The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world







Representing the culmination of experiences, trials and tribulations of founding members Matt Barlow (ex ICED EARTH), Freddie Vidales (ex ICED EARTH) and Van Williams (ex NEVERMORE), newly founded heavy metal powerhouse ASHES OF ARES is all set to take the world by storm in 2013! The ROCKPIT talked to Matt and Freddie to find out what AHES OF ARES is all about.





Andrew: Hi. First off, thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for The Rockpit. I only recently heard
about you guys forming this new band and the combination of ex-members of Iced Earth and Nevermore is intriguing. Tell us how you guys first got together?



FV: While in Iced Earth, Matt and I talked about maybe working together on some music is there ever was a day that we were both out of the band.  A couple of years later, we were.  We got together to see what ideas we could come up with and liked the way it was going.  Matt contacted Van since they had known each other for several years.  Van liked what he heard, so the three of us got together to talk about the band and here we are.


Andrew: Musically how different is Ashes of Ares compared to your previous bands?



FV: To me it’s completely different since there were no influences from either band in the writing of our music.  The only similarity is that you hear Matt singing, but even his singing with Ashes of Ares is different than people are used to hearing.



Andrew: What is the meaning behind the band name?


MB:  It has a duel meaning.  As you may know, Ares is the god of war.  Ashes of Ares symbolizes, either a time when humanity has destroyed itself, or a time when humanity has evolved to a point where war is no longer in our thought process.


Andrew: What do you get from this band that you may not have gotten from your previous work?



FV:  For me it’s the joy of being in a band again in a situation where you are truly having fun.  It’s also nice to be in control of your own future.


MB: Fun is where it’s at, man.  We have a great time doing this!



Andrew: So your first album, Ashes of Ares, is due out very soon, how did the album come together?


MB: It came together extremely well.  We had a great time doing the record.


Andrew: How was the collaborative effort between the band members during the writing and recording process?


FV:  It was all done through the internet.  We would come up with song ideas and record them at home, then send them to each other.  We would listen to the ideas and make changes and go back and forth until we were all happy with the songs.


Andrew: Obviously there are hints and bits and pieces of some of your previous bands on this album but did you ever feel the need to stray away from those styles during the writing process?



FV: To me there are no bits and pieces from either band.  There are definitely bits and pieces of who those bands are influenced by since we share many of the same ones.  We just wrote songs we liked and didn’t worry about whether or not people would think it sounds too much or too little like either band.  With Matt singing and Van drumming, we already knew some people would have their ears set to listen for traces of the other bands, but we just wrote what we felt.


Andrew: Tell us a bit about the lyrics and what were the inspirations for them?


MB:  Well, there is no specific concept to the record, but there a certainly themes that pop up.  A lot of the themes are things that you often see in METAL.  Good and evil, life and death, love and hate, honor and betrayal, are all part of what Ashes’ thematic realm.


Andrew: You guys recently performed your first live show for this band, how was it?


FV:  Playing Rock Hard festival was a great experience.  The crowd was amazing and very welcoming.  The staff as always was top notch.  We could not have asked for a better first show.


Andrew: I don't know the setlist but have you or will you guys have plans to perform songs from your previous bands or will this simply be Ashes of Ares material only?



FV: We will only play our songs.  I played bass in Iced Earth, so I never learned the songs on guitar anyway.  Plus I can’t (and not many people can) play guitar like Jon Schaffer.


Andrew: How has the reception been as far as critics and fans on the band and the new songs?



FV: We are very happy with the response so far.  We feel very blessed and encouraged by so many people who have reached out to us.


MB: We are extremely grateful to have the group of fans and friends behind us! 


Andrew: What is up next for the band?


FV:  We are playing Rock Harvest II in the US in November.  After that, we have some things in the works that we can’t talk about publically yet.


Andrew: Any plans to make a trek all the way to Australia?



FV:  There are no plans yet, but we would love to come down there.


MB:  I always PLAN on going to just hasn’t worked out so far.


Andrew: If you could be a fly on the wall for the recording of any classic album in history, what would it be?



FV: The first Black Sabbath album


MB:  Master of Puppets

Andrew: What is the meaning of life?


FV: uh, hmmm


MB: I think that the Spice is the life…well, on Dune, anyway!



Ashes Of Ares online:



Ashes of Ares spoke to Andrew Schizodeluxe October 2013





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