The surviving members of Gang of Four pay tribute to their late guitarist and band leader Andy Gill on “Day Turns to Night,” a track from the upcoming EP Anti Hero, featuring some of the last music Gill worked on prior to his February 1st death.
“I had no intention of it being about him,” Gang of Four vocalist John Sterry told Brooklyn Vegan of the song. “It just came out that way and also I didn’t intend for it to be released. I often cloak lyrics with ambiguity and this felt too raw. But listening now, I’m glad I wrote it with no thought of where it might go — it’s just a pure distillation of the years I’d spent with Andy and the band.”
Sterry added of “Day Turns to Night,” “It’s the most to-the-point lyric I’ve ever written, there’s no symbolism or ambiguity in it. It’s pure and I have grown to love its honesty, even though it came as quite a shock to find myself writing in that way. [Bassist] Thomas McNeice produced it after Andy’s wife (Catherine Mayer) heard the track and persuaded us to include it in the EP.”
Gang of Four previously shared “Forever Starts Now,” co-written by Gill, from the Anti Hero EP, due out July 17th. A portrait of Gill, designed by Shepard Fairey, appears on the EP’s cover.
Gill died February 1st from what was at the time listed as pneumonia; in the months that followed, his widow Catherine has speculated whether Gill — who toured China in late-November — was perhaps an early victim of the coronavirus, as his health slowly diminished in the months prior to his death.
“It was pretty shocking, to be honest,” Sterry previously told Rolling Stone of Gill’s death. “I had inklings but I didn’t really know how serious it was, and by the time I realized that it was almost too late to really say goodbye. But I was there in the hospital for the last few days. It was incredibly sad and incredibly quick.”