ASH BATES: A TRIP CALLED MUSIC


Music as a sort of trip inside the self, a mean to discover the deeper feelings and emotions. Ash Bates is a young singer songwriter from Shropshire, England, and with his music he wants to tell stories he experienced and where others can find themselves.


His writing is like a sort of progression that leads to beautiful “destinations”.




Tell me about you. Who are you? How was born your passion for

music?


I have no idea who I am but I can try and explain where the passion for music was

born.

My grandfather Bill Bates was a songwriter and I have very early memories of him

playing music when I was barely tall enough to see the piano keys. He was an

incredibly kind man and would let me play the harmonica along with him. He

always encouraged me to sing and express that side of myself. I’m very grateful as

I’m sure that’s what has sowed the seed for me to follow music so much and

eventually pick up a guitar.





Do you have a musician or a band who has inspired you in your

musical growth?


There are so many musicians who have inspired me in my musical growth. I can

name so many obvious ones that have been influential to me such as Joni Mitchell,

Justin Vernon, Jeff Buckley and so many more at different stages in life. I meet so

many musicians all the time on the circuit so to speak and each have their mark on

me that influences how I write. It’s amazing that today there is such a scope of

different musicians doing such individual and creative expressions.






What is the manufacturing process?


This factory is a factory that coats the surface of steel pipes with plastic. Waste is

generated when pipe production is completed or plastic color replacement is

required.

I don't throw away plastic in this process, but I put it in a furniture-shaped mold

and cool it down to become furniture.


“It’s amazing that today there is such a scope of different musicians doing such individual and creative expressions.”






Do you think about something in particular when you write a song? Do

you have a specific source of inspiration or not?


i've learned more recently that I can’t lock myself away for too long to try and write

music. I need the inflow to allow the outflow. So challenging myself to do

something outside of the comfort zone usually leads to some fuel for writing. I’m

incredibly self critical so I almost won’t let myself write anything unless it feels like

some sort of progression in what I’m writing about or the sound I’m moving

toward. So going out to gather or dismantle understandings helps to inspire a

song. I’m aware this all sounds quite pretentious, so I’d like to add that I also just

write a chord progression sometimes and some spiel comes out to fill in the gaps

to make up a song. So songs can sometimes be fragile and take a while to write

when I’m able to trust somethings there worth finishing and then again songs can

just come out in minutes when I’m desperate to get something out.


“I need the inflow to allow the outflow”






What do you want to transmit with your music? Do you think people

can find themselves or maybe mirroring in your songs?


I hope that people can relate to the music i write and realise some sort of comfort

in them. The meanings can seem quite obscure but I like the idea of people being

able to relate to music in their own way. Have their own reason for it having an

impact. I know that in expressing them they’ve had a huge impact on how I am

able to understand things. I can’t know whether they have a similar impact on

others or not.




From your Instagram profile I saw that you have played in many

places around Europe, even in Milan. Is there a particular city that

stole your heart?


Yes I was very lucky to be able to play a tour just before the lockdown had started.

Only my final show was cancelled. I’ve missed playing live to people so much so

I’m glad I got to play so much before everything shut down. Every city I played in

had its individual charm and impact on me so it’s hard to say whether one in

particular stole my heart. Every audience I played to was so welcoming and

attentive. Milan was the first stop for me so I’ll always remember playing that first

show in a foreign city struggling to string sentences together. Lisbon was full of

energy, Paris was reflective, Nantes was friendly, Seville was kindred and Madrid

was romantic. I felt very grateful.



PHOTO BY: @elliotfilm_




Have you planned to play in new places, in the near future?


I’m hoping to play some shows in Spain soon as there isn’t much sign of Live

music being in the Uk anytime soon unfortunately. Let’s hope we can share new

music together soon. I’ll play a show as soon as I can.




Are you working on something right now? Maybe on a new project or

on an album?


During the lockdown I’ve been trying to get as many demos together as possible.

Some terrible some hopefully releasable. So there’s definitely lots of new music.

Just figuring out the how and when to release something. So yes, definitely

something new soon.




Where do you imagine yourself in ten years?


In ten years I can’t know what I’ll be taken by or focusing on, but I hope to still be

making music in some form. Music has always distracted me from trying to do

anything else in life so far, so I imagine I won’t have let it go by then. I’ll either be

doing that or taking a vow of silence in Nepal somewhere.



“So challenging myself to do something outside of the comfort zone usually leads to some fuel for writing. ”






Follow Ash and his work on instagram.




Article by

Sara Orlandini


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