Hey Ocean is an indie pop/jazz combo from Vancouver. These three “mischievous personalities” include David Beckingham on guitar, Dave Vertesi on bass and Ashleigh Ball on flute. All three sing. They’re bringing their west coast wails down to the Red Dog on September 27th. Arthur had a chance to speak with Ashleigh on the phone, right before the Hey Ocean show in Calgary.

I wanted to ask you some questions, not about the music so much, but about your other profession, voice acting.

AB: OK.

Now you’re probably best known for your roles as [James Lipton style dramatic pauses] Rainbow Dash… Applejack… the My Little Pony, ponies.

AB: Yea-ah!

What do you think about the resurgence My Little Pony amoungst young men?

AB: Well I’m just going with the flow right now. I’ve gone to  convention in New York in, aaaaah, January? And there have been lots of people going to shows. More and more Bronies have been turning up with their figurines and posters for me to sign. It’s been a weird clash of worlds.

It’s people that have found an outlet through a cartoon that is intended for little girls, but to each his own, right? I’m sure society would look at that and think it was kinda strange. But their not doing any harm to anyone and many of them are highly educated, really caring people.

Yeah, they just really like My Little Pony.

Sometimes it’s a little bit strange when I try to, when I’m playing a show with Hey Ocean, and my bandmates get weirded out, when there are a bunch of people in Pony attire or kinda yelling things at the stage that are not Hey Ocean related and has too do with my voicing career. It’s kinda great but…

Their into the music though and are Hey Ocean fans. You can’t complain about it because they are Hey Ocean fans. They are fans, no matter what shape or form they take.

I’ve noticed that you take stereotypically feminine roles, other than Morris Moony, Jabber, Applejack and Gilbert Troodon of course…

AB: There aren’t a lot of… grungy… female roles that you can sink your teeth into. I’ve played a lot of little boh-oys. A kid called Morris Mooney, Oopsy Bear, who is like, ah, little dude Care Bear. Like a lot of little boys… But you were talking about…

I was just wondering whether you actively seek out these roles in order to explore the construction of feminine identity in these cartoons or is it something the industry demands of you?

AB: Well I think, I mean… There was a huge reemergence in, like, 80s cartoons, bringing them back, because they were popular. They get a make over and it’s kinda cool to do Strawberry Shortcake, I do My Little Pony now, and Care Bears. These cartoons I watched as a three-year-old.

I don’t seek out… I mean I audition for stuff all the time. I’ll be lucky if I land a role. I just go with the flow.

There have definitely been weird cartoons that I’ve done that don’t necessarily have a message I want to preach to young kids.

Like Bratz. It’s called Bratz. Like these bobbily headed bimbos, walking around and are into fashion, and boys, and like, makeup and… yeah… it’s a bit much. Even the producer would, when all of us were in studio, she gave us a spiel like “I’m really sorry guys, this is not a cartoon that I highly support. In many ways.”

For the most part though, all the cartoons I’ve been involved in have been really, awesome.

Do you ever go for live action roles or are cartoons your thing?

AB: I did a lot of TV auditions when I first got into it, when I first got an agent. But it’s not really my thing, I’m kinda camera shy although I’d have to do music videos with the band and stuff. I’m not really, ah. um. I don’t have the patience for TV and it’s a lot of patience and waiting and… There are amazing people that can really sink their teeth into it but I’m not one of those people.

So, let’s leave it for the Natalie Portmans of the world who really ought to be seen… on camera. I’ll be happy making funny voices behind the microphone.

Do you have any other questions orrrrrrr… I should get to the stage for sound check.

I was just wondering, are you indeed a fish?

AB: Am I a fish? Ummmm, yes. I think I’m the happiest I could ever be, floating, in, water. Whether it’s in the ocean, or a lake, or a river, or whatever. Just like, floating. So, um, maybe a dead fish.

APG & AB:[awkward laughs]

AB: No, I… Swimming, swimming in any body of water. So yeah, I’m definitely a water baby.

Well that’s awesome. Thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it.

AB: No worries. Maybe we’ll see you at the show in Peter Burrow.

Yeah, that’s where I live.

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