A new Gang of Four tribute album has been announced. The double album, titled The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four, will arrive in May 2021 and feature covers of Gang of Four and Andy Gill songs by a number of artists. The first single will be released on Friday, January 1, 2021, which would have been Gill’s 65th birthday. It’s a cover of “Natural’s Not in It,” performed by Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello and System of a Down’s Serj Tankian.

Damien Hirst made the artwork for The Problem Leisure. Find the album cover, as well as a video from Andy Gill’s widow Catherine Mayer, below.

“Andy Gill was one of a handful of artists in history who changed the way guitars are played,” Tom Morello said in a statement. “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.”

Damien Hirst stated:

Everybody who grew up with Gang of Four in their lives can remember how mind-blowing and forward-thinking and filled with creative energy it was at the time and guess what? It still is now. It’s art. Art that’s reaching out of this world yet somehow still down to earth. It’s so great to be involved with this release and to see and hear a new generation of musicians paying tribute to Andy Gill’s incredible music. My artwork ‘Dog with Bone,’ which Andy picked for the cover from a few ideas I had, is from a new series of giant pipe cleaner animals based on little ones made in my studio by kids. I think he wanted this work for the cover because it’s new and unexpected and in your face and hard not to like, they make adults feel like children and Andy always wanted to celebrate that.

Andy Gill died in February of this year. According to press materials, he’d been planning the release of The Problem of Leisure to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the release of Entertainment! in 2019. “Andy was massively excited about this project,” Catherine Mayer said. “It wasn’t, of course, conceived as a tribute album, but it’s comforting to me that he lived to see artists he hugely admired enthusiastically agreeing to participate, signaling that the admiration was mutual.”

Read “Remembering Gang of Four’s Andy Gill, Who Ripped Punk to Shreds” over on the Pitch.

Damien Hirst, Dog with Bone, 2017 © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2020


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