This is the seventh of twenty-six exclusive reviews of the A-Z Series by Northern Irish band Ash. Type “Ash” or “A to Z series” into our search engine to find our other articles on this topic.
Back in 2008 during Ash’s Roundhouse/Astoria gigs, the band performed a track titled “Ichiban” to the masses of UK fans. The following week the performance was put on Youtube in low quality but still gained the attention of fans new and old alike worldwide. Teleport yourself (it’s not that hard) to present day and the same track is their seventh single (single G to be exact) in their A-Z Series.
“Ichiban” is everything you can hope for when it comes to a comeback single for the new decade. It’s loud, robust, and doesn’t dare to take any names (much likes its close cousin “The Dead Disciples”). The track is sensationally guitar driven and nearly as fast as a kamikaze’s yell! In the words of our previous A-Z Coverage guest Richard Heaven “Ichiban is a bundle of win.”
To help us cover this track I ventured (over the web) to the extreme lands of Frisco, Texas and Southampton, United Kingdom to find two young guitar players. I climbed a rain swept mountain, entered a temple full of red robed monks, and found my two prodigies and commenced my interview.
Randomville: Alright before we start how about you guys introduce yourselves to our readers (feel free to be eccentric).
Ollie Ship: Hey I’m Ollie (not Oliver) Ship. I’m a guitar geek and 80s movie fanatic. I’ve been into Ash for a few years and have been on the bands’ forum for nearly three years now. I love playing my guitar, experimenting with new effect pedals and I love covering songs in my band. You might remember me from a previous Randomville piece
Grant McGilberry: I’m Grant McGilberry from Frisco, Texas. I play percussion in a group called Symphonic Band. I have a drumset and have been playing drums for three years and decided to play bass after “noodling” around on a friend’s guitar and everything. I got my bass (Epiphone Thunderbird) back in April because I had to win some district track meet in school before my parents would get me one and I’ve been playing ever since.
Randomville: Describe “Ichiban” in one word.
Ollie Ship: Enjoyable.
Grant McGilberry: Exciting.
Randomville: Now describe it in many!
Ollie Ship: It has a really good rhythm to it, a more upbeat track from Ash, which makes it definitely one of the best of The A-Z Series so far. A true guitar anthem of a track rather than a piano ballad (no offense to “Pripyat”).
Grant McGilberry: It’s a lot more exciting to play! Heck, all their newer material is just fun and has a lot more feeling in it. I love what they have done with these singles.
Randomville: Would you say “Ichiban” is your favorite of The A-Z Series so far? And if not then which is?
Ollie Ship: My favorite song in the A-Z so far has to be “Arcadia,” which I genuinely think is one of the best songs Ash have produced in years. “Ichiban” ties second place with “The Dead Disciples.” I love Ash guitar tracks because they really do prove how underrated and talented Tim Wheeler is as a guitarist.
Grant McGilberry: “Ichiban” is probably my third favorite single so far. “Space Shot” (single H) is probably my favorite (even though it hasn’t come out yet) while my second is probably “Arcadia.” Overall this is very good music and it’s clear that Ash are at their best.
Randomville: How did you get into guitar playing?
Ollie Ship: I picked up the guitar when I was twelve because I was obsessed with Ash and in my eyes Tim Wheeler was practically God.
Grant McGilberry: I got into playing bass by playing on my friend’s guitars and Guitar Hero. Haha. Then I realized how much easier I thought bass was than guitar. I still have a lot to learn but I think I am doing well so far.
Randomville: Which guitar players aside from Tim Wheeler and Mark Hamilton would you say influenced you a lot?
Ollie Ship: Matt Bellamy is probably my favorite guitarist and my main influence in my guitar playing. His style is very unique and varied which helps make his songs really good fun to play. Also a big fan of Rod Jones (lead guitarist from Idlewild) whose guitar playing is quite complicated.
Grant McGilberry: Besides them it has also been Chris #2 from Anti-Flag, Dean Benardini from Chevelle, Justin Sane from Anti-Flag, and Ian D’Sa from Billy Talent that played a great part in shaping how I play.
Randomville: Alright so how bad did you want to strangle me when asked to cover “Ichiban”? Did you find it challenging?
Ollie Ship: I worked out most of “Ichiban” myself except for the rhythm part before the chorus, (Cheers to Stu for figuring out Tim’s strange taste in chords).
Grant McGilberry: I thought it was good for you to ask me to cover “Ichiban.” I would probably cover it anyway but I took it in a good way so I could meet more of you fans and everything. It was a great experience.