Ashes You Leave Songs That Were Lost then Found: The Interview

“Songs of the Lost,” a formula of music used only to inspire and capture the precise moment it takes music to invade our hearts, minds, and souls embracing us with a comfort so binding it smothers us to our knees begging us for forgiveness. Thus unleashing upon us Ashes You Leave a formation of unique music only the listener can describe as breath-taking. Luka the bassist of Ashes You Leave entangles his thoughts and the band’s progress into slowly breaking into the music scene taking the world slowly by storm.

1. The name of the band Ashes You Leave is interesting to say the least and sounds as if there is a story behind it. Where did the name come from and what is the story?

Luka: The band was formed back in the 95' under the strong influence of the British doom metal bends. It was the golden era for doom metal, my dying bride; Anathema, Paradise lost and Cathedral were on the peak of their careers. As all fans, the band members at that time were also highly influenced by their musical idols so when time arose to name the band; they chose the name Ashes you leave as homage to a song from Cathedral's „The Ethereal Mirror“album. The name of the song also had a personal meaning and it was perfect for a young doom band.

2. Can you briefly summarize how the band formed and what you do in Ashes You Leave?

Luka: The band was formed by a handful of enthusiasts and fans of doom metal. In the beginning it was all about hanging with friends and playing good music, we never thought it would become so serious and that it would last for so long, but we are happy and grateful for it. My name is Luka and I'm the bassist in Ashes you leave, and as of late I'm charged with the responsibility of writing the lyrics.

3. Your lyrics are infused with heavy detail and raw emotion. What is it that normally gives you inspiration when writing lyrics and is there a concept behind the music you create?

Luka: Not all lyrics on our records were written by band members, and this was the case on “Songs of the lost“. The majority of the lyrics were written by my brother Marko, who already wrote some lyrics for the previous albums. In my humble opinion he is one of the finest lyricists out there, as all the people who will read the lyrics from Songs of the lost, will witness for themselves. Our main concern when choosing a lyric for a song is that it's honest and that we can relate to it. I can't say that “Songs of the lost“ is a conceptual album in the classical sense, but it definitely has a connecting idea behind both the music and the lyrics.

4. Your new album “Songs Of The Lost,” is coming out how has the reactions been thus far? What can fans expect when they listen to your music?

Luka: So far the reactions were overwhelmingly positive, both from the fans and the media. The reviews we received this far have been really good, from the Croatian and foreign media alike. Since our entire album is available in streaming on our MySpace page, the fans have a chance to listen to it and the response so far has been amazing. This is, is my opinion, our best effort thus far. The album is a “return to the roots” to our original sound, it is doomy and it has some of the darkest lyrics in the band’s career.

5. How do you think you will affect the music scene you are part of? What are your thoughts on the growing popularity in it as well?

Luka: I sincerely hope that this record will leave a mark in the genre. We hope that it will reach the popularity of our „The inheritance of sin and shame „ album. Not to sound too humble, we are really glad that we are still around after so many years. This is our 5th album in the 14 year long career. We still play live and we still draw crowds. I only hope that we'll be doing the same for the next 14 years.

6. Any plans for a U.S. tour anytime soon?

Luka: Unfortunately, there is no plan to tour in the USA in the near future. We’ve received a lot of invitations to play both in the States and some of the South American countries, but without a serious booking agency behind it we cannot guarantee the success of the tour. If the right opportunity arises, we certainly won't miss it.

7. Many of your songs are so hard and intense that I am sure they translate well into a live setting taking on a whole new life in front of a live audience. How does it make you feel when the emotion and power that you envisioned in the recording studio, come to life while playing in front of a crowd?

Luka: I think that, as any artist, one of the most rewarding things is when the audience truly understands what you wanted to say with your music. That is something that you can see on their faces. The audience always recognizes when a band is sincere and the music that they're playing is honest. When that happens, the feedback that you receive from them is both overwhelming and indescribable in words. It is an amazing feeling; a feeling that all people who once stood on a stage share and one of the main reasons why we are doing it.

