Following on the heels of their viral success, upstart rap ‘n’ rock artists From Ashes To New joined alt metal veterans 10 Years on their 2018 How To Live As Ghosts tour, appearing at the famous Marquee Theater in Tempe, AZ. This young power pop group brings to the stage not only a “hometown American boy” story, but a big set full of empowerment and positive vibe to match their uplifting presence and affirmative energy.
When you think of Lancaster, PA, rock ‘n’ roll music isn’t exactly what immediately comes to mind. In fact, most people think the opposite…horses, buggies, furniture, and cheese…but while it’s true that Lancaster is the country’s oldest Amish settlement, it’s also a place where dreams came true for a couple of kids who are now living the American Dream: Six guys trying to salvage the efforts of various different failing musical projects, putting their heads together to have one more go at this “music thing”, which has turned out to be a rapidly growing success. But while the band has been its own brand of persistence, they cannot take all of the credit for their Cinderella story.
As humanity submerges more and more into the digital world, we are learning to harness the power of unity through electronics. From Ashes To New owes much of their success to their social media followers, particularly on Instagram and Facebook. This is the latest version of Peer-To-Peer networking, where arts and ideas can be shared exponentially with others across devices and platforms at the click of a button. That’s not to say that there isn’t still a lot of work that goes into the creation of such a beast. For something to go viral enough people have to not only approve of the selection, but be moved enough to share it. From Ashes To New began with a humble internet offering of their first song, “Through It All”…just something for friends and local fans to enjoy. The posting made its way to the Octane facebook page, where it was seen by the station’s programming director, who subsequently added it to the rotation. In just a few short years, From Ashes To New found themselves successfully sharing a label with bands like Papa Roach and touring with 10 Years.
The idea that some Unknown can still make a song and hear it on the radio is often overshadowed by the notions of contracts and huge record conglomerates, but From Ashes To New is a modern-day throwback to guys like Johnny Cash and Ritchie Valens, who just did what they did and played what they played, and eventually somebody heard it, grabbed the nearest person by the shirt sleeve, and said, “Hey! You gotta hear this!” Although their success has been like riding on a rocket ship, From Ashes To New maintains their humble beginnings throughout their music and tour appearances. They are still very much connected to their fan base, which is evident in the intimacy of the environment they create, regardless of stage size. They know where they came from, they know who put them there, and their audience is just as much a part of their performance as any guitar or microphone.
While many musicians use the medium to vent their angst and troubles, exploring their darker sides, From Ashes To New puts on an upbeat show on a well-lighted stage. Vocalist Matt Brandyberry also writes the band’s music, and while it may still express negative feelings and emotions, his music encourages its listeners to go one step further than their misery and view their situations from an alternative, more positive angle. The band has also made inclusion a focal point of its music, reminding listeners and fans that whatever their struggles are, they are not alone and they don’t have to feel alone. FATN has created somewhat of a revolving door in its existence…the people like the songs, so they write more music about the people. The band not only has a passion for their craft, but a heart for who they play for. This was felt throughout the theater from the first note to the last song. You won’t find anything in their repertoire about hookers and blow, but what you will find is a band who hates the idea of another kid cutting himself or committing suicide, a band that hates bullying, and a band that really wants to create a life raft for someone who’s hurting.
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