Boy George's personal challenge to write about travelling around America has resulted in new Culture Club album Life.

The record marks the band's first collection of new music in 19 years, though the group have continued to tour on a regular basis.

Talking to Entertainment Weekly about the album, George divulged what was going through his head when he wrote Runaway Train, a song which references former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama.

"I wrote the lyrics during the Obama administration. I was actually on tour in Boston. It was really a travelogue, which I've never done before," he shared. "I used to laugh at the idea of people writing about being on the road. I used to say, 'Who writes about that?' But I set myself a challenge to write about travelling around America.

"That particular tour was the first tour I'd done since my life had got quite complicated and dark. I suppose I really realised how lucky I was to be on the road, to be making music, to be out there, being loved and adored."

In the years since finding fame, George has battled a drug addiction, and even spent time in prison after being convicted of assault and false imprisonment in 2008.

It was George who suggested he and bandmates Roy Hay, Mikey Craig and Jon Moss lay down new tracks, as he didn't want the foursome to simply become a "boring" nostalgic group.

"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," the 57-year-old smiled. "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 make suggestions, and I was quite open to them - to my surprise!"