Interview with From Ashes To New

From Ashes To New is a Rap-rock / Alternative Metal band from Central Pennsylvania. I first came along the band when I was introduced to the lyric video of "Downfall". At that moment I wasn't in a good mood due to some things happening in my life that weren't positive and I was looking for something to cheer me up a bit. 

(c) by From Ashes To New, used with kind permission

The positive uplifting lyrics along with the power that the words "So don't let go" were thundered inside the refrain gave me a lot of strength so I was curious to get to know more about the band. I ended up on the website where the next video was waiting for me. This time "Stay this way" found another like with it's more rough power in it. 

So I wanted to know more about the band and happily had the chance to do so. Matt Brandyberry, who is responsible for Vocals/Guitar/Keys/Programming kindly gave me some information about the way the band works when writing songs, the message of the lyrics as well as about the upcoming album "Day One" and the bands relation to their fanbase.

Heavy Metal Underdogs: In the biography I've read that Matt Brandyberry's first takes in music were related to the Hip Hop scene and writing rhymes but later changed to Rock music. What was the trigger that changed you to focus more on the heavier side of music?

Matt Brandyberry: There are a few different things that lead me to metal. The first thing was not a good thing and actually gives me ground for my lyrical purpose and helping others be themselves. I rapped when I was a young teen. Everyone told me to quit, not because I wasn’t good, but because I was a white teen from a small town. So what did I do? I listened. At the time of me quitting rap the “Numetal” was starting to take off. I gave up rap all together and switched to guitar. Bands like Sevendust, Linkin Park, Drowning Pool, and Disturbed were at the top of my playlist. 

The lyrics in many metal bands are talking about the dark or gloomy side of life. You often use a more positive way of looking at things. Is it maybe a sort of message or giving the listener a piece of hope you want to do with doing different lyrics?

As I answered in the previous question, it’s all about going after what you love. Never take no for answer in this life. We honestly only live one time and we need to be ourselves during that process. Don’t waste your life being something that you’re not, while listening to what others want you to be. Go get yours. 

(c) by From Ashes To New, used with kind permission
Are most of inspirations for the vocals taken from your everyday personal life or where do you draw them from?

That’s where it’s all derived from, yes. 

With the approach of having two vocalist in the band: do you have a sort of scheme for each vocalist or do you try with every song who can do the proper vocal lines better?

We just write whatever feels right. If it’s rap, if it’s rap. If it’s singing, it’s singing. We write from the heart not from a schematic. 

How do you attempt each song in the writing process? Is it mostly Matt that comes around with the ideas or do you put all the ideas you have on a pile and work on them in rehearsal to see what fits best?

It starts with me (Matt). I have a small studio in my house, so it helps make the writing process easier. Chris and Branden are usually in the beginning stages as well. We all like to put our 2 cents into a song before it’s finished, so more lately it’s becoming a full band thing. We like it better as it evolves. 

The Downfall EP shows a wide variation of styles as well as on emotions. Will you focus on these mixture or even go on a heavier way on the upcoming record? (You can preorder "Day One" at the Pledgemusic page of the band.)

We don’t have a set way to do things. If it feels right we do it. We go from soft with pianos and strings to heavy, straight up screaming on the record. You’ll have to wait and see! 

Having seen that you've hit the road recently with Hollwood Undead: have you guys given up all your jobs lately and are focussing on the band alone or do you still work besides playing tours and recording new stuff?

We are all full time musicians now. We believe in this thing with everything we have, so we’re all in. 

Your fans seem to be very inspired by the music. Many of them have just contributed in the lyric video for "Downfall". Have you gotten feedback from them how your music influences their lives? I know of a good bunch of songs for myselves that have kept me going in my life through various hard times in my life.

We get great feedback all the time. That’s what are music is here for, to inspire and encourage everyone to chase their dreams and be themselves. It feels good to know that your own personal trials and tribulations are helping someone else conquer there’s. We’re here for others because it’s becoming harder and harder to find someone else who is. We as people need each other. A constant battle will only cripple our species. 

Since you have been on road recently: is there any funny story that happened that you would like to share with our readers?

I mean we’re always doing funny shit! We end up at Walmart 9 times out of 10. I guess the best way to see the stuff we do is follow our social media and add us on Snapchat FATNofficial. 

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions!

You can connect with the band on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube,
The band is going to hit the road in a few days alongside Five Finger Death Punch, Papa Roach and In This Moment.

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