Tim Wheeler

Last updated

Tim Wheeler
Tim Wheeler in BKK.jpg
Wheeler in 1999
Background information
Birth nameTimothy James Arthur Wheeler
Born (1977-01-04) 4 January 1977 (age 46)
Downpatrick, Northern Ireland
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • musician
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • piano
Years active1996–present
Website ash-official.com

Timothy James Arthur Wheeler (born 4 January 1977) is a Northern Irish singer, songwriter, and musician for the alternative rock band Ash. He has written nearly all of Ash's notable works, such as "Oh Yeah", "Shining Light", "Girl from Mars", "Kung Fu", and "Goldfinger". In November 2014, he released his debut solo album Lost Domain . [1]


Early life

Timothy James Arthur Wheeler [2] was born in Downpatrick on 4 January 1977, [3] the son of Rosalind E. M. (née Dickson), the daughter of a Northern Bank manager, and George Bomfforde Wheeler (1932–2011), a solicitor and later judge. [4] [5] He is a great-great-grandson of Rev. George Bomfforde Wheeler, who was editor of The Irish Times from 1859 to 1877. [4] [6] [7] He attended Down High School with his fellow band members Mark Hamilton and Rick McMurray.

Music career


Wheeler won the Ivor Novello Award for Best Contemporary Pop Song in 2001 for "Shining Light". [8]

Other work

In 1999, Wheeler contributed guitar and backing vocals on The Rentals' album Seven More Minutes . He has also contributed backing vocals Bob Geldof's Band Aid 20 2004 single "Do They Know It's Christmas?" [9] and on Arthur Baker's song, "Glow". [10]

As part of Channel 4's program The JD Set, Wheeler worked with Emmy The Great, The Crookes, And So I Watch You From Afar, and Ma Mentor, joining each band in covering songs by Pixies, and then performing at London's XOYO on 24 March 2011. [11]

Wheeler has also been involved with film and TV soundtrack work, most notably Ashes (2012), Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond (2014) [12] and the Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015). [13]

Emmy the Great

Wheeler has collaborated frequently in recent years with Emma-Lee Moss, AKA Emmy The Great, the duo have performed Ash track "Tracers" on several occasions, and in 2011 Tim, Emma and Euan Hinshelwood covered Robert Manning's song "Washington Parks", the cover was released as part of a collection of covers to raise awareness of multiple sclerosis. [14] [15] The pair acoustically performed a set of Ash and Emmy The Great songs, as well as some covers at Willowstone Festival on 1 July 2011. [16]

In November 2011 the pair released a Christmas album, entitled This Is Christmas (Infectious, 2011). [17]

Lost Domain

In September 2014, Wheeler announced the release of his first solo album, Lost Domain , a heartfelt and emotional response to the loss of his father George to dementia. Lost Domain was released on Sony Red on 3 November 2014, with a portion of the proceeds being donated to The Alzheimer's Society, a charity Wheeler has worked closely with since his father's death in 2011. [1]

Lost Domain is an album in which Wheeler battles to come to terms with his loss, charting his father's rapid decline into illness, his death and the tumultuous effect that it had on his life over the course of 11 songs. As Wheeler explains: “After losing my father to dementia, I felt the need to personally do something to fight Alzheimer’s. My friend Neil Hannon from The Divine Comedy's father also has Alzheimer's so we put on a concert in Belfast in November 2011 with The Divine Comedy, The Undertones and Ash to raise funds and awareness for the Alzheimer's Society. Since then I've had close links with The Alzheimer's Society and this year was involved with the Dementia Friends campaign. I'm proud to continue to support them and raise more awareness with the album Lost Domain." [18]

Recorded in Ash's New York studio, Wheeler played almost everything himself, roping in musician friends when he needed a hand: Andy Burrows formerly of Razorlight and Fred Aspelin (Alberta Cross) each played some drums; Ilan Eshkeri and Oliver Kraus helped with the string and brass arrangements performed by the London Metropolitan Orchestra; Leanne Macomber from Ejecta and Neon Indian sang; and Moon Hooch's Wenzl McGowen played saxophone. [19] There is even a sample of Wheeler's father's piano playing on the album's epic centerpiece "Medicine". [20]

The album track "The First Sign of Spring" is available to listen to on YouTube now. [21]

Wheeler announced his first solo dates to support the release of the album on 4–7 November. He played Bush Hall – London, Night & Day- Manchester, ABC2 – Glasgow and Oh Yeah Centre – Belfast. [22] In addition, he supported Andy Burrows in Amsterdam and Brussels.

