JUNE 17th 2016
Welcome to Metaltitans, Guardians of Metal Entertainment Worldwide, we are here with the Ascension, an Arena/Black/Thrash Metal band out of Los Angeles.
1. I know we did an interview not too long ago, but tell us what Ascension has been doing since then…
Since we last spoke we have successfully toured the Eastern and Midwestern U.S. with Chris Amott's band Armageddon. We have our web shop fully operational and loaded up with lots of really cool looking merch all designed by the very talented Mr. Jorden Haley. We have acquired a manager and publicist and together we are all working on securing a proper record label to help us release, promote and tour behind "The Order of the Silver Compass" as soon as possible. We have received some good press overseas in Japan so far including interviews in two separate issues of WeRock magazine as well as a single off of the album entitled "Read Between the Lines" being featured on a compilation CD released by that same magazine.
2. When you were growing up, tell us who the first band was that you listened to and thought "this was for you, you had to be in a band."
I was exposed to and ultimately influenced by a very wide variety of music as a young kid due to the widely varying tastes of my parents. My dad listened to a lot of bluegrass, old country, southern rock and 50's/60's stuff. My mom exposed me to a lot of classical music as well as jazz and blues, funk/soul/Motown and classic rock. With that being said, I knew I had to pick up the guitar and learn to play in a band after hearing Jimi Hendrix for the first time though. I had never heard anybody at all make sounds like he did on a guitar up to that point and the minute I did it was all over and I just absolutely had to learn how to do that too…
3. What was it about the band that drew you to this way of life?
Jimi had a sound like no other, a style like no other and definitely lived the rock and roll lifestyle by definition…
4. With all the bands/genres today, is there any amongst them that you hold high?
To be honest I hardly listen to music anymore. In addition to Ascension I also produce other bands regularly and by the time I get done working on both of those things I mostly prefer to hear nothing. Secondarily it is so difficult to find quality new music with the over saturation that has happened as a result of the internet and cheap and easy access to recording equipment…
5. Do you have a band you enjoy listening to that would surprise us?
A whole lot of them probably! I dig a lot of music other than heavy metal like classical, old country and rock, bluegrass, blues and pop/rock stuff. Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Orff, Wagner, Copland, Stravinsky, Bill Monroe, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, the Hank Williamses (Mostly I & III), Elvis, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Credence Clearwater Revival, the Osbourne Brothers, the Stanley Brothers, Earl Scruggs, BB/Freddy/Albert King, Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Stevie Ray Vaughan, so on so forth. I like about everything Max Martin, Trevor Horn, Linda Perry, Bruce Fairbairn or Mutt Lange have ever been involved with among others as well…
6. What has been the most memorable experience for you in the music business?
There have been quite a few over the years! Being able to tour over half of the world whilst meeting and playing for so many great people has been an experience I wouldn't trade for anything. I also think getting to watch Zakk Wylde rehearse up close and in person as a kid was a fantastically inspiring and influential thing. Working with John Sykes and Andy Johns for a couple of years was the same for me as well. Also I will never forget the day a package with two gold records inside showed up on my doorstep for two albums I had worked on in my late teenage years that I consider to be fairly average to mediocre... That still continually baffles and amazes me! Hahaha!
7. Your facebook page shows 2 members, yourself and B. Miller. Tell us how you came together for this project?
I actually met him as a result of having produced a former band of his about eight years ago. I thought he was a good player and a good guy all around. We hit it off pretty well right away since we both like a lot of the same music and guitar players and both have an interest in music production. We kept in touch over the years and when I moved back to the US after parting ways with Zonaria I asked him if he might want to come play with me in Ascension.
8. On your page it also mentions “The Order of the Silver Compass” is coming soon, how soon until the release date?
We don't have a release date set in stone as yet since we are still holding out for a label to get involved with the whole process… That being said, I would like to see this album out and behind us sometime this year so that we can get started on the next one asap!
9. Is it a hard process to do as a band without the help of a label?
Infuriatingly hard to be honest! Not only does one have to handle the entire creative and performance side of it but also in our case we do all of our own production and engineering, pay for our own PR and book all of our own gigs on top of it. Having to do all of the business side ourselves makes it incredibly difficult to stay inspired and creative...
10. Have you found a label yet?
We have had some interest from a few but no ink on paper as yet…
11. On the album, do you have a personal favourite song? If so why that one?
Honestly I always tell people that I don't have favourites of anything because there are way too many good things in the universe to pick favourites out of them all. In the case of my own music by the time I am done working on it I usually have a hard time telling if it is even good or not anymore… Hahaha! I will let the listeners out there decide for themselves what the best songs are on the record!
12. Tell us what we can expect to hear from this album?
Solid songwriting and high fidelity production with wide variation from one song to the next. Anthemic and hook laden arena style choruses interlaced with pounding heavy extreme sections and memorable bluesy melodic guitar solos… It is definitely something pretty original as far as heavy metal goes and I would like to think that there is something for everyone on it somewhere.
13. When you are not hard at work with the band, what would you be doing?
As I said before I do produce other bands at my studio Nightmare Sound. Other than this I love to spend time out in nature and enjoy reading and learning about anything and everything more or less…
14. Is there anything you would like to add that I might have missed asking?
Many thanks to everyone who has encouraged and supported Ascension… We will be seeing you all at a gig somewhere nearby ASAP!
Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview with us, and hope to see the release soon for “The Order of the Silver Compass.”
My pleasure and thank you! \m/
The Order of the Silver Compass Teaser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppoxI-OyXc0