Justin Sullivan, lead singer of the English band NEW MODEL ARMY, will contribute guest vocals to the song "The Windswept Mercy" on the new SOILWORK double album, "The Living Infinite". The CD, which is currently being tracked with producer Jens Bogren (OPETH, AMON AMARTH, BLOODBATH), will mark the recording debut of SOILWORK's longtime touring guitarist David Andersson (THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA).
Formed in 1980 in Bradford, England, NEW MODEL ARMY was and still has a very loyal following and SOILWORK frontman Björn "Speed" Strid counts himself among it.
Sullivan shares the serendipitous back-story on how he met up with Sweden's melodic metal maestros SOILWORK: "Some years ago, I met Björn somewhere in the deserts of the southwestern U.S. I expect we both had good reasons for being there — though things like reason get swallowed up in the strangeness of deserts. Anyway, I'm sure we were talking about deserts and the idea of desert music as Europeans always have an unending fascination with these wondrous alien places. 'Would you sing on a SOILWORK record?' he asked. 'Yes, of course,' I replied, and so, many years later, I suddenly get an e-mail from SOILWORK in a studio in Stockholm at exactly the same moment NMA were in a studio in London. And by a miracle of technology was able to do a quick vocal on this great and strangely beautiful song.
"Perhaps you beat me to the desert music thing after all, Björn. Love the track. All the best."
Adds Strid: "It's a true honor to have one of my absolute favorite lyricists and singers, Justin Sullivan from NEW MODEL ARMY, contributing with guest vocals for our new album. I have been a longtime fan and I recall growing up in the small Swedish city of Landskrona, where so many people listened to the first wave of death metal AND NEW MODEL ARMY, including myself.
"I met Justin at a NEW MODEL ARMY show in Phoenix, Arizona three years ago and we talked quite a bit. He listened very patiently to my story. He also ran out to his tour bus to get his new solo album and gave it to me. I will never forget that.
"The man is a true legend, a gentleman, and he has a very unique presence in his voice, on stage and in his lyrics. The fact that he wanted to lend his amazing voice to 'The Windswept Mercy' brought me to tears. He will forever be my hero!"
Next year's world-tour launch in North America marks SOILWORK's first headlining run in this territory in almost three years. The 54-show trek through the U.S. and Canada will feature support from JEFF LOOMIS, BLACKGUARD, THE BROWNING and WRETCHED.
Photo credit: Hannah Verbeuren