Mark Ashley Interview
By: Andrea Dasso
1- First of all, let's start with your music style: disco fox. In Italy by now it's almost unknown. Is it exact to say that Modern Talking are been the fist pioneers of this kind? Always about disco fox: for you which are the most important differences between the music of the disco fox of 2008 and the sound of Modern Talking?
Modern Talking have inspired me, when I was 13 years old, and are responsible for a fact the most, that I “give the 2nd life” to this music style.
2- Let's back to present: Heartbreak Boulevard, your last album. How is born your collaboration with the heirs of Modern Talking, Systems In Blue?
Systems in Blue found my voice very suitable and made the offer to record a single together. "Give a Little sweet Love", having the old style of Modern Talking, was born as collaboration.
3- You've already worked with SIB in the past, which are the most important differences between the first experience with them and this release?
The CD-album, which has been be released, “Heartbreak Boulevard", is a “fresh” idea but it has similar notes of Modern Talking.
4- The albums has had a good success in Euro-HiNRG Top 10 albums chart where is remained until August, but how is been the reaction of public and critic in Germany?
The meanings about the CD-album "Heartbreak Boulevard" were very positive at all.... But it’s the thing of personal taste!.
5- Why did you choose this title for the last album? It's a sad title but I can see a strength contrast with the light full and modern cover that represents a Paris boulevard, the city of lovers. Even the tiles or the lyrics of same songs (Heartbreak Boulevard, Kings of Roses Lonely Nights In Avalon, Do You Remember and even Back To The Summer '97).
I think that the CD-cover suits to the texts, melodies and my feelings. Paris is a city of love and passion.
6- There is not been a single from this album? Why? I know that you've a loyal fanbase even ready to buy even in the era of iTunes your CD singles... I think that a so good album deserved a better promotion and maybe a mini promotional tour at least in Germany.
The releases of singles are planned and you may find many songs on many hit-collections.
7- Maybe I'm wrong but I've found a touch of Latin sound in this album, Operation Love for example an Magical Moon, it's not easy to find these references in disco fox, are you been influenced by some Latin kind of music or artists for it?
We wanted to make the CD-album as interesting as possible, so we have included some Latin America melodies.
8- You've dedicated a song to Marylin Monroe, why? Is she an icon for you?
I like Marilyn Monroe very much and am her admirer, that’s why I have dedicated a song to this fantastical person, so she will be alive in it for me.
9- There is a very dance and with a happy tune in the album like Gimme Gimme Money, but it's about a hard theme it speaks about a girl that sells herself for money, why did you choose to speak about this?
I have chosen a song "Gimme Gimme Money" because I had the same event in my private life.
10- In this album I've found 2 great ballads King Of Roses and Cinderella's Heart where above in the first you show at its best your great voice, do you think one day to change your style for an album and a release a less dance album realin' a soft album of ballads like made by Anders for Songs That last Forever?
I think that ballads are beautiful as a dream, because of a fact that I can express all my feelings in them but I will sing and perform not only ballads.
11- Can you tell me which is your favorite song in this album and which song do you feel more personal or linked to your own life?
"Marilyn`s Dream", "Gimme Gimme Money" and "Cinderella`s Heart" belong to my favourite songs, to my mind I feel that they are connected with me the most.
12- The more hard question: you've released several albums and singles in the last 10 years: 4 studio albums, 2 greatest hits, 1 mini album and several CDS, what can we expect from you in the year?
I will continue my job, singing songs in this style but this CD-album "Heartbreak Boulevard" was the greatest dream in my personal career.
13- This album is been reviewed in Italy like the rebirth of Modern Talking with your voice so similar to Anders' voice and the collaboration with SIB, even havin' so the historical MT choir and kind of music. Someone arrived to say that you're the new voice of the new Modern Talking. You've even played live with SIB, so can we think to a fusion of your two projects in one? Will you be the voice of SIB in future or is only been (like I think) a collaboration for only one album and the two projects will go on their ways?
"Heartbreak Boulevard" and ”Systems in Blue” were my dream and I could make it come true. A pity, I cannot tell at present if I sing with Systems in Blue once again.
14- I've seen your performance in 2008 with SIB for your fanclub night, and it's been a really great performance. Have you ever thought to make a tour all together? In Italy 3 different artists that are friends in their private lives have played a couple of years ago a mini tour that is been a success, I'm sure that the same could happen with you and SIB on stage. Anyway, can we expect to see you on stage even without SIB soon?
I won’t be at stage with Systems in singing LIVE shows. I go the other way.
15- Let's talk about for a while about your history: your sound is linked in a strong way to Modern Talking, you've even released a single The Fans Of Modern Talking, but which other artists have inspired you and your way to make music?
We wanted to thank “Modern Talking” (Dieter Bohlen und Thomas Anders) with a song "Fans of “Modern Talking", because they have given so wonderful songs to this world.
16- If you could choose another disco fox legend like SIB to work with, who would you choose?
I will work together with various producers, who compose the music in the branch of Disco Fox, but now I don’t know for sure who will take part in this creativity. Except it we plan to release some new remixes.
17- For you is been a good or a bad thing to have a voice very similar to the Anders' voice? This things in the music biz can be sometimes good bur even bad things ('cos everyday someone could compare you to him), I'd like to know your thought about.
To be honestly, I have no problems, if people compare my voice with Thomas Anders’ one.
18- 2008 is been a fantastic year for disco fox with the release of 3 albums by the 3 flag-bearers of disco fox: you, SIB and Bad Boys Blue. How can you explain this success of this kind of music even in XXI century? It's nice even to see like boys and girls under 30 (that not lived the MT decades) are in love with this kind of music...
The music style “Dance Disco Fox will never die and will be more beloved.
19- Readin' on web, you're called everywhere as "the king of disco fox". Does this "title" or the expectations about you and your albums give pression on you during the creative process to release an album?
I live for “Dance Disco Fox” and would save this music style, performing and recording songs in English, because “Modern Talking” exists no more and they don’t release the same songs as before.