In this installment of Yes or No, we interviewed Rick McMurray, drummer for Irish alt-rock band Ash and father of two. Ash is a well-established band that formed in the early 90s but is still going strong. Their latest album, Kablammo!, was released in May of this year and was met with critical acclaim. You can catch Ash all over the U.S. beginning September 22, when they kick off their North American tour in Boston.
1. Do you have a favorite performance that sticks out? – This year it was Fuji Rock; in fact the one that sticks out most was Fuji Rock too. 2007 I think.
2. Do you remember what inspired you to begin playing the drums? – I remember listening to a tape one day (yes, a tape); the drums just jumped out at me. I’d been playing guitar for a couple of years at that point but the drum just grabbed me that day. I bought sticks the next week and did the whole drumming on a pillow thing for about six months before getting my first kit.
3. Did you know you were musically gifted from a young age? – I thought I was; the last 25 years have taught me otherwise.
4. Do you shower daily? – It’s very rarely that I’ll not shower; probably 360 plus in a year.
5. Do you sleep on a certain side of the bed? – The dry side.
6. Do the Irish do it better? – Nationality is incidental to achievement. That goes for everyone.
7. Do you have a favorite Ash song? – Do you have a favorite child?
8. Do you like being a dad? – Yes. I’ve got a child on either side of me as I write this. And yes, they’re mine.
9. Do you want more children? – No thanks; both sides are taken up.
10. Are you hoping your children become musicians too? – If they show an interest in it I’ll encourage them. I don’t want them to do it to make me happy.
11. Have you ever slept in until 5 p.m.? – Not since having children, but it used to happen on occasion.
12. Have you ever been fired from a job? – I didn’t get asked back to drum for a soul cover band because I was too loud.
13. Do you have a favorite place to tour? – I do enjoy Japan and Australia. In fact now I think about it, anywhere there tends to be hotels rather than tour busses I seem to favor.
14. Would you ever consider running for election? – Ask me again when the kids are at school.
15. Is it true that Ash is named after the first word you found that you liked in the dictionary? – You know it’s sad but true.
16. Do you have a favorite holiday? – Not yet.
17. Do you remember your first gig? – Aerosmith in Belfast in 1990. I was too short to see much but they were great.
18. Are you afraid of getting “old”? – Not yet. Maybe when I have a favourite holiday I’ll be terrified!
19. Is it difficult to balance your home life and your life as a member of Ash and Thirteen-Seven? – It’s hard when it’s a lot of back and forth between being in a band and being home. I should invest in a second body clock.
20. Is Ash’s latest album, Kablammo!, your best yet? – Indubitably.
Disclaimer: Yes or No is a segment in which people we select to interview are prompted with 20 questions, and they are asked to respond with either “yes” or “no.”