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Gareth Asher Interview – Launch! : RadioPotato

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Friday, August 23rd, 2019

Gareth Asher Interview – Launch!

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There was no other person I wanted to interview for my first Artist Spotlight then my favorite musician out of Atlanta, Gareth Asher. Gareth was gracious enough to oblige my request to interview him.  After privately squealing with delight, we met at Piedmont Park in Atlanta on Monday, 9/14/09.

IMG_4365

The first time I saw him play was at Park Tavern in Atlanta probably 3 years ago.  I didn’t know who he was…but his music was the kind that stopped me dead in my tracks and said “WHO IS THAT?”  The kind of surprise you’re not expecting – but it makes you so glad you were there.

To witness Gareth Asher live is a different experience.  He’s extremely raw and his music is very passionate.  Some songs are quiet and touching, some are bluesy and gritty, and some are just good old-fashioned rock jams.  With a full band or playing acoustic solo, it almost feels like he lets you right in and makes you feel what he’s feeling.   I knew I had to recruit my friends to start coming with me to all of Gareth’s shows so I thought I’d use the passive-aggressive approach. I started putting his song “Crave” on every mix CD I could make for my friends. Once they were hooked, the rest was easy! (For my friends who are reading this, my reasons for making you CD’s of up and coming new music is purely selfish. See last statement)

Each show I went to, my Gareth Groupie troupe would get bigger and bigger.  Without fail, my friends’ jaws would drop and they were completely immersed in his music.  His song “Break” off of his upcoming album is a “chills down your spine” total show stopper.

Childhood – High School
Gareth is a really interesting dude.  His parents met when they were both in a band together.  His mom was the drummer and dad played in the band, too.  Gareth’s mom had a music collection that could put anybody’s to shame – and there was always music in the house.  Growing up in a teeny tiny town called Bowdon, GA, Gareth had a deep love affair with baseball and music.  He played in the school band and started out on saxophone.  Thinking the drum line was where it’s at, he started to pursue that.  After realizing that the big giant kick drum was not as cool with the ladies as he thought, he picked up the guitar.  His first song he learned how to play was “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison.  I asked what crowd he hung out with in high school.  His answer?  The cool crowd and the one that partied. Of course!

Family
Gareth describes his mom as being loving, giving, extremely caring, and very musical.  He described his dad as being very wise and the person who always has the right answer.  He also has an older sister, Ariana, with whom he is very close, too. He said you can’t make a sister better than her.   Every Atlanta show I’ve been to, his family is there – singing along to every word and so proud. Gareth mentioned that when he was younger, his mom would only go to some of his baseball games, but when he decided to leave college to pursue music, his mom wouldn’t miss a show.

Emerging musician

Going to West Georgia State College, Gareth started really exploring songwriting and his guitar.  Admitting that he finally found an outlet that was much easier to express himself, he started pursuing music wholeheartedly.  He asked to start playing a few songs in the clubs between the scheduled musicians and he started creating  a name for himself.  

One thing you’ll notice about Gareth’s shows is that there is usually a good mix of men and women – but the women just adore him. Smart men know that when they bring their woman to a Gareth Asher show…well, it bodes well for the man’s future with her (if not, immediate future). Today, he’s played all over the nation and also performed on several Rock Boats and on the Simple Man tour, too.  He’s played with Emerson Hart of Tonic, Ryan Newell of Sister Hazel, Gavin De Graw, Clay Cook (Marshall Tucker Band), Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket, Shawn Mullins, and many more.  In fact, he just landed a gig performing with Colin Hay of Men at Work. He’ll also be performing at Austin City Limits this year, too.

Photo by Jeffrey Skillings

Questions Submitted from Fans:

What drives and inspires you as an artist?

GA: People, experiences with people, a yearning to create.  Heartbreak has been something that has inspired a lot of my songs.  Nature.  I’ve written the most songs out in quiet parks or where I can enjoy the earth uncluttered by distraction and technology.  In fact, I wrote 3 or 4 songs and finished his album “I’m the Earth” in one afternoon at a park in Georgia. 

Who inspired you musically growing up?

GA: Parents, Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, Van Morrison, anything Mo-Town for sure.

Do you listen to your own songs?

GA: I won’t purposely play my own music, but if my iPod plays it on Shuffle, I mostly likely will listen to it.

What is your favorite song that you wrote?

GA: “Enchanted” has always been a favorite.

What was it like when you first heard one of your songs on the radio? 

