From Ashes To Autumn
Drummers often dream about being frontmen - the focus of attention. Drummers are behind their kit in the rear, with the legs of their stool just inches from the back edge of the stage. Even the bass player is more visible.
Few drummers are able to make the leap from behind the kit to the front of the stage. One who managed that trip was Francis Mark.
Mark co-founded From Ashes To Autumn with Steve Salvio (guitar) and Benjamin Perri (vocals) — Perri provided screaming vocals, while Mark sang clean vocals. Their music was described as "melody and lushness meets brutality."
During the recording their fourth album "Holding A Wolf By The Ears" it became apparent Perri wasn't on the same page as everyone else. He "never came out to any of the practices and he had no involvement," Mark opined. Perri then declared that he would no longer be a part of the band. Mark took over all vocals, both clean and screaming, in addition to pre-recorded drums.
A reviewer at Absolute Punk stated that "Mark is three times the front man Perri was," and that there was a "passion that had been severely lacking while Perri was in the band."
Drummer Jeff Gretz was officially added to the line-up in '07, two weeks before From Autumn To Ashes began a tour.
But just a year later, the band announced they were going on an 'indefinite hiatus'.
"At this point I feel that we have accomplished everything we could have hoped for with FATA," stated Mark. "It doesn't feel much like a break up. Just feels like the end."
It wasn't the end. In late '14, From Ashes To Autumn reunited and began touring. But in June, '15, they announced that they were forced to pull out of the upcoming West Coast leg of their tour due to a 'personal emergency'.
The 'personal emergency' turned out to be a legal issue involving Mark. He was accused by authorities of "maintaining a drug house." Mark claimed house in question was merely a medicinal marijuana facility.
He was given a year of probation with one of the terms of the sentence forbidding him from leaving the state of Michigan to tour. That put an end to the group's summer trek.
Rumors circulated that From Ashes To Autumn were breaking up but they were quickly dismissed by the band.
2001 Too Bad You're Beautiful
2003 The Fiction We Live
2005 Abandon Your Friends
2007 Holding A Wolf By the Ears