Knocking on Trouble's Door

"I HAVE played Lismore before," Ash said. "It was about 10 years ago when I was just starting out. It was at the uni, I think. I haven't played there since. So, I'm really looking forward to it."

Ash will play the Lismore's newly renovated and rejuvenated Star Court Theatre.

"I love doing theatre gigs," Ash said. "I do too many rowdy pub gigs. When I do theatre gigs I get to the third song and wonder, 'Why are those people looking at me?' They're actually listening…"

On this current national tour promoting his sixth studio album Trouble's Door, Ash is playing solo. He started his career as a solo performer and has returned to it.

"I'm doing this whole tour solo. I'll be doing solo for the next little while, I reckon. I use loops of the electronic beats. I don't like to use backing tapes. When I use the loops I like to juggle and mess with them. The good thing about playing solo is that every gig can be different. I've found I actually work harder doing solo. Actually, it seems I've been chilling out a little bit the last few years with the bands.

"I used to get on the National steel (guitar) and bash the crap out of it - and then I kinda moved away from it - and also it injured me! I remember in Europe one time my arm was just hanging there. But it's kinda cool now - I'm back to finishing a gig covered in sweat."

Since starting his career, Ash has been touring. And touring.

"I've toured my arse off for the past 12 years solid. Hardly any breaks. I love it," Ash said. "But it's funny; even when I do have a break from touring, I jump on a plane and go on a surf trip or something. I travel. I never really get off the road. It's hard on my wife (Danni Carr) though. She'll be playing in the support band for the Lismore gig, Mr Cassidy."

Trouble's Door has a dark side. It has a heavy sound with big drums; a certain sadness pervades it. This is a personal album for Ash; you can feel his pain at the injustices of the world.

"My concern is that capitalism is getting more extreme," he said. "Obviously the coal seam gas mining thing freaks me out. Important decisions are made on just a financial basis. What is being compromised is our future. I don't have a solution for that."

However Ash believes in the power of social media.

"Individual people are more in touch with each other than ever. We can contact millions of people who share the same concerns. It gets me excited that technology may have created some true forms of democracy."

Ash Grunwald plays the Star Court Theatre in Lismore on Saturday, October 20, from 8pm.

Tickets are $33/28 from the venue www.starcourttheatre 5005.

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