Published Jan 01, 2006"If we're all about image, I'm looking pretty shabby right now," laughs Fran Mark, vocalist and drummer for the band From Autumn To Ashes. The band's first release, 2001's Too Bad You're Beautiful, sold half a million copies on limited distribution and shot the band to pseudo-celebrity status in the underground hardcore and emo scenes. Beautiful yet bonecrushing breakdowns, two sullenly poetic vocalists and constant touring made the Long Island five-piece an instant favourite. But as the band grew in popularity, critics began paying less attention to their music and attacked instead the band's pretty-boy image.
After FATA began selling concert T-shirts with the insignia Fashioncore written across the chest, critics snatched the term and used it to categorise the onslaught of modish, good looking hardcore bands. The Fashioncore backlash fell right on FATA's shoulders, and the band was soon criticised for putting more effort into wearing trendy designer tags than in making good music.
The band's latest release, The Fiction We Live, is a dedication to fans who have supported the band in spite of the Fashioncore controversy. The album puts emphasis one of the band's most popular ingredients, the two fiery vocalists, Mark and Ben Perri. "We want to increase the possibilities," said Mark. "Ben's style of vocals is powerful and energetic, it gets you moving. But if it was all that, just his screaming, we would alienate a lot of fans. Some kids like a little bit of melody."
Even with a stellar new release, some critics cannot separate the band from their image. Recently, Long Island press ran a brief about how FATA T-shirts are the latest must-have fashion accessories for hardcore scenesters. "I feel kind of weird about that," Mark says candidly. "But I guess it's cool."