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DANIEL ASH (BAUHAUS / LOVE & ROCKETS) INTERVIEW [2002]

WHERE ARE YOU NOW, AND HOW ARE YOU DOING?

I'm in LA, I have a new studio loft that works great for living and working whenever I want.

YOU ARE ABOUT TO RELEASE A NEW ALBUM - 'DANIEL ASH' - HOW DOES IT FEEL TO HAVE THE WHOLE THING FINISHED, PACKAGED, AND READY TO GO, AND TO BE ON THE VERGE OF RELEASE AND ALL THAT COMES THEN?

W'll it came out in the states in February, so now that we have everything lined up for over there it is less stressful.

IT SEEMS A VERY STRONG STATEMENT OF INTENT THAT YOU'RE NOT ONLY WORKING UNDER YOUR OWN NAME NOW, BUT YOU HAVE ALSO CALLED THE ALBUM 'DANIEL ASH'... IT'S ALMOST LIKE YOU'RE STEPPING INTO THE SPOTLIGHT FOR THE FIRST TIME?

Not really, I have had two prior solo albums and was always in 'front' in someway or another.

THE ALBUM HAS A VERY STRONG ELECTRONIC-DANCE VEIN RUNNING THROUGH IT, DO YOU FEEL THIS IS A DEVELOPMENT FROM YOUR WORK WITH BAUHAUS, LOVE & ROCKETS AND SO ON, OR IS IT REALLY A NEW BEGINNING?

It's natural progression, I love electronic 'techno' and 'Lift' - Love and Rockets' last album was very much this direction.

IT SOUNDS LIKE THERE'S A LOT OF MUSICAL EXPERIMENTATION GOING ON THROUGHOUT THE ALBUM, WHAT SORT OF INFLUENCES DID YOU TAKE INTO THE STUDIO WITH YOU... MUSICAL ONES ESPECIALLY, BUT ALSO ANY BOOKS, FILMS, EVENTS, FEELINGS?

This was done over 2 1/2 years so the influences are varied. The idea for my version of 'Spooky' came to me when I heard the Dusty Springfield version of it at a friends shop and was reminded what a cool song it is. 'Burning Man' is based upon a personal experience with a friend who died. So all over the place really.

YOUR INPUT ON THE RECORD IS PHENOMENAL - YOU NOT ONLY WRITE AND SING, BUT YOU ALSO PRODUCE, PLAY GUITAR AND BASS, AND KEYBOARDS AND PROVIDE THE LOOPS, BUT YOU'VE ALSO USED A SHIFTING SET OF ADDITIONAL MUSICIANS ACROSS THE RECORD. HOW DID YOU MAKE THE DECISION ABOUT WHEN TO DO IT YOURSELF AND WHEN TO BRING SOMEONE ELSE IN?

There is really no method, if I pick up a sound that I like, or someone comes along a plays something fantastic, then it's in!

HAS DOING SO MUCH OF THE RECORD YOURSELF MADE THE RECORD ANY MORE PERSONAL OR INTROSPECTIVE THAN YOU ORIGINALLY THOUGHT, OR HAVE YOU MADE EXACTLY THE RECORD YOU SET OUT TO MAKE?

It's my favorite album to date and I'm very proud of it.

WAS IT A FUN ALBUM TO MAKE?

Yes but it was also a lot of work, I work best under pressure so I kept giving myself deadlines for certain things to happen on the album.

IS IT THE ALBUM THAT YOU THINK PEOPLE WILL EXPECT OF YOU?

You can't please everyone but I didn't want to make another Love and Rockets or Bauhaus record, so I really don't know what to make of it otherwise.

YOU'VE CHOSEN 'SPOOKY' TO BE THE FIRST SINGLE - IT'S QUITE AN UNUSUAL SOUNDING SONG, AND ALSO THE ONLY ONE FROM THE ALBUM THAT YOU DIDN'T WRITE OR HAVE A HAND IN WRITING. HOW DID YOU COME TO CHOOSE TO RECORD IT IN THE FIRST PLACE?

See above.

DO YOU HAVE ANY PERSONAL FAVOURITES ON THE ALBUM?

Depends on my mood.

YOU'VE BEEN PLAYING THE ALBUM LIVE IN THE US ALREADY - WHAT SORT OF AN EXPERIENCE HAS THAT BEEN?

It was amazing, I came back ready to do more.

WILL WE GET TO SEE YOU PLAY IN THE UK?

I hope so, but it has to be the right situation.

DO YOU PLAY ANY MUSIC FROM YOUR PREVIOUS INCARNATIONS?

It was 'The Best of Daniel Ash' - Bauhaus, Tones on Tail, Love & Rockets as well as my previous and current solo albums. A lot of the songs like 'Go' I hadn't played in ten plus years...

BAUHAUS... HAS IT BEEN THE MAKING OF YOU OR NOTHING BUT A WEIGHT AROUND YOUR NECK?

It was a starting point!

HOW DO YOU THINK PEOPLE PERCEIVE YOU? HOW CLOSE DO YOU THINK THEY GET?

I really don't know.

YOU HAVE ENJOYED AN AMAZING CAREER THUS FAR - LOOKING BACK WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST HIGHS AND THE LOWEST LOWS?

Lots of ups and downs, certainly 'So Alive' charting would be a big high, I don't like to dwell on the negative...

WHAT'S NEXT FOR YOU?

More remixes including 'Burning Man' and 'Lights Out' the last track on the album is the theme song for the new Alexie Sayle series 'Keen Eddie', which will be out on TV at the end of the year...

JULY 2002

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