Northern Irish rockers Ash have swapped Guinness for Brooklyn lager and relocated to New York to craft their fifth album, due next spring.
Frontman Tim Wheeler says the band -- now back to being an all-male trio after the departure of guitarist Charlotte Hatherley earlier this year -- spent so much time in the United States promoting its last album, "Meltdown," that the members decided they might as well live there.
Wheeler and bassist Mark Hamilton were as good as their word, although drummer Rick McMurray commutes from his home in Scotland.But that hasn't hampered recording. Wheeler has already written nearly 30 new songs. A sampling indicates a less metal, more melodic approach seems to have taken over the band. There are also touches of psychedelia ("Shattered Glass") and some Coldplay-esque piano on another as-yet-untitled jam.
Relations with Hatherley, who is currently recording her second solo set, remain cordial to the point that Wheeler hopes she will rejoin them on stage for future special occasions. "I haven't played her any of the new stuff though," he says. "That would be too much like seeing your ex-girlfriend."