It was a great surprise to me when I learned that Brit full-force rock n’rollers Dawn After Dark – last seen last century as far as I was aware – were on the comeback trail with a new album in the shape of the excellent New Dawn Rising; Those of you whose fingers rarely leave the vicinity of ‘the pulse’ will be aware of my thoughts about this superior slab of wax, but I was keen to find out what one of the band’s prime movers, vocalist Howard ‘H’ Johnson, makes of the situation. Over the course of a long and very pleasant inter-continental telephone chinwag about this momentous turn of events we covered a lot of ground, so get comfortable, crack open a can of something cool n’frothy, strap yourself in and enjoy the ride…

Even a long in the tooth industry veteran such as yourself must be in a state of high excitement with just a couple of days to go until the release of a new album, am I right? “It’s exciting in a way but nerve-wracking in others in that you feel what you’ve done is good, and you hope that what you feel is a good piece of music is responded to in the same way by other people… and there are no guarantees about that. Also we’re in a world where the way that albums filter out into the market place is just different to how it used to be. There’s no ‘focus’ on stuff any more. In many ways it was easier back in the day. There is a system of thought today that tries to say that because of the proliferation of Social Media that it’s easier to put something out, but I’m not convinced. Before there used to be a lot of focus on the small number of albums that came out, and I think it was much easier to create a little buzz. It’s harder now – there’s a lot of noise out there, and to rise above that din is tricky”.

Not only is there more noise, but it is possible now with a few quid and a little know-how, to make an album that sounds like Hysteria in your bedroom. That really wasn’t possible thirty years ago. The capacity for people to flood the market with material that isn’t bad – but isn’t particularly good either – is far greater. If you take it from our standpoint at Sentinel Daily, we’ve had nearly twelve hundred albums and EPs submitted for review this year. “That’s unbelievable”.

It really is, and most of them are quite good. Very few are laughable. So it must be very difficult to get heard if you have no traction or no name for yourself whatsoever. Luckily you do have a little traction, which obviously gives you a little head start – are you pleased with the responses you’ve seen to the album so far? “Yes. So far. Obviously it’s early days because the album doesn’t come out until December 4th, but the reviews we have seen have all been really positive. What I’ve been most pleased about – because you’re right about the sheer amount of ‘good’ material around – is that people have focused on the production values, and what the album has at it’s core which I believe is good rock song writing. With twelve hundred albums coming out a year, you’ll probably agree with this more than most, you’re really looking for material that makes you step back and say wow! I hope people will say that about us”.

Let’s talk about the reunion – And just how much arm twisting was required to get you back into the studio? “It was a weird one. I had absolutely no intention of reforming Dawn After Dark, none at all. I’ve lived in France for the last sixteen years; I’d been friends with Tony (Henderson, drums) for years.  We reconnected a few years after I originally left the band in 1990, and we got together in 2008 for our own amusement and recorded three songs.  We had no intention of putting them out – they were just for us as a reminder of a byegone era. We enjoyed that but didn’t think anything more of it. In 2019 I got a call from a promoter talking about the fact that (eighties Goth rock legends) Balaam and The Angel were doing a show in Birmingham, which was our old stomping ground. Would we be interested in opening the show? So that was really the first I’d thought of doing anything live. Tony and I talked about it and thought it would be fun to do; we tried to locate the two original guitar players – our bassist from back in the day, Dave Askey, had sadly passed away – but even with the power of Social Media we couldn’t find (original guitarist) George… we even got as far as speaking to his brother but he said they had become estranged and hadn’t spoken to each other for years, so that was a complete dead end. We spoke to the other guitarist, Richard (Bardsley) who wasn’t really ‘match fit’ and decided it wasn’t for him, so we set about putting a lineup together based around Tony’s son, Felix, who is a bass player. It was him and another friend of his, (guitarist) John Wilcox who ended up doing the show with us. They were a bit younger than the three of us, we had another guitar player with us, Russ Frame who Tony had played on and off with over the years. So we did the show – we had no idea whether anybody would be interested, or what the turnout would be. As it happened, on the night, we ended up having about fifty people turn up in Dawn After Dark shirts that they’d kept since 1989! Everybody had a great time, we really enjoyed it… so you start to think what’s next? The guy who promoted the show, Dean Brown, also runs Chapter 22 Records (for whom the band had originally recorded in the eighties). He offered us the chance to make the record. I’d always wanted – in my dreams – to make an album, because we’d recorded those three twelve inch singles in the eighties, but as we touched on earlier, it was very hard to make a good sounding record back then on a very limited budget. I always felt we never made records that really represented what we were as a band, so that was really the driving force behind doing it. So it was really just to have a memento of well recorded versions of those old songs, but of course it started to develop into something more than that. When we got together in the studio and took the songs apart, we ended up with a kind of a hybrid of songs that stayed pretty true to the original arrangements and then songs that were stripped down to the basics and then built back up again. I think that approach worked in that it gave us the chance to be a bit more focused on doing something creative and contemporary as opposed to being just a memento of recordings of songs that weren’t recorded very well first time around or weren’t recorded at all”.

