Helmet Stream Cover Of Gang Of Four’s “In The Ditch“

Helmet have released their cover of Gang Of Four’s “In The Ditch.“ This track is from the new Andy Gill tribute album, “The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration Of Andy Gill And Gang Of Four,” which will be released on June 4.

Helmet’s Page Hamilton commented:

“My old pal Henry Rollins reissued ‘Entertainment!‘ and ‘Solid Gold‘ back in the 90’s and asked me to do liner notes for ‘Solid Gold‘. I don’t remember what I wrote but I know it was glowing, corny and fanboy. Their songs, feel, energy, inventiveness made an indelible imprint on my musical soul.

All of our peers that formed bands in the late 80’s were influenced by Go4. I chose ‘In the Ditch‘ for this tribute cause it’s a great song even though it was challenging (thank you to my band!). It feels improvised and random at times but holds together as a composition. The guitar part feels like spontaneous scratchy funk, the angular bass and drum groove grooves hard but sounds like there’s a spoke missing.

The vocal is somehow beautiful but scary, urgent and dangerous. There’s no room for limp dick, mail-it-in, non-musical moments in any of these songs. How the hell did they put this together? We could only try to capture the intensity of the original. This band changed me. Thank you Andy, Dave, Hugo & Jon.”

Gill‘s widow Catherine Mayer added:

“Helmet has recorded a superb version of ‘In the Ditch‘, such a powerful song for these paranoid times. Andy and the other members of the original line-up came of age during an era of Public Information Films issued by the UK Government in case of nuclear attack.

Even then it was clear that the instructions given in these films, such as taking shelter under tables or diving into ditches, were designed not to save lives but to quieten public nerves. It was propaganda, and as such grist to Gang of Four’s preoccupations. How eerily relevant the lyrics seem, recalling Prepper ideologies and also the claustrophobia of our locked-down world.

Of course I also stumble over the lyrics about ‘beyond the cares of the world’ and ‘six feet under’, things that apply to Andy metaphorically if not, in the second case, literally. His ashes are at home with me, high on a shelf where he can observe, with pleasure, preparations for this wonderful album.”

[via Brooklyn Vegan]

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Helmet, Rage Against The Machine, Etc. Members To Be Featured On “The Problem Of Leisure: A Celebration Of Andy Gill And Gang Of Four” Tribute Album

The track listing has officially been revealed for the new Andy Gill and Gang Of Four tribute album, “The Problem Of Leisure: A Celebration Of Andy Gill And Gang Of Four.” That effort will be released on May 14 and it will feature members of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against The Machine, System Of A Down, Helmet, Nova Twins, and more.

“The Problem Of Leisure: A Celebration Of Andy Gill And Gang Of Four” Track Listing:

CD 1:

01. IDLES – “Damaged Goods”
02. Tom Morello & Serj Tankian – “Natural’s Not in It”
03. Helmet – “In the Ditch”
04. 3D x Gang Of Four – “Where the Nightingale Sings” (feat. Nova Twins)
05. Hotei – “To Hell With Poverty”
06. Gary Numan – “Love Like Anthrax”
07. Gail Ann Dorsey – “We Live as We Dream, Alone”
08. Herbert Grönemeyer – “I Love a Man in a Uniform” (feat. Alex Silva)
09. LoneLady – “Not Great Men”
10. JJ Sterry – “5.45”

CD 2:

01. La Roux – “Damaged Goods”
02. Everything Everything – “Natural’s Not in It”
03. Dado Villa-Lobos – “Return The Gift”
04. The Dandy Warhols – “What We All Want”
05. Warpaint – “Paralysed”
06. Flea & John Frusciante – “Not Great Men”
07. The Sounds – “I Love A Man In A Uniform”
08. Hardcore Raver in Tears – “Last Mile” (“Broken Talk” cover)
09. Killing Joke x Gang of Four – “Forever Starts Now” (Killing Joke dub)
10. Sekar Melati – “Not Great Men” (live version)

Gill’s widow Catherine Mayer commented:

“There was never any doubt in my mind that I should finish what Andy had started. He took so much pleasure from hearing from artists which track they had chosen and why. He was delighted by the tracks he lived long enough to hear. Even in what turned out to be his final days of life, he listened to mixes on a laptop in his hospital bed and asked me to send notes and responses to the contributors on his behalf. He also talked to me about further musicians he hoped to coax to come on board. After he died, I made contact with several of these. All said yes.”

