“Streaming is beginning to work for everyone in the business, it will eventually be great for all musicians.”

An interview with ash soan

4 February 2020 - by Sina Najaflou

Ash Soan, I don't think he needs any further introduction. We all can agree he is one of the most influential and respected drummers and musicians of our time. He has a very eclectic discography, playing with successful acts from Italy to South America. He has developed a sound that is beyond the ordinary and he keeps improving the drumming community by setting the bar higher. Following is a short conversation I had with him.

Photo credit to the owner.

Where did you grow up in? In Shropshire in England.

What did spark your interest in the drum-set? My Dad played me a track called Let there Be drums by Sandy nelson. From the age of 10 I wanted to be a drummer and Jeff Porcaro, Stewart Copeland, Gadd, Steve Ferone, David Garibaldi were among my favorite drummers at that time.

Do you have other sorts of hobbies? Just my family life. I like nature and walking too.

Since when did you really start focusing on tasteful playing? I mean, there is this wisdom in your playing, so to speak. This could not be by chance or accident, did you really have to sit and think about the path you wanted to take at some point, or was it mostly something you knew since the beginning?

Thank you!! I love songs and feel playing. You know soulful people. My playing just started to gravitate to that way of playing. I realised I could play in a more soulful way and get work.

What do you like the most in your drum-set? Is it the snare, the cymbal or the bass drum?

I like a very basic kit like Ringo. I feel you should one able to get your vibe across with a basic kit.

What is so good about your signature snare drum with Gretsch?

Love the sound of the purple Heart but I think there will be another signature model from me soon.

How do you translate your musical ideas to the drum-set? And What aspects do you factor in to serve the music and not the drums!?

The vocal is the most important thing for me you must play everything to make the vocal come across in the best way… support the singer not drown them in notes.

Photo credit to the owner.

How is it like to record in your own studio? I took my time and now I have my sound so I just work on my playing.

What genres/artists have you been listening to lately? Do you find social media and streaming services to be in favor of music and musicians?

Still listen to older music…. Streaming is beginning to work for everyone in the business it will eventually be great for all musicians.

What are the musical challenges you are still facing with? And how do you react to them? I cant solo!!!!! hahaha I’m working on groove still.

How long do you keep questioning what you have played until you are sure nothing could be added? The first 3 takes should have it I think.

At the moment, what are some of the interesting ideas you are exploring behind the drum-kit? I’m messing with Mark Guilianna’s ideas on the set. 

You have an interesting setup, when did you start experimenting with that? Would you please give us a rundown of your rig? I use UA X8p and an X8 interface. Neve and Api analogue pres. a Mac book and Pro Tools. Empirical labs Distressor Compressor too on the phat snare.

Speaking of EQ-ing, do you EQ before recording or after it? Always after…

Do you think tasteful playing is becoming a trend again? Yes I think the speed thing will go again and also come back but Groove never stops.

Thank you! more updates and interviews are coming up on my website soon, stay tuned.