Gang Of Four’s Andy Gill has spoken to Music Week of the influence of grime and trap on the band’s new album.
The guitarist and founder member of the post-punk pioneers has self-released Happy Now, which came out on Friday (April 19). Gang Of Four’s first album in four years had been pushed back after problems with PledgeMusic.
“As always, I’m into a heavy groove and I wanted the songs to be accessible and have a sort of pop element to them,” Gill told Music Week. “Also, there are certain sounds from recent times, things like grime and trap and some of the bass sounds.”
Gill is interviewed in the latest issue of Music Week, which explores the influence of Gang Of Four, both in the UK and the US. Acts ranging from Franz Ferdinand to LCD Soundsystem have acknowledged the work of the post-punk group.
“Both sides [of the Atlantic] have given an enormous amount of props, especially to do with the guitar [sound],” said Gill. “The other day I was playing in LA and Tom Morello came in and sought me out backstage to give us his best. There’s a lot of recognition from bands, whether it was back in the old days like the Chili Peppers or now from St Vincent.”
Gill has also become established as a producer over the last few decades, including albums from Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Stranglers, The Futureheads, Young Knives and Killing Joke. But he is no longer as keen on taking complete control of his own albums in the studio.
“What I’ve sometimes done in the past is gone, ‘Well, I’m a producer, I produced all these people, it makes sense that I produce this Gang Of Four record,’” he said. “That just misses the point, which is when you’re the artist you don’t necessarily want to be producing yourself. From now on, I’m going to work with a co-producer who’s going to be in there with me and throw ideas at me, maybe veto or discuss what my ideas are, and that’s what we did with this record.”
The single Paper Thin received support from BBC 6 Music and Gang of Four played the digital station’s festival in Liverpool last month. A second track, Change The Locks, was released ahead of the album.
“I very much hope the record gets the exposure that I think it deserves,” said Gill. “We just did three weeks in America and the reaction was very positive.”
The new line-up will continue touring the album internationally. The current setlist includes several songs from their acclaimed debut Entertainment!, which is in its 40th anniversary year.
“I find it quite interesting because a lot of the time I’ll do a brand new song that probably no one’s ever heard, then I’ll play At Home He’s A Tourist,” said Gill. “When you actually put them together there’s a dialogue between the old and the new that seems to really work.”