Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Jessie Brigham, Vocals
Troy Elmore, Guitar
Steven Pontius, Guitar
Eric Hanson, Bass
Brandon Fuller, Drums
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to Arisen From Nothing? How long has the band been around?
Troy - Prior to AFN I played in several unmemorable bands and then took a long break from music. Eric and I grew up together and when he moved nearby he mentioned working on a cover band to stay busy. It didn’t take me long to figure out playing other people’s music over and over made my ears want to bleed. I’m a huge Alice in Chains fan but I swear to god if I ever have to play “Man in the Box” again…. we blew things up and went about forming AFN in 2008.
Eric - I had been in mostly cover bands before forming AFN with Troy Elmore.
Steve - Before AFN I was in a few local metal bands, one of which was named Forge of War. One album was release with that band, shortly after the band parted ways. I was also a part of the Edmonds Jazz for a short time while studying music at EdCC. The current lineup of AFN has been around for just over a year, the original line up started in 2008.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
Troy - When the original line-up was formed our singer was less than pleased with his departure from another Seattle area band called Nothing Lies Ahead. It was pretty much him giving those guys the middle finger, I’m fairly certain. We’ve been AFN ever since.
Eric: Yeah, the band name has been the same since its inception in 2008. The original name was something our first singer was interested in. One of his former bands had ended abruptly and it had the word “nothing” as part of the name, so to him Arisen From Nothing meant rising from the ashes of his former band - phoenix style. For the rest of us, we liked to image of the phoenix and over time the idea sort of developed that members come and members go, bands crash and rise again... and that this band would do just that... it would continually rise up from the ashes of fire and destruction... that the band was kind of a thing separate from its individual parts. Pretty cool stuff.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
Eric - Steven, and Jessie wrote most of songs that were included on Broken, but Troy wrote most of the previous album. It varies, but all members contribute on some level.
Steve - Prior to this line up our guitarist Troy wrote all of the music with the former drummer, for the most current EP “Broken” I wrote all of the music, but we plan to have more of both writing styles on the next album. Our vocalist, Jessie writes all of his own lyrics and vocal melodies.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
Steve - Personally I am very inspired by bands like Lamb of God, SoilWork, Scar Symmetry, Arch Enemy, etc. but I also draw lot of influence from Jimmy Rosenberg, Steve Vai, Julian Bream and Francisco Tarrega.
Eric - That's an interesting question... the musical backgrounds of band members varies wildly. From Steven who currently studies classical guitar and enjoys the complexity of progressive metal to Jessie who loves the raw power and aggression of Pantera to Troy who is inspired by a gamete of music that would find most people more than a little surprised. I (Eric) tend to like modern metal bands like Lamb of God, Slipknot and Killswitch Engage, but admittedly I have an affinity for what I call "radio metal," stuff like Five Finger Death Punch and Stone Sour.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
Troy – As a kid I saw Metallica play back-to-back “…And Justice For All” shows and they absolutely crushed it. I was pretty much still playing a tennis racket in my room at the time but it motivated me to pick up the guitar and get to work.
Eric - For me, I was just happy to be playing - so the cover band scene was not my favorite... it was an opportunity to play. When Troy proposed starting a metal band and writing all original material, at first I wasn't too sure. It would mean putting aside the 50 or more songs I'd learned... but I mean I've always been a metalhead, and I mostly dislike 1970's and 80's pop rock....so in the end, it was just too good of an idea to pass up. Original metal band it was - and AFN was formed in the late summer/early fall of 2008
What do you do to prepare for a show?
Troy - Preparing for shows is all about practice. A takes a lot of repetition and communications with the guys to play the best possible set we can. Staying engaged with fans and always showing our appreciation for their support is a must.
Eric- Practice, practice, practice. Work on not being a "shoe gazer" and movement. It's all about moving and connecting with people. Nobody wants to pay money to see you plant yourself in a spot and stare at your fretboard.
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
Troy - For me I’d have to say the release of “Broken” is definitely a high point for the band. The evolution in the band’s sound on this album is something I think everyone is really proud of.
Steve – Since I joined the band in June of 2016 the highlights would be playing the Knitting Factory in Spokane, WA and releasing an EP that we are all very happy with.
Eric - We have done some really great stuff in the last decade - played cool shows, shared the stage with a lot of big, touring bands, recorded some amazing music and world class studios, and more.. but I really like to think about what's next!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Troy – Just a huge thank you to Collective Wave Records for all of the support! Give “Broken” a listen and let us know what you think. Gratitude