Dire Straits reunion not likely, says John Illsley

John Illsley and Mark Knopfler
John Illsley and Mark Knopfler (Image credit: Getty)

John Illsley says there’s little chance of a Dire Straits reunion – despite he and Mark Knopfler remaining close friends.

The bass player releases his latest solo album Long Shadows on May 20, and it was partly recorded at Knopfler’s British Grove Studios.

And while Knopfler doesn’t appear on the album, Illsley insists that isn’t a reflection on their relationship.

He tells TeamRock: “In some ways one moves on and I’ve already got some very fine guitar players around me. It felt that maybe I was over-egging the pudding if I asked Mark to do it.

“Maybe on the next one. He was on Streets Of Heaven. We have a very good, solid relationship so it certainly isn’t any reflection of our friendship.”

On the potential for a Dire Straits reunion, Illsley adds: “We’ve talked about it but I think we’ve come to the conclusion to leave it the way it is. It’s very difficult to recreate the energy of 1991-92, that last tour we did which was, in my mind, the best thing we did and the best band we ever had. To go back and try recreate that and make it was good would be quite difficult.

“I know there would be an audience for it and all sorts of crazy offers come in from time-to-time. In a sense, it’s up to him and I don’t feel that he wants to go there right now. I completely appreciate that right now and I’m very happy doing what I’m doing.”

Illsley premiered four songs from Long Shadows exclusively with Classic Rock this week.

Illsley and his band play at the Tivoli Theatre in Wimbourne, Dorset, on June 21 and at Norfolk’s Holt Festival on July 30.

Dire Straits: How We Made Brothers In Arms

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.