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Random words with Tim Wheeler

Published: June, 2001
Source: Planet Sound

It’s a brave soul who undergoes our psychological profile tests. Firing words and phrases at Popstars - some totally random, some sneaky career-related ones - can be more revealing than they want.

Today’s nervous subject is Ash’s softly-spoken singer Tim Wheeler, who jokes: Can’t you be bothered to think of any proper questions? Right, for that cheek, let’s throw a few bouncers at the scamp…

Was that random, or have you heard I’m got into gardening? I’m not kidding with you, I’ve become a plant expert since just before we started recording Free All Angels. My neighbour is Lucie Johnston, the singer from Little Hell. Whenever Ash are away on tour, I get Lucie to look after my plants. It’s terrible if we’re both away at the same time, I get panicky over the state of my little garden. Horticulture, it’s very rock & roll, you know.

They deserve to be freed, of course. I don’t believe in winged angels dressed in white with harps, but I think there’s a few good angels down here on Earth. And the Hell’s Angels slogan gave us a great album title.

PEACE What we’re all searching for. I don’t want to get into the Northern Ireland situation, thanks, though of course I want peace there. Am I at peace? Yes, definitely. Touring and peace don’t exactly go together, but I am a calmer person now.

I remember thinking Cast Away was totally implausible. You’ve got Tom Hanks stranded on a desert island with a parcel and his conscience won’t allow him to open it. I mean, I’d have opened it on the first day and I’m sure everyone would have done. No wonder it was such a flop.

Life. I don’t want to say anything else, you did tell me I could say as much or as little as I wanted too. Oh okay, the saying we all need to be loved is a cliche that’s true.

Goes back to peace, doesn’t it. There’s too much hate around. Though there’s a lot of bands in existence I hate. It looks ugly seeing it in print, but I can’t help saying who I hate when I’m doing gigs.

It was stupid when so much was made of how much we drink on tour. The press only made such a big deal of it because we were so young. We were and are no worse than most bands. How it’s changed is that I’m more of a connoisseur, I collect wine now.

The time I spent travelling last year did me so much good in getting my head sorted out. The songs came so much easier when I got back, though that wasn’t the intention in going - I did it just because, like most people, I wanted to see the world while I’m young enough to enjoy it.

Oh god, who knows? I hope, and I’m as sure as I can be, that it ill involve the four of us continuing as Ash until we’re old and even more daft than we are now.