There’s a curiously timeless feel to some of the music on the record, and it’s interesting to listen to you outline the process of approaching the songs again, because it’s almost like you’re viewing them through a prism that has taken thirty-odd years to form. You can obviously hear the old Dawn After Dark – Maximum Overdrive and The Shifting Sands of Time are, for me, great pieces of late eighties Goth rock, but you can still hear them imbued with something that’s come from a time afterwards. “It’s really interesting that someone who wasn’t party to the creative process comes to those conclusions; It’s almost like an osmosis occurs where you don’t yourself know what happens. And yet it somehow seeps through. My view of the band obviously differs from other people’s, but what I felt we always were was a band that played like a hard rock band but listened to alternative music. I’ve said it a thousand times but I was never comfortable with us being labelled a ‘Goth’ band; I felt it was bizarre that people would make that connection and it didn’t feel to me that the music we were writing had anything to do with that. My touchstone bands were AC/DC, pre-Highway to Hell, and The Cult‘s Love/Sonic Temple era. Those to me are what I would call classic rock bands. But clearly other people hear things differently – you just said Shifting Sands of Time is a classic gothic rock song; and I guess there is some of that in there, and I wouldn’t deny that. But I’d look at Maximum Overdrive and say that’s just a classic rock song. It’s not heavy metal, it doesn’t have any relation to what happened in the world post-thrash; it’s just a rock song. And I guess that’s where I would position the record. And I think Andy Taylor’s production helps that. I wanted the album to sound powerful, but I wanted it to also sound full and organic. There wasn’t too much compression on the guitars, the music was allowed to breathe a little bit,  and it sounds like real human beings playing real instruments”.

I guess for me the Goth thing comes from the record being on Chapter 22, but also on songs like The Day The World And I Parted Company you’ve got that ringing, almost electric twelve string sound on the guitars that sounds as if (The Mission‘s) Wayne Hussey might have been hanging around the studio… I loved that kin of music at the time and I suppose those little flashes just bring that time back. It’s an evocative sound. I guess I’m also just a little disappointed that none of the record sounds like (eighties AOR God) Aldo Nova.

That last sentence is met with a gust of laughter. “I’m quite pleased it doesn’t sound like an Aldo Nova record! But I get what you’re saying about that guitar at the start. It does come from a different place to the other, more heavy rock influences on the song. I came to music in the late seventies loving classic rock, but also some of the more American radio-rock bands like Journey and REO Speedwagon when they were in their pomp. In around 1984 I had a sort of Damascene moment; I lost all faith in the hair metal sort of movement that was holding sway, I really didn’t enjoy that at all, it seemed very vacant to me. I didn’t like the way the records sounded, I didn’t like the lyrical content… it just wasn’t my bag. I was looking for something that had the power of rock music but that maybe stripped away a lot of the cliche. And that’s where my interest in bands like Killing Joke, The Mission, The Cult and New Model Army came from. And I think we quite naturally mixed those two very distinct styles of rock music together in Dawn After Dark”.

Let’s talk about the album in a little more depth now. Tell us a little bit about the recording or writing of each song, starting with Maximum Overdrive. “Can I give a little bit of background first?”

Please do. “The album was done in Birmingham, top to bottom in five days. Not the mixing, but all of the recording.  We pride ourselves on being match fit. Obviously this record was done on a very tight budget so people needed to turn up ready! It was very organic, Tony did all of his drums without a click track. He’s incredible in that he just performs when he needs to. Of all the tracks on the album, there were two that were second takes, everything else was first take. When the red light goes on he delivered. And that puts you in a really good place when you’re up against the clock. Maximum Overdrive was the song that I was most focused on. It’s the real earworm song on the album, and I always felt that the original version, which was produced by Stevie Young of AC/DC, was a bit flat. It didn’t really have the punch that I felt the song should have. It was always one of the most popular live tunes, so it was just a question of getting the melodies and the power of the riffs to shine through. It was one of the first tracks we did in the studio, and it set the tone really”.

