14th December 2005 - Ho Ho Ho
Merry Christmas and a happy new year! Click on the banner above to download Ash's cover of 'I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday', even if you did it last year, donating money to War Child.
2nd September 2005 - Darth Hamilton
There's a interview with the dark lord Mark on www.starwars.com.
22nd August 2005 - Back
After having a couple of quiet months with both Tim and Mark moving to NYC, Rick opening a bar in Edinburgh and Charlotte doing some solo touring, they are all getting together again in September to start getting some stuff together for the next album.
10th August 2005 - Charlotte DJing / Vote for Ash
Charlotte Hatherley will DJing with NME's Mark Beaumont in the Double Dragon Music room at Kill All Hippies, The Scala, King's Cross, Saturday August 20. Go to www.leylinepromotions.com to get on the £5 concession list.
Also go to www.xfm.co.uk/thexlist2005 to vote for Girl From Mars in the x-list.
27th July 2005 - Charlotte Hatherley Solo Dates
Charlotte will be playing some solo tour dates before appearing at both the Reading and Leeds festivals, dates here - down the bottom of the page.
24th June 2005 - Tour Bus Problems
Ash have been on the receiving end of tour bus problems the past week or so, first in America where their bus set on fire, news from nme and yesterday travelling from Belfast to the Newry gig their bus broke down.
The Acoustic album rumours have also surfaced again...
2nd June 2005 - More Warming Up
Ash are playing another warm up gig for glasto in Londonderry on Tuesday 21st June.
1st June 2005 - Belfast and U.S. Gigs
Ash are playing the new Spring & Airbrake venue, Belfast, on Wednesday 22nd June. Tickets are on sale here. This is a very small venue, about 400 people max, it is a warm up for Glasto and Mark has also said earlier that there aren't any plans for a major tour of the UK.
There are also more U.S. tour dates added to the tour dates page.
31st May 2005 - Tim Says
Ash are not planning to go into the studio this year to start the next album but he is hoping to get a number of songs demoed. Tim wants the next album to be their greatest ever and will not be happy until it is just right. So everyone will all have to wait patiently.
They are planning to have a song out at some stage later in the year - some sort of Arthur Baker collaboration.
Tim is at present helping to produce a few songs for a Brazillian band he really likes - something like WRY - they are just trying to get on their feet and Tim is just helping them out. He just likes that sort of thing and he has the time before heading off stateside again. One of his best friends is married to a Brazillian which is where the introductions started.
18th May 2005 - June U.S. Tour
Ash have confirmed that they'll be touring the States some more in June and won't be back in the UK for a while.
Ash also saw Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith on Sunday, at a special celebrity screening in LA before the premiere in Cannes.
14th May 2005 - Chaz for Reading / More Ash in the U.S.
It looks like Chaz will be playing a solo set at the Reading and Leeds festivals this summer and Tav has said that Ash will return to tour the U.S. again in June.
30th April 2005 - Not Giving Me the Evil Eye
Ash have scrapped the idea of the internet release of Evil Eye. Mark: "we've scrapped the idea as most people already have the vienna recording (meant as the b-sides). but there is something else in the pipeline that'll be cooler and better, it'll take a while though but it'll be before the next album".
Popmatters.com interview with Mark Hamilton
28th April 2005.
A Bid for Airwaves, a Boon for Power-Pop: An Interview with Ash's Mark Hamilton
by Michael Mikesell
The bass player for Ireland's foremost grunge-pop quartet weighs in on music, touring the US, and felines.
The Belfast, Ireland pop-rockers known as Ash called their 1996 breakthrough album 1977, honoring the birth year of founding members Tim Wheeler (vocals, guitars) and Mark Hamilton (bass). Almost as significant -- at least as far as Wheeler and Hamilton are concerned -- 1977 was also the year of birth for Star Wars. Charlotte Hatherly joined Wheeler, Hamilton, and drummer Rick McMurray as second guitarist on the band's sophomore release, 1999's Nu-Clear Sounds, and in 2001 the quartet unleashed the critically acclaimed Free All Angels, whose "Burn Baby Burn" earned both an NME Brat Award and a Single of the Year honor from Q.
