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Ash excited to return to Detroit -- and hopes the feeling is mutual

For Journal Register Newspapers

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Irish rockers Ash have been largely out of sight in the U.S. during the past seven years, but American hasn't been out of mind for the British trio.

"We did some stuff, not extensive, last year, and we were like, 'Wow, the last time we did it, like, a full U.S. tour, was 2005.' That was kind of a shock," says drummer Rick McMurray. He blames "a little bit of bad luck with record companies" and other business matters for the delay but says Ash's absence "wasn't for lack of trying, and we're really looking forward to getting back to places like Detroit. It's way too long so, apologies. And no offense."

Ash has hardly been dormant during the interim. The group spent 2009 creating an A to Z series of new singles, releasing new material every two weeks. It also continued to tour, and this year's activities, and the band quietly turned 20, which McMurray says was "kind of surprising" given that he and his bandmates were all teenagers when Ash formed in Northern Ireland.

"We're all only in our 30s but have this huge back catalog and heritage now," says McMurray, 37. "It's kind of a good time to look back and say, 'Yeah, we've done some good stuff. It kid of feels like quite awhile ago, but at the same time we're the same band and, at the core, the same three people. It's just like family.

"And, y'know, the anniversary stuff is sweet, but we really want to concentrate on the future and making more music and playing more shows. That's really where our heads are at."

Ash, the Hounds Below and Hawk & Son perform Wednesday, March 20, at the Magic Stick Lounge, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10. Call 313-833-9700 or visit www.majesticdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.majesticdetroit.com

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