Get to know your Nth - Drums/Percussion

Martin Walker


Question 1. Who was your idol when you were young, and why?


Answer 1. I had many people who inspired me as a youngster but the earliest influence I remember was Jimi Hendrix, this was during the late 60's and early 70's and I was fascinated by his style and the way he made sounds touch you at a very deep level.


Question 2. What influenced you to become a musician?


Answer 2. I was very intrigued by the way sound could make a person feel and found that I could experience it personally at a different level when I produced it myself using a guitar, but after constantly annoying the neighbours I thought that maybe I should have pity on them and at least learn to play this magical device.


Question 3. Where would you like to play if you could play anywhere?


Answer 3. I'm not too keen on stadium type shows, in my my experience as a concert goer, these type of gigs can be quite sterile and I would much prefer to play theatres and more intimate type venues set up for concert performances, although I do rather like playing out doors as the open air does tend to deliver very nice acoustics.



Question 4. Is there a style of music you haven't played but would like to and why?


Answer 4. Although my passion is hard hitting prog and classic rock, I also really love ambient music and would like to see what I could contribute to this genre, I have a midi guitar that I haven't utilised much and would like to explore the possibilities of using that.


Question 5. What is your favorite food?


Answer 5. I really like a doner kebab , I also love good old English fish 'n' chips but I'm much more health concious these days so please pass the lettuce (with light mayo of course).


Question 6. How did you become a member of Nth Ascension?


Answer 6. It was at a time where I wouldn't say I had retired, (I doubt I will ever do that), but playing in bands was no longer on my 'things to do' list. Craig had been helping out friends of Darrel in playing a local festival and after chatting together after the show they both felt they would like to get together and play stuff they liked just for the fun of it. I was approached and asked if I would like to join in, I thought 'why not, could be fun'. it turned out to be just that, fun, and once the others came on board we found we were not just having fun but we had the makings of an interesting band and Nth Ascension was born.


Question 7. Do you have a favorite song to play in the Nth catalog and what is it?


Answer 7. I think that currently has to be 'The Cage'; although we have some very intriguing material currently in production so that may change in the future. Cage has many musical moods and vagaries, which makes it especially interesting for me as a guitarist; I also love the way Spud tells the story so well with his dramatic delivery.


Question 8. What song haven't you played (from any artist or any genre) that you would like to play and why?


Answer 8. I always wanted to play David Bowie's 'Moonage Daydream' I think Mick Ronson's guitar solo, although simple, soars like an eagle who has just found his wings, it has such passion and feeling, I would love to get a hold on that one.


Question 9. If you could assemble your own band who would be in it and why?


Answer 9. Where do I start with this one? On drums I would have Yes's Alan White, in my opinion one of the most musical drummers I have ever had the pleasure to see play live. Bass would be the Who's John Entwistle; a more thunderous player I doubt has ever been, although if he wasn't up for it I would have Glenn Hughes who is also a mighty bass player in my view. On Keyboards I would like *Frost's Jem Godfrey , a very talented player with a very infectious sense of humour. On other Guitar that would be Mick Ronson who always inspired me with his passionate delivery during his time with David Bowie, but of course he wouldn't have to show off too much and steal my thunder. Finally, on vocals it would be Steve Hogarth from Marillion who is a great front man who always gives a dramatic delivery.





Darrel Treece-Birch



Question 1. Who was your idol when you were young, and why?


Answer 1. I didn't really have any idols. There were lot's of things I couldn't wait for on TV (if it was Sci-Fi related or cartoons and kids programmes like Banana Splits Y Wacky Races), I think my Sci-Fi fascination spilled over into musical taste with the Jeff Wayne's War Of The Worlds and Jean-Michel Jarre's first few albums. Certainly many aspirational figures, none more so than my Mum.


Question 2. What influenced you to become a musician?


Answer 2. It wasn't so much an influence as a condition. Constantly tapping/drumming and making up tunes. My Dad could play a little bit on the piano and his brother (my Uncle John) was an amazing pianist. Seeing as I had a predisposition for being musically inclined my Mum worked her socks off with 2 jobs and bought my piano (which I still have, albeit out of tune).


