GANG OF FOUR have unveiled a new single and announced an EP ANTI HERO due for release next month.
The release follows the tragic death of band founder Andy Gill from a respiratory illness on 1 February this year.
The surviving members of the band’s final line-up – John Sterry, Thomas McNeice and Tobias Humble have joined with Andy’s widow Catherine Mayer to celebrate the guitarist, through music and in raising funds for Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, the London hospital that tried so hard to save Andy’s life.
The lead single ‘Forever Starts Now’ is a brand new song, written by Gill and Sterry and released digitally today. Originally bearing the working title ‘Hero’, the song, says Sterry, is about “a character who sees himself as the hero of his own life and manipulates his partner into supporting this fantasy. The line, ‘She sings along with his song / she thinks it’s like having the radio on…’ always brings a wry smile.” The track is available now on Spotify.
Anti Hero takes its title from the single and reflects Gill’s lifelong mistrust of narratives around supposedly great men. “Andy always had a healthy scepticism about celebrity culture and populist politicians,” says Mayer. “And he could always spot when someone was blowing smoke.” She adds, “Even so, he would be moved and delighted that artists he loved and admired have come together to celebrate him by launching this EP and for such a good cause.”
A second single from the EP, ‘Day Turns To Night’, to be released on 26 June, was written by Sterry just days after Gill’s death and will be the first single for his solo project. “I had no intention of it being about him,” he says. “It just came out that way and also I didn’t intend for it to be released. I often cloak lyrics with ambiguity and this felt too raw. But listening now, I’m glad I wrote it with no thought of where it might go—it’s just a pure distillation of the years I’d spent with Andy and the band.”
The EP was produced and mixed by bassist Thomas McNeice alongside Santi Arribas of the Mixing Factory, another of Gill’s firm friends and collaborators. “It was strange, to say the least, to work on a Gang of Four EP without the wisdom and guidance of Andy, but it was nice to feel his presence and influence again,” says McNeice. “I like to think that this EP exhibits a progression in Gang of Four, while paying tribute to a unique talent that I was extraordinarily lucky to work with.”
All net receipts received by Gang of Four from sales and streams of the EP and singles will be donated to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity. Distributor Republic of Music have also waived their fees for this project, to maximise the income generated for the Charity.
Anti Hero is set for release on 17 July.
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Pic by Leo Cackett