The fourth single to be covered from The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four, is a new interpretation of “In the Ditch” by the iconic American alternative rock band, HELMET.
The Problem of Leisure is set for release on June 4, 2021. A double album of tracks written by Andy Gill and Gang of Four, it will include all newly reinterpreted and recorded songs by artists whose own unique contributions to music were influenced by Gang of Four. The album features songs from across Gang of Four’s 40-plus year career, each individually chosen by the artists’ who covered them.
Andy Gill was a fan of Helmet from their early days and had hoped to collaborate with them on a future music project. “In the Ditch” is the first new track from Helmet since 2016. Speaking about their involvement in The Problem of Leisure, Page Hamilton from Helmet explains:
“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.”
The album is available to pre-order now in a variety of double vinyl, two CD and cassette formats from all usual retail outlets worldwide. The deluxe vinyl format, “Dogluxe” is only available from the Gang of Four website, gangoffour.uk/store. All formats feature different versions of the artwork from Damien Hirst. The album will be released on the Gill Music label on June 4, 2021 and is distributed by Ingrooves. Listen to Helmet’s cover below: