Boy George and Culture Club was released Life on October 19, the act’s first new material in 19 years.

When asked why it took so long to put out a new album by Entertainment Weekly, George pointed towards tours and general dysfunction in the band. “We’ve done lots of tours over the years, and that’s always been pretty easy,” he said. “I was the one that always wanted to record a new record. I was the one that said, ‘Well, if we’re going to play live, we do need new songs.’ Without new music, you’re just doing a nostalgia thing, which has its limitations. Too much nostalgia is just boring. It was a very different process making this record, I was a lot more open to suggestions. My thing’s always been the lyrics and the melody. With the melodies, this time I let Roy and Mikey [Craig, bassist] make suggestions, and I was quite open to them — to my surprise!”

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The album was recorded twice, first with producer Youth and then again with the duo Future Cut. George said, “We rerecorded it because of the mood that we were in. I think we were just in a better space. We’d been on the road and we’d played a lot of these songs live. It’s a bit of a luxury to be able to play songs live and then record again, because they do actually change. I mean, one of the songs on the record, “Runaway Train,” was a complete country, Johnny Cash-sounding track and now it sounds like Gladys Knight & the Pips.”

George is currently on tour with the B-52s and Tom Bailey of the Thompson Twins. The upcoming album was lead by the single “Let Somebody Love You.” It featured strong reggae vibes. George said he’s “always liked reggae music. I’m always surprised when people don’t love it, but there are people out there who don’t.”

Life by Boy George and Culture Club, releases October 19.