Simply put, Daniel Ash is a legend. He has just released a brand new self-titled album, and has a tour on the way. Buy the album, and see the tour. I was able to sneak in a couple of minutes of phone time to talk to him. I found him to be surprisingly friendly, this godfather of Goth, so to speak. Sometimes it’s hard to speak to those with whom you’ve found solace in their art…
Bt: The new album is self titled, with the new style, are you looking at this release as a new debut?
DA: I suppose I am really, yeah. I mean it’s because it been like 9 years between this one and the last sort of, so called solo record, you know. So I don’t think you can relate the others to this at all, it’s just a different time completely, I don’t really see this as a follow one or anything it’s completely different. So yeah I suppose if you like, that’s why I called it what I called it.
BT: What can we expect from the new tour?
DA: Well you know it’s just a gig, its just a mixture of sort of old and new stuff, I’m going to be doing stuff from the new album, I’m also going to throw in some of the old favorites if you like, stuff from the past, and different bands I’ve been in. There’s something from Tones in there, something from Love and Rockets, and some Bauhaus, and some new stuff, it’s a big mixing pot, the way rehearsals are going.
BT: With most of you projects, be it Bauhaus, Tones or Love and Rockets, you’ve always done at least one cover. Is this more of a choice to do as a fan or artist?
DA: well, obviously you have to be a fan of the song, you’ve got to like the song, I think from the musicians point of view it’s a lot of fun, if it’s a song you like and can relate to, it’s a lot of fun and it gives you some breathing space to just do a cover, and it gives you a kick to just sing a song that you really like. It’s that simple really. With “Spooky” it’s something I just heard from the distance on the radio and I really like the version that I heard, which was the Dusty Springfield version, and I thought it would be really fun to record it, and I really related to the lyric at the time.
BT: Is music a daily exercise for you? Do you pick up the guitar or sit behind the computer..
DA: oh no. I’m very lazy, I just do it when I really feel..i don’t know how it comes, It just usually comes after a bottle of wine or something, I get an idea that I want to do something and it sort of comes to the foreground at those times. But, a lot of the time I like to ride around on my motorcycle, I’m sort of lazy like that.
BT: you moved out of LA, correct?
DA: yeah, I’m back again, I needed my Hollywood fix
BT: the new album is definitely different from most of your previous work..
DA: that’s good, thanks, a bit happier right? I bit up?
BT: I would agree, it’s a lot more solid than I was expecting. Although at points it seems to have kind of picked up a little of “Hot Trip to Heaven,” and “Lift” is that where you see yourself going?
DA: no, it was recorded over two, two and a half years, so it’s very eclectic, it’s very different, I was going through different stuff two years ago than I’m going through now. So it sort of evolved just depending on what I was going through at the time of recording the various tracks. I’ve never heard that said about it before, about the hot trip angle at all, I see some Tones on Tails with some of the bass lines, stuff like that, I don’t really see much “Hot Trip to Heaven,” I don’t know, if it’s perceived that way, that’s fine.
BT: With the change you have in styles with this album, and with your musical history, there are some people who don’t want you to change, how do you deal with them?
DA: I completely do the opposite, see, I don’t want to stay there at all. That why this album sounds the way it does, cause it’s definitely not Goth.
DA: a lot of it has to do with the fact that I was using loops and drum machines to start the tracks off rather than start from a guitar point of view or a lyric point of view, I’d start off with a drum loop and a bass line, so that had a big influence on how the tracks would develop. I definitely don’t want to be stuck in that black hole, that I’ve been in, in times past. There was one album I did called “Coming Down” which was a really sad record, I mean I was getting divorced at the time, it just wasn’t a good time. This record I was in a different set of circumstances when I was recording it, what happens is whatever state of mind I’m in, at whatever particular time, that’s what comes out, you know, in the various tracks on the album. So it’s like almost documenting your state of mind from one track to the other. Does that make sense?
BT: Absolutely. We have one last question; I’m not going to ask you about a (Bauhaus) reunion. We just want to know how much contact you have with the other guys, or are you in contact?
DA: I speak to them occasionally, I saw Kevin at a party about a week ago, we had a great laugh, I hadn’t seen for months, so we had some fun. Dave I just bumped into him in the street, about two months ago, he came round we had a few drinks and a laugh. Peter, I don’t see because he lives in Turkey, so I haven’t spoken to him since the reunion tour actually, when I think about it, which was three years ago, but you know he lives many miles away in a different county.
DA: that’s great, than you very much.