Damon Albarn: Blur, Gorillaz Are Over
Singer says Olympics-closing gig in London will be the end for seminal Britpop band
Damon Albarn has told The Guardian that Blur‘s Olympics-closing concert at London’s Hyde Park may be the band’s final gig. When asked whether the quartet has plans to play shows after that gig, Albarn said “No, not really,” and went on to say “I hope that’s the truth and that that’s how we end it.” The singer also said that “Under the Westway,” a new stand-alone single recorded by the band in one take, is very likely the final studio recording by the band. “I don’t really see any more recordings after this,” says Albarn. “So it’s nice to have finally done one song where we did it properly.”
Albarn’s comments about Blur’s future lack some finality in part because he says things rarely go according to plan. “One thing I’ve learned, and I’m sure you’re exactly the same, is that everything I think I’ve got totally sorted out, and I know exactly what’s going to happen, it never works out that way,” he says.
According to Albarn, part of the trouble of continuing on as a band comes down to finding it difficult to play with Blur’s rhythm section. “I find it very easy to record with [guitarist] Graham [Coxon],” he says. “He’s a daily musician. With the other two, it’s harder for them to reconnect. You know what I mean? It’s fine when we play live ”“ it’s really magical still ”“ but actually recording new stuff, and swapping musical influences, it’s quite difficult.” The group had been slowly writing and recording new material over the past few years, but only the one-off singles “Fool’s Day” and “Under the Westway” were completed and released in that time.
Albarn also cast some doubt on the future of Gorillaz, saying that the group’s future is “unlikely” following a disagreement with his collaborator on the project, artist Jamie Hewlett. “Jamie [thinks Gorillaz is finished], which is fair enough. I think we were at cross purposes somewhat on that last record, which is a shame. So until a time comes when that knot has been untied,” he says. As Albarn puts it, his rift with Hewlett began when the artist did not provide much new art for the tour in support of their 2009 album Plastic Beach. “The music and the videos weren’t working as well together, but I felt we’d made a really good record, and I was into it. So we went and played it.”