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Music Interview

The Biggest Planet

In conversation with Ashes of Jupiter

By

Ashes of Jupiter
Ashes of Jupiter
Eric Williams Photography
Any credible scientific discourse on astronomical matters will bring the planet Jupiter into play. The damn thing is so big that the light it reflects off of the sun can cast a shadow upon Earth and its occupants. The ancients were well aware of this formidable giant and named the swirling collection of iridescent gas, thick clouds, ear-shattering thunder and heavy, constant storms after their chief god, Jove.

So it follows: adding the auspicious term to your creative formula when you’re a band producing heavy sounds executed with a combination of daring reason and the blasted-out passion of a life spent in the clutches of rocanrol—performing this or that nativity in black—must be seen as an essential option.

To find out about this rocking aspect of celestial mechanics, Weekly Alibi met with Ashes of Jupiter, an up-and-coming heavy metal band from outta El Burque. They do hard rock and metal while displaying a carnivorous tendency to act upon the big planet’s most awesome proclivities, balancing the violence of nature with the grace of the cosmos for a sound that kicks the other planets’ collective arses.

Weekly Alibi: How long have you guys been playing in this current configuration?

Adam Liston: Almost for a year now.

How did you come together as a group?

We’ve all known each other for going on 10 years. Jared, Tim and myself decided to get something together, musically. We got something together, but we needed a bass player. After going through a couple of duds, we got a hold of Rob. Well, Jared got a hold of Rob. That’s how we ended up with this current setup.

Tim Scarberry: I think there’s just a really good dynamic between the four of us. Albuquerque’s a pretty small, tight-knit community, especially the art scene and the music scene. Everybody kinda knows everybody. Through various forms, throughout the years we’ve had the opportunity to play alongside a lot of great musicians. But this iteration of the band feels the strongest; it feels natural. Everyone contributes.

What would you say to someone who hasn’t heard you play, but wanted to know what you are about? What are the Ashes of Jupiter?

Jared Houston: We’ve actually had that conversation. Many times. I still haven’t really figured out how to describe our sound to anybody. The best thing I can do is say that it’s like a mix of Creedence Clearwater Revival meets Alter Bridge. In a weird way.

Adam: That’s what I hear in my head. It’s got a nice mix of Southern rock deep inside, but with a taste of metal, modern metal: intricate melodies and vocals going on and lots of really riffy guitars.

Robson Guy: And catchy lyrics. The earworms as we like to call them.

Adam, do you write the lyrics as well as sing them? Are they about anything in particular?

Yes, I’m the lyricist. Currently we’re following a storyline that started out as Jared’s brainchild, but I took it and ran. If you’ve ever watched Firefly, it’s along that vein, the idea where a [special] child is born out of celestial warfare. It’s about one civilization trying to take over everything else. There’s a Star Wars piece in there, too.

Some music critics say that when a band enters the realm of Sci-Fi, they’re moving toward prog and away from metal. Any truth to that?

Tim: I think we’ve always had prog influences; you can hear it in our work.

I think the Southern rock infusion is cool. Southern rock gets overlooked a lot, I think. How does that influence play out in your music?

Jared: A lot of that comes from Tim, big time.

Where do you get your guitar sound, Tim?

I don’t come from just one source. I like a lot of prog-rock, some of the new age stuff too, like Dream Theater. But I grew up on Led Zeppelin, I grew up on The Rolling Stones. There is a lot of rock that’s timeless, that will always be a source and inspiration. I would, not many would say this, but probably even put bands like Pantera on my list. They’re not a huge influence of mine, but you can feel that Southern style in the way they write their music. I feel like maybe we’ve tapped a little bit of that. Our music isn’t super, super heavy, but listeners can definitely feel the influences; they know where we are coming from, musically and they can relate to it.

Adam: The ideas and concepts we have, they’re not overwhelming, but we present them in an exciting, listenable way, that’s loud as fuck, to boot.

What’s the name of new EP and when does it drop?

The recording is called Celestial Warfare and it’s been available since June 8. Our release party is on Friday, June 22 at the Launchpad.

Is that show going to fucking rock?

Adam: Well, Jupiter is the biggest planet in the solar system.

Ashes of Jupiter: “Greed”

Ashes of Jupiter CD Release Party
Friday, June 22 • Launchpad • 618 Central Ave. SW
8pm • $5 • 21+
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