While best known for his work in bands Bauhaus, Love and Rockets and Tones on Tail, goth-rock icon Daniel Ash has also been performing as a DJ for the past twenty-two years. Playing everything from glam pop to ambient, Ash's sets are the perfect atmospheric soundtrack for dark, intimate dance floors.
This New Years Eve, Ash brings his selecting skills to Cat Club to play an exclusive two-hour set to kick off 2016. We got a quick chat in with Ash about his DJ setup, his selection style, and what's coming up for him in 2016. He headlines Cat Club this NYE.
When did the DJ aspect of your career begin?
So I started DJing about 22 years ago at a club in North Hollywood called Goldfingers. It was a club that some friends of mine had started and they said, 'Okay, you're on next Friday see you then!' That week, I went out and bought some speakers and have not stopped since.
What does your typical DJ setup look like?
As for my setup, I still like using CDs. Not a laptop. The setup is very simple basically two CD turntables.
What is the main difference between performing with an live instruments versus a DJ set?
Spinning is a very different animal to playing in a band. For one, you're on your own, and I don't know what's coming up next as far as the music goes, which makes for a totally spontaneous set. That's scary and fun!
How do you prepare for a DJ set?
Preparing for a DJ set? One shot of vodka then Bud Lite lime for the rest of the night or the hangover the next day is a nightmare.
Name a song that people think doesn't work in a DJ set but actually does.
“Baby's on Fire” by Brian Eno works great for me as an opener and gets me fired up.
What's your ideal crowd to spin to?
My ideal crowd for a DJ gig is having everyone getting what I'm spinning including the contrast from one track to the next.
Since you have such a rich history of musical knowledge, do you ever play certain songs to educate the crowd?
I like to keep it as eclectic as possible. As for what I play, it's totally free, and I have no interest in playing something that nobody has heard of just to be a clever Trevor!
What's it like having so much musical freedom now that you've established your place in music history?
As for freedom within music, luckily that's something I've always insisted on both with the bands and on solo projects. It's always been in the contracts. Very important!
What's coming up for you musically in 2016?
2016 I'm hoping is going to be a good one as I've got Stripped coming out and am planning on a follow up of all new original songs that will be guitar-based after the great reaction to “Flame” on YouTube.
Will you be riding your motorcycle to San Francisco for your gig?
I won't be taking the bike up to San Fran this time unfortunately!