Question 3. Where would you like to play if you could play anywhere?


Answer 3. From an amateur perspective I wanted to return back to the Marine Hall in Fleetwood where my first piano recital was held. I wanted to return there with a triumphant 2 finger salute to the bullies that gave me grief at school. I have now played there several times with all 3 bands. There was no trumpets or childish gestures but its always good to play there, it's home! Right now with Nth Ascension I just love playing live, the dream would be somewhere like Red Rocks!



Question 4. Is there a style of music you haven't played but would like to and why?


Answer 4. Blues. I've never really sat down and just studies the licks and patterns that are in that genre. I just love listening to people like David Paich from Toto when he just lets fly. All that said, its not In me like Rock and Prog, and without that emotional connection it will just be sterile playing by numbers.


Question 5. What is your favourite food?


Answer 5. Chips...............next question.



Question 6. How did you become a member of Nth Ascension?


Answer 6. Craig and I had the idea to write and explore our musical cravings. EG more proggy stuff. That was November 2009. By January 2010 Craig, myself, Spud and Mart were jamming in the practice room.



Question 7. Do you have a favourite song to play in the Nth catalog and what is it?


Answer 7. Different songs for different reasons. I get a kick out of the Epics and a joy from the Clanaan numbers, but I guess 'Weight Of The World' has a soft spot for me.


Question 8. What song haven't you played (from any artist or any genre) that you would like to play and why?


Answer 8. I get to play a whole bunch of covers in the 'Rush' trib band (80 plus songs last count in the rep), and Spud and I dabbled with a few covers back in the late 90's. Comfortably Numb, Kashmir, Space Oddity, were all cool. But with Nth and because Martin has 'that' sound I wouldn't mind playing Faith Healer by SAHB. If we did the Fish version I can do a monolead solo too ;)


Question 9. If you could assemble your own band who would be in it and why?


Answer 9. I can't choose musicians I play with now because they are all brilliant and it would end up being like a Prog Orchestra. But to be a bit different I would have these guys.


Vocals 1: Jon Anderson Vocals 2: Peter Gabriel Guitar 1: Steve Hackett Guitar 2: Steve Lukather Acoustics & Backing Vocals: Steven Wilson Bass: Geddy Lee Drums: Mike Portnoy Keys 1: Jem Godfrey Keys 2:Mark Kelly Piano: David Paich Percussion: Evelyn Glennie




Get to know your Nth - Vocal

Get to know your Nth - Guitar

Alan 'Spud' Taylor


Question 1. Who was your idol when you were young, and why?


Answer 1. The one that stands out is Mike Oldfield. I was amazed at his music at the time (Tubular Bells) as no one had done it before and it was quite mesmerising. My favourite piece of work however is 'Ommadawn' . I also idolised singers such as Brian Connelly (Sweet), Elvis and Noddy Holder (Slade)'. As for women, I idolised Valerie Leon. She used to do the 'Hi Karate' aftershave adverts in the 70's. I used to go weak at the knees when I was a teenager and had a massive poster of her on my wall. 


Question 2. What influenced you to become a musician?


Answer 2. It kind of just happened. There was something inside me that wanted to express inner thoughts and feelings and when I picked up a guitar for the first time I felt the outlet was in the instrument and my voice. I also auditioned to sing for a band in the mid seventies. I sang 'Ticket to ride' (Carpenters Version). It was the first time I had heard my voice mic'd up and through a PA. It was like everything fell into place and I thought, this is what I want to do!


Question 3. Where would you like to play if you could play anywhere?


Answer 3. This is a no brainer, it would be 'The Marquee' London but the venue has now gone.

Question 4. Is there a style of music you haven't played but would like to and why?


Answer 4. Yes, I would like to play Techno. I once had a go at writing a Techno song and it is locked away in a vault so I cant be blackmailed by anyone who may expose it to the Progressive community. I found that it was fun getting the snare rolls right and dropping random samples into the mix and playing stuff at 135BPM. The main reason for wanting to have a go was because I love its 'robotic' and 'mantra' feel when it goes more ambient. It can be kind of hypnotic.


