Here’s a brilliant (and very long) interview with Danny Ash from the excellent Post Punk website. Ash has recently announced that he will be re-visiting his back catalogue (mainly Tones on Tail and Love and Rockets material). Going on the previews, including the new version of Tones on Tails’ “There’s Only One’ above, it is going to be good.
More Tones on Tails please Danny!
Post-Punk: I also wanted to ask you some Tones on Tail questions real quick. Have you noticed you’ve been to any clubs and they’ll play “Go” and “Christian Says” and “Performance” more so than a Love and Rockets or Bauhaus song?
DA: I haven’t really noticed because I don’t go to clubs much, but I do know people still play “Go,” and I’m thrilled about that because that’s one of my favorite songs. That was a great day in the studio. It was actually a B-side, a B-side to a track called “Lions.” It just took off, when that first came out it was apparently #1 in Germany for about five weeks – because of the chorus, the ya ya ya, that means “yes” in German. I had no idea, as I was just winging it. I had no idea where that lyrics came from – I just started singing it.
To answer your question, I’m thrilled about it.I’ve got to be honest, I think that’s probably my favorite band out of all of them. There were no commercial considerations, I was completely free to do whatever I wanted, and my idea with that band was to make music that sounded like it came from another planet, but you could still tap your foot to it, and I think that’s what I achieved. I listen to it now and it still sounds contemporary and timeless, which I’m really pleased about.
Post-Punk: It does, you have kids who’ve never heard it before at contemporary clubs and they’ll immediately storm the dance floor because it’s got the beat that you can dance to and it’s good.
DA: That particular track has a killer bass line as well. That’s Glenn Campling on bass. It’s ironic because we didn’t have any money, so when we used drum machines, we only had the cheapest one that had just been invented. It was twice the size of a packet of cigarettes, about 35 bucks new, and was real cheap sounding. So I’d put it through a fucked up 12’’ speaker and overdrive it to give it that edge and then record it in a large room with a couple of mics to try and dirty it up, because it was so meek sounding at first. That sound came from lack of money, and I think it’s a great effect.I can’t believe the way that track sounds actually, because it was made on an extremely small budget.
I mean, we did have a studio called Beck’s, and it’s the same place we recorded most of Bauhaus’ stuff. It was a 16 track studio with all analog gear, and there was this real character called Derek Tompkins and he just used to take the piss out of us all the time. We’d go, “Derek, how did that track sound?” and he’d go, “fuckin’ rubbish do it again.” He just put it all down, but he really made us work hard. [Beck’s] was this little backstreet studio, but the sound coming out was very warm, and Derek and us were a good combination. When “Go” came out, I have my memory of recording it in a little tiny studio.
The main recording room was just like somebody’s living room with those real tacky carpets that they had in the ‘70s. Those sort of orange colors, like your grandmother’s living room. Then, I was in New York at the Pyramid Club and suddenly “Go” came on and these two gay cowboys just jumped up on the stage with their hot pants on and started gyrating. I was laughing so hard, and I thought to myself, “If you knew this came from grandma’s living room, you would not be doing what you’re doing.” It was funny.