Track two is The Day The World and I Parted Company. “An old song. It’s title was Hipswing, and we used to play it on and off. I never felt comfortable about the chorus, and lyrically, some of the vowel sounds were a little harsh and not comfortable to sing. So that was one of the songs that we really stripped down. People who might have old bootlegs of it might be surprised to see how the song has developed. It’s become a very different beast. You were right to identify that clean, delayed guitar sound; we put this as track two on the album with that in it to make people think ‘hang on, this might not be what I thought it was’. I really like the mid section which, dare I say it, almost has a sort of ‘funk’ feel to it. I was really pleased with the way this song turned out. And it’s where you can see the two influences come together. There are some crunchy riffs on it. Russ like to think he brings the Malcolm Young riffs to the band (laughs)”.

The next track is Dead on Time. “Yes. A song that reminds me of Guns n’Roses, though nobody has said that back to me. It kind of drives on a very straightforward opening riff. It’s quite spacey and gives everything room to breathe. There are a couple of licks there that I think don’t really sound like anything else around. It’s also go a weird breakdown with some almost militaristic drumming from Tony, and John Wilcox puts in a great solo. I think one of the things I like most about this was that John is a guy who almost intuitively knows what is required of a guitar solo. John is much younger than the rest of us, and has so many other things going on that he could only commit to doing the album and no more. He comes from a background of his dad being in bands and he said to me ‘I’m probably one of the only guys around that knows everything by Killing Joke and everything by Queen‘, and I thought that was spot on for what we needed; his ability to quickly identify how to put a solo together that is memorable was something I was very happy about on the album”.

And again that is probably a different place to come from than the place you were in at the time. A slightly different view. “Well, we were all kids at the time, twenty two years old. I don’t think we had the maturity to undertake an analysis of what we were doing. You’re in a rehearsal room, you like a riff, you go from there. When we added George to the band we’d been going for a year and we recognised that we needed a harder sound and somebody who could play guitar solos in a way that people who came from an alternative background really hadn’t applied themselves to. There wasn’t that much technique around in that world. But George was a far better guitar player than we’d had previously. But he didn’t have the sort of intuition that John has, or the feel for what a solo requires. The album is much better for having someone with that level of understanding on it”.

Next track: The Groove. “A difficult song to sing. It’s at the top end of my range. Of the three singles we originally recorded in the eighties it was the one that sounded the best. We recorded it up at The Slaughterhouse with Colin Richardson who’d done a lot of the early Mission stuff for Chapter 22. We were actually there for five days for that one. Sonically it stands up the best of the singles we recorded at that time. There wasn’t a lot that we wanted to change. I’ve always liked the fact that that song is just a bit odd. It’s got some strange time changes, the riff is a little bit out there. It’s certainly not the sort of thing I can imagine a thousand other bands doing. I can’t actually remember where it came from, or how it was written first time around, but I’m very glad it was. It set us apart, and made it sound again like a rock band that didn’t sound like a rock band! Do you remember Carol Clerk, who used to work for the Melody Maker?”

I do, very well. “Carol was a really big supporter – one of the few (laughs) – and she wrote a review which I really loved where she said ‘they are clearly a rock band, but I can’t quite pin them down as no one else sounds like them’, and I took that as a really big compliment. Whether other people heard that in the same way I don’t know. But that was always what I felt The Groove did. It sounded hard, it sounded tough, but it sounded like nothing else. Maybe I’m just kidding myself!”

