[Ganns Deen Interviews] Ashes Remain

GannsDeen.com is proud to bring to you an exclusive email interview with debuting Contemporary Christian rock band Ashes Remain. The band’s first major-label CHR single, “Everything Good,” is one of the fastest-growing singles at Christian CHR (and picking up at Christian AC); its Christian Rock single, “Come Alive,” is one of the most-added this week. The Fair Trade Services debut, “What I’ve Become,” promises to speak to a new generation of teens and young adults who have ready access to a world of information yet are lost in the haze of their own search for identity. We believe “Everything Good” may very well be the next Christian power anthem hit, so come on in and get to know this noteworthy Christian band a little better!

Hi Ashes Remain! Thank you so much for granting GannsDeen.com this interview. We are based in the Philippines, and our readers are largely Asian, yet “Everything Good” is striking a chord even here in Manila. How does it feel to learn that your music is making an impact on the lives of Christian teens in places around the world?

Ashes Remain (Josh): I cannot tell you how overwhelming it is! For 10 years we were indie, and lucky if people had heard of us in the next state! Our God is huge!

Our first listen to “Everything Good” sent shivers down our spines. We told ourselves, “Wow, that’s a terrific hook, and such an open, honest declaration of faith.” Do share with us the story behind “Everything Good.”

Ashes Remain (Josh): We wrote that track with Paul Alan, on our bus in a grocery store parking lot near Nashville tennessee. We were talking about praising God, not just when things were going our way, but also in times of distress. I mean, He deserves that doesn’t He? We wanted to write a song that praised Him for the trials instead of pointing the finger at Him for it. I was thinking a lot about Paul, singing praises behind prison bars.

Does the band write most of its own material? Who are your songwriters and how do you go about the songwriting process? Please describe your songwriting process. How did you go about selecting the songs for “What I’ve Become”? What kind of message are you seeking to convey to your growing fan base?

Ashes Remain (Josh): This is the first album, where we’ve brought in co-writers. We would sit in a room with 2 or 3 of us, and a staff writer in Nashville. Then we’d grab a couple acoustics, sometimes a keyboard, and start brainstorming. I was a little hesitant at first, but in the end, I feel like we learned a ton from working with these highly experienced writers and gained perspective. The over all theme and message of the album is, God is hope in the most hopeless situation! You are NEVER beyond His reach!

One thing we’ve found very interesting and real about the band is how close to the “album version” your live YouTube performances are. Listening to your acoustic versions of “Everything Good” as you make the rounds of American Christian radio, they sound very close to the original. Is there an effort on your part to stay as close to your live sound? Did you experiment in the studio on other tracks just to try to gain a richer, more definitive flavor?

Ashes Remain (Josh): Some songs are like that, and some get a bit more experimental live. I think for us, the trick is to keep the melodies, and other identifiers of the song the same. And outside of that, you have a lot of room to play around. We did try some new things in the studio, and we want to do that on every album.

We noticed on your Facebook page that you do a lot of touring. Where do you specifically tour and how do you think that helps get your message across? Any chance of a swing by Asia and perhaps the Philippines?

Ashes Remain (Josh): We have always been a touring band. Even in our indie days, we were playing 150 shows a year. We have played primarily in the North Eastern United States, but have seen the west coast a few times as well. As for the Philippines… I am apllying for my passport on Monday! Now we just need you to get us booked there my friend!

Many Christian and mainstream artists have used social media to reach out to their fan base. Has the band been active on its social media accounts, and if so or if not, have you taken any conscious effort to represent yourself as close to who you are as possible? Nothing is a bigger turn-off to Netizens than a corporate stooge posing as an artist.

Ashes Remain (Josh): 90% of what you get on our facebook, twitter and such is directly from a band member. Our manager will occasionally post as well. We enjoy connecting with our fans.

Aside from Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, are you using any other social media networks to increase your visibility? How has social media helped you, and have you had any difficult experiences with them so far?

Ashes Remain (Josh): Out of the entire band, I am the most social media challenged haha! But we are striving to maintain a presence on all avenues.

Do you have any ministries about which you’d like to share a little information with us?

Ashes Remain (Josh): We are all involved in our local churches, and are currently talking with some non profit organizations about partnering with them. As soon as there is more to tell, we will post it online.

Thank you so much for your time, guys! We’re humbled and honored. Do you have any message for your fans in Manila? God bless you!

Ashes Remain (Josh): Thank YOU!!! We are humbled and honored to do what we do! Keep holding on to our King!

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