Guitarist Charlotte Hatherley to make songwriting debut...

ASH have revealed that guitarist Charlotte Hatherley has written her own material for the first time for their forthcoming album, due out this year.

Drummer RICK MCMURRAY told NME that the new album was almost totally written and prepared and that they were going into the studio next month to record it.

Speaking from his base in Belfast, he said that Charlotte had made Ash “more strong and confident” since she joined – and not just through her songwriting.

Charlotte has written some stuff of her own. She has a distinctive sound – a really unique sound. Also, everything seems to gel on a live stage, as her guitar playing frees Tim (Wheeler) up to concentrate on singing and performing,” he said.

As for the album, he continued: “We’ve already got fourteen songs ready and written, with a few more to be added in the near future.”

“It’s all fairly poppy and harmonic but we’ll be punking it up a bit, I’m sure. It could still take any direction, so I suppose even the band can’t say exactly what it will end up sounding like.”

Rick said that the band were disappointed that their last album ‘Nu Clear Sounds’ didn’t do as well as their debut, but said he thought fans had “got over” expectations of another ‘1977’, their debut album proper after their mini-LP ‘Tralier’.

“It was a shock for people when they didn’t get ‘1997 Part Two’. Rather than go for hit records, we wanted (with ‘Nu Clear Sounds’) to see where else we could take it. Now the charts are all about boy bands, girl bands, hermaphrodite bands, whatever. It means we’re almost not mainstream any more, rather strangely.”

Early rumours that ex-NIRVANAman and GARBAGE mentor BUTCH VIG would be producing the record appear to have been slightly premature, although Rick said that the band still hope he will be involved. Vig remixed tracks for the American release of ‘Nu-Clear Sounds’.

Due to recording commitments, Ash will play few live dates in the first half of 2000 – the only confirmed show at present being their headline set as part of the NME Premier Tour at the London WC1 Astoria on January 31st.

“We’ll be rehearsing soon for that and we’ll be doing summer festivals as well as European dates later in the year. That’s about all for now,” Rick said.

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