Daniel Ash

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Daniel Ash
Ash at the 2008 Lollapalooza festival.
Ash at the 2008 Lollapalooza festival.
Background information
Birth nameDaniel Ash
Born (1957-07-31) 31 July 1957 (age 65)
Northampton, Northamptonshire, England
GenresAlternative rock, gothic rock, post-punk, electronic
Instrument(s)Vocals, guitar, keyboards, saxophone
Years active1979–present
LabelsColumbia Records
Beggars Banquet Records
Psychobaby Records

Daniel Ash (born 31 July 1957)[1] is an English musician, songwriter and singer. He became prominent in the late 1970s as the guitarist for the iconic goth rock band Bauhaus, which spawned two related bands led by Ash: Tones on Tail and Love and Rockets. Recently, he reunited with bandmate Kevin Haskins to form Poptone, a retrospective of their respective careers, featuring Kevin's daughter Diva Dompe on bass. He has also recorded several solo albums.[2] Several guitarists have listed Ash as an influence, including Dave Navarro of Jane's Addiction,[3] Kim Thayil of Soundgarden,[4][5] Hide of X Japan[6] and John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.[7]

Life and work[edit]

After going to concerts in his teenage years, Ash decided to perform on a stage in some way. He started playing guitar around the age of 15, but confessed to having been very lazy and learning only three chords, and nothing more, for about three years. He began playing in cover bands, often together with future band mates David J and Kevin Haskins, whom he had known since nursery school. His first gig was in the Glasgow Rangers Workman's Club.[citation needed]

Daniel Ash in 1986, while in Love and Rockets

Ash had become friends with Peter Murphy during his teenage years. Ash went to art school and Murphy went to work in a printing factory. They met up again five years later and Ash suggested forming a band. Rigging up a makeshift rehearsal space, Ash played an Echo 12 – bar blues, while Murphy sang a series of newspaper articles. Four weeks later, they formed Bauhaus and recorded "Bela Lugosi's Dead".

That song, released in 1979, became one of the most influential songs in gothic rock music, even though they saw themselves as a "dark glam" band and have always distanced themselves from the gothic label. From early on, he was intent on sounding original, and often tried to "make the guitar not sound like a guitar". He worked to develop a guitar style that included other-worldly and atmospheric sounds by the use of an EBow. He typically has used a Telecaster[8] guitar, HH amplifiers and Marshall 4x12 cabinets for his stage gear. Later in his career, he relied heavily on the Fernandes Sustainer system to achieve sounds similar to the EBow.

After nearly five years of recording and performing, Bauhaus broke up and Ash put together Tones on Tail with Bauhaus drummer Kevin Haskins. As Ash described them: "We were a motley crew of individuals who essentially wanted to sound like a band from Venus or Mars!"[citation needed] In 1984, Tones on Tail was disbanded; Ash founded Love and Rockets in 1985 with Haskins and David J, also of Bauhaus. In an interview in June 2009, Ash emphatically stated that he had no further plans to play with Love and Rockets.[8]

Ash has stated that guitar solos do not interest him much, since they rely on a musician's ego. He cares much more for the craft of songwriting and the overall production of a song rather than a focus on guitar or any other single instrument.[9] During the last ten years, he has been experimenting more with electronic music, both with Love and Rockets and solo, limiting the use of guitar as an extra element to the songs. Since the last reformation of Bauhaus, however, he has been returning to a more guitar-based rock sound.[citation needed]

In 2008, Bauhaus released Go Away White, (their first studio album in 25 years) which was followed by a world tour.

Love and Rockets last played at Coachella Music and Arts Festival in 2008.

In June 2009, Ash released a cover of the David Essex song "Rock On", featuring singer Zak Ambrose on vocals.[8] Recorded at the Swing House rehearsal and recording complex in Hollywood, the track is on the Swing House Sessions Vol 1 EP. Later in 2009, Ash released a four-song EP exclusively through iTunes, entitled "It's A Burn Out".[citation needed]

In March 2017, Daniel Ash, Kevin Haskins and Haskin's daughter Diva Dompé announced Poptone and a US tour, featuring songs by Tones on Tail, Love and Rockets and Bauhaus.[10]

In 2020, during the Covid pandemic, Ash created a new band, Ashes and Diamonds, comprising Paul Denman on bass, formerly of Sade, and Bruce Smith the former drummer with The Pop Group, Rip Rig + Panic and Public Image Ltd. An album was recorded and is due to be released in 2021.[11][needs update]

Poptone (Daniel Ash, Kevin Haskins, Diva Dompé) performing at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco.

