Tim Wheeler

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Tim Wheeler
Tim Wheeler in BKK.jpg
Wheeler in Bangkok, Thailand
Background information
Birth nameTimothy James Arthur Wheeler
Born (1977-01-04) 4 January 1977 (age 41)
Downpatrick, Northern Ireland
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • musician
  • guitarist
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • piano
Years active1989–present
Associated acts

Timothy James Arthur Wheeler[1] (born 4 January 1977), known as Tim Wheeler, is a Northern Irish singer, songwriter, musician and guitarist for the Northern Irish alternative rock band Ash. He formed the band with Mark Hamilton and they were originally called Vietnam. Wheeler can be seen playing a Korina Gibson Flying V in almost all of Ash's music videos. He has written nearly all of their notable pieces such as "Oh Yeah", "Shining Light", "Girl From Mars", "Kung Fu", and "Goldfinger". In September 2014 Tim announced details of his debut solo album "Lost Domain" with a release date of 3 November 2014.[2]

Early life[edit]

Wheeler was born in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland,[3] to George Bomfforde Wheeler (1932-2011), a solicitor, later judge, and Rosalind E. M. (née Dickson), daughter of a Northern Bank manager.[4][5] He attended Down High School with his fellow band members Mark Hamilton and Rick McMurray.

Music career[edit]


He won the Ivor Novello Award for Best Contemporary Pop Song in 2001 for Shining Light.[6]

Other work[edit]

In 1999 Wheeler contributed guitar & backing vocals on The Rentals' album Seven More Minutes. Wheeler has also contributed backing vocals Bob Geldof's Band Aid 20 2004 single "Do They Know It's Christmas?"[7] and on Arthur Baker's song, "Glow".[8]

As part of Channel 4's program The JD Set, Wheeler worked with Emmy The Great, The Crookes, And So I Watch You From Afar and Ma Mentor, joining each band in covering songs by Pixies, and then performing at London's XOYO on 24 March 2011.[9]

Tim has recently been involved with film and TV soundtrack work most notably "Ashes" (2012), "Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond" (2014)[10] & "Shaun the Sheep Movie" (2015)[11]

Emmy the Great[edit]

Tim has collaborated frequently in recent years with Emma-Lee Moss, AKA Emmy The Great, the duo have performed Ash track "Tracers" on several occasions, and in 2011 Tim, Emma & Euan Hinshelwood covered Robert Manning's song "Washington Parks", the cover was released as part of a collection of covers to raise awareness of Multiple Sclerosis.[12][13] The pair acoustically performed a set of Ash & Emmy The Great songs, as well as some covers at Willowstone Festival on 1 July 2011.[14]

In November 2011 the pair released a Christmas album, entitled This Is Christmas (Infectious, 2011).[15]

Lost Domain[edit]

In September 2014, Tim announced the release of his first solo album, "Lost Domain", a heartfelt and emotional response to the loss of his father George to dementia. "Lost Domain" will be released on Sony Red on 3 November 2014, with a portion of the proceeds being donated to The Alzheimer's Society, a charity Tim has worked closely with since his father's death in 2011.[16]

"Lost Domain" is an album in which Tim battles to come to terms with his loss, charting his father's rapid decline into illness, his death and the tumultuous effect that it had on his life over the course of 11 songs. As Tim explains: “After losing my father to dementia, I felt the need to personally do something to fight Alzheimer’s. My friend Neil Hannon from The Divine Comedy's father also has Alzheimer's so we put on a concert in Belfast in November 2011 with The Divine Comedy, The Undertones and Ash to raise funds and awareness for the Alzheimer's Society. Since then I've had close links with The Alzheimer's Society and this year was involved with the Dementia Friends campaign. I'm proud to continue to support them and raise more awareness with the album Lost Domain."[17]

Recorded in Ash's New York studio, Tim played almost everything himself, roping in musician friends when he needed a hand: Andy Burrows formerly of Razorlight and Fred Aspelin (Alberta Cross) each played some drums; Ilan Eshkeri and Oliver Kraus helped with the string and brass arrangements performed by the London Metropolitan Orchestra; Leanne Macomber from Ejecta and Neon Indian sang; and Moon Hooch's Wenzl McGowen played saxophone.[18] There's even a sample of Tim's dad's piano playing on the album's epic centerpiece Medicine.[19]

The album track The First Sign of Spring is available to listen to on YouTube now.[20]

Tim Wheeler announced his first solo dates to support the release of the album on 4–7 November. He played Bush Hall – London, Night & Day- Manchester, ABC2 – Glasgow and Oh Yeah Centre – Belfast.[21] In addition, he supported Andy Burrows in Amsterdam and Brussels.

Musical equipment and sound[edit]

Wheeler is perhaps most recognised for using a Gibson Flying V, which he has frequently used live since 1998 onwards – his Flying V has a 50's Zebra Coil PAF pickup, and has also been modified in the past for pyrotechnics – the Flaming Flying V acts as a flamethrower, firing from between the V part of the guitar body.[22][23] Prior to this Wheeler mainly used various Gibson Les Paul models. Wheeler also plays a Gibson SG and Gretsch Silver Jet, the Sliver Jet was frequently used both live and in the studio since Ash's album Twilight of the Innocents. For heavier tracks such as "The Dead Disciples" Tim has used a Fender Telecaster. In 2011, Wheeler purchased a Gretsch 1966 Sal Fabrio, for work in the studio and rehearsals. Tim also uses a Gibson Custom Inspired By Kiefer Sutherland Semi-Hollow KS-336 guitar on a number of tracks live, including songs such as Walking Barefoot.Tim used an Elliot Easton signature model Gibson Firebird on a number of songs during the Kablammo! tour.

