...hang the dj

...hang the dj is a music blog. Old school, shoegaze, psych, and darkwave are featured genres.

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Send music submissions, press releases, or questions/concerns to: cristina [at] 89xradio.com or: hangthedjmag [at] gmail.com

Or just hit me up on Twitter @cristinarocks

...hang the dj

...hang the dj is a music blog. Old school, shoegaze, psych, and darkwave are featured genres.

Legal disclaimer: This blog is my personal, independent website. It is not affiliated with Bell Media, nor does it represents the thoughts, opinions, desires, etc of Bell Media

For music submissions, press releases, or questions/concerns:

hangthedjmag (at) gmail.com

Or hit me up on Twitter: @CristinaRocks

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Monday, September 10, 2018

Richard Ashcroft premiered the first single from his forthcoming album Natural Rebel today. "Surprised By The Joy" is Ashcroft's glorious life-affirming burst of optimism and gratitude. The video includes incredible cinematography and features Ashcroft riding around in a car, gallivanting on the beach with wife Kate Radley, (ex-Spiritualized), and rocking a shirt from Detroit's legendary boxing gym Kronk.

Before premiering "Surprised By The Joy" on the BBC he told host Chris Evans:

"It's in a way for me if I'm looking as a personal way, there's so much going on in the world, stuff that's kinda polarizing, dividing us. So much fear. And you can drown in that, you forget sometimes when you come out of that and very simple things just give you that joy, that feeling -- I'm born again, I'm reborn in a way every morning when I get up. I'm up, I'm back in the world.

I'm thankful for the people who've joined me recently (on social media) and the ones who've been there from the start. Everyone around me -- my two beautiful boys and my wife, and everyone who helped me make this record and everyone who came out this summer, thank you so much.

I'm surprised by the joy and that's the whole point. I'm surprised by the joy of finally stepping up to who I am, what I've done in the past, and being comfortable with that and wanting to take it further."

Ashcroft also told the BBC that one thing he loves about living in today's world is the technology and being able to connect with fans all over the world on social media and Instagram - something that wasn't an option back in the 90s when The Verve were around:

"Back in the day in my 20's I had a "mad" before my name -- I was Mad Richard. And if you got a real bad review you thought it was going to have an effect on your life as a young band or something, the influence is so powerful. But if we'd had Instagram then, if I'd known that there was a Verve fan down in Argentina that was really getting it! You know we just didn't have that understanding, truly, of how this music travels the world. So that's really opened up the world for the artist who have a direct contact with their audience which makes it, I think, much more real.

Technology is changing but the main thing it's changing for me is I can go and check some dude and his family out and there's a picture of him on the beach with his dog somewhere...the other side of the world, and they're talking about how a certain song has influenced them. And you think yeah, this is why music is still the most powerful art form in the world because it's there, it's something that unifies us, it's not something that polarizes. Everything else just seems to separate us...music's real powerful right now and really important, more than ever. So I'm excited to just be a part of it."

Listen to the BBC's full interview with Richard Ashcroft here.

Meanwhile in a separate interview with Radio X Ashcroft revealed that Natural Rebel has more of a live feel to it and includes some of the heaviest guitars he's done as a solo artist as well as some of the most uplifting songs he's written. He liked the idea of recording a "proper" album with attention paid to how the record flows and ends. As an example he mentioned The Stone Roses closing out their debut album with "I Am The Resurrection" saying "I love the way Resurrection ends that album! What a great way to finish."

Ashcroft was quick to emphasize that he doesn't spend time trying to write music. He lets the music come to him - he doesn't sit down and plan things out. He used The Verve's "The Drugs Don't Work" as an example:

"With "The Drugs Don't Work" the line came out. I didn't sit down and write that line...just let it happen. I don't think it too much."

Ashcroft spoke about discovering music when he was growing up and said that The Smiths were his first real journey into music. He had loved songs and music before, but after hearing The Smiths he knew he wanted and needed to explore music further beyond just hearing the hits, etc.

The full interview with Ashcroft will be posted by Radio X tomorrow, but in the meantime head here to read Ashcroft's comments about politics and live shows from the interview.

Natural Rebel will be released on October 19th. View the pre-order options here.

Published September 10th, 2018