MATT BARLOW (Ashes Of Ares, ex-Iced Earth) on RockOverdose: “It’s obviously a huge honor for me to have that connection with the greek audience!”



Something wicked this way comes.....

Heavy Metal duo Ashes of Ares announced a bunch of shows in Greece & Cyprus.

Formed in 2012, by former Iced Earth members Matt Barlow and Freddie Vidales the legendary heavy metal duo with their recent album "Emperors & Fools" (2022, Roar! Rock Of Angels Records) come to entertain the audiences that adore them more than anyone!

Matt Barlow visits Greece after 15 years and YES, he will also sing songs from the golden period of Iced Earth! 


Read below our friendly chat with Matt Barlow and don't miss the chance to come in one of the following shows! 


👉 Thessaloniki: June 10 @ Eightball Club
👉 Larissa: June 11 @ Skyland Live Music Club
👉 Athens: June 12 @ Kyttaro Club
👉 Crete: June 14  @ Νυν & Αει
👉 Nicosia (Cyprus) : June 16 @ DownTown Live 
👉 Xanthi: June 17 @ Nostos

👉 Kastoria: June 18 @ Prague Live


RockOverdose: It’s been a long time Matt! How do you feel visiting Greece after 15 years?


MATT BARLOW (Ashes Of Ares, ex-Iced Earth): Yeah! It has been a while...I really hope this is going to work well for us, hopefully we're going to bring something special to the folks there and have a great exprerience!


RockOverdose: What are your memories from here?


MATT BARLOW (Ashes Of Ares, ex-Iced Earth): It's always been amazing! From my first visit to Greece obviously with Iced Earth, we were blown away by the crowds there! The folks there have been really amazing and generous with us. Iced Earth music is very respected there and that's one of the reasons, or to set it better that's THE reason Jon decided to do Iced Earth Live record in Greece. Obviously, we were really impressed by the first time we've been there, we were blown away by everybody and when we did the live record was the next level! So, all my experiences there are really amazing, the people are great and fantastic fans, the food also is incredible as well, the weather is also good. I can't wait to experience it again!



RockOverdose: This will be your debut performance with Ashes Of Ares here after releasing your 3 albums. Do you feel like introducing yourself again to the greek audience?


MATT BARLOW (Ashes Of Ares, ex-Iced Earth): Yeah! We certainly hope to 'cause I really don't know how the crowd will react to our music. Although we have a possitive feedback that I can see online, as far as what Ashes Of Ares does. We're not trying to be a version of Iced Earth by any means with our music and the way we write but obviously there's going to be some similarities out there. People do draw some similarities within it. We're gracious to be on a greek label - Roar! Rock Of Angels, that's been really supportive for us for the last several years, producing the last two records. So, that's another bonus, another thing that we have and really connects us to Greece. Akis (Kosmidis) and the guys are really amazing, great people to work with.

We're going to do some Iced Earth songs as well, obviously to help connect a little bit more. Some fan favorites of Iced Earth and some that haven't been played before live!

So, I think that would be cool and it will make a nice show that the crowd would be able to participate with us. That's my desire! I want to fullfill the will of everybody, to be a part of the Ashes family and we want to present ourselves to the best possible way,  'cause I think we own the Greek fans that!



RockOverdose: We definitely  feel the same! Since you don’t make live appearances very often, would you like to tell us with a few words about Ashes Of Aresto those who are not familiar with your material. What would the setlist have?


MATT BARLOW (Ashes Of Ares, ex-Iced Earth): We're gonna give everybody a little taste from all the records but we're gonna focus on the newest album "Emperors And  Fools", as we support that record in this tour. I think is our strongest record to date, there're a lot of great songs on it, melodic ones but also bangers to get the crowd going. Of course we've put some Iced Earth song! We tried to design the show the best possible way in order to comp things up and I think it's gonna be lot's of fun!



RockOverdose: What do you remember from when you first started with Iced Earth  and how do you see your evolution throughout the years as an artist and personally of course?


MATT BARLOW (Ashes Of Ares, ex-Iced Earth): I think that everybody evolves. You used the right word! When you grow, whether it is physically or emotionally, or even spiritually ... we all have kind of different things in our lives that change us and present different challenges or gifts that we incorporate in what we're doing at a particular time. Besides experiences, the people that affected me directly as far as music is concerned is obviously my brother that get me into music, my vocal instructors as well that contributed a lot in the way I think about how I use my voice and obviously Jon Schaffer had a huge impact in the way of writing music and perform on these record with him. But also his contribution helped me and direct me in certain ways of giving me ideas to think outside the box. Also Jim Morris, producer in some of the records I've been on, he's given me so many things and tools along the way to utilize my voice, so all these things led me to appoint where I am. I constantly learn and take things in. But now at a point I'm a bit older and I've got all these tools I can utilize and can produce my own vocals, in my studio and do things a little bit more me at that stage, however if somebody comes and say e.g. maybe you can do this, people that I respect in the industry, whoever make suggestions I'm willing to try anything. I think it's a good thing to always kind of constantly be learning ... and excepting good ideas.

So, it's definately an evolution as you go and I think that anybody who just stucks down and says that this is the way I'm doing it forever and I'm never gonna change or evolve that's the wrong way of looking at things. I believe that life should be a constant evolution.



RockOverdose:Yeah, you're right and I wanted to hear your opinion on that, because as you said people are designed to evolve. We are evolving throughout our lives. However, your voice has been connected or should I say has marked the golden era of Iced Earth, and since their live album "Alive In Athens" has captured the passion of the greek audience back in the day, how do you feel about this strong connection with you personally, your voice and the songs you sang? What does this means for you?


MATT BARLOW (Ashes Of Ares, ex-Iced Earth): It's really amazing! It's something that I've certainly would have never thought about or considered growing up here in Delaware (US), that some day I'm going to be a part of such an iconic record. It's pretty staggering! It's like I said before, it's kinda crazy the way that things go with that connection with the greek fans and Iced Earth. I'm glad that I've been a part of that and that translated also into being a part of Rock Of Angels Records, which is a greek label. That's pretty incredible! People that I talk to, in my area here really ask me about being in a greek label and I try to explain to them how that worked or how that happened ... I'm honored! It's obviously a huge honor for me to have that connection!





RockOverdose: Matt, you almost answered all my questions by yourself. Any other information that you'd like to mention about the show? Is it going to be full electric or will it include some acoustic momments as well?


MATT BARLOW (Ashes Of Ares, ex-Iced Earth): Well, I think for the most of its part it's going to be electric but I do think there are going to be some special momments as well. But I wouldn't like to give it all away! After our first show for sure people will get to know! I really want to keep it kind of secret at this point, I want to release some surprises!



RockOverdose: Thank you very much for your time Matt! We are really looking forward to meet you in Greece! I'm sure you feel the same too.


MATT BARLOW (Ashes Of Ares, ex-Iced Earth): Absolutelly! I hope that everyone is going to enjoy our shows. We've put together something pretty special and I'm looking forward for the peoples reactions! Till then take care!




For RockOverdose,

Vivi Zapantiotou