I don’t know. There is something to that. I was thinking this morning when I was preparing for this… I must have seen you not at the old Marquee Club but the new one in the Charing Cross Road. “Yes, we did four or five shows there’. If you saw a video of that now you might say it was of it’s time, but there was very definitely an ‘out of time’ feel to some of the music, which meant you couldn’t place it alongside what was popular in England at that level at that time. You did stand apart, and obviously that can work against you in the long run. “Yes. Maybe it did and maybe it still will in that people find it hard to Pigeon hole. But I’m a bit older now, and  don’t rely on this for my living – when you’re twenty two you’ve got ideas of grandeur, and you’re so invested in it because it’s all that matters to you. And then there’s the reality of the finances. We were starving, we just didn’t have any money. To be able to do it now, where it isn’t my living, but my passion – and it’s that way for everybody else – in some way makes this entirely pure. You just make the music you want make. And you don’t care about whether it gets you a publishing deal, or a major record label deal, none of those things are really on the table… it was very liberating to go in and make a record, thinking ‘I can do whatever the fuck I want’. The only criteria is do the five people making the album like the tunes? From my point of view it’s probably more fun now than it was then because all those pressures, of getting deals, of making money, paying the rent, that’s all gone now. I would say in a weird way – we’d never have seen ourselves making rock music in our mid fifties, that would have seemed preposterous, and yet all of a sudden thousands of people are doing it now – it all seems quite normal to be doing it as a hobby now”.

When Will You Come Home To Me is the next track. “We played this a lot over the course of the one hundred and fifty or so shows we did in the eighties. It was a fan favourite. It was always… it felt like a bit of a ‘lighters in the air’ moment. We hadn’t seen ourselves writing a song like that at the time! I’ve always felt that that song has a bit of a timeless quality. And a feel to it that in other times or in another universe you could have seen it being played in a very big place with lots of people holding their lighters aloft. I don’t make apologies for that. If you can have a great anthem then that’s a very good string to a band’s bow. The difficulty of writing a great anthem is to try to make it so that it doesn’t sound like it’s cliched, or that you’ve done it because you want it to be a great anthem. That song happened organically, but it needs to have a big production. It’s widescreen, and I think Andy Taylor captured that. If I have one regret about that song it’s that in the mix there’s a big Hammond organ, which you can hear, but if I had my time again I’d make that Hammond sound really big, I think that would have added to the grandeur of the tune. But hey, we were working under time pressure, and Andy did a great job”.

He did. When I’m listening to the album, I keep coming back to how good it sounds. Even if I’m playing MP3s through computer speakers, it sounds at least comparable to the best of the other twelve hundred albums that have come out this year… It’s definitely Premier League rather than Vanorama… He’s a great producer. Very underrated in almost everything he does, is Andy Taylor. “I would agree with you. Given the circumstances – I haven’t made a great fuss about how it was recorded, in fact you are the first person I’ve spoken to about the recording process – to produce what we produced on the budget we were given to produce it… I think everyone should be very proud of themselves”.

Let’s talk about Nothing Can Fulfil Me Without Your Love now. “We put this out as the second single ahead of the release of the album. My wife, who hates anything to do with heavy rock music, says she likes this song, and the only reason she can think of is because of the song’s groove. You can dance to it. That song to me doesn’t sound like AC/DC, but comes from a place where I really love… for me the sweet spot of that band was where they got on a groove and moved with it. As, I say, it doesn’t sound like AC/DC but it has that swing to it, and I guess that’s what I like about heavy rock music when it has that feel, that groove, to it. If you can get yourself into that groove, then it’s a very powerful thing. For me, in the songs that we write, that’s the Holy Grail. It’s a very primal thing”.

The Shifting Sands of Time is next – my favourite track on the album. That chorus really sounds like Ian Astbury is singing on it. “I laughed when I read that in your review! It would have been nice if Ian had have sung on it, but I haven’t spoken to him in many years. I speak to Billy (Duffy, Cult guitarist), still, but you never know… Maybe one of these days we’ll ask them. I know Billy being Billy, he’ll absolutely say ‘no, unless I get ten thousand pounds!’ (more laughter). It’s all me on there, but if you thought Ian was on it then I’ll take that because Ian’s a fantastic singer”.

It’s a song that will go straight onto Sentinel Daily Radio. It’s very evocative of the time it was written I think. “Yes. Of all the songs on the album, that’s the one that would probably bring back most memories of a certain time, a certain era. And frankly that’s fine by me because I always loved that song. I thought it had really strong melody lines, it had a kind of a hypnotic groove to it that I really responded to. I don’t think it really sounded like anyone else, although maybe you might say a few of the guitar lines sounded like what Wayne Hussey was doing with The Mission, which is a fair analysis, but I don’t think that the end product sounds like anyone other than Dawn After Dark. But what do I know?”

