March 24, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 91  

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

From Autumn to Ashes!

By Jeff Zon
Gazette Staff

Gazette file photo
KEEPING THE FICTION REAL. The boys in From Autumn to Ashes perform with Hopesfall, Most Precious Blood and Silverstein at the Embassy tonight.

Sometimes great accomplishments come from modest beginnings. Musical success is subject to a variety of measurements, not the least of which is a widespread and devoted fanbase.

Probably the most objective accomplishment of musical success is “making it” — quitting your day job and composing for a living. For a health food store clerk, a coffee shop server and a couple other regular Joes, determination becomes the key to living a dream.

From Autumn to Ashes materialized in Long Island during the summer of 2000, spawned by the aspirations of musical greatness and the boredom of routine. Given the adverse climate facing garage bands these days, Autumn decided to take themselves seriously.

Drummer Francis Mark comments on the band’s determined effort. “I mean, it’s a risky move to do music full time... but the way I feel about it, the way music is right now, no one is going to go out there and hand you a record deal.

“It’s really rewarding to go out there and create a fanbase for yourself. It’s way more meaningful establishing yourself when you’re not on the radio or on TV.”

Each member of the group has quit his day job and focused entirely on practicing and making new music. The resulting success surprised even the band. Signing under the umbrella of Vagrant Records, they released their sophomore album, The Fiction We Live, earlier this year.

The gentlemen of From Autumn to Ashes certainly have a way with words; more specifically, song lyrics and titles. Their first album Too Bad You’re Beautiful is a meaningful twist on how physical beauty can turn into jealousy and conceit. Their premium prose talent showcases the band’s authoritative control of emotion in music, sending messages in their songs that are crystal clear.

Of course, in music, inspiration and passion are byproducts of plenty of exciting offstage experiences. Autumn has a way of creating excitement wherever they tread.

“[On Thursday], we were in Spranton, Pennsylvania playing a show. Afterwards we went out to this piano bar with Homesick for Space, a band we’re touring with,” Mark says, adding “[The bar] had a few very talented piano players, but we decided to relieve the piano player of his duties and started playing The Beatles and Billy Joel loudly and drunkenly. We pretty much emptied the bar after that.”
Autumn also has a knack for bumping into celebrities. They’ve met such greats as Metallica and Iron Maiden on tour in the United Kingdom.

Mark describes what was probably the most random bump. “We were in a shopping mall in Atlanta — we swung a door open and it hit Method Man. We though he might try to kick our asses, but we were with 10 guys and he was only with one. Turns out he’s actually a nice guy.”

The band hits The Embassy tonight and has carried with them the promise of a crowd-pleasing performance. Admits Mark, “I almost prefer to play shows for kids over there [in Canada] than kids in America. They make you feel really welcome.”

Tonight at The Embassy, From Autumn to Ashes perform with Hopesfall, Most Precious Blood and Silverstein. For more information, call 434-6604.

 

 

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