Tom Morello has partnered with System of a Down front man Serj Tankien for a classic rock cover.
The guitarist, known for his work with Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave, and Prophets of Rage, teamed with Tankian to debut a cover of Gang of Four’s ‘Natural’s Not In It.’ The single, available here, is featured in the forthcoming compilation record The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four, which is scheduled for release in May. Pre-orders for the compilation are open.
Tankian and Morello stay true to the source material with their rendition of the classic tune. The duo just built on the original and gave it more of a punch without letting their own styles and influences overtake the work.
Gill’s widow Catherine Mayer gave her approval to the work in a prepared statement, noting that Gill himself approved of the work prior to his passing last year from complications that stemmed from COVID-19.
“Andy loved what Tom and Serj did with this song, the fierceness of their attack and the jet-engine scream of feedback” said Mayer. “This was a track Andy always enjoyed performing. He said their version brilliantly captured all the explosive, danceable energy ‘Natural’s Not In It’ can create in live performance.”
Morello spoke warmly of Gill and Gang of Four in his own remarks.
“Andy Gill was one of a handful of artists in history who changed the way guitars are played,” said Morello. “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.”
Tankian added his own statement, speaking just as highly of Gill and of Morello.
“It was a real pleasure to work on this track with Tom and honor the legacy of Andy and Gang of Four at the same time,” said Tankian.
‘Natural’s Not In It’ is featured in Gang of Four’s 1979 debut album Entertainment! Rolling Stone magazine dubbed the album “the fifth best punk album of all time.” It is also featured in the soundtrack to the 2006 movie Marie Antoinette.
Prior to his passing last year, Gill had envisioned the new compilation record as a celebration marking 40 years since the release of Entertainment! Following his death, that changed, and artists instead opted to lay out the compilation’s body with works that represented much more of Gang of Four’s catalog, according to Mayer.
Mayer said in her comments, that Gill approved of the changes.
“Andy was massively excited about this project,” said Mayer. “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.”
The full track listing for The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four is expected for reveal on Jan. 14.
More information on the compilation is available along with all of Gang of Four’s latest news at:
More information on Tom Morello is available along with all of his latest news at:
More information on Serj Tankian is available along with his latest news at:
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