Gang of Four just released the year’s best album so far, What Happens Next. They play Belly Up March 25. Guitarist Andy Gill chimed in over email.
- Wednesday, March 25, 2015, 8 p.m.
Belly Up Tavern,
143 S. Cedros Avenue,
What are your memories of playing San Diego?
“We’ve played San Diego many times over the years. It’s a great place with lots of charm. I don’t recall the name of the venue, but one gig which sticks in my memory was when we had REM supporting us.”
You’re the only one left from the original Four. Do you miss the others in any way? Do you keep in touch?
“There have been so many different rhythm sections over the years. My two favourite bass players would be Thomas McNeice, who has been in the band now for eight years, and Gail Ann Dorsey. I’m very much in touch with Hugo, the original Gang of Four drummer. He is coming to the Boston show, which is in a few days’ time.”
Who are the current other three and how did you select them?
“I was discussing the need to get a decent singer down to the studio to do better, more in-tune versions of my rough-guide vocals, and then Gaoler turned up one day. We did a gig in London at the Lexington and it went very well. We’ve now been all over the world with him, and I think he’s really great. He has great vocal range and power and an intense stage presence.
“Thomas was the bass player in El Presidente and I saw just how good he was and what a strong stage presence he had. He continues to be a driving force in the band: an incredible bass player with an amazing live dynamic energy.
Thomas and I auditioned a bunch of drummers when we needed someone and Johnny Finnegan was easily the best, precise and powerful.”
How has the band’s mission changed, or not changed, over the years?
“I think the thing which has stayed the same is the desire to try and create new musical forms for the times we are in. Entertainment [the debut] was an attempt to do that — to create a new and appropriate language, and the mission behind the current album is essentially the same. It sounds different because we are living in different times. Besides that, I would say that the point is to create and present provocative and exciting music and ideas.”