Interview with: Ashes to Omens

Alice: Let's start off with a band introduction.
We are Ashes to Omens! Hard rock band from Athens, GA. I'm the frontman for the group, James Branton

Alice: What was it that led to the formation of Ashes to Omens?

Back in 2017 I had been on a hiatus from music. I had been in a few bands before and had won a few awards. The previous band I was in won a Georgia Music Award for Best Alternative band. We all kind of went our separate ways in 2013. So I took a few years off. I still wrote music, but I couldnt really find anyone that I felt connected with that I wanted to make music with. Then around June 2017 I reached out to a colleague because I had been going through some health problems and had written a few tunes. He referred me to David Gaines. David came over and met me and we chatted and hit it off musically. A few weeks later we met Casey Lee and Christopher Blake and they joined in. This past year we added a 2nd guitarist in Nathan Paul. 

Alice: Tell me about the band’s name. What is the meaning behind it? 
Well when we first got together, we knew that we wanted our name to be something that we were all passionate about. All of us had been in a band before that were complete disasters so we felt like all of us coming together was creating something new. From the ashes of old bands to create something new that could grow and live. 

Alice: If a person asked you what 
can I expect to hear when I listen to Ashes to Omens, what would you say?
Straight ahead, no-nonsense hard rock. We write music that we feel like connects with people and they can take with them.

Alice: Your single is now out, titled “Let the Devil Loose.” Explain the meaning of the song’s lyrics and how 
the song was composed from beginning to end. 
Let the Devil Loose is the 4th song that we had written for the new album that will be released next year. We knew that we wanted to write a song that was more upbeat and one that would get people moving. On our previous album, we had written a few songs that people would really respond to at shows, so we wanted to bring that attitude to this song and take it up some. We were at rehearsal one evening and Casey was just messing around on the drums with his kick warming up and started just a solid kick beat and honestly, that's where it started. The lyrics I had worked on for about 3 months. When people come to concerts they want to let go and be a part and consume all the energy around them and just generally feel good. That's what the lyrics represent. Just taking control and giving in to that energy that makes you passionate about something. In some cases, it's letting the devil loose inside of you. 

Alice: What were some of the ins and outs in this single release? Any valuable lessons learned? 

We knew we wanted to up the ante from the last release, "The Conflict Within". We had had a great response from the previous release and wanted to reach with this one. So we spoke with the amazing people at Tag Publicity and found a path that we felt worked really well for us. We were also able to partner with The Label Group and InGrooves for Distribution. We found that to really get what you want out of a song, it's about how you present it and how it's delivered. You can create and put out and hope for the best all day long, but at the end of the day if you don't have a plan, then you're really just throwing something out and seeing if it sticks. You need a plan. And that's something that Tag and The Label Group are really great at executing.

Alice: Is truth stranger than fiction?


Alice: Festivals the band would like to play in 2020?
We have all spoken about playing Athfest in our hometown. We had also hoped to play SXSW as well. Last year we were able to headline Carolina Metalfest as well. So we hope to really push this year and get on all the major festivals. 

Alice: Any upcoming tour plans? 
Right now we're doing a few weekend tours to promote the release in the Southeast, then release another single in January. But in April and May we hope to hit the road for several weeks to promote the album release. 

Alice: Sponsors you would like to thank?
Not necessarily sponsors but we'd like to give a huge thanks to Tag Publicity, The Label Group and InGrooves.