The next track is Crystal High. “Crystal High was the first single we put out on Chapter 22 in 1988. It was a fan favourite. When we were working out what to do with this album, we asked our fan base via our social media channels  whether they wanted re-recordings of the three single tracks or whether they already had those preserved in aspic and didn’t want anything changing about them. Because whilst I might think those early records weren’t very well produced, and don’t listen to them anymore, a lot of people have really fond memories of them and the last thing I would want to do is denigrate their appreciation of that music that we made. We were quite aware of that. I wanted to re-record them, because they never sounded the way I wanted them to sound in my head, and luckily people were quite positive about that and said they would like to hear re-recorded versions of those songs. Some of the top lines and the melodies are again quite reminiscent of that time, but I’m quite pleased that we were able to crunch it up a bit with Russ’ rhythm playing. What I like about the songs on New Dawn Rising as opposed to the early days is that the songs now have more swing, more groove, more rock power and a lot of that is to do with Russ.  On Crystal High you can hear that. It’s much more now what I heard in my head when I wrote the song. Of course in 1988 that was one of the first times we’d been in a recording studio. We didn’t know what the fuck we were doing”.

It’s quite hard to explain to people who have never recorded anything how hard it was in those days, especially if you didn’t have a major label recording budget. The gap between what you could achieve on a pittance and what you heard in your head was often insurmountable. “It was huge. You pretty much always came out of a studio disappointed! (laughs). You pretty much almost always emerged thinking ‘that’s absolutely not what I hoped to end up with’… The Groove was about as good as it got back then because we spent some time on it with a producer who knew what he was doing. As I say, I don’t want to tarnish peoples memories of it, and I’m flattered and pleased that people still love those records. But I can’t listen to them because it just brings back memories of disappointment, of ‘that’s not what I heard in my head but I have to accept it and accept that’s it’s going to be put out with my name on it!”

That’s so true! Track nine is I’m Not The Man I Used To Be. “We had a very bare-bones idea, which was on a rehearsal tape I think. It was a song called New Emotion originally, but there was very little there. A couple of the laid back riffs you hear in the verses, are there, but the chorus was entirely different and not very good. We felt there was something there, and I was keen to try and develop it, because I wanted there to be stuff on the album that made people realise we could go through different gears. John added in those little guitar licks at the end of each verse that almost give it a sort of Roy Orbison vibe. When he did that I thought that was very interesting, and very different for us, and it’s more of a ‘slow burner’ song as opposed to just being about power all the time. It’s quite an odd little tune, and doesn’t really sound like anything else you might identify. Although you said it sounds like Echo and The Bunnymen, didn’t you? Which is interesting to me, because as far as I’m aware, nobody in the band listens to Echo and the Bunnymen. Obviously I know one or two of their songs, but I don’t really know their catalogue, so that was an interesting comparison”.

It’s my turn to laugh now. That came exactly from that chiming, clean guitar. “So it made me think of Roy Orbison and you of Echo and the Bunnymen!” Well, they all come from the same source ultimately don’t they. “Absolutely!”. It made me think of a Vox Teardrop guitar as played by Will Sergeant. “Oh, OK. It wasn’t recorded on a Vox. Most of John’s stuff was done on a Strat, he had a Les Paul as well. It was funny because the studio we used was an absolute shithole, but it had tons and tons of musical instruments hanging on the walls. It was a shame we never got a chance to explore them because we just didn’t have the time. In many ways I prefer the studio to live stuff because if you have the time you can go down a creative rabbit hole, for months and months and months! It’s a pure pip dream because it would never happen but I would probably be one of those sad people who like nothing more than spending six months in a studio putting things on a song and then taking them off when you realise it doesn’t work. That whole process really fascinates me”.

The penultimate track on the album is Her Sleep. “A very, very old song that was written probably before we’d played a live show. So right at the start of the band. I remember that it didn’t sound like it does on the record guitar wise. We’d just started getting friendly with the guys from Balaam and the Angel, when they were doing The Greatest Story Ever Told, and i think that had a little bit of an influence on us. I was really excited by what Balaam were doing, even though I didn’t have any desire to mimic them myself. They were like ‘Siouxsie and the Banshees go pop’, and I loved Mark Morris‘ songwriting and melodies, and Jim Morris‘ clean, delayed guitar. I loved all that stuff. In our naivety we were trying to find a way, and I do recall that Her Sleep started with a guitar lick that sounded like a Balaam type thing. John thought it sounded quite naive, and he was write, so he rewrote that, but most of the top lines and the melodies are pretty much identical to what was written in 1986 or whenever it was. Tony always hated that song, right from the early days. We did an early demo of it and he hated it because he thought it was wimpy, and really limp. I was quite insistent on it because I thought the melodies were really good and all it needed was a fresh pair of eyes to take a look at it. And what John came up with at the start, and in the chorus where it now has power chords, made it a much more complete song. And in the end Tony came around to the song! It’s actually one of my favourite songs on the album”.