Musical style


Wheeler is perhaps most recognised for using a Gibson Flying V, which he has frequently used live since 1998 onwards. His Flying V has a 1950s Zebra Coil PAF pickup, and has also been modified in the past for pyrotechnics; the Flaming Flying V acts as a flamethrower, firing from between the V part of the guitar body. [23] [24] Prior to this, Wheeler mainly used various Gibson Les Paul models. He also plays a Gibson SG and Gretsch Silver Jet, which was frequently used both live and in the studio since Ash's album Twilight of the Innocents. For heavier tracks such as "The Dead Disciples", Wheeler has used a Fender Telecaster. In 2011, he purchased a Gretsch 1966 Sal Fabrio, for work in the studio and rehearsals. He also uses a Gibson Custom Inspired By Kiefer Sutherland Semi-Hollow KS-336 guitar on a number of tracks live, including songs such as "Walking Barefoot". He used an Elliot Easton signature model Gibson Firebird on a number of songs during the Kablammo! tour.

Wheeler predominately uses a Mesa Boogie Road King Series II amplifier, and also sometimes uses a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier amplifier. He uses numerous effects pedals which are housed in a rack and controlled via MIDI. His effects pedals include; an Electro-Harmonix Micro Synthesizer, a Dunlop Crybaby 95Q Wah pedal, a Death By Audio Fuzz War, a Carl Martin HeadRoom Reverb, an Electro-Harmonix Poly Chorus, a Morpheus Droptune, a Catalinbread Karma Suture Fuzz, a Mesa Boogie Tone Burst, a Coloursound Tonebender, a Moog Moogerfooger Phaser, an ADA Flanger pedal, and a Nocto Loco octave pedal which replaced a Korg synthesiser in his effects rack. Wheeler controls his pedals in his effects rack using a Voodoo Lab Ground Control Pro MIDI foot controller.

The Flying V guitar that Wheeler set on fire on the Ash Meltdown tour is now on display at the Oh Yeah centre in Belfast. [25] The Oh Yeah centre is dedicated to the music of Northern Ireland and was named after the song "Oh Yeah" by Ash. [8]

Lyrical themes and writing

With the release of the band's fifth studio record Twilight of the Innocents , in 2007, Wheeler spoke of how if the group hadn't toured so heavily they would have been more prolific, that: "It would have been cool to have twice as many songs by now. I definitely could have done it, but if I go on tour I have to stop writing. Writing needs to be a relaxing process and you need peace and quiet and the right stuff around you. Whenever we take a break I could write a song every day, pretty much." [26]

Personal life

Wheeler is an Arsenal FC fan, which began during his nine-year stint living in Highbury. [27] He has been dating French model and art director Julia Restoin Roitfeld since 2018. On September 9, 2021, they announced via Instagram that they were expecting a baby together. [28] In February 2022, they announced the birth of their son George. [29]

In 2016 the Open University awarded Wheeler an honorary Doctor of the university, citing his "exceptional contribution to education and culture". [30]


Studio albums

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Neil Hannon</span> Singer-songwriter from Northern Ireland

Edward Neil Anthony Hannon is a singer and songwriter from Northern Ireland. He is the creator and front man of the chamber pop group the Divine Comedy, and is the band's sole constant member. Hannon wrote the theme tunes for the television sitcoms Father Ted and The IT Crowd.

