23 Jul 2014

Vapour Trail interviews... Andy Gill of Gang of Four

As part of my coverage of Truck festival that will be up over the next few days, I interviewed one or two artists following immensely successful sets. Formed in the late 70's, Gang of Four were a politically empowered post-punk band hailing from Leeds. Despite many line-up changes, Andy Gill, the lead guitarist is the sole original member still touring with the band.

Hi, Andy
Hello Calum

At Truck this weekend, did you manage to see any younger bands you thought were really great?
I didn't manage it at Truck sadly...

Because you formed significantly earlier than 99% of the bands playing, did you feel your set was still really well recieved by younger people like me? What do you think the reception was like for Gang of Four?
Well I'm not sure what you're like! But I'm guessing you mean young. Yes, I thought it was a good reception but generally speaking it's better playing when it's a bit darker. It's one of the interesting things about Gang of Four that we really do have quite a young crowd.
There are still plenty of the older fans who have been fans for decades but we keep picking up younger generations.

The new songs sounded GREAT, when is new material on it's way, and are there any details of a new album?
I'm really glad you liked the new songs, I sometimes worry that people just want the old stuff. There is a new album on the way, it's called What Happens Next!

With the new stuff, is there any brand new influences that weren't there on Content?
I think with Content there may have been a thought that we should keep the sound very simple and, if you like, Gang-of-Four-ish, but with this new record I have kind of cut myself free, which I think is much more in the same spirit as- say Entertainment!

Are there any plans to smash up microwaves in the near future for live shows? Why wasn't there any anti-microwave action at Truck?
Microwaves throughout the land need to be fearful. We didn't at Truck because we didn't really feel like it...

Theoretically, if you could form a dream supergroup with anybody live or dead, who would the members be and why?
Supergroup. Robert Johnson (blues guitarist) with Baudelaire (poet), Erik Satie (classical composer and virtuoso pianist) on keys and Bernard Edwards on bass, obviously.

If you were in charge of a major festival and picking it's three headliners, who would be the three you'd want to headline?
That's tricky. Talking of tricky maybe it might include Massive Attack. Mariah Carey and Celine Dion. No, just joking. I think Daft Punk would be very entertaining. Also, Kanye West? The Mekons?

What do you think about Julian Cope (a personal hero of mine) and his most famous band, the Teardrop Explodes?
I know this is a bit weird but I really don't know what the Teardrop Explodes sounds like. Julian Cope seems to be an extremely entertaining character; my friend Mark Ellen has some quite good stories.

Gang of Four played Truck at 18.15 on the Saturday. They have a new album out soon, called 'What Happens Next'!