For many the term “nu metal” triggers a period of yesteryear of spiky hair, baggy jeans and red baseball caps. However for those who are yearning for a stellar fix of rap-rock, meet From Ashes To New. Hailing from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the quintet neatly combine spitting lyrics and metal riffs on their debut full-length ‘Day One’. On tracks such as ‘Through It All,’ ‘Same Old Story’ and ‘Lost And Alone,’ From Ashes To New showcase a slick, anthemic quality as the impassioned vocals of Chris Musser are complimented by Matt Brandyberry’s twisting words.
The album follows two well-received EPs that has led From Ashes To New to play shows alongside names such as Fiver Finger Death Punch, Papa Roach and Hollywood Undead.
With ‘Day One’ now out in the open for all to hear, Already Heard spoke to drummer Tim D’Onofrio to find out more. Tim discussed the “nu metal” tag, the positive message that ‘Day One’ provides and more.
AH: We hear the band came together as a result of older bands splitting up. What was your initial aims when you started the band?
Tim: I had actually joined the band after the wheels had already started rolling. I knew what this project was prior to the first EP being record, though. Chris (Musser – vocals) brought me the demos and I knew there was something special. I had no intention of playing for the band at the time but timing and circumstances worked out about a year later and here I am!
AH: You’ve just released your debut LP, ‘Day One.’ It follows two EPs that seemed to received plenty of positive feedback. Did you feel any pressure going into the making of ‘Day One’?
Tim: Honestly, no not really. I mean we recorded ‘Day One’ before we even got a record deal so we really just let the style evolve into what is now ‘Day One.’ There really wasn’t too much expectation, at least as far as we could tell.
AH: The bands sound on ‘Day One’ is deeply rooted in the “nu metal” style. For new listeners, how would you summarise the bands style?
Tim: I would summarize the bands sound as a “rock cocktail” ha ha. I challenge anyone to listen to any one of our songs the whole way through and by the end of the song be able to pigeonhole us into just one genre or style. I don’t think you can do it. It seems like everyone wants to be able to put a label on music these days, we are fighting against that. We want people to stop categorizing and labelling and just enjoy music as music. Either you like it and you listen to it or you don’t and you move on.
AH: How do you feel about people describing you as “nu metal”? Do you feel it might give people the wrong first impression?
Tim: Yes, but only because a stigma has been attached to the name for so long. We all came up on that era of music and we wear it on our sleeve unapologetically. We all have incredibly eclectic tastes in music and can play many different styles of music. I think that really shines through on ‘Day One.“ I think to say that you could put us into a single category or genre is doing the music a complete disservice. So yes, our music has a rock/metal foundation but it’s got everything outside and in-between too.
AH: Throughout the album, I get the impression that you want to leave a positive message to fans. What influences that motive?
Tim: It’s really the mantra of the whole band. I think that there are a lot of bands out there (not all of them) that have that bleak outlook on their message. I’m a big fan of a lot of those bands so I’m not talking shit. It is just this band is based off pulling yourself out of the pitfalls life can throw at you, and persevering so it really just goes hand in hand with the lyrics/message.
AH: It also seems like a lot of bands you’ve took advantage of social media. How important is social media especially for a new band like From Ashes To New?
Tim: It’s so much. It’s not everything, BUT Matt has put and continues to put so much time and energy into the social media aspect of this band. It’s one of the biggest reasons that we are where we are today. Social media is 24/7. You have almost no ceiling on who or what your outreach is. It’s all about the hustle!
AH: Over the past year or so you’ve played alongside Five Finger Death Punch, Papa Roach, and Atreyu amongst others. Have playing shows with established helped influences ‘Day One’ in anyway?
By the time we played with the big bands like FFDP and Papa Roach, ‘Day One’ had already been recorded for a while. That being said, we are all fans of these bands we’ve gotten to play with so as fans, the answer to your question is "yes” because they are influences of ours. That being said, on the live performance aspect of From Ashes to New, we have learned so much and we’re able to and continue to take away so many things you couldn’t learn any other way than observing first hand by watching bands on that level every single night. That goes for onstage and how to operate backstage.
AH: Looking at your touring schedule, US fans can expect to see a lot of you in the coming months. Do you have any aspirations to head over to Europe? If so, what can we expect from a FATN show?
We would LOVE to get to Europe. We just played a couple shows in Japan and that was almost too much fun, so we’re looking to get to more new places around the globe and show the world what we’re capable of. I’m really proud of everyone in this band. We are operating on a level that we are confident to go play in front of any crowd. Whether someone has heard us prior to seeing us and were on the fence with the music or they’ve never heard of us before, they can expect to walk away knowing we can hang with the big boys.
AH: Finally why should Already Heard readers check out From Ashes to New and ‘Day One’?
I think that people want to hear something new. Something that has a fresh spin on something familiar. We’re not reinventing the wheel here and we’re not claiming to. We wear our influences on our sleeve with pride and we just write music we want to hear.
‘Day One’ by From Ashes To New is out now on Better Noise Records.
Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86)