At The Bar With Ash Naylor, On Tour with The Church and a New Solo Album

Is there anything Ash Naylor can’t do? We have often pondered this thought. The exceptional Melbourne guitarist is currently on tour in the USA with The Church, is also part of Paul Kelly’s band, has brought his mighty playing prowess to The Rockwiz Orkestra over the decades and of course – has his own Melbourne outfit Even.

Now he’s about to release a new instrumental solo album titled Soundtracks Vol 2 – which he will perform with his band Spaceship at the Brunswick Ballroom on November 17.

We caught up with Ash while on tour in the USA. He talks about his favourite bar memories in Melbourne, opening for Tom Jones at Rochford Winery, and the guitar heroes who inspired his new material.

MY CITY

Melbourne, so many wonderful parklands and waterways. Footy season.

FAVOURITE FOOD MEMORY

Vege dogs with sauerkraut, mustard, cheese and ketchup, Seattle 1998. Been trying to replicate this savoury delicacy since then.

FAVOURITE BAR MEMORY

Playing a show of Bowie songs at Cherry Bar around the anniversary of his passing. Palpable love and magic in the air.

DRINK THAT DESCRIBES YOU

Heaps Normal.

BEST HANGOVER CURE 

Abstinence.

BEST INTERSTATE BAR

The Grace Emily, Adelaide

FAVOURITE WINE

Anything unopened so I can re-gift it when I forget someone’s birthday!

FAVOURITE WINERY

Rochford – I took my mother and mother in-law along to a show I was playing there with The Wolfgramm Sisters in support of Tom Jones.

NEXT DESTINATION

Pomona California with The Church on our current USA tour.

FAVOURITE GUITARISTS AND WHY

As a younger person, Jimmy Page, Johnny Marr and Jimi Hendrix were all beacons for me. All quite different in approach but the underlying thread is that composition and creativity are the at the basis of their work and not technical proficiency. That said they were all technically gifted. Marr was not prone to ‘improvising’ over his work which taught me economy and melody are crucial. Page and Hendrix often improvised within the structure of a particular song which has been a major influence on my Soundtracks records.  The Rain Song by Led Zeppelin, 1983 by Hendrix and What Difference Does It Make by The Smiths are all key examples of songs which have given me endless inspiration.

In these days of so much short and glitchy digital input to our brains, I’m willing to resist the temptation to self- edit and keep tunes to a conservative length, many of my instrumental tracks are long. The aim is for the music to act as an invitation for potential listeners to go the distance and attach their own meaning to the music. To capture a complete, un-edited guitar performance that travels within a piece of music is also a big feature on these recordings.

TOURING WITH THE CHURCH IN THE USA RIGHT NOW – WHAT’S IT LIKE?

It’s an indescribable experience really. Obviously, there is a responsibility to present the music with passion and accuracy, but at some stages of the show, each of us has the chance to improvise and stretch out which is incredibly liberating and thrilling. The shows are going really well, the set is a generous mixture of many eras of the band with a strong focus on the current configuration and the new material. The audiences are so warm and excitable. It’s unreal.

SOUNDTRACKS VOLUME 2 IS OUT OCTOBER 20.

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