Tim predominately uses a Mesa Boogie Road King Series II amplifier, and also sometimes uses a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier amplifier. Tim uses numerous effects pedals which are housed in a rack and controlled via MIDI.

His effects pedals include; an Electro-Harmonix Micro Synthesizer, a Dunlop Crybaby 95Q Wah pedal, a Death By Audio Fuzz War, a Carl Martin HeadRoom Reverb, an Electro-Harmonix Poly Chorus, a Morpheus Droptune, a Catalinbread Karma Suture Fuzz, a Mesa Boogie Tone Burst, a Coloursound Tonebender, a Moog Moogerfooger Phaser, an ADA Flanger pedal, and a Nocto Loco octave pedal which replaced a Korg synthesiser in his effects rack.

Tim controls his pedals in his effects rack using a Voodoo Lab Ground Control Pro MIDI foot controller.

The Flying V guitar that Wheeler set on fire on the Ash Meltdown tour is now on display at the Oh Yeah (music centre) in Belfast.[24] The Oh Yeah Centre is dedicated to the music of Northern Ireland and was named after the song Oh Yeah by Ash.[25]

Lyrical themes and writing[edit]

With the release of the band's fifth studio record Twilight of the Innocents, in 2007, Wheeler spoke of how if the group hadn't toured so heavily they would have been more prolific, that: "It would have been cool to have twice as many songs by now. I definitely could have done it, but if I go on tour I have to stop writing. Writing needs to be a relaxing process and you need peace and quiet and the right stuff around you. Whenever we take a break I could write a song every day, pretty much."[26]

Personal life[edit]

Wheeler is an Arsenal F.C. fan; this came after living in Highbury for nine years.[27] He is a great-great-grandson of Rev. George Bomfforde Wheeler, editor of The Irish Times from 1859 to 1877.[28][29][30]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 May 2009. Retrieved 25 March 2008.
  2. ^ [1] NME.com, 1 September 2014
  3. ^ About the Band walking-barefoot.com, 1 May 2013
  4. ^ https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/judge-was-descendant-of-irish-times-editor-and-father-of-ash-lead-singer-1.583796
  5. ^ http://www.fuls.org.uk/tcdani/George%20Bomfforde%20Wheeler.pdf
  6. ^ Music Hall of Fame Archived 1 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine. discovernorthernireland.com, retrieved 23 June 2011
  7. ^ McCartney confirms Band Aid role BBC, 5 November 2004
  8. ^ Arthur Baker feat. Tim Wheeler – Glow (Underwater) musicomh.com, 20 March 2006
  9. ^ Rock and Pop: It's back! The JD Set...Tim Wheeler and friends pay tribute to the Boston indie Godheads Pixies. XOYO, 24 March Archived 20 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine. islingtontribune.com, 15 March 2011
  10. ^ [2]
  11. ^ [3]
  12. ^ Tim Wheeler and Emmy the Great Music for MRI Project Digital Release ash-official.com, 17 May 2011
  13. ^ 'Washington Parks' Project for MS Society Archived 8 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine. emmythegreat.com, 19 May 2011
  14. ^ The pair will join forces to perform an acoustic set including a mix of Ash and Emmy the Great songs as well as a few covers ash-official.com, 9 June 2011
  15. ^ "Tim Wheeler & Emmy The Great release 'This Is Christmas' today". Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  16. ^ "Ash's Tim Wheeler announces debut solo album 'Lost Domain' – hear first song now". Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  17. ^ "DEBUT SOLO ALBUM – LOST DOMAIN Released on Sony Red on November 3rd 2014". Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  18. ^ "Ash Singer Tim Wheeler Announces Debut Solo Album Lost Doman". Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  19. ^ "Debut Album Pre-order 'Lost Domain' by Tim Wheeler: Signed albums, bonus content & exclusive merchandise". Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  20. ^ "Tim Wheeler – First Sign of Spring". Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  21. ^ "Tim Wheeler Announces Solo UK Dates for November Around His Debut Solo Album". Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  22. ^ Flying V at the Oh Yeah centre, Belfast belfastmusic.org, 7 December 2009
  23. ^ Steal Their Sound: Tim Wheeler (Ash) musicradar.com/totalguitar, 7 July 2010
  24. ^ "Tim Wheeler Donates his Golden Guitar". Culturenorthernireland.org. Retrieved 2013-06-28.
  25. ^ "Music Legends". Discovernorthernireland.com. 21 June 2013. Archived from the original on 1 October 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  26. ^ The Mysterious Mr Wheeler: An Interview with Ash popmatters.com, 24 September 2007
  28. ^ https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/judge-was-descendant-of-irish-times-editor-and-father-of-ash-lead-singer-1.583796
  29. ^ The Illustrated London News, 10 November 1877, p. 462
  30. ^ Tim Wheeler's Instagram, photo added 4 September 2015 URL= https://www.instagram.com/p/7NzKmmtukz Date accessed= 3 November 2018

External links[edit]