EMQ’s with ASHES FOR THE MUTE
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Denver, Colorado based Black Metal band, Ashes For The Mute. Huge thanks to guitarist/vocalist Jacob St. Amand, for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
Jacob St. Amand here. I am the guitarist and vocalist for Ashes for the Mute. I started the band as a solo project in Athens, Georgia but was joined by Dave (bass), Spy (drums) and Donovan (guitar) shortly after relocating to Denver, Colorado in 2018.
How did you come up with your band name?
Ashes for the Mute is meant to be interpreted differently based on the listener’s perception. Insight into the mind state that influenced the band name can be found in the opening chapter of the book Infinite Jest.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We are located in Denver, CO, USA, a city with a thriving underground metal scene. While people often associate Denver with a stoner metal aesthetic, the scene here is incredibly supportive of death and black metal as well. Expect great things soon from our brothers in bands such as NightWraith, Necrosophik Abyss and Cyffrous Indignus, with whom we share a rehearsal space dubbed the Shadow Temple.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
Our first full length album “Celestial Revelations” was released in July. Available on streaming platforms, Bandcamp download, cassette and CDs. We also have a video on YouTube for the title track ‘Celestial Revelations’.
‘Celestial Revelations’ (Official Video)
Who have been your greatest influences?
Speaking personally, my biggest influences are bands such as Dissection, Hypocrisy, At the Gates, Watain and many more. I have always had an affinity towards the Swedish style of black and death metal, and while we are not trying to emulate any of these bands, their presence/influence can likely be felt through the music. I am also a huge fan of the band Death so those influences can be heard on the album as well.
What first got you into music?
I began playing piano when I was 6 years old but fell in love with the guitar around the age of 12 after picking up a Metallica tab book. I spent countless hours trying to perfect my downpicking by playing along to the song ‘Blackened’ (very poorly). Strumming along to campfire songs never felt right, but learning a good chunky riff always brought me a feeling of power and accomplishment.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Plans are in the works already for a split with another Denver band, but we will save those details for a later date.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Fire in the Mountains has to be the top choice. It would be an honour to share the stage with the bands that play that festival, and I cannot think of a more fitting and beautiful place to play. The festival is located in the beautiful Grand Tetons National Park in Wyoming.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Nothing strange so far but we’ll see if that changes once shows pick up again.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Listen to the music you enjoy and support underground bands. Also, there is nothing political about this band.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Without a doubt Chuck Schuldiner. The man was a legendary musician and definitely someone who I would want to sit down and have a conversation with.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I love just about everything being a musician. I enjoy songwriting, recording, mixing and playing live all equally. Having to be tuned into social media is not something I enjoy but it is necessary.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Years ago, the answer would likely be the standard of 360 record deals that were terrible for the artists and great for the executives, but thankfully we are starting to see a shift to more independent artists gaining success. Currently I would love to see all of the politics surrounding the music industry disappear. With the exception of some classic protest songs, bands that treat a political message as more important than the music do not interest me in the slightest. Sadly, there is a lot of this in the black metal scene right now, but the good music will always rise to the top.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
It would be impossible to pick one favourite, but “Storm of the Light’s Bane” by Dissection is way up there.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
I’m a sucker for all of them. Vinyl and Cassettes are the most fun to collect, but as a producer I find great value in the pristine quality of CD’s and digital downloads.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
We played one gig before the pandemic shut the world down. It was great for our first show and we received a lot of support, but we are excited to get back out there soon to show how much we have improved.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
That is impossible for me to imagine. I guess I would still have my same day job, without anything to look forward to afterwards and would likely be a miserable person to be around. Music will always be a driving force in my life.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
The bandmates of course and then maybe a random person off the street to freak out with our antics and choices of background music.
What’s next for the band?
We are perfecting our set for live shows and writing songs for an upcoming split.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Our music can be found on our Bandcamp page. We also have Facebook and Instagram pages.
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Those things are delicious and I will always call them cookies no matter what anyone says.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Thank you for taking the time to interview us. Cheers!
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