Question 5. What is your favorite food?


Answer 5. My own curries. They are the best on the planet if I dare say so myself! Very Yogic and full of fresh herbs, spices, root vegetables and goodness, everything Darrell hates!


Question 6. How did you become a member of Nth Ascension?


Answer 6. I was asked by Daz and Craig. We had a meeting at my house in January 2010 and agreed we would form a band just for the love of playing. I struggled in the early days to keep the momentum and interest. I just thought I wasn't up to the job any more as I had passed the Forty mark. I am however glad I persevered. I played bass in the early days as I had done bass duties in the past. However as we developed I felt the need to let go as I love to be theatrical with my performance. When Gav took over (who is a better bass player than I ever was) I was so glad to be freed up and to get on with front man duties.


Question 7. Do you have a favorite song to play in the Nth catalog and what is it?


Answer 7. Yes, its everything I have written. The rest are just tag on's to keep the rest of the band members happy. Seriously though I love the Cage, its a song for our time, uncannily written before the life events we see happening before us now. The main riff was written by Daz in the 80's. He recorded it onto a tape and I remember playing on my cassette deck thinking how great it was. There is something of the prophetic in that song.


Question 8. What song haven't you played (from any artist or any genre) that you would like to play and why?


Answer 8. I cant choose just the one it would have to be two. The first is 'Riverman' by Nick Drake and 'Everyday is like Sunday' by Morrissey. Riverman because of the feel of the song. Nick Drake was an artist of his time, he doesn't fit anywhere else except in the early to mid 70's and his music just oozes this era which I love because I grew up in the 70's. Watch out for a tribute to Nick on my solo album. Everyday is like Sunday because when I first heard this song it affected me at a deep level. It reminded me so much of my one hometown of Blackpool and the cold war with the threat of nuclear annihilation. I know it sounds ridiculous but this was a real threat back in those days.


Question 9. If you could assemble your own band who would be in it and why?


Question 9. Well it would be the guys I play with now but I know that's not the root of the question. On drums it would be Cozy Powell. I never forget his chart hit 'Dance with the Devil'. I didn't like the title much but the drumming back then was off the wall! On Bass it would be Glenn Hughes. First because he plays a Ricker which I have always wanted to own and because of his opening line in 'Smoke on the Water' which is just brilliant and plays when you go on his website. On guitar it would be a toss up between Dave Gilmore and Joe Bonamassa. Dave Gilmore because of the sweet fender sound he gets and his bluesy style. Joe Bonamassa because of his diversity of style. You can hear the influences of Hendrix, Page, and the blues greats. He is also a great singer, (Ballad of John Henry). On keyboards I would have one of my cats playing as Daz has put me off for life! Kidding aside it would be Daz's hero Rick Wakeman. I loved the stuff he did in the 70's Journey to the Centre of the Earth and the six wives of Henry VIII.


​Gavin Walker


Question 1. Who was your idol when you were young, and why?


Answer 1. Hmmm, I was never really into idolising anyone but I was rather fond of comedians Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer, basically blokes who did the stupidest and most surreal stuff that rather captured the imagination of my young impressionable mind.


Quetion 2. What influenced you to become a musician?


Anwer 2. My parents to be truthful, living in a musical home and family means there no escaping the beats, grooves and melodies of the past few decades filling our home - looking at what's popular in the charts nowadays I appreciate even more having a good musical education as a youngster.


Question 3. Where would you like to play if you could play anywhere?


Answer 3. Anywhere with enough room to swing a bass around without clunking Mr Taylor around the head in the midst of a pose.


Question 4. Is there a style of music you haven't played but would like to and why?


Answer 4. Jazz. I would probably be hopelessly lost trying to do it but it would be fun playing all those notes, I like the syncopated rhythms and putting stuff where you wouldn't expect.


Question 5. What is your favourite food?


Answer 5. Ooh as the pictures tellingly show I have a few too many answers for this question - I'm particularly fond of Borscht, it's Ukrainian soup with beetroot cabbage and flakes of meat but you must have the big dollop of sour cream in the middle. Borscht day is a special day.


