by Melissa Graham
It’s been years since the original members of Culture Club, the ‘80s pop band fronted by Boy George, has embarked on a full-fledged world tour. But the boys are back in action this summer to perform numbers old and new. We spoke to guitarist Roy Hay about the band’s new album, the reunion tour and what fans can expect when Culture Club performs at the Kauffman Center July 27.
How has the Culture Club changed since the last tour you went on as a group?
I think we’ve gotten a little fonder of what we do and have an appreciation for what we do, to go out and perform for people and entertain them. It’s just really nice to have that. It’s great to hang out with the guys again.
What can you tell us about your new album, Tribes?
We hadn’t done anything for such a long time, so we had a sit down session where we played some music for each other. It was kind of exciting. It was very important that we went in and did some new music. We sort of locked ourselves in the studio and it was fantastic. It was a really great experience to be with the guys again. We were really left alone to be a band and get on with what we do.
What about the tour are you looking forward to?
It’s just all about that hour and a half on stage. That’s the buzz, that’s what you do it for. That’s what you pick up an instrument as a kid for. But really its just about playing music. Particularly now, because our audience isn’t like screaming kids like it was in the 80s. It’s a more mature audience reliving their college years and sort of having that whole experience.
What are the challenges of making new music, going on tour and performing live compared to before?
I think the challenges in a way are less.
Everything seemed so important and so dramatic back in the day. I think these days, it’s like ‘What’s the big deal?’ We have songs that people love and want to hear and we go out and play. Do we want to be the biggest band in the world today? To be honest, no. I’m happy with what we’ve done and our legacy. We’re a good band, we go out and we play music. We did the hard work 30 years ago.
What artists inspire you presently?
I like Bruno mars, I think he’s very talented, but I do think there’s been sort of a vacuum in music, We’re losing people faster than we’re creating. It’ll be interesting to see the generation we have now, what happens to them in the future.
What has it been like to reconnect with the fans years later?
It’s been amazing. You don’t realize what affect you have on people. We do these meet and greets, and it’s great to hear the stories about how you affected people’s lives or their attitudes without ever realizing it.
What can fans in Kansas City expect from the show?
Well it’s going to be fun, we’ve got new songs, and we’re obviously going to hit them right between the eyes with a few hits. It’s a really well paced show. Its great fun, no one’s left feeling unfulfilled. You get our songs, you get George’s colorfulness. You can have a great time, we have a great band, and guaranteed you’re going to come out and dance your ass off.