Pre-orders can be found at gangoffour.uk and if you missed it, Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello and System Of A Down frontman Serj Tankian‘s cover of “Natural’s Not In It” can be found HERE.

Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine) And Serj Tankian (System Of A Down) Stream Cover Of Gang Of Four’s “Natural’s Not In It“

Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine) and Serj Tankian (System Of A Down) have released their cover of Gang Of Four’s “Natural’s Not In It.“ This track is from the new Andy Gill tribute album, “The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration Of Andy Gill And Gang Of Four,” which will be released on May 14.

Morello told Spin the following:

“Andy Gill was one of a handful of artists in history who changed the way guitars are played. His band Gang of Four were just incendiary and completely groundbreaking with Andy’s confrontational, unnerving and sublime playing at the forefront. His jagged plague-disco raptor-attack industrial-funk deconstructed guitar anti-hero sonics and fierce poetic radical intellect were hugely influential to me.”

Tankian added:

“It was a real pleasure to work on this track with Tom and honor the legacy of Andy and Gang of Four at the same time.”

Gill’s widow Catherine Mayer also commented:

“Andy loved what Tom and Serj did with this song, the fierceness of their attack and the jet-engine scream of feedback. This was a track Andy always enjoyed performing. He said their version brilliantly captured all the explosive, danceable energy ‘Natural’s Not In It’ can create in live performance.”

Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine) And Serj Tankian (System Of A Down) To Release Cover Of Gang Of Four’s “Natural’s Not In It“ In January

Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine) and Serj Tankian (System Of A Down) will be releasing their cover of Gang Of Four’s “Natural’s Not In It“ on January 1. The track will serve as the first single from the new Andy Gill tribute album, “The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration Of Andy Gill And Gang Of Four,” which will be released on May 14.

Gang Of Four said the following:

“It is with pride, joy, excitement and a measure of sadness that we announce The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four, a project Andy worked on right up to his death in February. This double album features tracks written by Andy and Gang of Four, newly reinterpreted and recorded by artists whose own unique contributions to music were enriched by listening to Gang of Four.

The first single has seen Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine) collaborate with Serj Tankian (System Of A Down) to create an incredible cover of Natural’s Not In It. It will be released on Andy’s birthday, January 1st 2021. All the brilliant artists and bands participating in the album chose which track they wished to cover from across Gang of Four’s 40-plus year history. Details of the contributors and the full track listing will be revealed in January.

We can already tell you this: The Problem of Leisure is the dog’s bollocks. And so is the album artwork, created specially by artist Damien Hirst, a long-term Gang of Four aficionado. The album is available to pre-order now in a variety of different formats exclusively from our merchandise store. It will be released on 14th May 2021…”

Morello also commented:

“Andy Gill was one of a handful of artists in history who changed the way guitars are played. His band @GangOfFourOfficial were just incendiary and completely groundbreaking with Andy’s confrontational, unnerving and sublime playing at the forefront. His jagged plague-disco raptor-attack industrial-funk deconstructed guitar anti-hero sonics and fierce poetic radical intellect were hugely influential to me. Honored to be part of this tribute to Andy and @GangOfFourOfficial. @SerjTankian and I teamed up to take on “Natural’s Not In It” and you’ll be able to hear it next month…”

Andy Gill (Gang Of Four) Passes Away

Andy Gill (Gang Of Four) has sadly passed away at the age of 64. The guitarist died in a central London hospital following a short respiratory illness.

The band issued the following statement yesterday (February 1):

“This is so hard for us to write, but our great friend and Supreme Leader has died today.

Andy’s final tour in November was the only way he was ever really going to bow out; with a Stratocaster around his neck, screaming with feedback and deafening the front row.

His uncompromising artistic vision and commitment to the cause meant that he was still listening to mixes for the upcoming record, whilst planning the next tour from his hospital bed.

But to us, he was our friend – and we’ll remember him for his kindness and generosity, his fearsome intelligence, bad jokes, mad stories and endless cups of Darjeeling tea. He just so happened to be a bit of a genius too.

One of the best to ever do it, his influence on guitar music and the creative process was inspiring for us, as well as everyone who worked alongside him and listened to his music. And his albums and production work speak for themselves. Go give ‘em a spin for him…

Love you mate.

John, Thomas and Tobias
GANG OF FOUR”