<i>1977</i> (Ash album) 1996 studio album by Ash

1977 is the debut studio album by Northern Irish rock band Ash. It was released on 6 May 1996 by Home Grown and Infectious Records, with whom the band had signed following the release of several demo tapes. Ash released the mini-album Trailer in 1994, and followed it with three singles "Kung Fu", "Girl from Mars", and "Angel Interceptor", all of which would reappear on 1977. Ash recorded their debut album with producer Owen Morris at Rockfield Studios in Wales in early 1996. Described as a Britpop, power pop and garage rock album, 1977 drew comparisons to the Buzzcocks, Dinosaur Jr., and Sonic Youth.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ash (band)</span> Northern Irish rock band

Ash are a Northern Irish rock band formed in Downpatrick, County Down in 1992 by vocalist and guitarist Tim Wheeler, bassist Mark Hamilton and drummer Rick McMurray. As a three-piece, they released mini-album Trailer in 1994 and full-length album 1977 in 1996. This 1996 release was named by NME as one of the 500 greatest albums of all time. After the success of their full debut the band recruited Charlotte Hatherley as a guitarist and vocalist, releasing their second record Nu-Clear Sounds in 1998. After narrowly avoiding bankruptcy, the band released Free All Angels in 2001 and a string of successful singles.

<i>Trailer</i> (album) 1994 studio album by Ash

Trailer is a mini album by the band Ash featuring their first three singles. An expanded edition also includes four B-sides. The album was released in October 1994 through Infectious Records. The band considered it a "trailer" for their future debut album proper, and named it accordingly.

"Kung Fu" is a song by the band Ash, released as the first single from their album, 1977. It was released in March 1995 as a CD single, limited edition 7”, and standard 7” vinyl. The song was written by Tim Wheeler and produced by Owen Morris.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shining Light</span> 2001 single by Ash

"Shining Light" is a song by Ash, which was released as the first single from their album Free All Angels. It was released on 29 January 2001. It was released as a single CD and as a 7-inch vinyl. It was also Ash's first single to be released as an enhanced CD. "Shining Light" reached number eight on the UK Singles Chart. The song had been covered by fellow Downpatrick songwriter Triona in 2015 which featured on a Power NI advert.

<i>Meltdown</i> (Ash album) 2004 studio album by Ash

Meltdown is the fourth studio album to be recorded by the Northern Irish rock band Ash. The album was released on 17 May 2004 through Infectious Records and Home Grown. Following the success of their third studio album Free All Angels (2001), Ash debuted several new songs while touring throughout 2003. By October that year, they had travelled to Los Angeles, California, to record a follow-up album, which was co-produced by Nick Raskulinecz and the band. Recording sessions were held at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys and at Chalice Studios, Hollywood. Meltdown, which is described as a hard rock album, drew comparisons to the work of The Smashing Pumpkins and critics said the guitar work resembles that of Black Sabbath and Metallica.

<i>Free All Angels</i> 2001 studio album by Ash

Free All Angels is the third studio album to be recorded by Northern Irish rock band Ash. It was released on 23 April 2001 through Infectious Records and Home Grown. Due to the mixed reaction to the band's second studio album Nu-Clear Sounds (1998), frontman Tim Wheeler suffered from depression. He went to his parents' house in Northern Ireland to write material for the band's next album. Free All Angels was co-produced by the band and Owen Morris, and recording sessions were held at El Cortijo in Puerto Banús, Spain, then moved to The Wool Hall in Beckington and RAK Studios in London. The album was described as pop punk, power pop and punk rock, and drew comparisons to the works of China Drum, Compulsion, Hüsker Dü, and the Replacements.

<i>Nu-Clear Sounds</i> 1998 studio album by Ash

Nu-Clear Sounds is the second studio album by Northern Irish rock band Ash. It was released on 5 October 1998, through Infectious Records and Home Grown. Following the release of the band's debut studio album, 1977 (1996), guitarist Charlotte Hatherley became a member. They wrote new material at a farmhouse, before going to Wales to record their next album at Rockfield Studios. With additional sessions held at the Astoria in London, Ash produced the proceedings alongside Chris Kimsey and Owen Morris. A garage rock record, the New York Dolls, the Rolling Stones and the Velvet Underground inspired the album.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Emmy the Great</span> English singer-songwriter

Emma-Lee Moss, known by her stage name Emmy the Great, is an English singer-songwriter. She has released four studio albums, First Love, Virtue, Second Love and April / 月音. She sings in English and in Chinese.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Girl from Mars</span> 1995 single by Ash