GA: It was totally surreal and I had an incredible feeling of “making it” when it came on.  I was with my father and we heard it on Atlanta’s 99x’s Organic X program as an artist spotlight.  It was one of the best feelings I had experienced.

What was it like when someone first recognized you in public?
GA: I usually recognize them right back.  I may not remember names, but I almost never forget someone’s eyes and the way they look back at me. (I loved his answer to this question!) 

Are there any other industry short-cuts to promoting your music that you’ve considered?

GA: Short-cuts are usually littered with broken glass and smell like pee…. figuratively speaking. This doesn’t mean I don’t look for the path of least resistance and most reward, but I have always been one for taking the scenic route.

My questions:

When will you know you’ve made it?

GA: Waking up each day with a smile on my face, and a song in my head. (Apparently, I must have “made it,” too since I tend to wake up that way. Nice!)

How do you feel about technology?  Twitter, Myspace, Facebook, email?

GA: It’s a struggle to keep up with it.  Our world has rapidly developed into one where everyone is connected and linked by the web, and for a musician, there are a lot of expectations for our presence online. A little more knowledge in this department could only help in my personal life, as well as promoting my music. I’m learning though.

Which comes first in the creation of music – lyrics, melody, or instruments?

GA: Almost always, the melody comes first.  Lyrics come really naturally after that. 

How long has writer’s block lasted?  How do you get through it?

GA: Writer’s blocks definitely happen from time to time. The longest has been a few months.  It’s really tough because you feel like you might be getting stale or worried that the inspiration won’t come back.  It’s something you can never control.  It comes and goes as it pleases.

Which musician’s music got even better after first meeting them?  For instance, you just connected with an artist and their music sounded even sweeter because of how cool they were.

GA: Michael Tolcher (love this!) (www.myspace.com/michaeltolcher)

What’s the best way to connect to the audience on stage?

GA: The crowd has obviously come to be entertained.  Sometimes looking at their expressions and feeling the crowd, I’ll notice if lots of the people look like they’ve had rough days and play more melancholy songs to help them relate…and if they are really getting into the show and ready to throw down, the music will get more upbeat.  Sometimes, you just can’t connect but the show must go on.

In your opinion, who are the best songwriters you’ve heard or been influenced by?

GA: James Taylor, Bob Dylan, Amos Lee

Who do you think is an incredible emerging musician that should be heard?

GA: Aqualung (www.myspace.com/aqualung), Alternate Routes (www.myspace.com/alternateroutes)

Who are some of your favorite pop artists that are out now?

GA: Ne-Yo, T.I., Eminem

My favorite part, name 5 little known facts about yourself:
1.  Black belt in Jiu Jit Su
2.  I often take a tennis ball to bounce up and down when I go for a walk
3.  I used to wear a Michael Jackson Billie Jean jacket (got any pictures?)
4.  I can fold my tongue in 3 folds
5.  I’m a bad-ass ping pong player

Our interview lasted over 4 hours.  We had Mexican at Willy’s, took a walk through the park, and had a couple of beers and sushi at Park Tavern.  It took me a lot to NOT be starstruck on the interview because his music has been so close to my heart for so many years now.  Gareth is such a cool cat and he made me feel so comfortable.  Even more than that, I was inspired.  Inspired to continue to follow my dreams by watching someone live out theirs.  Gareth, thank you so much!  I appreciate you more than you know-    

Here’s some audio from the Interview. Since we were walking through the park, it kinda sounds like Blair Witch Project, but you can still hear our boy, G, do what he does:

Allisons Interview-Part One

Allisons Interview-Part Two

Right now, Gareth is currently being courted from a record label and should be releasing his new album in Fall ’09.  I’m honored to be able to see his new fans fall in love with him like I have. Gareth, you rock!

DennisDomiMeGareth

http://www.garethasher.com/
www.twitter.com/garethasher
www.facebook.com/garethasher
www.myspace.com/garethasher

Purchase his music at iTunes or on his website at www.garethasher.com

About the author

Allison Hare wrote 138 articles on this blog.

A modern-day dame with a bionic ear for discovering emerging artists and a penchant for live shows. Admitted radio junkie

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Comments

5 Responses to “Gareth Asher Interview – Launch!”
  1. radiopotato1 says:

    @aidenjamestour Thank you! I hope you’ll like all of the interviews. If you like, please subscribe. I’ve got some cool ones lined up

  2. aidenjamestour says:

    @allisonrebecca1 loved the gareth interview!!!

  3. aidenjamestour says:

    @allisonrebecca1 rss subscribed! my pleasure. and thank u 🙂

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