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Interview:
After Hard Times, the World Party Begins Again
 

By GARY GRAFF

» See more SOUND CHECK

Four years ago, Karl Wallinger had to put his World Party on hold -- and it wasn't because he needed to do the dishes and pick up the trash.

Wallinger, who launched World Party in 1986, after leaving the Waterboys, suffered a series of debilitating setbacks at the start of the century. He fell out with his record company and mourned the death of his long-time manager. Then an aneurysm put all other concerns in sharp relief.

"It was like a fantasy sequence that was real," Wallinger, 48, says of the illness and convalescence. "In a lot of ways it was fun -- I know that sounds strange, but it really was. I was very ill, but I never really felt it. I was just off into some other world that was created by the fact my brain had just been mushed around a lot."

Without Wallinger's knowledge, some of his band members and a former record company official gave one of his songs ("She's the One") had been given to British singer Robbie Williams, who won a Brit Award for Single of the Year with it. The royalties kept Wallinger afloat and allowed him to resume World Party once he'd recovered, including the newly released "Dumbing Up" and reissued versions of his four previous World Party albums.

But having made sure that "everything's out and all up to speed," Wallinger is most excited about the new music he's making, which he has targeted for a May of 2007 release.

"Obviously it's been affected by what I've been through," he says, "but I'm not gonna do an 'I'm plugged into a machine, I'm a human vegetable album.' There's a lot to get your head into these days, really. I find it's a difficult time to say what you really think about the world, and that's what I really want to do."

World Party performs with the Steve Miller Band at 7:30 tonight at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $49.50 pavilion, $20 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit

Web Site: www.palacenet.com.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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