Question 6. How did you become a member of Nth Ascension?


Answer 6. The rest made the first demo CD and started getting a little bit famous so I whined until they let me join in. :)



Question 7.Do you have a favorite song to play in the Nth catalog and what is it?


Answer 7. I love Vision - so epic and driving, always gets me going when we start that one up, but I have to say the next album is certainly going to have some contenders for that title.


Question 8. What song haven't you played (from any artist or any genre) that you would like to play and why?


Answer 8. I would love to play the Double Bass in an orchestra, Hans Zimmer writes some tremendous pieces, the score for The Last Samurai really takes me somewhere else.


Question 9. If you could assemble your own band who would be in it and why?


Answer 9. Bootsy Collins on bass Marty McFly on guitar (only because he has THAT amp), A drum machine (no smell, less annoyance) and me on vocals because i’d be the boss and no one could tell me how rubbish I sound.


Get to know your Nth - Keyboards

Get to know your Nth - Bass

Craig Walker



Question 1. Who was your idol when you were young, and why?


Answer 1. 'Arnold Schwarzenegger. What a guy. When he was a teenager he had a dream to become the worlds best bodybuilder, to be an actor and to become a politician in America. He's achieved everything he's dreamed of and done it with style. The odds were always against him being an Austrian whose Dad was a former SS soldier, but he's living proof if you can imagine it, it's possible.'


Question 2. "What influenced you to become a musician?"


Answer 2. 'I'd have to say my parents. I grew up in such a musically influenced environment. Not in the classical sense as it was never about becoming 'the best' but doing what was right for me, and when they recognised I had a certain rhythmical ability they encouraged and accommodated that so that it became a passion.'


Question 3. "Where would you like to play if you could play anywhere?"


Answer 3. "I'd like to be the first band to play on Mars (hehe). On Earth though, id have to say London Hammersmith. Such a historic venue that has had so many legendary live albums recorded there. I'd love to have an 'Nth Ascension live at London Hammersmith' album ;)'



Question 4. "Is there a style of music you haven't played but would like to and why?"


Answer 4- 'This is an easy one for me. I have a real love for 70’s disco and funk. It's my not-so-guilty pleasure. When you get that groove of the drums and bass going it creates such a happy energy that makes even the most stale person want to move with the rhythm. One day I might do it. Maybe.'


Question 5. What is your favorite food?


Answer 5- 'I'm a real carnivore so anything meat related, specifically some form of rare steak. Mmm I'm salivating thinking about it (sorry to all the vegetarians out there)'


Question 6. How did you become a member of Nth Ascension?


Answer 6- 'I was bored one day and thought that it might be a bit of a laugh? Lol not really...I was at a musically frustrated stage of life and I was asked to help a friend out at a local festival, as was Darrel and there was an immediate chemistry which inspired us to consider doing something original and creative, and Nth was born.'



Question 7. Do you have a favorite song to play in the Nth catalog and what is it?


Answer 7. "I suppose the obvious answer is Vision because it has most drumming elements I enjoy playing: hard heavy beats, fast fills, slower grooves and lots of double kicker. But a close second is Running To Nowhere, it's a short, fast and furious track which always goes down well with the crowd and it's great fun to play."


Question 8. What song haven't you played (from any artist or any genre) that you would like to play and why?


Answer 8. "A song that I've always enjoyed and would love to play one day is Bird of Heaven by IONA. Very progressive and wonderfully melodic, I love the 9/8 rhythm, the lovely break in the middle and the passionate guitar solo to end it. I love the atmosphere IONA capture using Celtic instruments along with outstanding musicianship.


Question 9. If you could assemble your own band who would be in it and why


Answer 9. "I'd say John Petrucci on guitar, I feel he perfectly combines lovely soulful playing with unbelievable shredding ability. Jean Michele Jarre on keys. That'd be amazing haha. Mark King on bass (reasons mentioned above) and 80's David Coverdale on vocals. Then I'd sack him before he tried to get me sacked.