After going to concerts in his teenage years, he made a decision to be on a stage in some way. He started playing guitar around the age of 15, but confessed to have been very lazy and only learned three chords and nothing more for about three years. Ash began playing in cover bands, often together with future band mates David J and Kevin Haskins whom he knew since kindergarten. His first gig was in the Glasgow Rangers Workman's Club.
Ash had become friends with Peter Murphy in his teenage years. Ash went to art school and Murphy to work in a printing factory. They met up five years later and Ash suggested forming a band. Rigging up a makeshift rehearsal space, Ash played an Echo 12 - bar blues, while Murphy sang a series of newspaper articles. Four weeks after, they formed Bauhaus, and recorded "Bela Lugosi's Dead".
That song, released in 1979, became one of the most influential songs in gothic rock movement. From early on, he was intent on sounding original, and often tried to "make the guitar not sound like a guitar". He worked to develop a guitar style that included other-worldly and atmospheric sounds by the use of an EBow. He typically has used HH Electronics amplifiers and Marshall 4x12 cabinets for his stage gear. Later in his career, he relied heavily on the Fernandes Sustainer system to achieve similar sounds to the EBow.
After nearly five years of recording and performing, Bauhaus broke up and Ash put together Tones on Tail with Bauhaus drummer Kevin Haskins. In 1984, Tones on Tail was disbanded, and Ash founded Love and Rockets in 1985 with Kevin Haskins and David J, also of Bauhaus.
Ash has stated that guitar solos do not interest him much since they rely on a musician's ego. He cares much more for the craft of songwriting and the overall production of a song rather than a focus on guitar or any other single instrument. During the last ten years, he has been experimenting more with electronic music, both with Love & Rockets and solo, limiting the use of guitar as an extra element to the songs. Since the last reformation of Bauhaus however, he has been returning to a more guitar based rock sound.
In 2008, Bauhaus released "Go Away White" their studio album in 25 years and a reunited Love and Rockets played at Coachella Music and Arts Festival.
|Year||Title||Chart positions||Album||1991||"This Love"||#2||-||-||Coming Down||1992||"Here She Comes"||Foolish Thing Desire||1993||"Get Out Of Control"||Foolish Thing Desire|
|2002||"Burning Man"||-||-||-||-||Daniel Ash|