Ash Grunwald is one conscious booty shaker
IT'S a fine line balancing your own feelings and experiences about what really matters to you in a way that's catchy and relatable to a wide audience.
But that's exactly the line local blues singer and songwriter Ash Grunwald has tread in the lead up to the release of his latest album, Now, due out in September.
He said the first single to be released off the album, River, was inspired by the coal seam gas industry on the Northern Rivers.
Lyrics include the line "And they call you an activist, call you a radical, call you a terrorist, because you want your drinking water clean."
"Personally I have been up to Tara and near Chinchilla and investigated people who are right on the front line of it, being affected by it, and really, I think it's a catastrophe," Grunwald said.
"The devastation, like residents who are in the proximity, they're lands worth nothing now, their kids suffer horrendous health issues.
"There's nothing specific to CSG (in the album) but I generally write from my experience and my feelings."
Grunwald said despite the underlying political and environmental messages, the aim was for all the songs on the album to be "booty shakers" that appeal to everyone, including the "non-political".
"I tried not to make it too much sloganeering and un-preachy as possible while still making some points," he said.
"It took me a while of crafting to get them to that point.
"It was the longest gestation period for me ever, it was a good six months of 'demoing' and song writing and I really worked on it longer and harder than I have before."
He said artists, be it musicians, painters or any other type or artist, have a responsibly at some level to "get the message out there".
"I never regarded myself, and still don't, as any kind of activist."
Ash Grunwald will be performing at the Byron Bay Theatre on July 2 and 3.