I had the pleasure to talk with Ashish, from Ascendant:
What inspired the name of the band and your musical direction?
Ashish: We took a couple of months to come up with a name, and nothing really clicked. Choosing ‘Ascendant’ was a happy accident, really. I had a track titled ‘Ascendant’ which was released with my other band Blood & Iron, and I was showing Alaa (the other guitarist in Ascendant) the lyrics. He liked the song title and suggested that we use that for our band name, and we haven’t looked back since.
As for musical direction: We never put rules on the kind of sound we were going for, we let it happen naturally. The only criteria for musical ideas was a) whether it sounded good, and b) whether it served the spirit of the song. So if you listen to the album you’ll hear hints of many, many different styles of music and genres. I think this sort of creativity happens naturally when you let 5 musicians collaborate in a constructive way. We’re not trying to sound like anybody or be like any other band – we are happy being ourselves, and that’s enough to achieve this unique sound.
Where do you garner inspiration for your songs, lyrically and musically?
Ashish: Song writing and composition are activities that all members of the band have a hand in – and as such, each one finds inspiration in his own way. But, overall, we wanted the album to be ‘real’. Our songs are about what’s really happening in this world, and it’s straight from the heart. 3 of the band members grew up in Syria and have experienced the heartbreak and cruelty of war firsthand, as well as the triumph of the human spirit – and this album reflects these experiences.
We are not singing about vikings, dragons and the other stuff that seems to be the staple of some metal bands nowadays. People who buy this album will know they have something truly unique and genuine. These are human stories
What was the process behind writing the new album?
Ashish: When we initially started the band, we were just having fun and playing shows – and then a lot of our fans pushed us to put our songs down in an album, so we did just that. The chemistry in the band is unbelievable – we put a lot of thought into our music and it just clicked. We thought it was material that was worth recording – no fillers.
The recording process itself was slow – it happens trying to juggle full time jobs with music, but it finally came through and we are all very proud of the final output
Are there any particular songs you’re looking forward to playing live?
Ashish: I really enjoy playing Doomsday Machine and Fog of War live. The former is the opener of the set and it really gets everyone pumped, the latter is chilling and emotional.
What plans do you have for the future?
Ashish: For the band – a bigger audience for our music, because I genuinely believe our music has a message worth hearing. For everything else – peace.