Why Richard Ashcroft's "turning point" was The Smiths' How Soon Is Now?

3 January 2019, 14:21 | Updated: 10 September 2019, 12:54

The former Verve frontman explained how The Smiths' track was part of the "profound" change in his attitude to music.

Richard Ashcroft revealed how listening to The Smiths' How Soon Is Now? completely changed the way he felt about music.

Watch our video above where he explains his biggest influences.

The former Verve frontman took part in a special conversation with Radio X's John Kennedy at London's Hammersmith Club in front of an intimate audience, where he discussed everything from his early beginnings and inspirations to his solo career.

When asked about when he began thinking about making music, the Surprised By The Joy singer listed off various music he was listening to as a teenager, such as "a couple of Beatles albums, a soul compilation and a Carpenters album".

However, pin-pointing the moment he described as "profound," the Bitter Sweet Symphony rocker revealed: "Up until hearing How Soon Is Now? by The Smiths... That was a big turning point for me."

READ MORE: Why Richard Ashcroft remained silent on The Verve split

Richard Ashcroft with The Smiths' How Soon Is Now? artwork inset
Richard Ashcroft with The Smiths' How Soon Is Now? artwork inset. Picture: Jon Mo Photography/ Artwork

"I realised there was this whole other world, but at the time I was too young to get involved with it," he said, adding: "I think from then on, probably High School going into college that music became my true education..."

Ashcroft also revealed how another legendary Manchester band influenced one of his most-loved solo singles.

Ashcroft explained: "I was in a hotel in London. It was a pretty shoddy hotel and back in the day there was still some of those bedheads with built-in radios.

"I was in a love situation," he continued. "Had a bit of a love affair thing going down and I turned the radio on and [Joy Division's] Love Will Tear Us Apart bizarrely came out of this radio on the bedhead.

"It kind of triggered this 'play Misty for me' thing of "DJ play a song for the lovers" because the timing of this tune and Love Will Tear Us Apart coming out of this bedhead seemed perfect, you know?"

Watch our video below:

He added: "So I decided right, 'what about expanding that thought to make the Song For The Lovers?' A song for that feeling of trepidation, anxiety, excitement. You're on the precipice. Potentially this person might be with you for life.

"Who knows where we're heading, but we're definitely on the train together. We've definitely gone beyond thinking about it or talking about it. We are lovers...."

READ MORE: Why Richard Ashcroft didn't celebrate Urban Hymns' 20th Anniversary...

See former Smiths' guitarist Johnny Marr explain how he came up with the riff to How Soon Is Now?