Joining the ranks of the Indiana metal community is Bloomington’s metalcore act From Failure’s Ashes. They are a brand new band, and they are getting ready to begin their musical quest to greatness. Since the band’s inception, they have released two singles and they are currently working on an EP. I had the chance to speak with frontman Kevin Schmidt to discuss the origins of the band and the difficulties of starting a band in southern Indiana
Indy Metal Vault: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. I’m excited that I finally get to talk to you about your band From Failure’s Ashes. How did you guys meet?
Kevin Schmidt: Heck yeah! Thank you for having us. It’s been an interesting journey getting everyone together. Robbie and Seth actually met at Seth’s sisters wedding, where Robbie was a friend of the groom. They talked and ended up jamming, decided to write a song together and the band was born. I (Kevin) came in about a year ago when I was looking to start/join a band and met Seth at a Blue Rising show. I’m good friends with Austin in BR and he got us connected. We were in the market for a new bassist a few months ago, and I remembered this guy I geeked out with about metal at a party 6 months prior, reached out to him to try out and he killed it, and that’s how Will came into the picture. Joey is our newest recruit, and I distinctly remember Seth talking about meeting this young guy who was a friggin machine on the kit. We watched some of his recorded YouTube vids and were blown away, so Seth reached out to him, we actually tried out for him (he has a few other bands) and we decided we’d all work well together. That was a few months ago that we solidified the lineup and we’ve been full-steam ahead ever since.
IMV: So far you guys have revealed two tracks from your Trek Through The Darkness EP. Who do you guys look to for inspiration, and what does your writing process consist of?
KS: As far as inspiration goes, it’s a wide variety, but our principal bands we look up to are Lamb of God, As I Lay Dying, Unearth, Parkway Drive, Memphis May Fire, and Miss May I. When it comes to writing, Robbie has been the principal writer for song structure. Sometimes he’ll put together a full song with all instruments and lyrics and bring it to us to refactor that to our individual playing/writing styles. Other times he’ll give me that without lyrics so I can play around with a blank canvas, or we’ll build something dynamically from the ground up from a cool riff Seth writes. It’s a very open and constructive process and we don’t move forward on anything unless everyone feels good about their part in it and the song as a whole. We’ve scrapped whole, finished songs before because it doesn’t fit those last two pieces of criteria.
IMV: Do you see FFA resurrecting any of the scrapped songs in the future?
KS: It’s certainly possible, but if anything it might be pieces of old songs turned into their own thing. Most times things have been scrapped is because each piece might sound awesome on their own, but as a whole song, it didn’t flow the way we wanted to. We recently ran into that by going back to finish a song that we had left on the drawing board a year ago. We sat down with the intention of just fixing up one piece, and by the time we sat back to look at what we put together, the new addition was so different from the original we just decided to make that new stuff into a whole new song on its own. We want to make each song better than the last one we put out and challenge ourselves in each one, so if part of a song reflects more where we were in mindset and skill level a while ago, we’ll either re-write it to reflect those attributes for now or scrap it and move forward.
IMV: Thanks for the wonderful insight! Here is a local level question. You guys hail from Bloomington, and you and I both know that the metal scene is barely existent there. Have there been any challenges associated with that?
KS: It’s certainly a speed-bump getting off the ground. The pool of people to play with that are similar enough to your sound for a cohesive show is limited, and the venues who are open to hosting anything close to that genre is even more limited. The majority of paying venues in B-town are bars that don’t normally play super heavy music without a band there and book accordingly. I don’t blame them for that, most of their clientele aren’t into those genres, especially during the school year. I think you just have to get comfortable with that as a metal musician though. This is my third metal band and I had the same issue with the first two in northern Illinois. You make due with that you can get or setup to grow the scene, and prepare yourself to travel a bit to those that have one established. You’ve got to do what’s necessary to get yourself out there. Metal gets increasingly into smaller and smaller niches the heavier you go, and it’s not like they aren’t out there, you just have to do a little more work to get to them.
IMV: Speaking of shows, do you guys plan on doing any shows in the near future?
KS: Absolutely! We’ve got a big show booked for Halloween with Severed Senses at the Bishop. We’re also looking to get a few house shows under our belts before then. Most of those are still in the works but we should have some nailed down soon.
IMV: Awesome! Before we wrap up this interview, is there anything else you would like to say about FFA?
KS: We’re just a group of guys who love making heavy music and hopefully inspiring others to use it as an outlet to overcome their demons, like we have with so many of our own inspirations. Our message is in our name itself, from our failures we want to be able to rise back up and keep moving forward, no matter what. Hopefully, those who take a listen can do so as well.
IMV: Thanks for speaking with us!
KS: Thanks, man! We really appreciate the opportunity to speak with you.
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