Natural’s Not in It
Natural’s Not in It
British art rock band Everything Everything created the only track on the album that was recorded and produced entirely by Andy Gill.
“Gang of Four, and specifically the Entertainment! album, seemed to have predicted so much of the music we were steeped in at the time of forming Everything Everything. We couldn’t quite believe how snappily vital and contemporary it seemed, and it was over 25 years old at that point. Andy’s way of slashing his guitar, as if slicing it up with shards of glass, really influenced Alex, and is just a viscerally exciting sound for any instrumentalist. This clarion call, married to some good old Gramscian theory in the lyrics, made for such engaging work. A unique alchemy of punk sonics, brutalist stricture and Marxist socio-economics.
We were thrilled to learn that Andy Gill admired what we do, way back in 2009, and so to have opportunity to work together ten years later was one we couldn’t miss.
Working with him in his legendary home studio compound in Clerkenwell was revelatory, stepping into the very specific and special world that was the life he lived as an artist, and that he shared with Catherine. The studio was like an underground lair. We were surrounded by objects collected throughout his life and career. It was charmingly cluttered. At one point he leant us his bedroom so we could try on some suits we’d hired for Michael’s wedding.
Working without much fuss and unusually quickly for us (an approach we applied to recording our fifth album later the same year), we tracked the bass and drums live in a handful of takes, and overdubbed the guitars and vocals, taking licence to have a bit of a laugh with the backing vocals and percussion. Alex got to play Andy’s unmistakeable Stratocaster, which was cool. Later on, he and Andy added some synths which really elevated the recording.
Andy was already unwell, but was present and engaged, gently steering from the back. He admired our choice of ‘Natural’s Not In It’, calling the original the ‘jewel in the crown’ of Entertainment! We went out to the off licence and came back with wine. Andy regaled us with stories of working with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and other wines he had drunk. Both were equally important experiences for him.
The day recording and the evening’s drinking and tinkering with the track were a huge privilege for us, as is our inclusion on this compilation. Attending Andy’s memorial service a year later was extraordinary moving, as it was so clear how deeply he’d touched many disparate people with his unique energy and art.
Cheers Andy.” – Everything Everything