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INTERVIEW: Shlomi Ash

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Pretty darn good, actually. The sun is out, my single is being played on radios all over the world from the U.S to Slovenia, I’ve been writing and recording tons of new music recently that I can’t wait to share. So, life is good on my end.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Taking Me Over”?

I sure can. It’s a straightforward, melodic guitar driven pop-rock song. I haven’t heard a lot of these lately, so I decided to write one on my own.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

For me, it’s a “get back on the horse, you lazy bastard!” sort of song. Like many of my friends, I had a double life for a very long time, writing tons of music mostly to myself and doing other stuff that had nothing to do with music at the same time. The song is all about waking up and deciding it’s time to stop the nonsense and get on with it. Start doing the thing you KNOW you needed to do for a very long time. In my case – getting a band together and starting to record my music and get it out to the world.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Sure, at some point, when the $’s start coming in ????

How was the recording and writing process?

I wrote the song several years ago, with the main riff coming first, then the lyrics and then the rest of the music. It started out having a groovy Chili Peppers sort of vibe, but ended up being quite different eventually. By the time I got to the studio it was already quite baked, but nothing prepared me for the energy the recording process brought to this track. Chris (my producer) brought a lot of things to the table I wasn’t expecting, from noises that sounded like aliens having sex to groovy bass lines that added a strong 90’s vibe. It’s been a lot of fun recording this one.

What was it like to work with Chris Potter and how did that relationship develop?

I think what stroke me most was how committed & nice he was at the same time. He really put his heart & soul into every single track, but was also a pleasure to work with, which was quite surprising. I mean, the guy is a master, he produced some of the greatest albums in history (such as the Verve’s Urban Hymns), you wouldn’t expect him to ALSO be extremely nice, right? – how many good qualities could one person have??

Also, the entire relationship developed around the songs, which made everything simple. I sent him some demos a while back, he wrote back a beautiful email and we continued from there. It really felt natural- when the connection is made through the music, you don’t need anything else. I remember sitting at his home studio on the last day of recording, listening to the finished tracks together, both of us feeling extremely proud. After having imagined what it would sound like for so long, it finally became a thing we can share. These are moments you never forget.

How much did he get to influence the song?

Quite a lot, to be honest. From the general sound to the way the bass and the drums sound, he brought a lot to this.

What role does Tel Aviv play in your music?

At the end of the day, I think Tel Aviv one of the greatest cities in the world, which has it’s influence on the music. There’s a reason so many people who come here to visit decide to move in. Like every big city, it has its ups and downs though, and you can go from feeling extremely invigorated to feeling like the loneliest man in the world, all in a split second. I grew up in a small suburb of Tel Aviv called Rishon (which is kinda like New Jersey is to NYC, I guess), so to me Tel Aviv will always be this “castle on the hill” that you aspire to live in but also feel a bit distant from at the same time.

How Johnny Cash and Jeff Buckley has influence your writing?

It’s the sincerity, man. It’s all about sincerity. I feel like there’s a lot of post-modern, cynical music around these days. These 2 musicians, however, as well as Bruce Springsteen and others, are like a bright light of honesty and simplicity in all of this. Their music will always be relevant because it stares life in the face and tells you things as they really are. I’m addicted to this kind of music, it’s always been there for me and I want to do the best I can to write in a similar way.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

Oh yes! There’s tons of music coming out soon. I recorded 11 songs with Chris and wrote about 30 more, so you’re gonna hear from me for quite a while now..

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

We will be re-releasing another single called Wake Up in the US in the coming months, and probably another single called To the River soon after

Any plans to hit the road?

Definitely. Currently I have several shows with the band planned in Tel Aviv, and we are planning on having some dates in Europe (and hopefully the US) towards the end of the year

What else is happening next in Shlomi Ash’s world?

Releasing as much music as possible and playing live with the band are the main goals, and that’s really all you would expect from a musician isn’t it? The truth is I’m humbled by all the support I got so far, it’s really something else. A kid from Peru just sent me a beautiful painting he made of me on his calculus notebook – that’s freaking amazing, man. All of these things also inspire me to write tons of new songs, so the road ahead seems quite bright.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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