Discography as band member[edit]

Solo discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details
1991 Coming Down
1992 Foolish Thing Desire
2002 Daniel Ash
  • Label: Psychobaby Records
2005 Come Alive
  • Label: Psychobaby Records
2014 Stripped
  • Label: GO! Studio [Reissued 2016 by MVD / Main Man]
2017 Freedom I Love

Singles, EPs and promos[edit]

Year Album information
1991 "This Love"
1991 "Walk This Way"
1992 "Get Out of Control"
1993 "Here She Comes"
2000 Daniel Ash EP
  • Label: Self Released
2000 "Burning Man"
  • Label: Plastik Records
2001 "Spooky"
  • Label: Psychobaby Records
2002 Burning Man x6 + 1
  • Label: Psychobaby Records
2009 "Rock On (Dirty Queen)"
  • Label: Arsenal Records
2009 It's A Burn Out EP
  • iTunes Exclusive
2010 The Soldiers of Everyday
  • Label: Self Released
2011 The Push
  • iTunes Exclusive
2011 That's What She Said
  • iTunes Exclusive


Year Album information
2013 Anthology
  • Label: Cherry Red
  • Contained his two albums for Beggars Banquet with B-sides and a bonus disc of collaborations, compilations tracks and more.



  1. ^ "Daniel Ash Biography". Oxford Reference. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 18 May 2022. Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  2. ^ "Daniel Ash closes door on Love and Rockets: 'It's boring for me to do those songs'". Slicing Up Eyeballs. 1 August 2009. Retrieved 14 March 2010.
  3. ^ "Dave Navarro of Jane's Addiction Discusses Technique and Influences in 1991 Guitar World Interview". Guitar World. 1991. Archived from the original on 12 July 2017. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  4. ^ "SOUNDGARDEN – "BELLIGERENT, PARANOID"". BraveWords. 10 December 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  5. ^ Greg Prato (11 May 2022). "Kim Thayil names 11 guitar players who shaped his sound". Guitar World. Future plc, Future Publishing Limited Quay House. Retrieved 4 August 2022. “In between the late ‘70s punk rock/new wave explosion and 1984/SST, there was a British post-punk thing, and I picked up on the style and elements of Daniel Ash. Once again, specifically the use of feedback, slashing, and pick scrapes and finger squeaks on the strings." “All these elements that were incidental, producers and recording engineers often tried to keep off the tape. It's also stuff that guitarists tried to avoid doing because they thought it was incidental, noise and unintended. “Ash embraced that as all part of the depth of the music and created that sort of ‘cinematic depth’ – kind of in the way that Pere Ubu had this weird literary dynamic to the way they did things. So, they weren’t afraid of the picks scrapes, the squeaks, and the use of space. It was just amazing. “And on some level, it’s fun and wild, but it’s also courageous and arty. It inspired me not to be afraid of these components of playing guitar. I didn’t have to work my way out of them – I could incorporate them into the songs.”
  6. ^ "hide's Top Favorite Albums". nopperabou. Retrieved 30 August 2021.
    hide(前編)80年代の横須賀が生んだ必然のギタリスト. Natalie (in Japanese). 26 September 2018. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  7. ^ Joe Bosso (30 May 2012). "Book excerpt: John Frusciante on being a guitar antihero". MusicRadar. Future Plc.
  8. ^ a b c "Daniel Ash: Rock On". SuicideGirls.com. 22 June 2009. Retrieved 22 June 2009.
  9. ^ "THE Wonder YEARS.(thirty-two influential guitar players during eighties decade)". Guitar Player. 1 April 2001.[dead link]
  10. ^ "POPTONE Rises To Embrace Bauhaus, Tones on Tail, Love and Rockets… Tour Planned". Shockwavemagazine.com. 6 March 2017. Archived from the original on 7 March 2017. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  11. ^ "Baxie's Musical Podcast: Daniel Ash interview". Soundcloud.com. 1 February 2021.

External links[edit]