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In Words: Iain Ashley Hersey

- Iain Ashley Hersey - Feb. 2012 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

Iain Ashley Hersey
© Iain Ashley Hersey

Iain Ashley Hersey - February 7th 2012 (by email)

Guitarist Iain Ashley Hersey is just presenting a best of album called Vintage Love - The Best. Time to find out a bit more about the man behind the music!

Not too long ago your best-of album Vintage Love - The Best was released. Are you satisfied with the way it was received?

I don't know yet how it has been receive other than some very good reviews. Since it was just released in December so I think it's too soon to see the results yet, but am very happy with the way it came out and personally have had some great feedback on it.

When did you first think about doing Vintage Love?

Actually I had not thought about it. I was thinking about putting out an all-instrumental CD of the instrumental tracks from all the previous CD's to be named Voiceless. It was Gregor Klee from the label Avenue Of Allies that hatched the idea to do a best of which I'm glad he did. It's a great means for people not that are not familiar with me get a broad spectrum of my work. If they like what they hear than they can get the other releases to hear it all.

It's pretty unusual to do a best-of after 3 albums, so why?

Again it was not my idea, it was Gregor who suggested it and I said why not. Great concept. Between the first three CDs, there is some great stuff that has not been heard, not been promoted as well as unfortunately a lot of people are not aware of.

You decided to do the songs in a chronological order which I really like, to be honest. Did you consider mixing up the songs? To mix up the singers a bit?

Again this was Gregor's thinking, but I totally agree with the chronological order and defiantly the way I would of done it had I thought of the idea. This way it makes more sense to the listener. The tracks per say, per CD are not necessarily in the same track order so does break it up a bit as well as spaces the singers out a bit.

You worked with known and some less known singers... Who surprised you most?

Good question. I'm not sure who surprised me the most but I was more impressed and enjoyed most working with Carsten Schulz, David Montgomery as well as Doogie White. Mike Stone was also very cool to work with. They all brought very good work ethics to the table. All were very creative and knocked stuff out fast.

Which song(s) would you like to visualize?

I don't think I understand this question. If this in terms of closing ones eyes and just listing to the music to get a picture scape for me it would have to be the instrumental tracks as I think they are more open to interpretation as to what the music brings to mind.

Having Doogie White sing L.A. Connection was special, I guess... A dream-come-true thing?

I wouldn't quite put it that way. I was very happy for the opportunity to work with Doogie as well as really liked what he did. If it was twenty years ago and had a chance to work with Ronnie James Dio or David Coverdale's Whitesanke at the Still Of The Night era, at my age at the time than that would have been a dream come true. But alas with Ronnie gone, that is not going to happen. Let's just say, I've been in this business a long time and have just learned to take things in stride and not get too excited about stuff. We're all seasoned pros that have respect for each other and just get on with it.

Actually, come to think of it, if Deep Purple were to call me and ask me to play guitar for them, though I'm not expecting it, that would be a dream come true as I grew up with that MK II version of that band and loved all the players, which unfortunately is now down to Gillan, Paice and Glover.

Hey they don't know it yet. but I know I could do them justice not just as a player but as a writer as well, which they really need. I guess I'll just be sitting by the phone waiting for it to ring.

On the last album Carsten Schulz was the main singer, but you worked with him before. How did you 'discover' Carsten? And will you work together in future?

I can't say as I discovered Carsten. I believe he was pretty well established in Europe and Germany before I knew of him. Anyway, I became aware of him via Stuart Smith from the band Heaven and Earth and now in Sweet, who had a tape of him and suggested I check it out. So I guess Carsten had tracked down or got a hold of Stuart or vice a versa, I really don't know. Regardless, I liked what I heard, got in touch and we connected.

And yes, I would have no problem working with him in the future. Would love to do some live shows with him, as aside from being such a great vocalist he is also a great front person.

Have you started working on new songs? Any idea when we can expect a new album?

Always working on new material but really need a focus on what to work on as I can go so many different directions. As far as a new release and when all depends on budget. Again I have enough tracks to do an all-instrumental CD of which I would like to test the waters with how people are receptive with that side of my musicality as I feel it would appeal to the same but also a broader audience.

What about live? Any plans?

Would love to come to Europe and do some dates. Hopefully this CD will open doors for that, but again it comes down to a budget to do so.

Can we expect to see some footage of you at YouTube or a similar platform? Live or behind-the-scenes?

There are a few performances of me up on YouTube as well as my MySpace page. While I feel they are OK, I will say not my proudest moments. The thing with live videos, people only see the performance and judge on that. They are not aware of all the other stuff leading up to it.

In the performances I am referring to, only two rehearsals with the full band minus vocalists as well as all the stress of coordinating everything. This does not go a long way for the best performances or show one in the best light. As Graham best put it... So Unrehearsed, So Unrehearsed. Regardless, they are what they are.

Anyway, I am very much into quality control and would prefer to do a video in a studio where you can do multiple takes of the same song and pick the best one or for a live situation, a band that has been well rehearsed and some gigs under their belt and everyone knows what everyone else is doing.

I'm not into putting a video of myself just jamming along with some backing tracks or just 'Noodling' and saying "Hey, I'm so and so", I just find that a bit cheesy.

So on that note, I do have some other stuff I could put up but not really comfortable with just putting up some impromptu situation with some amateur's camera work.

Anyway, there are a couple of other non musical things that people have put up on YouTube of myself with some animals; a baby mocking bird, blue tick coon hounds, the 'Hell Hounds', but just for fun. So I guess that would be your behind the scenes.

So to answer your question, when I feel I have something worthwhile to put up and meets my standard, I will.

What are your plans for 2012?

Writing more material of course, doing some dates and hopefully doing a tour by the end of the year. That would be very cool.

Claudia Ehrhardt


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