8. What are the upcoming plans for The Ashes You Leave?

Luka: We are going to try to play as much live as we can, so that this album gets a deserved promotion. We already started promoting it live here in Croatia, European dates will follow soon and hopefully we'll be able to go beyond the boundaries of the old continent. The next project we have planned is to record a video for a song. We'll keep the title a secret for a while.

9. How has MYSPACE and the internet impacted your band and do you think downloading helps or hinders the artists?

Luka: In our case MySpace really helped promoting our music as well as staying in touch with our fans. We conduct our MySpace page ourselves, which gives the fans a chance to get in contact personally with the band members. We replay to every single e-mail we receive and I think that this is something that many of the bigger bands should also do. Otherwise the fans will get the feeling that you are unreachable, which alienates the audience. I can say that I'm not contrary to the downloading. These are modern times and the band can't rely solely on their albums' sales. The internet downloading gives the chance to the people, who normally don't listen to the music you play, to listen to your work and grow to appreciate it. Afterwards, they don't necesserily need to buy the original CD, but maybe they'll come and see your show when you're playing in their home town. I think that downloading is bothering the big bends because they rely too much on the sales of their CDs, but for the smaller bands it is a great way to promote their music, as was dealing bootleg cassettes back in the 80's.

10. What is the toughest lesson you ever learned in the studio and on the stage?

Luka: The toughest lesson every band learns in the studio is that it is not as easy as it looks. It always takes more time than you think and it always costs more than you think. Playing live and recording a album are two completely different things. Being in a recording studio is a though task that everybody has to go through, especially if you work as a technician on the recording as was in my case. In the end, when you hear the final product of your work, you forget all the bad things and the headaches you got from the drums in the monitor speakers for two weeks. The toughest lesson we learned from live experience is to always double-check where your instruments are after the concert. On the first European tour we did, my guitar got stolen after a show in Poland.

11. What bands would you like to tour with and who has been your favorite to tour with this far? Any particular reason?

Luka: I would like to tour with My Dying Bride, but since they are not a touring band I would have to go for Moonspell. We shared the stage with them a couple of times and I have to say that they are really great and down-to-earth guys. The coolest band which we toured with is Darkwell, an Austrian gothic band that we toured with on our last European tour. They became really good friends to us and it's a relationship that we cherish to this very day.

12. Every band has its musical influences. What are some of the other bands and artists that have greatly influenced you guys and your music?

Luka: The mayor influences on the start of our career were, as I already mentioned, My Dying Bride, Anathema, Paradise lost and Chatedral. Nowadays, we listen to everything from heavy metal to death, from classical music to Lorena McKennitt. Personally, one of my biggest influences both musically and lyrically was and still is Mathias Lodmalm, the mastermind behind bands such as Cemetary, Sundown, Cemetary 1213....

13. What's your reaction when/if a fan told you a very meaningful statement such as "Your music changed my life?" Has this ever happened to you?
Luka: It is a strange thing when someone approaches you and tells you that yours is their favorite band. It's a thing that I'll never get used to hearing. Just the other day, after a show in Croatia, I received a phone call from a fan. He got my cell number from a friend's friend. After apologizing for calling me on my cell, he said he needed to call me to compliment us on our performance. It's an amazing feeling to hear something like this from a total stranger.

14. All of that passion that you play with must be tough on you physically. How do you prepare for the physical demands of a tour?

Luka: Nothing special: We do what every other band does, I presume. We rehearse the playlist for the shows with some extra tracks, just in case. We like to do something slightly different every time we play so that both our fans and we enjoy each performance. Playing live it's not that physically demanding because you are doing what you love the most. The most tiring and demanding part of the touring is the constant waiting and sleep deprivation. That is something you can't easily get used to.

15. Anything else you'd like to add?

Luka: I would like to thank you for this interview. I would also like to extend our regards to all your readers and our fans in the States. Check out our band and our new album “Songs of the lost”, you won’t be disappointed. Keep the doom flame alive!!!!
On behalf of Ashes You Leave,

Post a Comment

[facebook] [blogger]