Ashes – interview

Back in August we introduced you to a band called Ashes – a ‘hard rock’ band from Kent. After reviewing their latest release we got Chris Hearn to have a transatlantic chat with them to find out a bit more about them.

Not too long ago, I did a Band of the Day piece on a group from Kent called Ashes.  At the time, I didn’t know a whole lot about them. So, I emailed them. They got back to me. It’s almost like an interview, right? Well, actually, yes, yes it was!

So, here is what I found out. Ashes have only been around for a year now, but according to the band, “We’ve all been in bands before, in fact all 3 of us are linked by different bands going right back to the ages of 16-17. We’ve known each other for many years before that though.”

Although, their biggest goal seemed to be just having fun and hanging out, things have gone a lot better than it sounds like they were even expecting.

“As of 6 months ago, it was just to play a few gigs and have a good time. Now with regular bookings, our debut EP getting a great response and the contract offers coming in from various agents and publishing companies, who knows what we can do?!?” Exactly! Who knows where this band could go.

They have a good sound and a good style, though their EP is a bit rough around the edges. But they seem to be working hard as well as having fun. “We spent a good 6-7 months working on our own material to ensure we’d have a full set to play without having to rely on covers.”

“Our influences range from hard rock and metal, to blues and even shades of punk. As for actual bands, older bands such as Black Sabbath and ACDC right through to new bands such as Black Stone Cherry and Alter Bridge.” I can definitely hear the Sabbath influence at points in the album, but was surprised by Black Stone Cherry and Alter Bridge. Why them??

“I think it’s the way those bands use influences from other ‘sub genres’ to create their own little niche?  ”¦ Black Stone have clearly fed on the southern rock genre and bought it into the 21st century adding an aggression that may have only been present before in the lyrics.

“Alter Bridge, well Myles Kennedy is just a god really isn’t he?? Then add the backline of a band with such a talent for distinctive unique songs such as Creed and for me it’s just a dream combination.” I can’t say I agree, not being a fan of either of the bands, but it doesn’t matter what I think. What matters is what gives these guys inspiration and it sounds like they have found something in these bands.

Being several thousand miles away, on the other side of the ocean, the chances that I will be seeing the boys in Ashes on stage anytime soon is pretty low, so I wonder what they are like live? “It’s a complete lottery! We’ve had gigs where the crowd have been fairly quiet but come up to us after for a chat, thankfully to say they enjoyed it!

“On the complete flip side we’ve had shows where fans have turned up in full ‘onesie’ uniform to make an ‘Ashes Army’ (…anything Kiss can do…haha) and had full dance-offs, sing-a-longs and drinking games going on!!”

Dance-offs? Is this some UK thing I don’t know about? Sounds like fun, as long as I’m not the one doing the dancing.

To hear a young band sound so enthusiastic and to know that they generating a “buzz” as I believe the proper term may be, is always exciting and makes me want to root for them, especially when they seem like such nice, down to earth guys. But, most importantly, are they having fun?

“We’re having a blast!! We said from the very start, we just wanted to hang out, play a few tunes, get a few gigs and just see what happens…so the fact that within months we’ve gone from playing tiny pub gigs in my hometown of Folkestone, to playing shows in Camden and next month are playing The Forum in Tunbridge Wells where we used to go as kids to see bands like Lostprophets, is just great!”

That’s all that anyone can ask for isn’t it? To be able to enjoy new experiences through music and the doors it can open.

And, by the sounds of it, with industry interest in the band, there might even be the possibility to make a living here, no? “Ask us in a year…haha”. I might just do that!

You can buy the album from Ashes Bandcamp page here. They are on Facebook and Twitter.

Interview by Chris Hearn. You can read more from Chris on LTW here.

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