- So i’ve been professing my love of the work of The Ascension for several years now in the hope that the rest of you lot out there might give them the much deserved support and attention they need.
- In addition I keep running into Doug (Guitar/Keyboards) and Neil (Bass) at gigs, and keep apologising for missing them live.
- The latest chapter in the story of the band is the departure of drummer Aaron Sawyer, and having run into them yet again the other Friday whilst watching Bobbie Peru and Mr Heart, I half engaged in a conversation with Doug before Tamsin and Co hit the stage with some venom (which I must get around to reviewing).
- Anyway Doug dropped me a line the other day as asked if they could do a radio thing with me, and of course I had to explain I don’t “do” radio at the moment, but I do blog and podcast, so we agreed I would swap some questions with them and they would furnish me with some appropriate audio-visual material to include in a blog about their “work in progress”.
- So some of the more eagle eyed amongst you may have spotted that a couple of videos entitled “The Rain City Sessions” have just appeared on You Tube/Facebook with Neil on Drums and Doug on keyboards doing versions of “Another Cold War” and “Last Fall” (see below for those who have not seen them)…..
A VIRTUAL INTERVIEW
Q….. So my immediate thought was what’s happened since Blood Upon The Rose? Aaron leaving etc….and did I sense from the end of the “Another Cold War” video there is a lot of pent up frustration in the band?
- Doug: What’s happened is we’ve carried on as best we can. We’re continually writing and recording new songs, some will see the light of day, others not. On February 23rd we did a one off gig as a two piece at Creation Cafe, Salford….Great place, great vibe. It was a short set of songs adapted for the stripped down two piece line-up, the synth filling in bass notes and Neil (normally on bass guitar/vox) was on drums/vox for a good portion of it. For the song ‘The Rift’ Neil returned to the bass guitar and we used a drum machine beat as that’s what’s used on the original anyway. As for the frustration……well……that’s just part of life!!!
- Neil: The last ten seconds are my favourite bit of that video!
Q. So what are the Rain City Sessions, and have you any new releases coming out soon?
- Doug: Rain City Sessions is an up close, raw and live online peek into us as a band. ‘Another Cold War’ is the first part of what may continue as more live performances of songs, some of which will be reinterpreted for the sake of practicality or experimentation……There also could be an interview or even a live, online gig….Whatever we feel like basically…..all sent out into cyberspace with love from Hometown Studios, Salford. The imminent new release is a single featuring two songs ‘Drowning In The Drought’ and ‘In a digital arcade’ which were recorded, mixed and mastered by Ding at 6dB Studios also in Salford.
Q. So you are looking for a new drummer. Any joy yet?
- Doug: We’ve had a few auditions but no joy as yet.
- Neil: Yeah we need a Pete DeFreitas or Stephen Morris type, creative with bags of stamina!
Q. I would have thought the current political climate would make good material for you guys ….is this reflected in the new songs?
- Doug: Possibly either consciously or subconsciously it is reflected in songs. As we were working on part one of the Rain City Sessions the other day we said how funny it is in light of all the media attention on North Korea we are performing a song called ‘Another Cold War’ which was written over a few years ago now!
- Neil: No all the new songs are about how great everything is and what a great job the powers that be are doing!?….ok maybe there’s a few cynical ditties on the way.
Q. You guys are avid and regular gig attenders and strong supporters of local bands …..what do you think needs to change about the music industry in the Manchester conurbation?
- Doug: Having always done things for ourselves as a band I admit I don’t have a great knowledge on the music industry locally or otherwise! The problem is these days with the industry in general is that nobody wants to take a risk. It’s all based on ticket sales, number of online fans, will this lot fill a venue, sell many downloads etc….In other words is it a viable commodity…..And yes I know we all need money but when that’s all it’s about what you get is only bands who are a SAFE bet playing the big stage…..I won’t name them but the other week I saw a band in a venue in Manchester and it was like something off one of those awfull scuzz, rock/metal classic MTV bullshit channels, all slick and well marketed…..devoid of soul! What this city could do with is someone like Tony Wilson who had some celebrity clout, a bit of cash and was willing to take risk after risk simply because he loved music and loved Manchester!…..It’s such a shame that so much great music in Salford let alone the rest of the Manchester area is being overlooked as you well know yourself.
- Neil: Stop regurgitating the past is what I say, stop all this revisionist nonsense to make a few quid and instead do something new and challenging, I’m a bit sick of the pat yourself on the back listen to the classics thing Manchester seems to do a lot, all the music industry can think to do now is repackage the past because it’s a safe investment so fuck em, ridicule or even better ban all tribute bands no exceptions ,when did that become an acceptable proposition? I missed that meeting,they’re getting regular income while musicians that write they’re own material get peanuts!