ASTR is a duo that lives, works and writes music in New York City. Zoe the singer and Adam the keyboardist and composer prefer to go by the names Zoe ASTR and Adam ASTR. After meeting three years ago in a Manhattan yoga class, they discovered they shared a musical and artistic sensibility informed by cinema noire, Miami Vice and urban dreamscapes. ASTR was born. We caught up with the duo in Austin at the South By Southwest music festival.

Adam ASTR & Zoe ASTR.

Adam ASTR & Zoe ASTR.

NM: What was the inspiration behind the name ASTR?
ASTR: We had a hard time with names but this one was one that kept coming back up. Our studio where we started working together was by ASTOR Place in NYC and that made sense along with our mutual appreciation for mythology. Asteria is the goddess of the stars, and that was a big chunk of it.

NM: Describe your sound.
ASTR: Moody, dark, cinematic

NM: What made you decide to form a band?
ASTR: We didn’t consciously decide to form a band. We had been writing together for a while when we ended up with a pile of songs that had a particular sound. So we played them around for people and the response was enthusiastic. That was when we started to say, “OK, this is our thing going forward.”

NM: Describe your stage style.
ASTR: We are not the type of band to look at our feet while performing. When coming to an ASTR show you can expect a high-energy dance party.

NM: Your greatest musical influences…
ASTR: Anything 90s R&B. SWV, Janet Jackson, INOJ

NM: First music obsession?
ASTR: Michael Jackson

NM: Best album of all time…
ASTR: Dr. Dre The Chronic

NM: What’s next for ASTR?
ASTR: We are going straight from South By Southwest to the recording studio to work more on our full length. We have a lot of great songs started so far but it’s been tough to lock in a lot of studio time. Hopefully we can pull it together while we do some shows here and there and possibly back in the UK in May.

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