This is the 24th of 26 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.
Single X is out now and is a heartfelt acoustic track filled with honesty and reflection. The track was written by the band’s drummer, Rick McMurray, and for this single we obtained an interview with his brothers, Michael and David.[audio:http://randomville.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Ash-Change-Your-Name.mp3|titles=Ash — Change Your Name]
Randomville: So Single X is out now! Any thoughts on what the track’s about?
Mike McMurray: I think it’s a great song – it’s very personal to [Rick]. I’m not entirely sure what he is talking about, but it was written when he had split up with his longtime partner.
David McMurray: It’s been hanging around waiting to make an appearance for a whole 48 weeks! Superb consistency in is found in this track. Rick played me the demo a long while back…it’s like a photograph that captures a moment of time. The raw honesty floored me then and still floors me now.
Randomville: So for those who do not know, what do you guys do for the band and how long have you had this job?
Mike McMurray: I started working with the band around two years ago, I think. I look after the drums and bass, so I set up those two things….re-string the bass, change the drum head, make sure all the pedals and electronics have fresh batteries. Basically I fix things when they go wrong.
David McMurray: Years ago it was giving them lifts to venues and airports in my capacity as Ric’ks brother, with access to a car! It’s more of a moral support [role].
Randomville: When you guys heard that the band was doing The A-Z Series, what were your initial thoughts?
Mike McMurray: I thought the A-Z thing was a great idea! It offers the freedom to write and record with no pressure from record labels. I think it’s what every band will eventually end up doing.
David McMurray: I thought right away that the A-Z concept is hugely groundbreaking and prophetic within the music industry. Like most prophets, recognition will be revealed at a later stage. [My] initial thoughts were the same as my thoughts now: it’s groundbreaking and gives the band freedom.
Mike McMurray: I prefer the heavier tracks; I’m more into heavy rock and metal bands.
David McMurray: I actually cannot decide on either mellow tracks or rockier ones…there’s a fragility in the mellow ones that captures emotion so well; the rockier tracks are the flip side of that coin. However “Clones” should be used for America’s Got Talent as a theme tune!
Randomville: How would you say “Change Your Name” compares to previous tracks written by Rick?
Mike McMurray: I’m not entirely sure what other songs have been written by Rick, but I think “Change Your Name” is a good tune.
David McMurray: It has emotional intelligence. It’s my favorite track he’s ever written. Simply put, the boy grew up, moved on in trusting himself
Randomville: What would you say made touring/promoting/preparing A-Z different then the band’s previous efforts?
Mike McMurray: Touring and promoting has been different, as they don’t have a big record company to promote the stuff, although it’s been fun.
David McMurray: The team Ash have as management has excelled in ensuring this came off. Why? The biggest difference is actually seeing the belief they have as a band in the direction they have chosen, doing it themselves. There is no safety net of record company support that makes it real, every day.
Randomville: What gig would you say stood out to you more then any other this entire year?
Mike McMurray: The A-Z tour was fun – we played through loads of small towns, which had corresponding letters, so we played Aldershot for A, and finished in Zennor in Cornwall for Z. It was great, though. I think Japan was a really good gig – I also had never been before, and it was awesome. The crowd is so different out there: they would remain silent until the very end of a song, it looks weird but it was cool to watch.
David McMurray: The gig that stood out for me was a warm up in Belfast at Oh Yeah back in July 2010. Really passionate! Before that on A-Z tour has got to be Oldham. Why? Bath bubbles, cheese eating, Mickey Mouse, Panama Kings, Ash & sunrise over the Yorkshire moors. Nuff said.
Randomville: How did you guys come across meeting the band/becoming the allies you are today?
Mike McMurray: Well Rick is my brother, so that’s how I know the band. I was six or something when they first started, so I went to shows when they played Belfast or Dublin, just hanging about. One day Rick rang me to see if I wanted to tech for him. And obviously I said yes, it’s a great job.
David McMurray: I have the blessing to be Rick’s big brother and have been taught French by Tim’s mum in high school. Also responsible for the dodgy footwear Rick wore years ago….he borrowed it!
Randomville: Will you guys be sad to see Russell go?
Mike McMurray: Russell has fit in really well…he picked the songs up really quickly and he’s a bit of a joker. So yeah, I would be sorry to see him go. I think Ash sound bigger and better as a 4 piece with Russell.
David McMurray: Ah Russell, he’ll be missed. Sadly, at first. Sadder, next. Then they’ll be employing his fringe in an effort to relive this year’s phenomenal partnership.
Randomville: Can you let slip any hints of what’s to come after A-Z?
Mike McMurray: I’m not sure what they’ll be doing after A-Z ,but I think they’ll be doing more things like that. Releasing more singles, I think.
David McMurray: Mmmm…after A-Z? Always the option of numbers. Personally, I’d love it if they did Alpha to Omega!
NOTE: Be sure to subscriber to The A-Z Series before September 22nd to obtain the next and final A-Z bonus track,