In a well-plotted career move, Ash decided to record its next album in Los Angeles with producer Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, System of a Down). The result was 2004's Meltdown, a tight, dynamic rock record bursting with airy melodies, amped-up guitars, and thundering bass and drums. Already certified gold in the UK, Meltdown saw its Stateside release in March 2005 from Record Collection, also home to John Frusciante and the LP-record edition of Hot Hot Heat's Elevator. The US Meltdown includes two bonus tracks and DVD footage not available on the European release, which (not to be outdone) features a live version of the album on a second CD. A single from Meltdown, "Clones", is now the theme song for the Star Wars video game "Republic Commando", marking the first time LucasArts has ever used a band's song in anything related to Star Wars. I spoke with Hamilton midway through the band's current US tour and one day before Ash played the city whose music helped ignite the band's career.
PopMatters: Your sound has changed a bit over the years.
Mark Hamilton: Me and Tim [Wheeler] started the band when we were 12-year-olds, young metalheads, and we had aspirations of being Metallica and stuff, but weren't technically proficient. We weren't able to play the music, you know? So, whenever the whole punk explosion and Nirvana happened it was like, "Wow, we actually can play this", 'cause it's basic and simple and it has a passion to it, which we were totally excited by. That was our major influence in the beginning, really. It was Nirvana and probably the whole Seattle scene.
PM: An unusual feature about the band -- or at least about Meltdown -- is how little piss there is in your vinegar. You play heavy, but you're not aggro, something I can't say about Nirvana or Soundgarden. Is that something you work at?
MH: I think we tried to make this album a bit heavier. Tim writes a lot of the songs, and he's a huge Beach Boys fan as well, so that's where the melodies and all come from. I suppose our producer [Owen Morris], who we worked with on the last three albums before Meltdown, was sort of a pop producer -- he did work with Oasis and the Verve -- and we always wanted to record an album in the States at some point, because our influences when we started was all American music. And this time we got to work with Nick Raskulinecz. That was a big thrill for us in a way, 'cause we were almost like fans, and we were just speechless at times. We really just wanted to toughen up the backbone but keep the way the songs were all written, on acoustic guitar, full of good hooks and melodies. We wanted to make it a little bit harder so that we could stand up against what else was being played on rock radio here [in the States]. Give ourselves a bit more of a chance, if you know what I mean.
PM: Meltdown is uncommonly well produced and recorded, especially for this day and age.
MH: Nick really honed in on the sound, and Rich Costey, who mixed the album, is one of the best mixers in the world at the minute. You know, it seems almost fashionable to make these low-fi albums that sound like shit. But we were in the same studio where they recorded Nevermind and stuff, and we just wanted to make a pristine-sounding, sonically excellent album.
PM: When it came out in 1991, a lot of Nirvana fans thought Nevermind was too polished.
MH: Yeah I know, but whenever you hear it cranked through a PA it sounds unbelievable.
PM: What's your favorite song on Meltdown?
MH: Personally I really like "Detonator", cause it reminds me of Nirvana a bit.
PM: Where would you say the band is going?
MH: We don't feel like we've accomplished what we wanted to, yet, you know? We're still totally hungry for success. We kind of strive to get better with each album. You know, everyone says their new album is the best one, but I think, music-wise, Meltdown is by far better than the other ones.
PM: What's the best thing about playing in the States?
MH: Well, for us, being Europeans, the exchange rate is great. So we can just, like, shop. We spent so much time here in the past that it doesn't even seem -- to us it's just normal. We don't feel like we're visiting. We lived in LA for four months making the album, and we toured here nine months in 2002.
PM: Are the audiences noticeably different?
MH: Just 'cause we're not so well known here. That's what we're working on. But the people that are into us are just as fanatical as people in Europe and Japan. So it's all good.
PM: How did you come to have a song used in a Star Wars computer game?
MH: We got approached by LucasArts, the computer part of Lucasfilm. They knew we were fans, that we had been going to their parties for years. They asked us, "Do you have any music that would be suitable? We've got this dark, splatterfest, shoot-'em-up game and we want something heavy for it." "Clones" was probably as heavy a song as we've recorded. And it was a complete coincidence that the song was called "Clones" as well [given the movie title Attack of the Clones].
PM: Sometimes musicians have a passion for musical forms outside their métier. Do you happen to have a favorite ballad?
MH: Weezer do some good ballads. I'm trying to think which one. [Long silence.] Ballads, to be honest, is not really my thing! Ballads are the kind of thing we're always thinking we want to do on our albums, but we never play them live because they're always the songs where people go to the bar and get drinks and stuff. But then sometimes people's biggest hits are their ballads, 'cause they're more commercial and can get on the radio. Aerosmith are the kings of the power ballad. That one from the movie Armageddon's probably the best one ["I Don't Want to Miss a Thing"].
