Ash Victim is a singer/songwriter who hails from Jersey and is based in Basingstoke. He recently released an album entitled Love, Rage & Confusion with The Buskin’ Punx Orchestra, recorded with his homemade microphone. We caught up with him for a chat about his endeavours.
So, how did you get started in making music? When did you pick up your first instrument?
I grew up learning the trumpet since primary school but wouldn’t really consider that making music, in that I wasn’t coming up with my own ideas. It really started when my older brother borrowed my uncle’s electric guitar intending to learn but gave up pretty quickly, then he bought a bass guitar and also gave that up pretty quickly. I thought it was a shame that these instruments were lying around unused so I decided to start learning them and really enjoyed it. Pretty soon after I started coming up with my own riffs and stuff. I think this was around the age of 15 or 16.
And you’ve picked up several instruments since then – which ones do you play now?
I’ve since picked up acoustic guitar, harmonica, ukulele, little bit of mandolin, little bit of melodica and keyboard and most recently 5-string banjo.
Has it been challenging taking a DIY approach to recording and promoting your music?
It’s the only approach I’ve known and can do really. I don’t think any labels would be interested in me and I’m not really interested in them. I think recording in a studio would be frustrating for everyone involved because I work so slow and make a lot of mistakes and I’m kind of a perfectionist despite the lack of perfection in my music. I’m not very good at working to a time limit. As for promoting, I’m terrible at that, I don’t know what you’re supposed to do but I guess traveling a lot and making lots of friends is promotion in a way so that kinda goes with the lifestyle. Travelling and making friends is how some of the music has come about – like the Buskin’ Punx Orchestra!
What’s your favourite place that you’ve found on your travels so far?
I’m not sure I can pick a favourite, there’s a lot of cool places to find out there. Lots of awesome social centres and squats.
You’re based in Basingstoke when you’re not off on your travels – which promoters and bands are putting on or playing good shows there?
To be honest, I haven’t really been to any shows in Basingstoke this year. I’ve been on the road mostly and when I have been there it’s to record or catch up on sleep. I know Rockbitch Music are still always putting shows on and the folks from the bands Shithouse and Ill Gotten Gains are based round here. They’re nice folks.
Who would you most like to collaborate with, given the opportunity?
Mostly my musical friends. The opportunities are there, it’s just a case of getting round to it. I’d love to do some stuff with Molly Tov/The Lab Rats, Liam Pritchett (LGN, Block Fort), Doozer McDoozer, Cosmo, MC Amalgam, WT&TW, etc.
Last but not least: what are your plans over the next few months?
I was planning on traveling in mainland Europe for the rest of the year pretty much but I’ve recently burnt out because of a combination of different things. So now I’m thinking of sticking to the UK for a while. A friend has suggested getting a trailer and moving onto a site in Cardiff which sounds pretty tempting right now… We’ll see what happens. I’m also planning a UK tour for September/October so if anyone can help me out with shows or whatever please get in touch!
02/10 – BRISTOL, Hydra Books
03/10 – SOUTHAMPTON
09/10 – READING, Face Bar
10/10 – PORTSMOUTH, The Alma