Justin Sullivan of New Model Army speaks to Mix Grill

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Dimitris Antonopoulos spoke with Justin Sullivan of New Model Army for their new album, their semi-acoustic concert in Athens (08/06 @ Closer Bar), the spirit of punk, economic crisis and many other things.

Dimitris Antonopoulos: Hello Justin, and thanks for your time! So, you're comin back to Athens for an acoustic set this time..great! What can we expect?

New Model Army: I really like the acoustic show - it's not really very acoustic... we can make quite a lot of noise for two people. I like the creative aspect of making NMA songs work in a stripped down setting. If anything it can get even more intense than NMA - although only if the audience can go with us between light and shade, quiet and loud. I'm really looking forward to it.
 
DA: Any memories from your gigs here really? What about the the Greek fans here?

J: I've always felt that Greek audiences 'get' New Model army at a gut level. We don't really need to explain anything, it's such a strong shared feeling. We've done a lot of good gigs there - last time on the 30th Anniversary was great!
 
DA: Are you workin' on a new record maybe? After the wonderful 'Today Is A Good Day'? What’s comin next..?

J: We are finally working seriously on a new record having lost quite a lot of time because of the fire that destroyed our studio at Christmas. The last three albums have been very much 'rock band in a room' albums and we're working on something a bit different this time.
 
DA: We're in under some serious trouble here as you know.. Economy crisis, the market, the bankers...Tough times for our country ('My Country'....) here. So, what do you think really? What’s your point of view Justin?

J: I'm not an economist or a politician (thank God). The current crisis which started 30 or 40 years ago with the freeing of 'the market' maybe very focused on Greece right now but really it's a worldwide thing. A friend of mine who grew up in East Germany says it reminds him of the last days of communism when everyone knew that the system didn't work but no one knew how to fix it. I certainly think that it's inevitable that Greece leaves the Euro and perhaps not such a bad thing in the long run.
 
DA: You're one of the best performer ever...What’s the secret? Is there a 'key' that kept you going for so long doing amazing gigs..?

J: Love?
 
DA: What about the spirit of Punk (as an attitude.. if you wish..) nowadays..?

J: Well 'punk' to me was a cultural revolution which sought to remind everyone that all forms of art - especially music - are not about technical expertise, style, money or status, they are about the transmission of spirit. I still believe in that.
 
DA: 5 of your fav albums ever?

J: Impossible of course but....Quadrophenia - The Who, Hounds of Love - Kate Bush, Ghost Of Tom Joad - Springsteen, Brighter than 1000 Suns - Killing Joke, Rated R - QOTSA, Harvest - Neil Young
I have also to mention the entire Tamla Motown catalogue, Gillian Welch and a current favourite Hindi Zahra.

DA: Let’s have a trip with a time machine for the next 24 hours.. Do you want to go to Woodstock '69 or Monterey Pop Festival '67? And why?

J: Monterey to see Otis Redding (and the others but especially him) but then again there was so much at Woodstock too!
 
DA: I can’t remember many bands/artists with such a great legacy as yours really Justin...How do you feel looking back? At the early days with the New Model Army?

J: OK I guess but I try not to look back too much. I think we've made every mistake a band can make but, hey, we're still making interesting music.
 
Thank you very much Justin! See you in Athens, Dimitris.


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