Ever since I was little I have idolised Tim Wheeler, I don’t know what it is about him (other than being utterly gorgeous) but I just find every Ash album never, ever get’s old.
So, as the band prepare to unleash their A-Z series on the music industry, I was over the moon to have the honour of asking him a couple of questions!
Hi Tim! What's happening in the world of Ash?
Tomorrow we'll be reunited here in New York. Rick is flying over and we're recording a new batch of songs. These will be the final songs we record for our A-Z series.
Can you describe how the A-Z series works?
We're putting out 26 singles over the course of a year, one song every 2 weeks. We're a few months in, it started last October. The cheapest and best place to get them is our website where you can sign up for a subscription and get all the tracks released so far as well.
The songs are also available individually on the usual online music sites like iTunes, Amazon and 7 Digital. We've made limited edition vinyl editions of each single too for indie nerd collectors like me. We've spent the last 2 years recording the tracks to make sure each song is worthy of the name "Single"!
How come Tracers was released for the letter D!!!?
The song titles aren't alphabetical. That would have been too restricting.The A-Z is just a name and a nice tie in for the artwork really.
How did you come up with the idea for the A-Z series and the alphabet tour?
The idea of doing another album didn't seem very challenging or fun so we wanted to come up with a new approach. I figured doing a series of singles would be cool, I remember when the Wedding Present did a series of 12 singles, 1 a month in the early 90s.
So we upped the ante to one every 2 weeks, thinking that 1 a week would be pushing it a bit far. When it came to touring we also wanted to try something new while getting out to places people don't normally play. We had the alphabetical idea and started a frenzied google session. When we found out there was a village called Zennor we knew we were good to go.
How was the tour? Anything exciting happen!?... You went to some fairly unfamiliar places...
Everyday was so different, we didn't know what to expect each day, it was a magical mystery tour. The venues were so varied, village halls, leisure centres, pubs, nightclubs. We even went to Jersey and the Isle Of Wight. We got amazing reactions each night, people were surprised to see us play in their towns.
Why have you vowed never to release an album again!?
I think albums aren't as important as they used to be, people don't feel the same way they used to about them. A lot of people just download the couple of tracks they've heard of. Leaving albums behind gives us freedom to try new ideas. I don't regret it, our fans seem to be really enjoying getting our tracks every 2 weeks, there's an element of waiting and excitement. It's a big tease really!
You recently urged Chris Martin to seek acting roles, what acting roles could you see yourself playing?
I'd be a terrible actor, I'm too earnest and I'm soooo bad at accents. I did a screen test for Moulin Rouge with Baz Luhrman. He was a really cool guy, but I didn't have a clue what I was doing, I had never even got a part in a play at school. I think I'll stick to music!
You first formed as a band in 1989, what would you say is the secret to success?
Having the support of equally dedicated people, for me it's my band-mates, Mark and Rick. Also, being determined, thick-skinned and most of all, loving music.
What was it like being on tour at such a young age?
Exciting, eye-opening, confusing and brilliant fun.
If you could go back in time what would you say to the young Tim Wheeler with what you know now?
Brace thyself, it's going to be rough out there sometimes. I would tell him the exact times he'd needs to seek a therapist and work a bit harder.
What did you make of Annie Lenox covering Shining Light?
I loved it, it was one of the biggest honours of my life. I know some people don't like her interpretation, but that always happens with covers. To me it was a huge buzz.
Is there any artists/songs you'd love/are planning to cover?
We recorded a version of "Teenage Wildlife" by David Bowie recently. The lyrics really speak to me about what it was like being under scrutiny at such a young age.
What are you most looking forward to in 2010? Any exciting plans for Ash?
There's lots of highlights amongst our singles that I can't wait for people to hear. I'm also looking forward to touring and festivals and reaching the end of this singles campaign and going, mmm, what next?
FemaleFirst - Ruth Harrison