Monday, August 3, 2015

Interview: Matt Barlow (ASHES OF ARES/ ex-ICED EARTH)

   Today, Playdeadnation is honored to feature someone that definitely doesn't need much introduction: Matthew Barlow! He has written 'metal history' in legendary band Iced Earth as lead singer, then, after joining forces with bassist Freddie Vidales and ex-Nevermore drummer Van Williams, Ashes of Ares resulted! Matt talks about AoA, as well as some aspects of his everyday life! Enjoy!

pdn: Hello, Matt! First of all, please let me say I am honored to do this interview with

you! What are Ashes of Ares up to this summer?

Matt: Thanks! We are currently working on songs for the next AoA record, as well as, preparing to do a few shows in September. Other than the Midweek Madness show in Atlanta before ProgPower USA, the other shows are TBA.

pdn: How did this project start? After letting Iced Earth go, did you feel like you still needed/ wanted an outlet for the artist within, or how was the idea born? Please tell me a bit about it.

Matt: Freddie and I started AoA after he was done with Iced Earth.  I had been out of that band for a year or something, and we had thought about doing something together prior to that…so we did!  After we had a couple tunes kinda written, we approached Van about joining our merry band.  Since Van and I have known one another for a long time, and actually like each other J, it kinda made sense.

pdn: Also, when and how did you start singing, and knew you wanted to take it further?

Matt: I really started singing in high school, but I was always “performing” since I was a kid.  I loved to sing and dance to my dad’s old Elvis records. Yep…45’s on the old turntable!  That shows how old I am, right?

pdn: What do you do to prepare your voice before live shows, recording, etc.? Do you have any particular 'warm-up ritual'?

Matt: I don’t really do too much warming up before shows.  I usually practice pretty hard leading up to a performance, so I usually lay back the day of a show.  I may run through a couple of scales, but that’s about it.  Same goes for recording.

pdn: How does your job as a police officer get along with your musician side? Did one often interfere with the other? You also have a beautiful family, so you must also be a busy dad as well! :)

Matt: It’s sometimes a challenge to juggle family, career, and music, but we all find a way to make it happen.  We can’t really do extensive touring for the most part, but do our best to plan things in advance and adjust our schedules accordingly.

pdn: I think it's always fun to talk about music, to say the least. Who was your favorite artist growing up? And did you feel they helped shape you in any way, on a
personal, as well as on a musical level?

Matt: I’ve had a lot of influences and many “favorites”. It’s really hard to nail down just one.  I think that most “artists” have many influences.  We tend to take the best of all of them, and use what we can.  Be it, style, performance, or whatever.

pdn: You've been actively touring with bands you were/ are part of, for quite some
years, obviously! If you had to choose one prominent, important memory from touring, from the beginning and up to this moment, what would that be?

Matt: There have been many cool experiences.  I really enjoy performing for large or small crowds.  You get something different from both.  The larger shows usually give you an energetic crowd, but the smaller shows can give you a more personal connection with the folks.  Love the folks!

pdn: What are the nearest plans of Ashes of Ares? Perhaps we could hope for a European tour sometime?

Matt: That would be awesome, possibly after the next record.  We hope to have the record out by the end of the year. 

pdn: Thank you kindly for your time, Matt! In closing, is there anything you would like to add for those who have been supporting you throughout the years?

Matt: Many, many thanks, to everyone who has supported my musical endeavors for so long.  It has been a wonderful journey, thus far, and I look forward to the future.  Cheers!!!

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