On Christmas Eve a fire started in the furniture outlet next to the Mill in Bradford, and directly below New Model Army’s studio. Although most of the building, which also houses two floors of Party Space, a screen-printers and several other studios rented by professional outfits including Paradise Lost and previously Chumbawumba. was saved, New Model Army’s studio suffered a roof collapse, extensive fire, water and smoke damage and almost complete devastation.
Gone are Gretsch and Slingerland vintage drum kits, a Hammond C3 Organ and a whole number of collectable old guitars and amplifiers. Also lost are the two projects that the band are currently working on – demos for their 12th studio album due in 2012 and recently discovered 30 year-old tapes containing early work which was to be added to the Spring re-release of the band’s Independent Chart-topping debut album, ‘Vengeance’, from 1984.
Social network sites have been buzzing with the story over the Christmas period and New Model Army have been inundated with offers of help and support from other bands and well-wishers from all over the World. But despite their losses, the band remains upbeat.
Singer Justin Sullivan says: “We have really been amazed by the response and the generosity of the offers of assistance we have received. Of course we are all upset about what has happened especially the loss of irreplaceable musical instruments and three or four months of recording work but we are insured and hope that at least our financial losses will be covered. In the end though, nobody was hurt and what was lost is just material. The band is about People and Spirit and without doubt this has never been stronger. There may perhaps be a bit of a delay in our activities but otherwise everything will continue as before.”