Lancaster, Pennsylvania's From Ashes to New are having a busy year. They recently wrapped up a tour with Hollywood Undead and are now out on the road with P.O.D. and Islander. In the fall, they will be heading out with Five Finger Death Punch, Papa Roach and In This Moment and will also be making a stop in Birch Run, Michigan for Dirt Fest on August 8th. The band has been out promoting their Downfall EP and are gearing up for the release of their first full length album.
From Ashes to New is comprised of Matt Brandyberry on vocals, keys and guitar, Chris Musser on vocals, Dan Kecki on guitar, Branden "Boo" Kreider on vocals and guitar, Garrett Russell on bass and Tim D'onofrio on drums.
Last week, Matt Brandyberry sat down for a Q&A session with AXS where he spoke about all of the touring and the upcoming release.
AXS: You are out doing a lot of touring and you have the album coming out.
Matt: Yeah we've got a lot going on right now.
AXS: How is this current tour with P.O.D. going?
Matt: Awesome. I got to perform "Youth of the Nation" on stage with P.O.D. last night. I thought that was pretty cool. I grew up listening to them so it's really cool to be out on the road with them. They're a bunch of great guys. Them and Islander as well.
AXS: And then you are going to be jumping onto the Five Finger Death Punch/Papa Roach/In This Moment tour after this. That's a pretty big deal too.
Matt: Yeah! We're really stoked. I don't think it's really sunk in yet.
AXS: What are you most looking forward to?
Matt: Well I think there's a lot to look forward to but I think for me I like playing in front of big crowds. Playing for the amount of people that we're going to be playing in front of is just something I can't wait for.
AXS: You recently played a show in Lansing at The Loft. How did that go?
Matt: Really well. That was cool man. It was a smaller crowd but when you get smaller crowds like that and everyone is into it then it gets really intimate and fun. It's just high energy
AXS: Now you will also be back out in Michigan in August playing Dirt Fest as well. For those who don't know the band and haven't seen a live set from you, what would you tell them to expect?
Matt: Energy. We just from start to finish bring it. It's like a marathon almost. We've got to condition ourselves really well to do what we do on stage and we definitely take a beating but it's just raw energy. That's the way I like to describe it.
AXS: You mentioned playing those big arenas but what do you usually prefer, those large venues or the smaller, more intimate shows?
Matt: I mean it all really depends. We are all really new at what we are doing even though we've made music for a long time. I was a guitarist in all of my previous bands but it really all depends I guess. I like the club setting because it is very intimate and it's nice being up there with the crowd and having everyone get into it but I also like the big settings. I've only played in a few of the big settings. We played with Godsmack in an arena and we've played some festivals that were in pretty big settings but this fall tour coming up is going to be the first time we've really kind of had a chance to get in front of all those people every night.
AXS: Do you have a favorite venue to play?
Matt: Oh man. I guess if I had to say I would say Chameleon Club in our hometown in Lancaster because we came up in that scene. Man, what else was a great venue? We played in Huntington, New York at the Paramount. That was a great theatre. It was really cool and a real nice venue.
AXS: When you went in to work on this album, what was the prevailing mood or idea?
Matt: I mean I think we just stayed true to who we are and we do what we feel is right and we write what we want to write. We just like to write from the heart and whatever comes out, comes out. So there's a lot of stuff on there that's kind of new to From Ashes to New fans and there's also stuff that sounds like the original material that we put out. I feel like we were really eclectic in what we were doing and were able to incorporate pretty much of all of our influences into this new record.
AXS: How did the idea of this band start out?
Matt: Well when this thing started it was literally from the ashes. We were, especially myself, in a bad place in life and I decided that I wanted to take a new road with pretty much everything that I did and there was no expectations for this band. This wasn't even built to be a band. It was just built with myself writing and Chris singing with Dan coming in to play a little bit of guitar. It wasn't really a band at the beginning. It was just an idea about us writing music that we liked to write and just having fun with it and then it turned into this very quickly. Our first single off Octane was "My Fight" and that go picked up like two months after we recorded our first three songs. Then from there we were like, oh man, we need to create a band! It was like we can do something now. So there were no expectations and I still don't think we have any. We just live everyday as it comes. It's like a football game. We just prepare for the next game. We play the game that we're in and then prepare for the next and hope for the best. Our expectation is to just do what we love and continue to play music.
AXS: The fact that you do have such a wide range of influences seems to help keep the band off the path of being pigeonholed into one genre. Have you found that to be helpful?
Matt: Yeah it's great because we can kind of fit almost anywhere. Sometimes it's a little tough because I know that some people were quote "a little scared" of the whole rap/rock thing. I think that's just because there's not a whole lot of it out there or at least not a lot that's successful. It's really hard to do and we are fortunate with the guys that are in this band and what each one of them brings to the table. It all just seems to fit together like a puzzle. Yeah we can pretty much fit anywhere and that's the way we like to see it. Hopefully we'll get a chance to tour with more of the bands that we are really into. We're really excited about what the future holds.
AXS: You have the EP out now which gives fans a little preview of what to expect from the album release but what would you like to tell people about the new release?
Matt: Well we have two EPs out now. We have the self-released one that we put out a year ago and then we have the Downfall EP that we just released this March. So the new album has some stuff from each of those and it also has some new stuff on it. We have a little bit for every listener. We just don't like to pigeonhole our self into any one demographic. We just write what we feel is right in its time. That's what the album is; a piece of all different walks of music.
AXS: Have you been happy with the reaction to the Downfall track?
Matt: Yeah I mean it has been doing really well on Octane. It's been a good lead track and we're excited about some more tracks out there.
AXS: Do you think that it has been touring that has had the most influence on spreading the word of the band?
Matt: Yes and no. I think it's been a 50/50 split. Touring has helped but also having our music out there online allowing our fans to spread it has been great too. Our fans have done everything they can to support us so I think it has been 50/50 between touring and our musical presence online.
AXS: Do you have any words for those fans?
Matt: Yeah, just keep doing what you're doing. We wouldn't be here without them. I know every band says that but for us it's really true. We wouldn't be out here touring with these bands that I grew up with in my childhood if it weren't for what they do.