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It’s quite something to be in the same band for 37 years these days, and to have done the whole thing exactly the way you’ve wanted to. New Model Army have kept the faith for all these years, and have repeatedly released material that’s crossed pretty much every genre there is, constantly evolving and developing their sound. Founder and only original remaining member of NMA singer Justin Sullivan is still writing incredibly rich and intense songs, most recently on their 2016 album Winter, which has been hailed as a brilliant collection of songs. I tried not to ask Justin any more Stupid Questions (I already knew the answers), but we did chat about being controversial, Te Family and a recent documentary about the history of NMA.


16 / MARCH 2017 / OUTLINEONLINE.CO.UK


Y


ou formed NMA in 1980 in Bradford. What was the music scene like in


Bradford back then? Like everywhere else, it was an explosive time. In the wake of the ‘punk’ cultural revolution (and the early Tatcher years) there were hundreds and thousands of people engaged on all kind of creative enterprises. Of course we all had dreams of ‘success’ but it wasn’t the driving factor. Still isn’t for us. New Model Army are well known for drawing from many genres - who inspired your early music making? Tere have been a lot of different musicians in New Model Army. None of them


have been ‘side-men’, all have contributed and all have come from different musical backgrounds bringing different influences. Personally, my first love has always been Motown and Northern Soul - there is much more of this in NMA than people realise - but I’ve also been into every other genre - a big reggae phase in the mid 70s, a big hip hop phase in the mid 90s, modern classical, funk, Americana, folk, metal, punk - whatever. People have always loved your lyrics – do you have a tried and tested method for writing? Not really – though I think that the most vivid lyrics have at least hints of a story and a physical setting – place,


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