"Girl from Mars" is a song by Northern Irish band Ash, the second to be released from their debut studio album, 1977 (1996). The song was written by Tim Wheeler when he was sixteen and was played by the band on their first Top of the Pops appearance two weeks after their A-level exams. It was released on 31 July 1995 on CD, 7-inch vinyl, and cassette formats. "Girl from Mars" was Ash's first top-forty single, reaching number 11 on the UK Singles Chart, number five on the Icelandic Singles Chart and number 16 on the Irish Singles Chart. It also peaked at number 86 in Australia in March 1997.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Oh Yeah (Ash song)</span> 1996 single by Ash

"Oh Yeah" is a song by Northern Irish rock band Ash, released as the fifth single from their debut studio album, 1977 (1996), on 24 June 1996. It was released on CD, 7-inch vinyl, and cassette formats. Upon its release, "Oh Yeah" debuted and peaked at number six on the UK Singles Chart, becoming Ash's second-highest-charting single on the chart following their previous release, "Goldfinger".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">There's a Star</span> 2001 single by Ash

"There's a Star" is a song by Ash, released as the fifth single from their album Free All Angels, on 31 December 2001. It was released as a single CD as a 7-inch vinyl record and on DVD. "There's a Star" was a surprise hit for the band, reaching number 13 on the UK Singles Chart and giving them one of their best-selling singles, even though the single was deleted after one week. The song also reached number 38 in Ireland.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Carine Roitfeld</span> French fashion editor

Carine Roitfeld is a French fashion editor, former fashion model, and writer. She is the former editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris, a position she held from 2001 to 2011. In 2012, she became founder and editor-in-chief of CR Fashion Book, a bi-annual print magazine headquartered in New York City.

Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld is a French-American businessman and President of CR Fashion Book Ltd., the media company that publishes the namesake biannual style magazine founded by his mother, Carine Roitfeld. He leads business strategy, business development, partnerships, and extensions of the CR Fashion Book brand across publishing, licensing, and consulting, including an international partnership with Hearst Communications Inc. Under his leadership, CRFB has revitalized its companion men's publication, CR MEN, launched its first international edition, CR Fashion Book Japan, and produced special projects, including an annual calendar CR Women. Roitfeld is also President of CR Studio, a creative and production agency that he launched with clients ranging from Christian Dior and Chanel to Yeezy and Philipp Plein.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Julia Restoin Roitfeld</span> French creative director and designer

Julia Restoin Roitfeld is a French creative director and designer, based between New York City and London. She is the daughter of Carine Roitfeld and Christian Restoin.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Janet Devlin</span> Northern Irish singer

Janet Maureen Aoife Devlin is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter who competed in the eighth series of The X Factor in 2011, where she finished in fifth place. Her debut album Hide & Seek was released in 2013. After a string of EPs and singles, her second studio album Confessional was released in 2020.

<i>Kablammo!</i> 2015 studio album by Ash

Kablammo! is the sixth studio album by Northern Irish rock band Ash. It was released on 25 May 2015, through Earmusic. During 2009 and 2010, the band released a collection of singles as part of the A–Z Series; in the years following, frontman Tim Wheeler re-thought his stance on albums. Between December 2014 and February 2015, the band recorded their next album at Atomic Heart Studios in New York City, with them and Claudius Mittendorfer co-producing the sessions. Described as a pop rock and power pop release, Kablammo! attempted to capture the live sound of the band.

<i>Lost Domain</i> (album) 2014 studio album by Tim Wheeler

Lost Domain is the debut studio album by Irish musician Tim Wheeler, following his collaboration album with Emmy the Great, This Is Christmas (2011). Lost Domain was released on 7 November 2014 through Sony RED.

<i>Islands</i> (Ash album) 2018 studio album by Ash

Islands is the seventh studio album by Northern Irish rock band Ash. It was released on 18 May 2018, through Infectious Music and BMG. Following the touring cycle for their previous album Kablammo! (2015), frontman Tim Wheeler was going through a break-up, and travelled around the world in attempt to isolate himself. While traveling, he wrote multiple songs in each location. Ash reconvened and began recording their next album at Atom Heart Studios in New York City, with Wheeler acting as the main producer. Described as a power pop album, Islands drew comparison to the Beach Boys, the Ramones, and the Undertones.


