It’s a sound that’s stripped to the bare bones, yet tasty as a rib eye steak. Saul Ashby is perusing to put his curly notes on a musical map. Taking inspiration form the likes of Elvis Costello and making sounds that intertwine finely with banter amongst friends, it also delves into the opposite side of the spectrum.. Tackling love on the rocks and colourful socks, Saul speaks about all things Ashby.
Saul Ashby. How are we? Ok?
I am, I think. Bit of a big weekend, but Monday feels alright.
So. You’re currently on tour. How’s it going? Has there been a warm reception from the crowds?
It’s all about Manchester. We played at Night and Day a couple of weeks ago. The first time I’ve ever played in the city. The crowd were wicked.
Your music has a Jack Peñate vibe about it. Would you agree?
Not really all that familiar with his stuff. I think I liked what I heard. The handful of modern solo artists that aren’t weeping all over their acoustic guitars is a limited one for comparisons, I suppose.
After seeing you live recently, you have the ability to deliver a unique focus when you perform. Was this your aim?
A unique focus? Haha. I don’t know mate. I just really love what I do. The short window when I’m on stage is when I truly feel like I’m in my element. So maybe that’s it.
‘Debutantes’ is a great single. How would you describe it and how did the song come about?
It’s about the excitement you experience when you’re out with your mates and trying to persuade yourself that you’re on top of the world, when all the while you’re just trying to get pissed enough to drunk-dial your ex.
I feel you have a love for 60′s music. Would I be right in thinking that? Not to stereotype your dress sense…
I couldn’t narrow down my listening to just one decade’s worth of music. I wouldn’t know how to do that.
It’s a competitive industry out there. How can Saul Ashby endeavour to keep his musical machine motoring?
Maybe I’m fortunate in that I don’t really care about what anyone else is up to. The only person I’m bothered about outdoing is myself. And I’m very hard to impress.
Right then. This has to be done. Inspirations? Or idols even….
I’ve had a few Elvis Costello comparisons recently, which is hugely flattering. Probably more to do with my specs than my tunes though. He’s always been a massive hero of mine. Lou Reed is also a big one. My mate Jules put me onto his “New York” record a few years back. One of my favourite albums. I lived in New York for a couple of years and that record just paints the most incredible picture of the city in the late 80’s. Wish I had seen it like that.
I like the Jack Peñate comparison. But how would you sum up your sound?
Like when a quiet night in with a couple of mates turns into an unexpected visit to the ER.
It’s very early days. But what’s in the pipeline for you with regards to your debut album? And what are the new single plans?
That’s a very good question and one that I’d like to know the answer to myself. I’m about to hopefully start work on an EP and we’ll probably release a couple of singles off of that. Debutantes is out on May 14, so we’re going to have a massive gig/party in London on May 9 at the Sebright Arms. Everyone’s invited.
Tell me something totally random. Anything…go for it…
The word “sesquipedalian” is an adjective defined as “Given to using long words.”
That is random. Saul. Its been a pleasure…
Cheers very much. Hopefully we’ll see you for a dance soon.
I have been know to dance, so that sounds very promising. All the best.
Interview by Ashley Spink