Always looking to better themselves, the Sturgis, Michigan-based band Through The Ashes looks to become relevant, to reclaim past glory, and then outshine it.

Never completely trust what a bassist tells you. Unless that bassist is Travis Harker from Through The Ashes. He and the rest of the merry band of one-line wise crackers are heading back to Dirt Fest 2015 for the second year in a row. New babies, soon to be finished new album, and an everything MUST go! sale; sounds like another artist interview with National Rock Review and here it is.

NRR: You guys were at the 2014 version of Dirt Fest on the awesome National Rock Review stage and you are playing again this year. What’s been going on with the band in the last year?
Travis Harker: Well, since last year we have been mainly focused on finishing our next album. It has been long overdue and we have had to work on it as our budget allowed. It has made the wait very taxing and stressful on us as a band but we know it will all be worth it in the end. As far as how we are personally, Brad and his wife welcomed their first child into the world and I myself had a baby girl join the family. It’s been an interesting year to say the least.
NRR: Congratz on the baby rockers! Hopefully you guys have a great time on stage this year. Are you looking forward to anything in particular at Dirt Fest 2015?
Travis Harker: This will be our first show with a completely new set of songs, all of which are off the upcoming album. Time will tell which stage we will grace this year but just getting back in front of fans will be awesome. Last year we met a ton of new bands and made a lot of new fans, this year with a now expanded two-day format we are looking to use it to our full advantage.

Through The Ashes – Itchy (Official Lyric Video)

NRR: I know you have a new single out now and possibly a new album out soon. Will we hear a lot of new material at Dirt Fest this year?
Travis Harker: For sure, we have a few songs that are unreleased from the new album floating around the web. We had an unreleased song titled “The Last Emperor” used in the highlight video of last years Dirt Fest headliner, Killswitch Engage. Another song, “Woke Up Dead,” has been on our Ernie Ball contest profile exclusively. We have a few others in line to be played for the first time. We still have to go back and finish our vocals so some will have to wait.
NRR: What gets a bigger rush, being on stage for a huge festival like Dirt Fest or being in the pit for a monster festival like Rock on the Range for you?
Travis Harker: Well, we have played some good festivals and for me being on that stage is always the higher rush. Now Brad and Billy and Dustin have all been in some huge pits at Warped, Mayhem, and ROTR so they might argue with me on this one, (laughing).
NRR: What has been the most bizarre thing you guys have experienced while on stage?
Travis Harker: We have had our fair share of shows and crazy experiences. Its really hard to pinpoint just one but its safe to say we have ran the gauntlet.

NRR: You’re no fun Travis, (laughing). What can we expect from Through the Ashes especially with the next album coming in the next few months?
Travis Harker: We are booking up shows to finish out the year promoting and debuting the new songs. Have new merch coming, new guitarist to break in, and some other surprises to follow.
NRR: Is there a band or bands on this year’s Dirt Fest line-up that you are looking forward to seeing as fans?
Travis Harker: As fans we were really excited to hear about Periphery, Hellyeah, Upon a Burning Body, Down, Kottonmouth Kings, and King 810. We all have different backgrounds and tastes so it makes it interesting for us. I personally am really excited to hear the sets by our friends in It Lies Within, Deveraux, and Nuisance. All killer bands on the rise so check them out as well.

NRR: How important is selling merch for a band like TTA at a festival like this?
Travis Harker: Merch in general is the lifeblood for any touring band. I respect every band on the road because of the sacrifices you have to make night in and out. Merch for us is a little different as most of our funds have been funneled into the album. We had a fundraiser for pre-orders on a new hoodie design and was able to come out with no debt on that. This year we will be bringing what we have and probably making a lot of it really cheap to offload the old designs and closeouts on the hoodies we have left to get the new stuff ready for the album release.
NRR: For anyone that might not have heard your music before, what kind they expect to get from you guys on stage?
Travis Harker: We are energy. We love to have a groove to our music to get people moving, whether its a mosh pit, horns in the air, or the infamous wall of death. Since day one we feed off the crowd. 110% whether there are five or 5,000 in front of you. Our job is to entertain you and make you want to hear more, see more, and keep in touch with us to find out how to get more.
NRR: On the drive up from Sturgis, who is the first one to get stir crazy and finds interesting ways to stay entertained? (Laughing)
Travis Harker: Its a good three hour drive so it gets funny. When we are together we are a bunch of jokers. Rattling off one-liners and talking about what new bands we have heard of. I can’t think of any one person because usually we all are just focused on the task at hand and the adrenaline is pumping to get on that stage and do our job. We are really excited to be a part of the lineup again this year.

Through the Ashes
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Dirt Fest
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About The Author

After getting the photo bug in the far, past days of black and white film, Erich continued to develop his eye for photography which lead to stops in the sporting, art, wedding, and eventually concert music worlds. Now, doing more writing for National Rock Review, he has entered into the journey of getting to know the artists and the industry, not just the faces on the other side of the lens.

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