Brighton rockers City Of Ashes are doing an amazing project with their new single release ‘Sometimes’, taken from their album ‘Rise’ that was released last year. The band have put together an incredibly moving and inspirational music video/short film for ‘Sometimes’, a song inspired by a fans incredible battle with depression. The band set up ’The Sometimes Project’ a few months ago and have helped hundreds of fans with their battles, making a safe place online for them to talk about their struggles with depression with others. The project has already touched so many that the band gained funding by the National Lottery for the video production, as well as having sponsorship from Barclay’s Bank, The London Eye and The Samaritans.
Here’s an interview they did with us late last year.
How would you describe your music?
It’s weird how often you get asked that and strange how hard it is as a band to answer. We try to explore different areas with our songs but I guess they’d all be under the ‘rock’ genre. For me as a lyricist, I’m always trying to tell a story or share an experience so I guess that would be the basis of most all of our music.
Tell us about how the history of the band?
The band began when I had really hit rock bottom whilst living in London and had moved south to the coast. In fact the band’s name is taken my writing about London at the time and my feeling that it had crushed so many of my aspirations which had caused me to move their from Canada. In that sense the band has always been a ground up approach I guess! Shortly after the move I began playing acoustic shows locally with another guy which became pretty popular and one by one the other members of the band had approached and asked if we had the desire to take it to another level.
What are you influences/ musical heroes?
So many across the band! We all have a pretty broad sphere of tastes ranging from rock and metal to acoustic folk, classical and some good fun pop. It would be wrong of me to say that we aspire to be like any particular but the comparisons we most often get are 30 Seconds to Mars, Finch, Thursday, AFI etc
What inspires you?
Life! When I’m writing I try to be pretty brutally honest. I have this theory that the human experience is not that different person to person. We share so many of the same emotions in our joys, our sadness, our hopes, dreams and heartbreaks. I believe the job of an artist is to provide a window for those and an outlet for people. I try to hold up a mirror that people can see themselves in to some degree.
Do you write on the road? or do you prefer to write in the studio?
We usually start with a sound. Sometimes that comes in the rehearsal room and sometimes it comes at a venue or from James at home. There are usually loads of different ones but every so often there’s one that catches my attention and ideas begin to formulate. Then the story grows from there and the music around it.
What is your favourite song to perform live?
Any live show is all about the audience so it depends what they get into that night. Sometimes it might be an upbeat tune like ‘Battles of my Youth’ but other times it’s a super slow and mellow one. Ultimately you can’t predict it at all!
What would be your dream tour to be a part of?
We just announced our March dates in Europe with Orgy and our friends Death Valley High which is in itself a dream come true! We have always wanted to tour Germany and to do it with friends like DVH and a legendary band like Orgy? We cannot imagine being part of something more exciting!
What are you current thoughts on the music industry?
I think it’s been a little lost over the last few years. People had been substituting going to see live music, theatre or art for sitting at home in from of the X-factor or some other shitty pseudo-reality show. It goes further than those shows just being crappy viewing, they are actually incredibly damaging to a country’s culture and encourage the viewers not to think for themselves. Fortunately over the last couple of years we’ve seen that trend start to revert and the energy and excitement around all genres of music becoming more exhalant again. It’s a wonderful time to be part of the music industry.
What is the funniest/weirdest experience you have had on tour?
One of the craziest was getting trapped on a snow covered mountain top between Sheffield and Manchester! haha. There was nobody for miles around and no cell phone reception due to the isolation and altitude so we had to dig our way out with a pair of hi-hat cymbals to make sure we weren’t late for soundcheck!
What are your future plans?
As I mentioned, all our current plans revolve around our EU tour dates next year. We honestly can’t wait and are already hearing about friends and fans from all over Europe looking to make one or more dates!