Travel Diary: Ash Grunwald surfs, rides and flies his way to Toronto (Canada) via Singapore, Tokyo and LA

Along his journey to Canadian Music Week in Toronto last year – which is just about to return for 2016 – Aussie musician Ash Grunwald encountered electric bicycles, cars, plenty of waves and the contrast of rural Nicaragua and the USA. He’s shared these and more stories with us from his time over the pond…

Ash Grunwald Post FIlming 'River'

Having a beer in front of Che Guevara after finishing a music video, not a bad days work –

Ash Grunwald at Motherlanz Festival Sinapgore

A quick stopover at Singapore’s Motherlanz Festival was amazing with a little help from Tikitane.

Oh and as well as great festivals, Singapore also has sick electric bikes:

Electric Bicycle

After hitting up Tokyo, I arrived weary eyed in LA. First stop: Wholefood’s, where the future looks bright!

I quizzed a Californian Lord about his electric bike (there’s a trend) and explain to him my love of FIIK electric skateboards ( as a new Tesla S electric car ( by Elon Musk of PayPal, slips by silently. He’s friendly as all hell.

An Electric Bicycle in LA

In Australia we often think of America as one place, and tend to define it by its mass media and government, all the while forgetting it has millions upon millions of free thinking, friendly, amazing people who are setting about the considerable task of making this world a better place through what they buy and what they do. I begin to foam at the mouth at the thought of positive change and the fact it’s still possible if we can wrestle the reins back from the governments, banks and corporations who aren’t quite ready….But it was after a night of this, so I wasn’t in such a forward thinking ‘utopia awaits’ kinda mood.

Pile of mini JagerMeister bottles

After that 12 hour stop over in LA I took off to Nicaragua for a quick surf holiday before my gigs started. Here I am Jamming at a hostel in surfing paradise.

Ash Grunwald holding an acoustic guitar

This is a classic shot of me and my buddy Christian driving heading for a surf in Nicaragua. Christian is always there through thick and thin, booking me shows in Canada, jamming on stage, helping me get out of that hideous visa picks in Bali and getting to Singapore… but that’s another story… There are photos like this spanning over the last nine years (Christian and I in a tour van) particularly with overpass and snow capped mountains in the background.

Christian and Ash

It was really cool to weave in a brief but eventful little surf trip as a part of my journey to CMW and meetings/showcases in LA. Speaking of surf…..

Surf in Nicaragua

Barrels in Nicaragua

The Nicaraguans do things a bit differently. Loving the rural charms.

Donkey and cart in Nicaragua

Nicaraguan Architecture

Nicaragua has some amazing craftsmanship. The local gringos (tourists) complain about the Nicaraguan work ethic but I like the fact that they haven’t been infected with our stressful capitalistic efficiency just yet.

Now back in LA: it’s time to check out the land of everything.

Arrived in LA and visited this mega cool bar next to our hotel. And next to the bar by day….

We surfed every morning before meetings by day and gigs by night. Absolutely packed out schedule.

Played a sneaky little afternoon show for happy hour at World Surf League HQ Hollywood.

Getting a haircut. As the Hollywood cliché goes: everybody is aspiring actor with an agent. Including this girl!

Off to Toronto for CMW – Even though it’s an add for a bank. I love this sculpture or installation or whatever you call it- pretty much how I travel!

There is a paper called ‘NOW’ in Toronto!! FYI also the title of my new album…

Look at that! – I’m won’t bore you with the details of CMW (networking etc) but all went very well… We got a great booking agent and had lots of record label and festival interest. By the time this year is out I’ll have flown to Canada 4 times. (I guess I did just bore you with the details- I don’t want you guys to think I was bullshitting).


Be sure to follow Ash Grunwald on Facebook (, Twitter ( and visit his Official Website (!

Canadian Music Week returns on May 2nd and runs through to the 8th. For more details head to:


This content has recently been ported from its original home on AU Abroad and may have formatting errors – images may not be showing up, or duplicated, and galleries may not be working. We are slowly fixing these issue. If you spot any major malfunctions making it impossible to read the content, however, please let us know at editor AT

Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.

Tags: , , , ,