Out of Ashes – Interview

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How did Out of Ashes first form?

Tom: Out of Ashes actually formed from the break up of another band that me and Mike were playing in called Ript Soul. The drummer and the guitarist left the band to persue other interests, and we got in contact with Matt and Tim.

Matt: I’d been telling Tom for years,”Hey Tom, we need to do a project together.” So with the demise of my previous band Intheorium and their’s Ript Soul, it happened to be perfect timing. It gave all of us time to grow musically.

Where did you get the idea for the name?

Tom: Basically, the name came from the failure of the previous band. Ript soul crashed and burned, and Out of Ashes….

Matt: The idea for the name came from Tom. We were outside and he was raking leaves into a burn pile and he related to his previous band. The words “out of ashes” came out of his mouth and I immdeiately jumped up and said, “That’s the name!”

How many albums has Out of Ashes had previous to “Miscellaneous Debris”?

Tom: Debris is actually the first for us.

Matt: Yeah, other than our demo. Which is basically some of the same songs but different.

What’s the source of the title for the new album?

Matt: We had been tossing around ideas and this title really seemed to capture the spirit of the record. You know, when a band first comes out and they’re really trying to find their sound. It’s just really varied. No two songs sound alike but you can tell your listening to Out Of Ashes when you hear it.

Mike: It’s simply a bringing together of our different influences to make one sound.

How does it differ stylistically with previous Out of Ashes efforts? How is it similar?

Matt: With our demo we were basically just trying to see where we were at with the music. It’s similar in the fact that the songs are the same but they don’t sound the same.

How does it show artistic growth for the band?

Matt: It shows a bit more certainty. In that we understand where we want to go with the music instead of just wondering where we’re at.

How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard Out of Ashes?

Tom: You just have to hear it. It’s difficult for us to catagorize ourselves.

Matt: Yeah, that has to be one of the hardest questions to answer. I just say hard rock/alt. metal. We definitely have our own sound.

Mike: Everyone can relate to the music by just listening to the words.

Tim: Complicated yet simplistic

PJ: Artistically, it contains music that is matched with a lot of the greats and it shows promise of being progressive.

Are there any specific lyrical themes that run throughout your music?

Tom: Yes. Most of the songs are built on inner struggles. What is right, what is wrong. The ability to find in yourself your own way and to find ways to deal with the issues of life. We try to stay positive with our message and make it versatile so that everyone can find their own meaning in the words.

What makes Out of Ashes distinctive from other rock bands in the scene?

Mike: The genuiness of the approach to all surroundings and everyone around us.

Matt: We work very hard on our music. I think overall it shows in the performances that we do and the quality of the songs.

PJ: There is a grand stage presence that is merged with musical talent that rarely gets to show it’s form like we do.

What is your strongest musical trait?

Matt: Our strongest musical trait has to be how well we work together. From day one it has pretty much just flowed. Alot of bands have times where they seem to hit a wall. That hasn’t happened to us yet and I don’t see it happening in the near future.

If you had to pick one song to cover, what would it be?

Tom: Preferably, none.

Matt: Covers are something we don’t want to be known for, but if I HAD to pick. It would probably be something by Incubus. Maybe The Warmth. I love that song.

If you could share the stage with any band, current or past, who would it be?

Tom: The Doors.

Mike: Black Sabbath

Matt: There’s really too many to name just one. I want to play with anyone and everyone. Known or unknown, I don’t really care. Some of the best bands out there are ones you’ll never hear on the radio or Mtv.

Tim: All That Remains

PJ: There are so many greats out there that have come and gone. I would probably have to choose (fill in the blank).

What artists do you consider to be direct influences on Out of Ashes sound and style?

Tom: It’s really impossible to name just one. Each of us come from completely different backgrounds, and several different influences.

Matt: Some of my main influences are APC, Incubus, Deftones, Tool, etc… Like Tom said the list goes on and on.

Tim: Uh… There’s really none that I can think of. We have our own distinctive, one of a kind sound.

PJ: Man, there’s a lot. Incubus, Deftones, Tool, Metallica. So many divergences.

Who came up with the band’s phoenix logo?

Tom: We all pretty much came up with the idea.

Matt: Tom’s not only the vocalist in the band but he also does all our graphic art.

What new musical ideas would you consider exploring on future Out of Ashes endeavors?

Matt: Right now we’re just trying to work on our stage show. We have been talking about doing an acoustic album after we get a couple records under our belt.

PJ: I think an inner searching for musical extremes. We can do many things with an opportunity.

Where do you see Out of Ashes five years from now?

Tom: Hopefully still going at it.

Tim: On the road touring with bands that we enjoy listening to.

Mike: Doing exactly what we are doing now. Playing music, having fun, and making a way for us to be able to keep doing it.

Matt: Traveling all over the world. Bringing our music to as many people as possible. I think there’s definitely a place for Out of Ashes in the world’s major music markets. I want to do this for the rest of my life.

PJ: I see us continuing on in our efforts to produce melodies that can touch someone in the ways they affect us

Do you prefer working in the studio or on stage?

Tom: Stage. The studio is fun but it is nothing compared to the thrill of performing.

Tim: Stage definitely. It let’s the crowd know that we are just as good live as on the cd.

Mike: I preffer the stage, because the studio lacks the personal feeling that you get when you are interacting with a crowd.

Matt: I have to agree. The stage is definitely more fun. We want to be a band that you enjoy seeing live just as much as listening to our records.

PJ: I love onstage. I hope to find a recording environment that can assertain that whole interactive vibe.

What’s the best part about seeing Out of Ashes live?

Tom: It’s got to be, once again, the interaction. We love to give back what the audiance is giving to us, and we try to do the best performance that we possibly can.

Mike: The energy, and feeding off the crowd.

Matt: We like to make the crowd feel like they’re part of the show. Interaction is key when it comes to live shows.

Tim: Watching me spin sticks around. J/K Our stage show is phenomanol

PJ: You get to become one and witness the actual emotion that flows from the music.

What’s the one thing you’d like to tell all the listeners out there?

Tom: Hi!

Mike: Stay tuned.

Matt: The best is yet to come. We’re pretty close to having the next album ready to record. I think some minds are going to be blown by what we have in store for them.

Tim: We’ll see ya soon! MUAHAHAHA!!

PJ: Turn it up and listen for your own points of view. Relate to the music.

Final thoughts?

Matt: I just want to touch on the state of the music scene currently in Arkansas. There seems to be alot of competition between bands in the scene nowadays. When what we need more than anything right now is community. We should all band together and help each other out. We’re all here for the same reasons, pretty much trying to do the same thing, to entertain and have fun. Also, there are alot of really good bands in Arkansas with a very limited amount of opportunities and places to play. Help your brothers. If a band helps you get a show booked, then help them get a a show in return. That’s what trading shows about. I can’t even count how many bands we’ve helped get shows without getting any in return. It can get discouraging. That’s all I really have to say right now. I don’t want to go on a rant. Thank you for listening to and supporting local music.

About the Author

Article Submissions done by Out of Ashes in partnership with Kristopher Upjohn and ISB.

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