Irish band Ash began their musical journey as teens and now are glad to be back in the music scene, together again after some time taken away to enjoy family life. I recently had the opportunity to talk to Tim Wheeler from the group about their new album. Tim says they have enjoyed visiting Australia, having taken part in the 1989 Big Day Out which they loved playing at.

Talking to Tim from the guys base in the US, he tells me he thinks the band’s new album ‘Islands’ is the classic they wanted it to be and that it stands up to any of their best work to date, high praise indeed for a band that has produced two number one albums and eighteen top 40 singles.

The new album ‘Islands’ deals with all the weighty issues, love, loss, friendship, betrayal and redemption.

The title ‘Islands’ may be representative and a metaphor for the insular feelings of isolation we have with the loss of a friendship or a relationship. With the aim of writing a song every hour to really feel the isolation of being an island the songs were written at various islands around the world.

I mention to Tim maybe then they could have included the island of Tasmania. How small a world it is was proved to me once again when Tim mentions that once on tour they met a Tasmanian character who was a ‘so together guy’.

One question I want to ask is how the group got their name. Tim tells me as a fan of one syllable named bands like ‘Blur’ and ‘Suede’ he wanted something in a similar vein. Opening a dictionary starting at ‘a’ he didn’t have to read too long until he found ‘Ash’ and so the band was born.

The album ‘Islands’ by Liberator music is out now.
Paula Xiberras