Aster Pheonyx is a rock star. For proof, just ask the adoring crowd that took in her brief but powerful set Sunday, June 5, at Jersey Pride's Annual LGBTI Pride Celebration in Asbury Park's Bradley Park.
After Pheonyx - performing with guitarist Carolyn Marosy as the Aster Pheonyx Project - completed a three-song set in the early afternoon, the crowd demanded more, resulting in a rare encore at this tightly-run event, now in its 20th year.
Pheonyx took some time to chat with Metromix Jersey Shore after completing her set that drew on material from the Aster Pheonyx Project's new CD, "Blizzards and Broken Hearts," which is out now.
How's it going, Aster?
Everything's going great, actually. Remember I was talking about putting out a CD?
I now have one.
How did it feel to be invited to play the pride celebration this year?
This was amazing, because you always see so many different acts trying to get into it and Carolyn actually submitted the CD and about six weeks after we submitted it she finally called us back and said, ‘Absolutely, you guys can play.' And it's such a huge honor because it's the 20th anniversary and this is by far the biggest crowd that we've played for, so I'm still nervous and I just got off the stage.
And how are you feeling about the reception you got from the crowd today?
The fact that we actually got booed when they kicked us off stage was awesome.
When you're given a three-song set to do, how do you pick the three you're going to do?
We definitely wanted to stick with what was on the demo and then we wanted to do something that showed off Carolyn on her guitar and my vocals and just the songwriting and we like to keep everything very dynamic, so we'll start out with a harder song and then kind of take it back a little bit then just throw it all in your face again, so that's what we did, and then we were kind of thrown off with the extra song.
What's your take on the importance of this event and the fact that it's been in Asbury all 20 years?
The fact that it's embraced and it keeps growing and every year more and more people come and they're coming with their families and they're not afraid, it's a beautiful thing that we are being seen as human beings and not the color of your skin, who you're dating, what you do, it's just we're all people getting together and just celebrating being alive, basically. So it's a beautiful thing to see everybody. I mean, look out there.
And the performers this year are across the board wit all different genres. You've got rock, you had country music happening, there was dance music just now.
It's the same thing, it's just a huge festival bringing country, rock, dance, everything together to show that even music doesn't need to be separated, you don't have to have a rock show, you don't have to have a bunch of angry lesbians playing, it's just embrace everything and that's definitely what I think the 20th anniversary shows.
For more on the Aster Pheonyx Project, visit the band's Facebook page.Pheonyx will return to Asbury Park on Saturday, July 9, when she opens for Melissa Ferrick at the Stone Pony. To find out more about that show, visit the Pony's website.