With its 1986 debut album Private Revolution, along with the rest of its catalog, due for reissue starting in January, World Party founder Karl Wallinger couldn’t resist the opportunity to address the state of the world in a new video for the single “Ship of Fools,” premiering exclusively below.
“It’s just too tempting, isn’t it,” says Wallinger, who teamed with director Nigel Dick on the politically charged clip. The “Ship of Fools” video is jammed with newsreel footage of the events of the day, including Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Stormy Daniels, refugee camps, environmental crises and more, accompanied by a lyric scroll. It ends with the declaration “Now more than ever.”
“The world is in such a state,” Wallinger says. “The situation is getting crazy, isn’t it? It’s so ridiculous, this whole situation, mind-blowingly unintelligible. We were thinking about how do you make a comeback and decided to get very cynical. It’s a crazy place now, and people kept saying to me that it seems ‘Ship of Fools’ is more relevant today than when we put it out. So (the video) just came about, really. We wanted to do something — anything.”
Dick adds that, “I was always a big fan of ‘Ship of Fools’ and bought the record when it was originally released. Hearing it again reminded me that the lyrics are now more relevant than ever before. Rock the Vote!” And, for the record, Wallinger is not happy that “Ship of Fools” has this kind of staying power.
“Oh, I’d love to be sitting in my garden twiddling my thumbs, wondering what to do ’cause everything’s so perfect — but that’s not happening, I’m afraid,” he says with a laugh.
Instead Wallinger has World Party back in action. In addition to the catalog reissue series — which will include the release of some of the group’s five albums on vinyl for the first time ever, with dates and other details TBA — he’s working on the first World Party studio set since 2000’s Dumbing Up. Wallinger is in “the very early stages” of recording the set, due out next spring, in a studio he’s set up on the English seaside, working mostly by himself but with other musicians expected to join him as he proceeds.
“It’s really taken this long to feel like (a new album) is the right thing to do,” says Wallinger, who’s been touring with a World Party trio in recent years and releasing archival collections, including 2012’s Arkeology box set blending rarities and some new material. He adds that, “I’ll know more in about two months, I think, about what it’s going to be,” while he’s also planning to take a full band on tour again, also in the spring. “This is our first sort of comeback, if that’s what you want to call it. But we’ve been keeping the activity going, playing to people who want to come see us. Now we want to make new friends again.”