Interview with Rick McMurray - 12th Dec 2006

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Interview With Rick McMurray, taken from Q&A with Rita

1) What has been the secret to the longevity and success of Ash?

I think our longevity is down to our never fitting into any scene. We've always done our own thing and not worried about what was flavour of the month at any particular time. That, and we've always got on with each other. There's never been any friction, just slight chaffing around the crotch.

2) How did the members of Ash meet?

Tim and Mark met over an Iron Maiden backpatch on a denim jacket, aged 11. I met Tim at a school play aged 15. He was a gypsy minstrel, and I was an alcoholic journalist. How things have changed............. I met Mark shortly after that at our first rehearsal. He thought I was weird and vice versa.

3) How was the name Ash decided upon?

The name came from the little Oxford English dictionary page 33, in between asexual and ashamed. What the significance of this is, I'll leave to your imagination.

4) What song in the Ash repertoire holds the most personal meaning to the band?

Hmm, kinda difficult to choose at the moment, as our heads are focused on the new album. Jack Names the Planets was the song that got us first noticed; Girl from Mars got us our first big break; Shining Light got us re-established after we were written off.

5) What has been your most memorable gig to date?

Our comeback as a three piece in September this year was amazing; simply because it worked out well going back to basics. We thought we could function again as the original line up, but it was really nice being able to prove our instincts were right.

6) Any wild party stories you care to relate?

I fell over when we weren't on tour once............

7) What artists have been most influential on the Ash sound?

Nirvana were pivotal in our formation, as were Iron Maiden, if only for the backpatch incident.

8) Do you have any routines or rituals when entering the recording studio?

Not really, although writing some songs before entering is usually a good idea. I think we reserve our rituals for the road.

9) What are the necessities for touring on the road?

A bag is always helpful, for carrying clothes. a bus for traveling and a road crew to make everything work. Oh and booze, lots of lovely booze..........

10) What does the band enjoy doing when you have some down time?

Well, failing to open my own pub last year, but that may not have been that enjoyable, in hindsight. I'm attempting to learn piano and keyboards at the moment, but I don't think it should be inflicted on anyone. Mark likes collecting toys and snowboarding.

11) If the story of Ash was to be made into a film, what would it be titled?

Most likely, it would be called "The Rise and Fall and Rise and Fall and Rise of Ash." although if it was made in 10 years time, it would be the same words, just longer.

12) Where do you see yourselves ten years from now?

I've always found it easiest to achieve with the use of a crystal ball,and alchemy. Mark prefers going into a trance-like state whilst showering. Tim uses necromancy and tea leaves. none of these things really work. I have had visions, but they most likely are projections from my subconscious, rather than communications from a higher being. At a guess, I might be riding on the back of the space turtle to join forces with the cats on the dark side of the moon. This is the premise of a book I read, but that's not to say it won't happen. Either that or putting together a mammoth boxset of our career, to pay for a new crystal ball, cause the last one was, frankly, rubbish........

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