Ascending Dawn will release their new album "Coalesce" this holiday season, but in the mean while have released a new track from it titled "All In Now". More tracks from "Coalesce" will follow suit as will all new music in the next year. Find out all there is to know about Ascending Dawn's music, formation, namesake, and current releases.
1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.
Aha! A long story! Aren’t they always? We are a project that ascended from the ashes of several other bands. Marlain (Vox/Songwriter) is a graduate of Royal Academy of Music, London, has a background that includes a pop all female chart topping pop band in Greece, the West End stage and the Eurovision Song Contest and is now based in New York. She currently also fronts the all female all Zeppelin band LEZ ZEPPELIN. Owen Rees (Guitar/Producer) and Mark Weatherley (Drums / Guitar / Songwriter) are both based in the UK, near London, writing the instrumentation and producing from afar. Marlain and Owen were in a previous band together, based in London, called ‘Enteric’. Mark invited Owen to join him in the project now named ASCENDING DAWN. Marlain joined afterwards when the original grouping did not work out. Jennifer Hart (Bass) contributed her wonderful musicianship to this debut album ‘COALESCE’ but parted ways soon after.
2. Where does a name like Ascending Dawn come from what is the tale to tell?
We felt we needed a name to represent the learning from our previous failures, yet bring us new hope. We wanted the name to inspire a positive feeling in us, as our whole sound and themes lend themselves to more light rather than dark. It is like a continuous rebirth, a way to shed ourselves from anything negative in our past.
3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?
Well, as you can tell from the first answer we don’t really have a ‘local’ scene. Both New York and London house many terrific new bands, in all genres. The internet is our local scene, which is where we discovered many of the bands that inspire us. Those bands are Tool, Karnivool, Tesseract, Textures, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Pain of Salvation, Leprous, bands based in several different countries!
4. How would you describe your style?
We are a prog-style, alternative, metal project with ambient qualities. Very melodic. Pop-rock style vocals blending over heavy progressive riffs, interesting harmonies and rhythm patterns. Songs that develop and build. Each chorus is the same but develops and gets bigger as the songs moves forward, with an almost cinematic vibe.
5. What is the story behind releasing "All In Now" as the first single turned video for this album "Coalesce"?
ALL IN NOW is the first single, but CANNONBALL will be the first video, second single, to be turning to video. Specifically, lyric video.
ALL IN NOW was written as a personal revolt against the effect on our psyche of social media. I felt like I was so disconnected from actual people. Always worried about where my phone was and my approval rate. Like that was going to give me meaning in my life. I am aware that the lyrics are not straightforward, but neither is the music. I wanted to scream for connection.
CANNONBALL is probably the most simple of our songs. It reflects the crazy array of emotions that exist, especially being female, and how much sometimes those feelings need to explode outwardly. It includes all emotions, positive and negative. And how we should learn to look at the simple things in life around us, like nature, animals, the sky, sun, things that we have been given and should be grateful for. These things are a way to experiencing connection and joy.
6. Jochem Jacobs was the co-producer, mixer, and mastering of "Coalesce". Can you tell me what it was like working with him in the studio upon this record?
Working with Jochem was about as organic as it can get. He completely understood our sound from day one. Mark contacted Jochem because of his work with the Dutch Progressive Metal act Textures, who were a massive musical influence for both himself and Owen. His understanding of how the keys parts should be like a warm blanket under the mix really helped turn Coalesce into a soundscape as well as a vocal driven album. He understood Marlain’s vocal ideas and blended them into the sound so it was all completely cohesive. It inspired the title to our album ‘COALESCE’.
7. Where are you in the recording process of the new album?
We completed ‘COALESCE’ a while back and during this process of introducing it to the world we are all writing, in our respective parts of the world, on our new EP. Marlain in NYC, is in the process of discovering where the instrumentation will take her lyrically on this new musical journey, so that then she can build on the extra harmonies she is adding to the beds of music at her home studio. Owen and Mark, both near London, have such a wealth of material on hard drives, that this stage the writing phase has become more about what can be used and improved on, rather than writing new songs completely from scratch. Because the instrumentation is written and recorded at Owen and Mark’s respective home studios, tracking the parts is a quick process. The most time sapping part is deciding which take is right!
8. How would you describe the overall sound of the new album?
For ‘COALESCE’ we feel we cross a few genre lines. From progressive metal to hard rock, with an ambient almost cinematic feel at times. Soft Pop vocals which lead to powerful rock vocals, and beds of choral harmony over heavy sometimes ‘djent’ riffs. The songs have a journey, and usually build to a climax, with each chorus growing and expanding to include more vocals and sounds.
The new EP will still be undeniably ‘Ascending Dawn’, but certainly more progressive. Expect more twists and turns, and the occasional song to have a strange sense of timing. ‘COALESCE’ was really about us discovering our sound, and we really play on our strengths with the new material.
9. Did the band have any definitive goals they were shooting for before the recording process began for this album?
With ‘COALESCE’, we were very much aware of song lengths and structures, and really tried to limit ourselves from going off on a tangent. We were really lucky to find our groove very quickly. Our musical chemistry was on point. We couldn’t have wished for something better in this department. We wanted our own sound and we found it. With our new writing we may decide to allow ourselves to expand more and not restrict ourselves, staying within our sound but adding new elements.
10. Are you using any new instrumentation you've never used in the recording process before?
For COALESCE, as our debut, each member brought their own history and creativity to the table. Now in the new writing, it is still very much in the pre-production phase, so who knows where that will lead. Vocally, Marlain plans on experimenting some more with the layering of both lead and backing vocals, using the backing vocals as part of the instrumentation and harmony rather than actual bvs. Introducing some unconventional harmony at certain points may also happen. One thing for sure is that there will be a wider range of tones and guitars being used. Owen and Mark are trying to pull away from using the same guitars for a lot of the lines, and really want some of that single child sound. Leprous’ new album ‘Malina’ showed us really that you can have a massive sounding album without overly high gain sounds. I would say the biggest shift is probably in synth sounds, as Owen bought a bunch of plugins designed for EDM.
11. When did you start writing for this album?
‘COALESCE’ started a while back. As the bands fell away to form this project, now ASCENDING DAWN, the music came together really fast towards the end. This style of music always takes a while to create. The layers are very detailed and putting them together takes even longer. And everyone is a perfectionist. Marlain lives and works professionally as a singer/actor in New York so her time is split between projects. But Ascending Dawn is her main creative outlet so she hopes this next EP will come out faster!
12. "Coalesce" is your debut album, do you have the pressure lingering because of that big of a deal?
I think whenever an artist pours their heart and soul into a project, there is a great sense of vulnerability. Of course we have no idea how the world will take us! But the good thing about this project is we all feel very proud of it. There will always be people who will not like us, but we want to hear from those that do!
13. When can we expect the new album to be released?
‘COALESCE’ will be released on 12/01/2017. Our new EP will be out sometime in 2018.
14. Will you be touring this album? Is there a chance you will be doing a short tour before the album is released?
No tour before the ‘COALESCE’ is released unfortunately. But hopefully sometime afterwards, something can be set up. Follow us on www.ascendingdawnband.com to see what things are happening!
15. What plans lay ahead for Ascending Dawn?
Our first single ALL IN NOW, was just introduced to the world and you can find it on all digital platforms, and www.ascendingdawn.bandcamp.com. We have a lyric video coming out in October, for our song CANNONBALL, then another video in November sometime for INSIDE THE SILENCE. Then our 9 full track album ‘COALESCE’ is being released! We have plans for a full music video, as well as the new EP in 2018. And if we can tour….that would be amazing! Ask for us!