Interview with Matt Brandyberry & Chris Musser from From Ashes To New
By: Morgan Bates
Welcome to Rockville 2016
From Ashes To New is a band with a vision of bringing an inspirational, hopeful, yet simple message of taking on the world by living life to the absolute fullest! This band of Phoenixes’ power not only lies within their deep and emotional lyrics but, in the exceptional way the message is delivered. They are a rare combination on rock, metal, rap, some screaming and heavy guitar. This collection of sound makes for an incredible new take on the world of rock and metal.
I got the amazing opportunity to chat with Matt and Chris at Jacksonville’s Welcome to Rockville. I could have literally talked to these guys all day! They are extraordinarily fun and so easy to talk to! (Even though we found out early on that we are on opposite sides when it comes to hockey.) That aside, their passion and love for their fans is not only admirable but, inspiring. Their music shows a tough side but, these guys themselves are extremely witty, goofy, passionate, and have true hearts of gold.
No one’s journey through this mess we call life is easy but, if you have access to these guys whether it be through their amazing music or the chance to hang out and have a beer with them, you rest easier knowing that from the ashes of the past, new and amazing things will arise. I certainly marked this day as “Day One” of the rest of my life as a fan of From Ashes To New.
Can you guys tell me a little about how you guys met and got started as From Ashes to New?
Matt: We all met and played in local bands back in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Morgan: Pennsylvania?! I’m a huge Penguins fan!
Matt: Oh cool! I’m actually a Flyers fan. But, I grew up watching Mario Lemieux and Jaromír Jágr.
Aww man.. that’s hurts a little bit but we’ll change the subject! Can you tell me a little bit about your new album “Day One”?
Matt: Yeah it just came out in February, we launched it with our single “Through It All” Which is actually off the “Downfall” EP but it kind of moved over to “Day One” and we have a new single coming out called Lost and Alone and should drop at the end of May.
Were there any life events or people that helped to influence this album?
Matt: Yeah I think we both have different takes on it but, like you said life. As writers we both have driving forces behind us and what we write about.
Morgan: Any specific forces?
Matt: For me its all of the haters to be honest. So I like to write about Hey who are you to tell me what I can do. I’ll just do what I want to do.
Morgan: Like saying its my life not yours.
Matt: Well that’s exactly it! On our first album we have a lyric that says “It’s my life, It’s my fate it doesn’t matter what you say.” It’s kind of our stance on everything. Our goal is to actually have that message go out to the people that listen to us as well so they can think for themselves as well and do what they want to do instead of having to fit into a society or conform to something. Just be yourself. Well, I guess Chris must have been in some bad relationships too.
Chris: Yeah inspiration from bad relationships or because I grew up depressed and suffered from depression most of my life so I always pull inspiration from that too.
Morgan: Is it to reach out to people that maybe feel the same way and to lift them up from that?
You guys have been on tour a while now. Has there been anything crazy that’s happened on the road?
Matt: I left a friend behind at a gas station once.
Chris: It does seem like Brandon is in a lot of stories right?
Matt: Yeah, we apparently missed each other going in and out of the truck stop and I made it like 45 minutes down the road before I realized he wasn’t there.
Chris: And when he got drugged. Remember that?
Morgan: Wait! What?!! At the gas station?!
Chris: No that was another time.
Matt: No that was in Chicago. We were on tour with Hollywood Undead and he ended up at a bar after and he was having a drink and there was some shady characters there. And they actually drugged him. Hollywood Undead’s tour manager pulled him out of there because he was gone.
Chris: Yeah they were there to rob him. You could tell these two dudes were eyein’ him up to like wait for him outside.
Matt: Which is funny because if they would have robbed him they would have gotten nothing! Brandon’s probably the brokest dude in the band!
Other than the sketchy people that tried to rob one of you, have you had the chance to meet anyone super interesting or someone you never thought you would get the opportunity to meet?
Matt: I mean, everybody that we’ve on tour with. I mean if you look at who we’ve been touring with since last year. I mean even a year before that would have never thought that we would meet or get to tour with these bands.
Do you guys still get nervous before a show? And do you have any preshow rituals?
Matt: We huddle.
Chris: Huddle and warm up.
Matt: Yeah, we huddle. Like have you seen that movie the replacements? Where the dude throws up in the huddle and they have to move it by tiptoeing? We do that huddle. The nerves thing for us isn’t performing its more equipment with us. You know were still small so we do all of our own stuff. So were more nervous that all of our stuff isn’t going to work correctly while were playing. That’s where the nerves come from. It’s more like “Shit! Is it gonna work?! Are my ears gonna go out?!”
Can you tell us one thing that your fans don’t know about you?
Chris: I juggle.
Matt: He’s got a pretty good dance to him and a really good old man voice too
(Chris really did have an amazing old man voice. So hilarious!)
Matt: They already know that I am a dope rapper. Yeah I just pulled out the dope rapper card.
How would you guys define success in the industry? Is there any one thing that has contributed the most to your success?
Matt: Fans. They’ve brought us here to this point. We’re here because of the fans. Like we say “spreading the ashes” but, spreading the word about us. If it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t be here. I know that’s cliché almost because a lot of people say that. But, it really is what it is. They’re the #1 thing. They started it all for us and they continue to drive us. We’re just along for the ride.
What a ride though!
Who are you guys most excited to see here at Welcome to Rockvile?!!
Chris: Sevendust definitely.
Matt: Yelawolf and Issues. But, since today is so crazy we don’t know who all were going to get to see.
Thank you so much to Chris and Matt for taking the time during this crazy and hectic Welcome To Rockville to talk with me! Hope to see you guys again really soon!
For more about From Ashes To New check out their website http://fromashestonew.com/ and be sure to grab a copy of their album “Day One”