On the back of a killer Bluesfest Byron Bay set, Ash Grunwald has been announced as headliner for Blues on Broadbeach.
The free event, which takes over the malls and venues of Broadbeach runs 21 – 24 May.
We were lucky enough to chat quickly with Ash while onsite at Bluesfest. He’s had a massive year since the release of Gargantua, and he’s been on the road plenty as well. He says he’s done a lot of overseas touring, including America with Xavier Rudd and Canada too. Plus of course, the relentless gigging of Australian towns Ash is well known for.
But it’s his new project which has him the most animated. “The main thing I’ve been up to is my main new album. It’s now finished,” he said.
But it won’t be released for six months. Ash said he just wants to wait until the “right time” to release it.
“I finished it at the end of the yeah” Ash said. “It could have been out now if I’d really pushed it.”
He’ll do a single tour in May and then release the album – which is his eighth studio recording in about September. The May tour sounds suspiciously like it will include the just-announced Blues on Broadbeach dates.
Ash laughs, “Yes, you could say it was part of the single tour, but really I just thought “oh cool, I’m going to do Broadbeach.”
But surely you’ll treat us to the new single, I ask?
“I will. For sure.”
“It’s the first time I’m doing a lot of new stuff and I’m going to do more too,” he says of his upcoming shows.
“I could also do a whole set of the new stuff – normally you have to play those new songs a bit more – sometimes they go better than the old stuff.”
I ask Ash what has changed about his songs and songwriting over the years. And he says the key difference on a musical level is that they’re more structured.
“They’re a lot more folky,” he said. “Verse, chorus type thing. A folk act or a rock act would do that.”
“There’s a lot more movement musically speaking. A more technical approach to songs.”
Ash has been making music a long time, and I’m curious as to what the catalyst for this change to song writing has been.
“Well, a little bit the producer I’ve been working with,” Ash said. “And it’s just the right time. There’s a lot of things. I’ve been adamant about a lot of different things at diff times. I was anti verse and choruses.
“But with my eighth studio album – I’ve done a lot of recording – that’s also the reason that you begin exploring things you never thought you would,” Ash explained.
“I really feel like musically speaking – sometimes there’s an album you have to get off your chest – I’ve done trad blues stuff, that mix with hip-hop / electronic form and blues – that rock album with The Living End boys…”
“This album is like a culmination of all that.”
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Ash Grunwald will headline Blues on Broadbeach
21 – 24 May | www.bluesonbroadbeach.com.au