Where do you hail from?
Originally we formed out of Woodbury, MN in the fall of 2012, but we moved the operations down to Prior Lake, MN about two and a half years ago and haven’t looked back since.
What brought you all together to be Ashes From Stone?
The undying urge to rock and roll, and of course a few craigslist ads. We were originally a three piece (Andrew, Tommy, Eli), then Mike came in at the end of 2014 and brought us the lead guitarist we desperately needed. Some might call us coming together fate, some might call it dumb luck, but we’re pretty damn happy it happened.
How did you come up with your band name?
Our founding drummer, Mr. Tommy Donohue, worked with the band Anew Revolution down in Texas on a five track demo before he met any of us. That being said his favorite song to snap his neck to was a little number off of their “Imerica” record titled “Ashes From Stone.” He liked the name so much that he wanted to call his future project Ashes From Stone, and the rest as they say is history.
How would you describe the music you play; what genre do you most identify with & what bands do you most relate to musically?
It’s very difficult trying to avoid giving a generic answer here, but we try not to categorize our music because one song might have punk influences, while another might have metal elements, alternative elements, and so forth. What we will say is that we’ve been compared to everyone from Chevelle to Motley Crue to Volbeat, so essentially Active Rock (93X).
Can you collectively name two of your biggest musical influences? (Or individually)
We all listen to different stuff, different genres, different eras, et cetera, but two bands we can all agree on that influence us the most are probably Story Of The Year and Chevelle
What cover music do you play if any at all & are there any specific reason for that particular artist or song?
The band will cover everything from Tracy Chapman, to Paula Abdul, to Incubus, to John Legend. We make a concerted effort to incorporate the pop charts into what we perform during our set, and not just do Godsmack covers or Breaking Benjamin covers that people expect a band like us to do.
Who writes your music?
All of us usually write together, but most of the songs either originate from a finger lickin’ good guitar riff or a drum beat that Andrew makes on his tablet. Lyrics are usually 90 percent Andrew, then Mike and Eli will add in suggestions for different words or phrases during the editing phase.
Have you been able to record? Where?
Yes, we originally made a low budget demo after 4 months of being a band at Arctic Studios in Minneapolis. That EP wasn’t as good as it could’ve been, but nonetheless necessary to get our name out there. We then recorded seven songs off our full length record “Riddles and Riots” with producer/ wizard/ all around genius, Ian Combs. Ian is like a great head coach, he gets the most production out of the players he’s working with. The remix off of the record, as well as the two acoustic songs were all produced by Manic Diaries front man, Jason Gillespie. We enjoyed working with both of these gentlemen, and hope to keep them on board in the future.
Have you been on tour – where?
Not yet. We’ve had different things come up at different points when we’ve been offered things, but we want to put together the best possible live show and a financially sound budget before we hit random markets like Las Vegas, Nevada, Tulsa, Oklahoma, or Norfolk, Virginia. The farthest we’ve traveled as a band has been Milwaukee to the east and Washington, IA to the south.
Where do you normally perform?
We’ve played a lot of different venues; Twin Cities wise a few are Skyway Theater, The Park, Myth, and Running Aces Casino.
How do you plan to expand on the future of your band?
Tour, Record more music, Purchase more equipment, vehicles, et cetera, and Continue to study and improve the product we offer to fans and venues.
Do you have any goals other than to perform music?
Andrew and Eli plan on working on a campaign to run for public office someday, and Mike is working on a cure for hunger, one bacon strip at a time.
Does anyone have any pre-show rituals or superstitions that affect their performances?
We usually say a prayer, huddle up, pump each other up, do a few push-ups, maybe take a shot, then it’s go time.
What most memorable experience you have had as a band?
Headlining the Myth back in June at our CD Release show is probably the most memorable as of now because it meant a lot to bring four other local bands we have a ton of respect for on board with us to try and tackle such an established venue. We also got to show up early and sound check like the major touring bands do, prep in a great dressing room, and share the experience with many family and friends.
What is your spirit animal?
The cougar, because it is as cunning as it is beautiful
What does your favorite color smell like?
Peppermints that have been serenading in a pitcher of kool aid
Give us five fun facts about Ashes From Stone (crazy, creative, & anything unorthodox is encouraged)
Mike, Eli and Andrew all sang in the church choir as kids
Mike, Eli and Andrew all also served in the military (Army, Air Force, and Navy)
Andrew is married…sorry ladies
Mike has enough hair in his beard to knit the American flag 10 times over
Eli has his name tattooed on his left thigh, just in chase he forgets when he’s in the shower