PM: What's something you always wish someone would ask you that nobody ever does?
MH: I don't know... "What's your favorite animal" maybe?
PM: What's your favorite animal?
MH: Any sort of cat. Big ones, small ones. Dogs are cool, but my family's always been cat people. At one point we had 11 cats. I've got one at home, Linda, but 'cause I'm always away I never really see her. My most recent cat, it lives with my parents now, was a kitten that turned up on our back door. It was an abandoned cat, it was smaller than the size of your hand. And it was totally starved. It was totally wild as well. But it was so hungry that it was just going towards the light, almost, to find anyone who would look after it. And I nurtured it for a few days, and then it was really tame. It's kind of hard to train a cat, 'cause cats just do what they want to do, you know? But I can walk around, the cat will sit on your shoulder like a parrot. And it's so big now, it's a huge cat, but I can wear it like a scarf.
Ash are also supporting U2 in the summer and tour date section has been updated.
8th April 2005 - Tim the Producer
Tim has been working with two brothers from North Wales called The Lathams.
He has produced four songs thus far and will be producing an album later this year, once the boys have secured themselves a record deal.
6th April 2005 - Glastonbury
A leaked, and said to be offical, festival schedule has reveal that Ash look set Glastonbury 2005 and sources suggest they have signed to play.
It also seems unlikely the Evil Eye EP will be released on monday as it has been delayed.
4th April 2005 - Evil Eye EP / Vote
Ash link up with Lucas Arts on their forthcoming 'Evil Eye' EP which is available to purchase exclusively online.
The title track, lifted from the band's 'Meltdown' album, comes backed with nine live tracks recorded in Vienna last year and also includes the video for 'Clones' - which has been chosen as the introduction music to the latest LucasArts video game 'Star Wars: Republic Commando' and has been re-edited to include brand new game footage.
'Evil Eye' is released on April 11th and will only be available online from all good retailers.
Also vote to get Ash and their first U.S. single from Meltdown, the title track on the KNDD's playlist, by voting here. KNDD is a station in Seattle, so this is important in helping the band break American. You can listen weeknights at 9pm, to hear The End's top 10 most-requested songs of the day
14th March 2005 - Ash / Bravery Co-Headlining Tour
This kicked off last wednesday (9th March).
Tav: "the bravery are only headlining in the towns where they have been getting loads of radio play. it's a co-headline tour, ash are playing 45 - 60 minutes depending on the curfew. in atlanta (last night) the curfew was 9.30pm, so both bands played for 45 minutes each. see the american board (U.S. Ash Message Board)for details of where ash are headlining (most of the tour). "
8th March 2005 - Meltdown released in the U.S.
Meltdown was released today in the U.S., on record collection, with next tracks (UK b-sides) and a extra DVD of videos (Girl From Mars, Clones, Orpheus, Starcrossed, Renegade Cavalcade, Meltdown Mini Documentary and
Making Of Orpheus). For UK fans its available on amazon.
Ash also start their U.S. tour tomorrow.
1st March 2005 - Ash Interview / Chaz Session
An interview done with the boys from ash at the Republic Commando party, here.
You can hear Chaz in session on the xfm site.
28th February 2005 - Star Wars Party! / Bastardo - 31
Ash played a short set at the release party for the new Star Wars game 'Republic Commando', in a small club in London's Leicester Square on Friday. The party was invite only for mainly people concerned with the game, and a lot of free booze was consumed. I would post some exclusive Ash news, but I can remember the night’s events, but not really conservation…
Anyway the set was: GFM, ALLO, Clones, Shining Light, Kung Fu, RC, Cantina Band, Orpheus, BBB.
And Charlotte’s Bastardo has entered the UK Singles at number 31, the same as previous single Summer. Which is pretty impressive as Radio 1 didn’t list it.
24th February 2005 - Revolution, we're the Solution!
Tav on Ash releasing in the U.S:
"First track to radio is indeed 'Meltdown'. We really struggled with our choice of singles in Europe on this album. Orpheus was the one that got all the radio play, but ended up selling really badly.
Everyone loves Starcrossed, but it's not indicative of the rest of the album. Snow patrol and Coldplay both have albums full of 'run' and 'yellow'.