  1. 1 2 Wright, Lisa (1 September 2014). "Ash's Tim Wheeler announces debut solo album 'Lost Domain' – hear first song now". NME . Archived from the original on 31 October 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  2. "Works written by: Wheeler, Timothy James Arthur". ASCAP . Archived from the original on 6 May 2009. Retrieved 25 March 2008.
  3. "About the Band". Walking-Barefoot.com. 1 May 2013. Archived from the original on 22 April 2016. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  4. 1 2 "Judge was descendant of 'Irish Times' editor and father of Ash lead singer". The Irish Times . 26 February 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  5. "Obituary: George Bomfforde Wheeler (1932–2011)" (PDF). Trinity College Association of Northern Ireland. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  6. The Illustrated London News, 10 November 1877, p. 462
  7. timwheeler1977 (4 September 2015). "My ancestor GBW, quite a distinguished gent". Instagram . Archived from the original on 24 December 2021. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  8. 1 2 "Music Hall of Fame". Discover Northern Ireland. Archived from the original on 1 October 2012. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
  9. "McCartney confirms Band Aid role". BBC News. 5 November 2004. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  10. "Arthur Baker feat. Tim Wheeler – Glow (Underwater)". MusicOMH . 20 March 2006. Archived from the original on 17 May 2008. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  11. "Rock and Pop: It's back! The JD Set...Tim Wheeler and friends pay tribute to the Boston indie Godheads Pixies. XOYO, 24 March". Islington Tribune . 15 March 2011. Archived from the original on 20 March 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  12. "Ilan Eshkeri & Tim Wheeler Scoring 'Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond'". Film Music Reporter. 24 January 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  13. "'Feels Like Summer' Song Available to Download Now!". ShaunTheSheep.com. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  14. "Tim Wheeler and Emmy the Great Music for MRI Project Digital Release". Ash-Official.com. 17 May 2011. Archived from the original on 6 June 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  15. "'Washington Parks' Project for MS Society". EmmyTheGreat.com. 19 May 2011. Archived from the original on 8 October 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  16. "Tim Wheeler & Emmy the Great to Play Willowstone Festival". Ash-Official.com. 9 June 2011. Archived from the original on 12 March 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  17. "Tim Wheeler & Emmy The Great release 'This Is Christmas' today". Music-News.com. 21 November 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  18. "Debut Solo Album – Lost Domain Released on Sony Red on November 3rd 2014". LostDomainAlbum.com. Archived from the original on 13 September 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  19. "Ash Singer Tim Wheeler Announces Debut Solo Album Lost Domain". HMV . 2 September 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  20. "Debut Album Pre-order 'Lost Domain' by Tim Wheeler: Signed albums, bonus content & exclusive merchandise". PledgeMusic . Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  21. "Tim Wheeler – First Sign of Spring". YouTube. Archived from the original on 13 December 2021. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  22. "Tim Wheeler Announces Solo UK Dates for November Around His Debut Solo Album". Trust Management. 3 September 2014. Archived from the original on 5 September 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  23. "Ash frontman presents iconic Flying V to the Belfast Music exhibition". BelfastMusic.org. 7 December 2009. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  24. "Steal Their Sound: Tim Wheeler (Ash)". MusicRadar.com. 7 July 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  25. "Tim Wheeler Donates his Golden Guitar". CultureNorthernIreland.org. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  26. Collins, Robert (23 September 2007). "The Mysterious Mr Wheeler: An Interview with Ash". PopMatters . Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  27. Parry, Sian; Mannion, Damian (18 November 2010). "Interview: Arsenal fan Tim Wheeler from Ash on disliking his ranga beard and his hopes for the Gunners this season". Talksport . Archived from the original on 18 March 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  28. "Model Julia Restoin Roitfeld Is Pregnant with Second Child: 'Our Hearts Are Full'". People.com. 9 September 2021.
  29. "Julia Restoin Roitfeld Welcomes Second Baby: 'Thank You for Choosing Us'". People.com. 26 February 2022.
  30. Doyle, Simon. "Ash's Tim Wheeler honoured by The Open University". The Irish News. Retrieved 15 December 2020.