Matt Brandyberry – From Ashes To New “We’re Creating Our Own Path”

At first listen, US rock/metal hybrid From Ashes To New may just sound like a carbon copy of Linkin Park but before you write them off, these guys are keen on forging their own path, making their sound as dynamic and current as possible. While nu-metal remains at the core of their sound, these guys are undeniably talented, fusing together an array of musical genres with hard-hitting, raw emotion.

The band have just dropped their third full-length album, Panic (our review here) and what they’ve achieved on this record is an enjoyable blend of melodic choruses and catchy hard rock/metal riffs that’s reminiscent of your fave video game growing up (Need For Speed Underground was the shit!)

I caught up with From Ashes to New rap vocalist Matt Brandyberry to get up to speed on the band’s new album, Panic and its overall underlying message, their creative process in the music and how they got In Flames vocalist Anders Friden onboard the record…

How does it feel to be releasing a new album in the midst of a pandemic?

It’s definitely a little chaotic, but it definitely feels really good to get some music out there and get things kind of rolling. I mean, there were definitely talks of what we should do and how we should go about it. But we’re excited for everyone to hear Panic and what we’ve done on this record.

Yeah, it’s a great record and while I haven’t really listened to you guys before until this album, you guys are very reminiscent of the early 2000s metal/rock/hip hop hybrid. How much do you guys like being compared to Linkin Park?

Yeah, we get that a lot! They’re definitely a huge influence on us, and we try to stay away from it, because we want to create our own path. But at the same time, if you want to compare us to one of the greats, you know what? We’re going to own it because it’s still sucha huge honour for us. 

That’s it. You guys are also keeping your sound fresh as well, and even staying current to similar bands in the same realm like I Prevail. 

We definitely have a similar fanbase. We’re influenced by the early 2000’s nu-metal and Hybrid Theory, but we’re also trying to keep it fresh and add our own flair to the music too. One thing that we got when we first started, people were like, “Oh, it sounds like Linkin Park.” But we would love to get to the point where people are saying “Oh, that’s From Ashes To New.” 

You guys have sucha dynamic sound, incorporating many musical elements together to create your sound. What’s the creative process like when you’re in the studio?

It’s a big collaborative effort between the four of us. Most of us will come with ideas already and we’ll just vibe off each other until we come up with a great sound. Everyone partakes in pitching in every part of the song, from the lyrics to music.  It’s a really cool chemistry that we have, and it’s always a good vibe in the studio. 

Yeah, your music definitely sounds exciting to create as well, and your title track on the album ‘Panic’ is so reflective of 2020, but obviously you wrote it before everything happened. What was going through your mind during the time of making that song? 

Yeah *laughs* I like how that song can relate so well to everything happening this year. With that song and throughout the album, we wanted to embody the raw emotion, the panic and any anxieties that everybody faces every single day. You know when you’re trapped in your own thoughts and emotions, sometimes it feels like you can’t get out and you’re caught in this panic. It kinda just embodied everything that we go over on the entire record. Then when we got to this song it just all poured out and it made sense that this was supposed to be the title track of the album. 

You got Anders Fridén from In Flames to feature on your video, ‘Scars That I’m Hiding’. How did that collab come about?

I believe we were looking for a couple different features for songs throughout the album. We were open to ideas, looking at hip hop, pop and metal/rock world, trying to find some different people. We share the management side of the label with In Flames and they actually offered the opportunity to us and we thought, you know that would actually be awesome. We’ve done some shows with those guys and so they reached out and set it all up. He compliments the song very well so it ended up working out perfectly. 

Would you be inclined to pursue a heavier, more metal path similar to what In Flames do one day?

Yeah definitely. There’s definitely a couple of songs on the record that are heavier, we’re definitely not opposed to it. Even though we have our hip hop elements, we kind of push a little bit of a pop culture with our music while keeping it nu-metal. The song ‘Wake Up’ on our last record that was right off the bat a little bit more, DJenty.  We’re definitely not opposed. We go through whatever we’re feeling. 

So what’s been getting you through iso/COVID-19?

We’ve been doing our quarantine covers so that we can keep ourselves a little bit busy as well as this album release. I’ve been practising and working on the drums, trying to set up like different lighting setups and trying to just make cool videos and stuff like that. I’ve also been getting back into working out pretty frequently and keeping a gym routine and a healthy mind. That’s really been helping me. 

Yeah. Keeping your mental health intact is definitely taking front row during this time. Finally, what message do you hope fans will take away from PANIC?

To really hear the lyrics and resonate with the lyrics and the emotion that the songs have. We really poured ourselves into this album, so this is really coming from the heart. We want fans to really just resonate with the emotional impact that this album has, and turn the volume all the way up and blast the music as much as you can.

From Ashes To New’s new album Panic is out now through Better Noise. Purchase here

Interview By Tamara May (@citylightstam)

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From Ashes To New – Panic tracklisting

1. Scars That I’m Hiding
2. Brick
3. What I Get
4. Blind
5. Sidefx
6. Panic
7. Wait For Me
8. Bulletproof
9. Nothing
10. Death Of Me
11. Change My Past

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