time for a new local muso to interview and for those of you who have never crossed his path you are missing it – let’s get to know Ashton Gardner:

so Ashton, i don’t even know where i know you from – possibly meadowridge links? – but you are one of those guys it feels like i’ve always kinda known but not really – tell us, where are you these days and what are you involved with?

You know Brett I’m not sure I even know where I know myself from, so I understand your confusion, really.

-These days I’m doing what I’ve been doing most days, composing and producing music, running a little recording studio and performing live. I’m also working at a friend’s new music store, Marshall.

i’ve known you for a decent amount of time and generally in the context of music – where do you think your interest of music comes from and how did you get started in playing and singing?

-I found I had a natural ability, as is usually the case with musically inclined people, and an unforced enthusiasm for it has continued my journey along a songwriting path. I began on the piano at about 5yrs old started on guitar later on at about 17yrs old.

when you’re not peddling water or music’ing, what other interests does mister gardner have? hobbies? pasttimes? sport? cooking? gardner’ing?

-Well, not only peddling but paddling water is something I do too, when I’m out in the surf. I’ve surfed for many years. I’m looking at getting into gardening as my interest for being disconnected from the grid at large increases. Human relationships and social dynamics interest me a lot too, I like to understand and explore the energy of relationships, how and why they work or don’t and am always intrigued by the powerful influence media is able to have upon it all. With music perhaps I can inject something into the media too that is worth having there.

what bands or artists do you enjoy listening to?

-Crowded House is a profoundly good band with songwriting of the highest calibre. Sting,U2, Delirious (know them?), John Ellis. There are many, but often I spend more time writing music than listening to it to be honest. And when I listen it’s often to glean something technically or creatively from it. I find silence to be very musical actually. And the music of creation – birds, wind, thunder, waves etc is unsurpassed in my estimation. I’d like to be around it more.

i know you play a lot of gigs in a lot of different places and i saw the other day that you have a new music video out which i will check out as soon as i am near a good inet connection – what is your plan at the moment in terms of the music scene, or i guess what is your dream scenario?

-The plan right now is to introduce music into the market that people can respond well too without me having to jump desperately on a rather sad music bandwagon that often tends to cater to the lowest common musical denominator, especially in our South African context. It’s a balancing act. But as with fast food, sometimes it might be that we need to take an objective look at our musical tastes and ask ‘do I actually like this, or did the marketers cunningly get me to think I did? Could it be that it’s actually killing me?’ I want to be there with music for people who are independent enough to make their own decision that they like it.

how would you describe your music style to someone who has never heard of you before?

-Adult alternative contemporary acoustic melodic pop rock. Or something profoundly similar to that.

click here to read the rest of the interview