Are you happy with the way your voice has coped with age? “Yes, I think I’m a much better singer now. I had to take your comment on the chin that I wasn’t the greatest vocalist, and I accept guilty as charged! One of the things I’ve always found myself drawn to, when I listen to albums and when I’m making a critical judgement, is that I want to hear a character singer – that’s my first port of call. And a character singer can be someone who is technically amazing, or it can be someone who the instant you hear them you know it’s them. I’m a massive Bob Dylan fan – obviously he splits opinion – and nobody could claim that technically Bob is a great singer. But he just speaks to me, with the passion that he can put into his words and his ability to live inside a song. I know I don’t have the greatest range, but then again there are loads of people out there that are great character singers who don’t either. You look at Bon Scott – he has a mystique around him now because of what happened. But technically Bon wasn’t the greatest singer. Live he was very hit and miss. I was lucky enough to see him a couple of times when I was very young. One night he was great, the other he wasn’t so great. People retro fit their view of Bon as a singer because of the mystique that has grown around him. I loved Bon not because he was a technically good singer, but because he lived inside those songs. And I think that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m a decent singer, not a fantastic singer, but I think what’s happened over the years is that I’ve lived inside these songs for a long time. And I was very happy with what I did on the album. Andy was very intuitive about understanding how to get the best out of me. And I like what he did with my voice;  I did surpass my own expectations, though, because recording eleven songs in two days was a challenge I wasn’t particularly looking forward to. If you blow your voice out on day one you don’t have too many alternatives for day two! But I’m proud of what I did on the album, and I’m happy to stand behind the performances”.

And quite rightly so – as I also said, the voice fits the music perfectly, and you wouldn’t really want anyone else singing these songs. “I think you’re right about that and I’m not blowing my own trumpet. If you have a character vocalist – and I hope I do fall into that category – it’s difficult for bands to replace them because of how people respond to music. That voice is integral to the sound”.

Last track – Truth and Freedom. “We didn’t really change much with the arrangements. It was one of the last songs we wrote towards the end of my first stint in the band, and I think we were hitting out straps a little bit there. I like it because it sounds confident; it feels like a song where the power of the riffs and the power of the chord structures is allowed to shine through. And I really like the little breakdown bit where there’s a bit of Lizzyish dual guitar stuff going on, and I particularly like when it goes into the solo and then breaks out there are some weird time signatures and weird chords in there. It made me feel that it was a little bit of a cut above what many people might do with the same sort of tools and the same sort of formula. That was a tune that suggested to me that we were perhaps worthy of consideration as not just another opening act playing in front of two hundred people”.

And a bit closer in your head now to the way you felt it should sound like? “Very very happy with the way it sounds. It sounds powerful, within the context of rock music it sounds fairly emotional, there’s a resonance to it that speaks to me and hopefully when people get a chance to hear it it will speak to them too. But overall, there’s very little on the record that I’d do differently given my time again”.

That’s the album dealt with – you’ve been doing a few shows. Do you have more plans for touring moving forward? “We do a show in London at The Hope and Anchor which has already sold out. I’d imagine once the album comes out we will be able to go back to London and do a slightly bigger show. We do three shows between Christmas and the New Year with Balaam and the Angel which I’m looking forward to as Mark is an old mate. And then there are plans for next year. More stuff with Balaam. What I’d really like to do is as many appropriate support slots as possible. I’ve been talking with Jase from Wolfsbane about doing some shows with them which I would really enjoy. They are great guys. We did six shows with them in the old days, totally different musically but we were really well received by their public… I really want to try and straddle those two audiences. 2022 would be a great year to work with as many different styles of band as possible. Chapter 22 are heavily involved with Kirk Brandon and Theatre of Hate which would be interesting; Reef and The Quireboys are also out and I think we could fit with all of them. So it’s all about trying to get out there, trying to breathe life into the album and get it to people who don’t know about you, of whom there are still hundreds of thousands… How possible that is and how realistic that is I really don’t know”.

New Dawn Rising is out now.