Interviews: Ashen Heart

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Dark Metal band, Ashen Heart from France. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that?

When the band was formed, we thought about several names, "Ashen Heart" was the one that we liked the most. At that time, it meant a lost soul, a heart consumed by the world in ashes: Ashen Heart. The first songs were about madness, resentment with a touch of darkness, hence the "Dark Metal" genre already there. Now, this name has evolved to a more literal meaning, a heart burnt by the flames, most of the new songs (post EP) are about fantasy and dragons that will be the theme for the upcoming album.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

We didn't want to play a specific genre at first. The more we played the more we noticed our best skills, so now, we try to stick to what works the best for us: powerful and deep growls with epic and violent lyrics, heavy guitar riffs and unyielding drums. The whole thing appeared to us very dark and powerful, so after some research, we decided that "Dark Metal" was the most appropriate genre for the EP "Slay".

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Not at all, we found each other through musical websites. We were all searching for a band and met each other in a few months.

4. Each band member's favorite band?

We come from different subgenres of metal, our drummer "Volcano" is into extreme metal (Black / Death), and his favorite bands are Belphegor, Dark Funeral, and Marduk. Our lead guitarist, Matthieu Colasante, is more into Heavy Metal, his favorite bands are Iron Maiden, Avatar, and Trivium. Our rhythmic guitarist, Baptiste Viale, is into Groove and Death Metal, his favorite bands are Lamb of God, Gojira, and Machine Head. Our bassist and vocalist, Olivier Albalat, likes most metal genres but more specifically Industrial Metal and Death Doom, his favorite bands are Paradise Lost, Cradle of Filth, and Deathstars.

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

Regarding the music part, we get inspirations from our favorite bands and genres, of course. For instance, Volcano is bringing very powerful and heavy elements from his extreme metal background, Olivier brings catchy riffs and vocals that you will easily remember (and even hum) by listening to the song. For the guitars, Matthieu composes epic melodies and Baptiste groovy riffs. We feel like we found the recipe that works for Ashen Heart. This is great, every time the last song amazes us a bit more than the last one.

Regarding the lyrics, Olivier takes care of that. As we mentioned about the band name, the first songs we had were about dark themes: "Stalker" and "My Own Way" are good examples for that, they talk about some toxic relations. It's important for us that each song tells a story, something that communicates a strong emotion. Some titles evoke some sort of mysticism, an almighty divine power as "Burn" and "Slay". Speaking of "Slay", the song is an authentic tribute to the DOOM video game license. It tells the story of the "Doom Slayer", the hero of the games.

For the upcoming album, all the titles will be about the "Dungeons and Dragons" role playing game universe with dragons, divinities, magic, and so on... Olivier played it a lot over the past years so it's easy for him to write epic and powerful lyrics with this material, we feel like it fits our songs very well.

6. Where was your last gig?

Our last gig was played at Altherax Music, in Nice (France) on the 25th of November 2022. It was wild! We had a blast playing in front of our home audience. We played with Hell Gate and Marie-Antoinette, two very good french bands!

7. Where would you like to act?

We would love to play in most cities of France first, as it is our country, but also in the whole of Europe and maybe the USA, who knows!

8. Whom would you like to feature with?

Our music genre makes it easy for us to fit in most metal programs and festivals as gigs. We would love to play with the bands we mentioned as influences and favorite bands of course, but more generally we would like to play with bands from different places, it's nice to meet new people from the metal scene, and we can learn a lot from it. That's what we try to do with our association "Victory Productions", we organize gigs in Nice (France) with bands from the local scene and different places. It's important for us to be actors in the scene, we feel like we are part of a community, and it's great!

9. Whom not?

We would like to stick to the metal genre, we believe that playing with non-metal bands is not very productive, the audiences aren't mixing that much. That being said, a few exceptions can happen if the theme matches for example.

10. Have any of you ever suffered from stage fright? Any tips for beginners on how to beat that?

We want to make sure the people who come to see us perform live have the best time possible, so yes there is certainly some stress. For the story, Volcano is way more anxious than the rest of the band, usually, 1h before the show he is all shaking because he is worried about performing well (to be honest his part is not easy haha), but the funny part is that when the first note is played, his mind disconnects and he is like a robot performing the set, he does not suffer from stress anymore, and at the end, he is like "oh it's already over ?". For beginners, we can say that the more prepared you are and know your part perfectly, the less you suffer from stage fright, good and regular training is the key. Also, don't worry if your legs are shaking during the first minutes of the show, it's totally normal. Don't forget to warm up at least 15 minutes before coming to the stage, it helps a lot!

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

We attach much importance to our looks and movements during shows, we put beautiful dragon roll-ups with the "Ashen Heart" avatar on both sides of the stage and we are all dressed up in metal / gothic stage outfits. So naturally, we are definitely inspired by bands that excel at that, like Avatar, Beast In Black, Marduk, and so on...

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

At the end of the show, a person from the audience came to talk to Olivier and he said something like "It's better than being in jail right ?", our singer was confused, he added, "There is something very dark and evil when you sing, in a good way, I believe that you would be in jail if you would not be making music.". Olivier was probably too intense for him!

13. What do you think of your fans?

We are a new band (2021) so we believe that our fans are curious people that like to discover the new generation of metal, it's very cool, they are active on our social networks and often exchange with us.

14. What do you think of our site?

Your approach is refreshing, you list the new metal generation through articles, interviews, and so on... Curious people should definitely check it out to discover new bands in their favorite genre!

15. Something to add?

Thanks a lot Breathing The Core for this interview, we are glad to get this opportunity. For people who read until here, thanks a lot, and please follow us on our social networks, we post pictures, videos, and news about our music and shows!

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