Goth-Rock Icon and Web Recluse Daniel Ash on His New It's a Burn Out EP

Every Goth in Houston knows, or should know, that if you want to know what's up or going down with any major Goth musician from the '80s or '90s, then all you have to do is keep an eye on Lonnie Locascio's MySpace or Facebook. Between being on a first-name basis with Robert Smith and having interviewed pretty much every spooky rock act that's passed through H-town, his black-polished finger is firmly on the pulse of some of the true icons of the genre.

And it is only through his offices that Rocks Off had any idea that legendary Bauhaus, Tones on Tail and Love and Rockets guitarist Daniel Ash had quietly released one of the best collections of music in his career. Stylistically, Ash's four-song EP It's a Burn Out resembles the heavier moments of Love and Rockets, but is certainly equal to anything that the group ever put out.

Why such an incredible bit of badassery was flying so low under the radar was a mystery, and Rocks Off settled in to try and get ahold of Ash to find out the answer. This was an arduous task, as Ash maintains no official Web site, doesn't run his own MySpace, and refuses to use email. But diligence paid off, and he sat down with us over a two-hour time difference for a nice chat.

"I'm really bad at promoting myself online," Ash admits. "I just can't conjure up the enthusiasm for it. I find it really boring. To me, for a long time it was like everyone and their uncle had a MySpace, and the level that people would pump themselves up to was complete bullshit. There were people I actually know on there, and I knew that they were wildly exaggerating."

Still, Ash is aware that the Internet has become the music industry's new frontier, and although bootlegging is doing great harm to artists - he says that seven-eighths of the sales of Bauhaus reunion album Go Away White were lost to illegal downloads - releasing hard medium is now too risky a venture. So It's a Burn Out was uploaded to iTunes, and to MySpace by Ash's longtime friend, former manager and satellite-radio DJ Christopher Minister, where we found it.

The EP starts off with one of the hardest songs of Ash's career, "Flame On", a rockin' track inspired, like much of his music, by his love of motorcycles. Undercut by a somehow sinister cowbell beat, the song eats your ears in the sort of dark glam style that Love and Rockets and The Jesus and Mary Chain were famous for popularizing.

The EP switches gears with its second track, which is more traditional Ash fare, and in our opinion best track on the album. "Indie Boys" is a bitter condemnation of the gossip and bullshit running wild in the world, the lyrics to the song were inspired by snatches of catty comments and sordid stories Ash had picked up around town. Its beat calls to mind Love and Rockets' big hit "So Alive," but its tone is more of a snarl than the sexual purr that makes "So Alive" a must-have get-some-booty club track.

The steady slowdown continues in the doo-wop-meets-Roxy-Music almost-ballad "Someday". The song contains one of the EPs few guitar solos, done with an effect that makes it sound like a kazoo, and was based off a story a friend told Ash about a girlfriend pulling a gun on him.

"She just pulled out this gun, and held it to his head/ He just said, 'Fuck it! Pull the trigger'."

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jef Rouner (not cis, he/him) is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner