Northern Irishmen Ash have been making music together since 1992. They’ll play Seattle Monday. Photo by Karen McBride.
From sensation to slump to comeback story, Northern Ireland’s Ash has lived many lives since forming in 1992. Remarkably, frontman Tim Wheeler, bass player Mark Hamilton and drummer Rick McMurray are still only in their mid-30s. The band kicks off its first U.S. tour in nine years Monday at Ballard’s Tractor Tavern.
Like many groups, Ash began in a small-town garage.
“We were trying to play metal,” Hamilton remembers. “Then, Nirvana came along and showed us you didn’t have to be technically amazing to play your songs. We loosened up, stuck to the melodies, didn’t think about solos as much… just bashed it out.”
Their timing was excellent. Following Nirvana’s left-field success, record execs combed the world’s regional scenes for the Next Big Thing, throwing bands against the wall and seeing which stuck.
Unlike most, Ash stuck.