Published On: Wed, May 5th, 2021

Phil Gould releases new solo album featuring his late brother Boon

Phil Gould of Level 42 is releasing an album

Former Level 42 star Phil Gould is releasing a new solo album featuring his late brother and former bandmate, Roland.

The drummer’s track Russian Submariner, with Boon on guitar, is included on his upcoming release Beautiful Wounds.

They recorded the song two months before Boon took his own life and Phil is thankful fans will get to hear his brother’s last work.

Speaking to MailOnline, Phil, 64, said: ‘I am really pleased with the fact that it is going to be heard as his guitar playing is incredible.

‘It is his legacy and I am determined for people to hear it.’ 

Phil and Roland, nicknamed Boon, were members of Level 42 during the band’s Eighties heyday, selling millions of albums featuring hits including Lessons in Love, Leaving Me Now and Running in the Family.

They headlined Glastonbury in 1986, a year before Phil quit due to creative differences, saying he felt ‘betrayed’ by the band ‘selling out’ to a new pop sound while also admitting constant touring had affected his mental health sparking panic attacks on stage.

Phil's new offering will feature his late guitarist brother Boon (right) who died in 2019

Phil’s new offering will feature his late guitarist brother Boon (right) who died in 2019

Mr Gould, pictured left, founded the band with his younger brother Phil, right, along with Mike Lindup, second left and Mark King, centre

Brothers Phil and Boon were founders of Level 42 with Mike Lindup, Mark King (all pictured)

Boon, a founder member of Level 42 along with Phil, Mike Lindup, Mark King, left shortly afterwards.

The brothers’ relationship was fractious during the aftermath of their exit and they didn’t speak for a number of years, during which time Phil suffered a nervous breakdown after being diagnosed with depression and spent time in the Priory.

Boon (pictured) wrote the band's biggest hit, the 1986 classic Lessons in Love

Boon (pictured) wrote the band’s biggest hit, the 1986 classic Lessons in Love 

But the pair patched up their differences before Boon’s suicide, which thankfully for Phil meant they could work together in the studio again on a track which would eventually appear on his latest album.

He explains: ‘There was an instrumental for which I had been working on for TV or film called Russian Submariner and I asked my dear, departed brother to play on it.

‘I told him ‘Give me some ‘Novichok’ and he was just brilliant. He cranked it up. He played this incredible guitar.

‘And then when we were putting the album together, in the early part of 2019, I heard the track and I thought it was amazing. I called my brother and I asked him if we could use it.’

However, the editing process was tinged with sadness as that was when Phil was told Boon, who struggled with bi-polar disorder, had died.

Phil recalls: ‘Two months later on April 30, I walked into the studio and sat down with an engineer and was going through the guitar tapes.

‘It was then that I got the call that my brother wasn’t here anymore. It was a really weird thing. A really wild experience.

‘It was at that moment that the bombshell was dropped that he was no more.’

Phil admitted himself and Boon, who is two years his senior, both suffered from the effects of their ‘weird childhood’, which featured time spent in Hong Kong where Phil was born before re-settling in the Isle of Wight.

Phil (pictured) says he is looking forward to his fans listening to his brother's brilliant music

Phil (pictured) says he is looking forward to his fans listening to his brother’s brilliant music

He added: ‘My mother was like a single parent and working. It was an empty childhood.

‘We had been in the Far East, but my father stayed and never came back.

‘There wasn’t a lot of guidance. There was a big empty space with my mum out the whole time. The fact that my brother and I discovered music meant we were able to fill that space.

‘We had some pretty skewed thinking over things. We were confronted with the reality of life as we went through it.

‘So there were a lot of issues to address.’

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