For most of us musicians, to have lightning strike once in a career is pure magic. To have it strike at least three times, in three different eras of music, means you’ve either had a divine intervention or sold your soul to the devil. There is a third option, however; be that good at your craft. And today I talk to someone who falls into that third option in the form of Daniel Ash.
Having formed Bauhaus in the late seventies with friends David J, Kevin Haskins, and then new vocalist Peter Murphy, he began his stellar rise in the music world to become one of the first of what was to be coined the alternative and post-punk scenes. Most people would have faded away after that or become a part of nostalgia. After that came Tones on Tail, featuring Kevin Haskins on drums and Glenn Campling on bass. But Daniel switched gears yet and formed Love and Rockets with 3/4 of Bauhaus, having generated hits in the late 80s such as “So Alive” in 1989.
After a solid array of solo albums, from 1991’s “Coming Down” to “Stripped in 2014, Daniel is back with another power trio in the form of Poptone with Kevin back on drums and Diva Dompé on bass, set to release their debut live studio album on June 8th. It should also be noted that, as I write this, I am also listening to Daniel’s new solo single titled “Alien Love”, which is out now and can be purchased HERE along with a free hidden track!
Today I talk to Daniel about all things Poptone and how the music industry has changed over the years as well as a slew of other things you’ll have to listen to understand. He also sheds light on his past, present, and future.
Pre-order Poptone’s debut album HERE.
Check out our interview with fellow Poptone, Bauhaus, Love and Rockets, and Tones on Tail bandmate Kevin Haskins about his new book HERE.
About Daniel Ash
A founding member of the groundbreaking Bauhaus, Tones on Tail, and Love and Rockets, guitarist, singer, and songwriter Daniel Ash distinguished himself in the world of alternative rock during the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. Ash was born in Northampton, England, on July 31, 1957. As a child, he heard the Dave Clark Five’s “Bits and Pieces” and was blown away by the massive booming echo of the song, but it wasn’t the first single he purchased — “The first record I bought was Dave & Ansel Collins’ ‘Double Barrel’,” he recalls. Driven by a love of rock & roll, Ash began playing in cover bands: “The first gig I ever played was in the Glasgow Rangers Workman’s Club.” That show ended in a fracas.
Ash had become friends with Peter Murphy in his teenage years: “We were two oddballs in the class who didn’t fit in.” Ash went to art school and Murphy went to work in a printing factory. They met up five years later and Ash suggested forming a band.
Love and Rockets
Rigging up a makeshift rehearsal space, Ash played an echo 12-bar blues, while Murphy sang a series of newspaper articles. “After 15 seconds,” Ash says, “I knew we’d have some sort of success. Four weeks after, we formed Bauhaus, and we recorded ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’.” That song, issued in 1979, became the cornerstone of the goth rock movement. After nearly five years of trailblazing recording and performing, Bauhaus broke up and Ash put together Tones on Tail with Bauhaus drummer Kevin Haskins. After several EPs, the full-length Pop, and a club hit in “Go!,” the group mutated into the highly influential Love and Rockets in 1985, when Bauhaus bassist David J came on board.
The band became one of the biggest alternative bands of the ’80s, issuing respected LPs like 1986’s Express and 1987’s Earth, Sun, Moon, and finally enjoying a worldwide Top Ten hit with 1989’s “So Alive.”
While Daniel Ash’s first solo album, Coming Down, was a moody, late-night rumination written in the aftermath of divorce, Foolish Thing Desire, his second, was a celebration of life’s perils and pleasures, recorded at Woodbine Street Studios with longtime collaborator John A. Rivers. It’s essentially positive, presenting a rush of passionate and powerful rock riffs. In 2002, Ash released a self-titled album that flirted with electronic dance which was followed three years later by a live album, Come Alive.
In 2008, Ash would see the reunions of both of his primary bands with Bauhaus going on to release Go Away White, their first studio album in 25 years, and Love & Rockets reforming to play at the famed Coachella Music and Arts Festival.
SOURCE: All Music Guide
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