From Autumn To Ashes

Emo, post-hardcore, plain old simple rock music. Whatever you want to call it, From Autumn To Ashes are an exciting prospect from the outset.  Last year the band supported Finch and the band finally made that breakthrough in the UK after 3 years of hard labour in the States. Designer Magazine caught up with drummer and vocalist Francis Mark to discuss how the band are going to keep evolving and pushing boundaries long after the current crop have fallen by the wayside.

Q: You're coming over here with your second album and people even if they haven't heard of you before kind of have an idea of what you'll sound like through the name. Would you agree?
A: Possibly. Usually, random people who we bump into who have never heard of the band I guess they get a little scared look on the face. I do think people get a general idea of what From Autumn To Ashes is about. This style of music is definitely taking more of a place in the mainstream which is all right I guess, it beats the hell out of having N'Sync and Backstreet Boys, i'm glad that that has stepped aside, but at the same time it's getting watered down and there's just some terrible terrible bands.

Q: Do you see that when you play gigs nowadays, just lame support bands jumping on the bandwagon?
A: That's cool. Everybody's entitled to do whatever, we definitely don't claim to have started anything yer know. I think it just pushes us to reinvent ourselves and try new things. As soon as what you're doing becomes popular it's a good time to rip it up and start doing something different.

Q: When you guys first started the whole nu metal and punk-pop scene's were popular. How was it for you coming out with a completely different sound to every other band?
A: Well when we first started there were a couple of bands doing basically similar stuff to what we started doing. There was a band called Red Roses For A Blue Lady from Florida that we probably borrowed some ideas from, as well as a band called Mourning Again, another band from Florida. It's not like we invented anything new, we just did it a little bit differently.

Q: Being able to come over here to the UK and do a sell out tour must be an achievement in yours eyes,  recognition that what you've been doing for these 3 years is finally breaking through
A: Fortunately we got to come over here and support Finch and The Starting Line so that certainly helped. It helped get us exposed. And we got some support from Kerrang and Rock Sound which always helps getting you exposed in those publications.

Q: The name of the band is kind of a fictional character in an unwritten book. Tell us about the character?
A:'s kind of getting shelved actually. I don't even think there is going to be a book to tell you the truth. To tell you the honest truth, let me just tell you for now there is no fictional character - she's definitely none existent at the moment. It just kind of represents an unattainable figure...actually it doesn't even have to be a figure, it can be a goal or an object.

I don't feel we'll ever achieve everything we want to achieve in this band. If you sell out a 500 capacity venue then it's time to move on to the 1000 capacity venue and keep striving. You've really just got to keep raising the bar. The first album we wrote was all right, we tried harder and we think the second one is better and hopefully we'll keep getting better and pushing it a little further really. Unfortunately you don't want to alienate anybody who is a fan of your previous music. I think that changes have to come gradually, not just in music but I think in any aspect of life. Any change which is too drastic is just going to scare people away.

Q: But I guess if you want to keep pushing the musical boundaries then it's natural that things such as the number of people you'll reach out to will decrease in sync with that?
A: Yeah, cos unfortunately when you do more experimental styles of music a lot of people aren't ready for it and aren't gonna understand it. Anybody could start a band in whatever style of music is hip at the time and sell out a big venue. I don't think there is any correlation between ticket sales and being a good band, there's some retched bands in America which sell out huge venues.

Q: And what bands are coming out in the States that we might not of heard of over here in the UK?
A: There's a band called These Arms Are Snakes, another called Homesick For Space from New York that were taking out on tour with us. Those 2 bands are doing really good stuff and they don't often get the credit they deserve.

Q: The albums just come out now, what are your plans for the rest of the year?
A: I'd like to get back here. There's a few band over here that i'd like to go on tour with. Funeral For A Friend, those guys are good friends of ours, we've been trying to sort out a tour with them for a while. And Lostprophets, I'd like to do something with them over the Summer. And were trying to line up the Leeds and Reading festivals and maybe Donnington.

"Fiction We Live" is out now on Vagrant Records
For more info

Post your FATA reviews / comments on the Message Board