can get into that,  I feel like I can not be around humans and I can make my own little worlds, I guess.”

Yeah, yeah. That makes a lot of sense. If you guys were to have a life motto that you live by, what would you say it would be?
Ashton: “What’s your motto?”
Austin: “I don’t know. I guess I’ll go with my Kurt Vonnegut tattoo, ‘Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.’”

Yeah, that’s good.
Ashlan: “I don’t know, man. I ain’t got a motto.”
Austin: “Don’t panic.”
Ashlan: “Don’t panic!”

So if you guys were to describe yourself in three words, what would you say it would be and why?
Austin: “Done fucked up. That’s mine, I guess.”
Ashlan: “Can mine just be ‘bail’?”

Ashlan: “Bail’, just bail.”

Just ‘bail’?
Ashlan: “No, I don’t know. I have no idea. I’m not an on-the-spot kind of person.”

Austin Solo draws inspiration from his Kurt
Vonnegut tattoo, while Ashlan Combs doesn't have
a motto that initially springs to mind.
Photo by Cat Pigg. 
OK. So what would you guys say typifies or describes your fashion sense individually?
Ashlan: “Honestly, my fashion changes a lot based on my kind of interests at the time. I’m really inspired by fashion in general and a lot of different fashion. I went to art school for a bit and took a fashion design class and it was just super fun for me. I don’t know. I just try to be myself. Whatever I like, I wear. I don’t try to fit into any type of stereotype or genre or anything like that. If I want to look punk rock one day and then, like, a fucking I don’t know, something the next day, I’ll do it.”

Yeah, for sure.
Austin: “Mine revolves around function and emotional attachments. I’m wearing these overalls because they’re very functional and I like them for that and now I feel like they’re fashionable because they’re functional and I like them. This shirt, I’m emotionally attached to. I’ve had for years. I just love it, so function and emotion, I guess, for me.”

This interview was originally published in The Blue Banner