by Danielle Holian
The band consists of
Shaye Sin (vocals)
Sean Keogh (Guitar)
Conor McCloskey (Bass)
Paul Gleeson (drums)
How and when did the band form?
It all started when Sean the guitarist and Paul the drummer decided to create a band at any cost. Nothing would stop us. Over time members came and left and it was a tough struggle to get to the stage we are at now. From a year of solid work from turning riffs that we used to jam to into full complete songs, it is an incredibly rewarding experience and we wouldn’t change anything. We remember when things really started to show signs of this whole band thing being promising is when we remembered Paul’s cousin Conor played the bass. We called him. He came straight over. We jammed. We clicked instantly. Sean introduced a riff he has written in the car on the way to Paul’s house. That is now our opening song, fall. Soon after we got into rehearsals, unfortunately members came and went over a period of time but it was always the 3 of us that stayed with it. With enough hard work we didn’t give up and now we have Shaye our vocalist. Many demos recorded and studio time this summer. A chance to play on the same stage as legends as motionless in white in the Academy. And our first music video covering a song from one of our most inspirational bands, slipknot. We are at this stage in the band where it’s very promising. This band has been the only thing we genuinely look forward to for rehearsals every week, things are only getting better and we have no intention of stopping.
Where did your name “Afterlife To Ashes” originate from?
With regards the name, we think that death, and the afterlife is a fear for humanity, that a lot of the time we don’t really want to acknowledge or face. It’s like a horror movie really, because as much as it may scare you it’s something people will inevitably think about. We see it in young kids. Why do you think people are so quick to look into murderers and crime? ‘Making A Murderer’ was one of the most viewed shows on Netflix. A man accused of rape, murder or whatever and it’s suddenly a TV series people can’t get enough off of. We feel a responsibility in a world that’s slowly becoming consistently more conformity based and censored to expose what people are afraid off. Instead of hiding from it until they die. Afterlife To Ashes kind of sums up this statement.
Why did you choose metal as your genre?
Shaye: I think to say that ‘metal’ is our ‘genre’ would honestly water it down. (As massive as ‘metal’ is) I can understand the whole musical idea, that this is this and this is that, but I truly feel that limitation is an issue that plagues the industry. How are we supposed to grow if we’re stuck in one place? When it comes down to it, we’re not just a ‘metal’ band. Inspired by the passion and energy of metal performers? Yes. Inspired by the music of punk, of metal, of rap, of course. But inspiration can really come from anything, be it a game, a painting or a song. Our genre of music is Afterlife To Ashes. And it will always be Afterlife To Ashes.
Paul: We feel that our kind of music has an energy like no other. The connections with the crowd for example. Also the freedom to loose yourself and have fun on the stage is like nothing else. Also the incredible underground scene that is in Dublin at the moment for metal is amazing and we have been shown so much support from fellow bands and fans. It is also a genre that we feel expresses personality and helps people to forget about problems and help them, whether that being powerful lyrics or the instrumental side that let’s it out of you. I think that we are definitely influenced by metal but our genre, as Roy mentioned is Afterlife To Ashes, our own genre.
Sean: If I’m being 100 percent honest, we didn’t choose metal as a genre. We are absolutely inspired by it and always will be and we are nothing short of grateful to it for all the help it has given us and all the creativity it has helped us unleash. We have forged our own genre in many ways, be it going crazy at our live performances or the experimental aspects of our music. But there is no denying that we are strongly influenced by it. If we can help people and make good music with our genre, well then thats whats going to bring me happiness. Our band is very close, we all feel like a family, this is thanks to this kind of music. I have no siblings but i tell everyone I have three brothers, the guys.
Conor: I grew up listening to Iron Maiden and Metallica but over time I drifted towards the pop punk/hardcore scene. However it’s a genre I’ve always respected a great deal and this band has helped me become an A7x/Slipknot fan. What I like about metal over any other genre is that it’s fun to play on bass. You’re never just playing a root note each bar. It’s interesting and I’m yet to come across a boring metal bass line. But in our band and our genre we just really enjoy ourselves
Who are your influences?
Since I was knee high I’ve been listening to bands like ACDC and Guns n Roses, over time my taste gradually got heavier and heavier and developed into Slipknot, Poison The Well, Gojira and Sevenfold. I then saw DVDs of bands like these and decided this is going to be my life and I have never ever turned back, nor will I ever. It’s much the same for the others really. We are all inspired by what’s music can do and we know that it’s going to be our future or die trying. As for showmanship, we are heavily influenced by bands like Korn, Slipknot, Marilyn Manson and Sevenfold. But having said all that, we are influenced by what we see in our heads, our own visions for what we want and that’s really what influences us.
How has your music evolved since the band began?
At the start of this whole thing, it was just a dream, an aspiration. Any success or sign of it becoming any more than a bunch of teenagers jamming in a bedroom didn’t seem realistic. As we started to rehearse, we realised that this is more than a simple jam, we were creating our own sound. As months went by and endless hours of rehearsals we noticed we were sounding better and better. I (Paul) remember talking to Sean saying that this could be more than we could have ever thought. More songs came and with many drafts of lyrics, drum parts and Sean’s catchy riffs. Our songs actually sounded good! This evolved as we had more rehearsals and finally built up a full set list. We made sure to never be generic and always strive for something new and I (Paul) feel that this comes across in the sound that we have forged. As of now we are still evolving our music in every way possible, we are making sure we put on the most energetic shows possible balanced with songs with face melting solos and explosive riffs.
Our music has evolved a lot since we first started and our progress is really showing especially now. Our music is still evolving and it won’t stop evolving, we will always be striving for fresh material, something that people have never heard before. Our sound we have achieved is only the beginning.
How has being from Ireland affected you music?
The Irish music scene is certainly a small one but we don’t view that as a bad thing. Everyone involved in the scene knows each other and we owe it to some of our best friends. Gigs aren’t always the easiest to find but it’s 100% a family business. A huge amount of famous musicians have come from Ireland and it’s pretty clear to me that that is because of how tightly knit the community is over here.
Where can someone access your music?
Our music is easily accessible through Soundcloud, Bandcamp; Facebook and Youtube and we hope that you all enjoy it! Our EP will be out around September-October of 2016 and will be available for purchase and will be on all these platforms.
Do you have any gigs coming up?
We have a gig in the Grand Social in Dublin on August the 13th. We have a lot more gigs booked during the summer but dates are yet to be confirmed. Once you come to an ATA show, you will remember it forever, we can promise that.
What are your hopes for the future?
With a group of such diversity and individuality between the members it’s hard to pinpoint a specific aim since there will be evidently more than one. To us music is the purest and most magical, infectious art-form there is. And with our art, as long as we make you think then our job as artists is complete. When you’re put down and under-estimated a lot there will always be a desire to rise back against the thing that pushed you down. In our case it’s a mixture of things. But we stand for the individual. We live and we love the music, but words couldn’t really begin to describe the ‘love’ for what we do. Because realistically it’s this or we die. And with every single person who doubts what we stand and survive for, another will join us.
Any last words?
Thank you very much for taking the time to interview us and for reading this article. We hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as we enjoyed answering the questions. We hope to see you all very soon at the Grand social on August 13th and at our summer gigs. Thanks again ATA.