'Meltdown’ is a feel good rock track and I don't think people will be disappointed when they buy the album after hearing it on the radio. I’d be a tad nervous if people bought the album on the back of 'Starcrossed', as again, it's so different from the rest of the record.
This record was made in America, for America. The band are ready to tour their asses off again over here and after all the hard work (and money) they put in on the last one, we just have to hope that America likes it.
One thing I am encouraged by though, is the fact that you guys are all still here.
When I say "made for America", I should actually say "American radio". All of our previous albums have had limited play on American radio. The reason (we keep getting told) is because of the production. So on this album we made a conscious decision to try and remedy that. We all think that Meltdown is the best produced album so far."
23rd February 2005 - Apollo 21
Charlotte's Bastardo was at number 21 in the singles charts last night.
21st February 2005 - Bastardo!
Charlotte's second 'proper' solo single Bastardo is released today on CD, DVD and 7". The CD has b-sides '3 Minutes' and 'I am a Kamera', while the 7" just has '3 Minutes'. On the DVD as well as Bastardo audio, are Kim Wilde (acoustic), the Bastard Video and behind the scenes video and a photo gallery.
14th February 2005 - Tim the Producer
One of Tav's (Manager and Discoverer of Ash) new bands, who are currently recording their first album, have asked Tim if he would act as producer and he willingly obliged. I think they have the album recorded and only have to complete the mixing.
8th February 2005 - Commando
EP 'Commando' is released today in America on Record Collection, it can be brought online (only in North America) here. There is also now a U.S version of www.ash-official.com. Its not really different from the UK version, different message board.
2nd February 2005 - Tim Wheeler Gig
On Friday 18th February Tim Wheeler will headline The Windmill, Brixton, with ex-undertones guitarist and co-writer of the classic 'Teenage Kicks', Damien O' Neill.
The gig is to promote Northern Irish music and all profits from this show will go towards bringing over a bunch of new N.I. bands for another gig at the Windmill in March. Support on the night comes from The Basement + guests
Tickets are strictly limited to 2 per person due to the limited capacity and you buy them online here.
28th January 2005 - Chaz
Chaz has appeared in the German edition of FHM and rumour has it there'll be some solo european appearances in Feb before Ash head out to U.S.
25th January 2005 - Bastardo
The release of Charlotte's second proper single 'Bastardo' has been pushed back a week, and is now being released on Monday Feb 21st.
You can view the video starring David Walliams (Little Britain), Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Spaced), Julia Davies (Nighty Night), Alice Lowe (Garth Marenghi's Dark Place), Lucy Davis (The Office) and Lauren Laverne (XFM), online using the following links 56K and Broadband.
21st January 2005 - Tim at Xfm's Winterland
"Flying solo, Tim Wheeler took time out from preparing for Ash's gig later that night at the Astoria to run through a handful of hits on his trusty Flying V. A wise man once said that a great song will remain great even once stripped down to its bare bones. Ash's classics certainly lived up to that test, the crowd singing along with every word." You can watch Tim playing Shining Light, RC and Girl From Mars by going here.
16th January 2005 - Japan
Ash return from their break and kick off there Japanese tour tomorrow, with their first of two gigs at the Shibuya-AX in Tokyo.
8th January 2004 - Commando EP / Chaz Bastardo Video
Ash are releasing the 'Commando EP' on their U.S. record label, Record Collection.
The EP has a tracklisting of 1. Clones, 2. Meltdown, 3. Evil Eye, 4. Tinseltown, the CD will also be enhanced with the Clones Music Video and Star Wars Republic Commando™ Game Demo.
It is released on Feb 8th, the artwork is on the left, also here is what maybe the artwork for the U.S. release of Meltdown. The Record Collection site has more details.
The video for Charlotte's forthcoming single 'Bastardo' can now be voted for on the MTV2 site for the NME Chart, by going here. The fantastic jackie-inspired video stars Simon Pegg, David Walliams, Lucy Davis, Alice Lowe, Lauren Laverne and Julia Davies.
Watch out for illustrations by top artists from the cult comic-book publishers, 2000AD, which will also feature on the CD, 7", and DVD. And don't forget to order your collectors o-card at www.charlottehatherley.com.
4th January 2005 - Happy Birthday Tim
Tim is 28 today and in celebration MTV2 are having an Ash themed hour at 11am and Andrew W.K vs Ash at 5pm. So happy birthday!