As usual in these times, we meet Justin Sullivan via video link at his home in Bradford, UK. Sirens are blaring in the background, Sullivan is relaxed, if slightly annoyed by the forced break his band has been given due to the pandemic. At least he used the time creatively and recorded a quiet, very personal album.
eclipsed: When we talked about the last New Model Army album "From Here" in 2019, you put special emphasis on the song "The Weather", which deals with the fact that man and nature are inextricably linked, so that, for example, climate change synchronously leads to a growing heating of the minds. Do you feel vindicated by the emergence of the coronavirus?
A new album from New Model Army is always an event. The English band released a live recording in 2018, on which practically only the concert visitors can be heard. For the new studio work "From Here" the quintet retreated to the Norwegian island of Giske to arrange and record the songs in great seclusion. "Everything was allowed," bandleader Justin Sullivan tells us.
As usual, Justin Sullivan, the front man of New Model Army, is reserved and cautious at first. In the course of the conversation, however, he becomes more and more talkative and willing to provide information, especially when it comes to the way his band works and how they try to cross borders. In addition, his anger in view of the forthcoming Brexit remains high.
eclipsed: Would you consider every new album from New Model Army as a commentary on the state of the world, or is that an exaggerated expectation of the fans?
The eclipsed check - The 150 greatest rock anthems of all time
Stomping, combative, polemic, ecstatic - rock anthems can present themselves in this way and in completely different forms of mood. In any case, they have always stood for the great emotional theatre in popular music. The eclipsed editorial team has brought together the 150 most exciting representatives of the hymn-like song from six decades and allowed showers to trickle down their backs several times. Welcome to the stage of larger-than-life gestures!
The dark alternative rockers around Justin Sullivan deliver another strong album with their new opus: a first soundtrack to the upcoming dark season. They rely mainly on tried and tested and driving grooves, which sometimes remind of Indian rhythms, the intensive use of the acoustic guitar, and dramatic increases, but are also good for one or two surprises.
As usual, Justin Sullivan gives the friendly and intelligent conversation partner in the Cologne hotel where he receives interviews. But already after two questions the 60 year old singer and guitarist has little desire to talk about the new record "Winter". He prefers to be echauffiert about his government, neoliberalism and right-wing populists. Which makes the conversation even more interesting.
eclipsed: The new album sounds more boisterous than its predecessor "Between Dog And Wolf", which was dominated by archaic drums. One step back?
Justin Sullivan: On the last album we tried to create that special sound. To me, the last few records sounded a little like we just played them down. We wanted an opulent studio production that wouldn't even try to capture the sound of our concerts. And the album sounds fantastic, but we didn't want to repeat the process.
30 years "The Wall"
After the fat years of rock, a feeling of crisis, disillusionment and weariness prevailed at the end of the seventies. Pink Floyd placed their most pompous project into this climate. A sign of unprecedented arrogance? Symbol of the progressive loss of reality in rock nobility? Or was the concept work "The Wall" published thirty years ago on the contrary a wide awake critique of the times? Tracing the anniversary.
Chronicler of the American (Alpine) Dream
In 1988 the band Prefab Sprout made it clear in their song "Cars And Girls" that life is about more than cars and girls - an obvious side blow to Bruce Springsteen and his supposedly limited view of the world. At the end of September the new Boss album "Magic" will be released. A welcome opportunity to look back on Springsteen's career and see what the man from New Jersey is really interested in.
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eclipsed is a music magazine based in Aschaffenburg and has been on the German market since 2000. It is aimed at friends of sophisticated rock music who want to go on a new acoustic voyage of discovery month after month.
eclipsed deals in detail with the rock greats of the 60s and 70s in the areas of art rock, prog, psychedelic, blues, classic, hard rock and much more as well as with the current scene in these areas.