“Brexit? We’ll come back”
Damon Albarn continues to surprise the audience with his cartoon band: Gorillaz new album “The Now Now” contains many allusions to the US and a world that seems to be spinning.
Damon Albarn talk to Robert Rotifer. This is a translation, the original interview in german can be found here.
Robert Rotifer: The original idea of Gorillaz was the creation of perfect diversity in the form of a band. Does this concept fit the current political debate?
Damon Albarn: It’s what it is. Politics have to be emotional to work in the music. The emotion must be more important than the political content itself. Political music only really works if there is this strange alchemy, when you don’t reallly know: Is this about love or politics? There is not love in politics. And we are not all in love with politics. We are interested in being fascinated, mentally captivated, it is a study of being human, but it is not love. And when it becomes love, it’s wrong.
Rotifer: It must be hard to write for an animated band when the president of America is a comic character himself. The new album contains many allusions to America. So is the basic theme: a world that’s going crazy with America at the heart of madness?
Albarn: We are all in the heart of madness. I think the internet is at the heart of madness. Read More
Translated by yggdrasilbohdi.
It’s the sixth Gorillaz album only one year after Humanz : the brand new The Now Now is a great introspective record, marked by Damon Albarn’s genius and Jamie Hewlett’s distinctive style. The two of them were in Paris for a few days and opened the doors of this little masterpiece for us.
Gorillaz didn’t play any mean trick on us this time. Expert on contradiction, grimace, farce and other assorted tricks, the sound-and-comics-making band led by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett has indeed come back less than a year after its fifth record, Humanz, with an album called the Now Now. When we met them for Humanz, in London, back in 2017, at a VIP concert which gathered De La Soul, Jean-Michel Jarre, Pusha T, Benjamin Clementine and even Noel Gallagher – who, we suppose, was eating humble pie more than ever before, even if the rivalry between the former leader of Oasis and the leader of Blur has lost the spicy aroma it used to have in the 1990s-, Albarn and Hewlett clearly implied that their boxes were full of projects, and that news were to be awaited from 2018 onwards. And it’s in March of that year that Damon Albarn announced that the finishing touches had been put to the project, and played for the first time live, in Chile, the song called Hollywood featuring the soul legend Jamie Principle and the weed and rap legend Snoop Dogg. Read More
We Visited Murdoc in Jail to Learn about the New Gorillaz Album
We rounded up 2D, Russel and Noodle to hear about ‘The Now Now’ – and about the temporary replacement stepping in for Murdoc…
Stop all the clocks. Cut off the telephone. Today is no normal day. I’ve been tasked with interviewing British band Gorillaz about their forthcoming sixth album, The Now Now. Their manager has already informed me it’s impossible to get everyone in one place, so I have to find them myself based on some very vague information. Murdoc, I already know, is in jail. Noodle, I’m told, is across town somewhere. And right now, 2D and Russel are sat opposite me, in a tiny west London greasy spoon called The Coffee Cup Cafe.
The cafe is small and narrow, the kinda place with 11 different variations on the full English breakfast, all for under a fiver. 2D is wearing a turquoise and black sweater and a brown fedora with a badge of a clenched fist on it. He’s booked out the whole of The Coffee Cup Cafe for our interview. There are five tables. A large plate of chicken nuggets and curly fries is brought to us, and 2D smiles like an emperor.
“What made you choose this cafe for our interview?” I ask, and wait for an answer, but he stares straight past me, like he’s in some sort of yogic trance. I give Russel a look and he turns to 2D and takes two small wireless headphones out of his ears. I ask the same thing again. Read More
Jamie Hewlett, la mente detrás de Gorillaz
De todas las noticias musicales de 2017, puede que el regreso de Gorillaz (con nuevo álbum, Humanz, y el tour mundial homónimo) haya sido una de las más resonantes. Y, con toda seguridad, era la más esperada por los fans. Es que, con aquel anuncio, sus fundadores, los ingleses Damon Albarn y Jamie Hewlett, daban por concluido un período de silencio creativo y distanciamiento personal de siete años. La gira, con unas 75 fechas, llevó a los artistas reconciliados por más de 25 países, de Corea del Sur y Japón a los Emiratos Árabes, de Francia y Rusia a Brasil y la Argentina; entre más de una veintena de músicos invitados, dijeron presente la mítica Carly Simon, el rapero Mos Def y el exarchienemigo de Albarn, Noel Gallagher, de Oasis. “Lo que pasó fue realmente impresionante. Para que te des una idea, en solo 24 horas, se agotaron las entradas para nuestros 17 shows en los Estados Unidos. Se ve que estos chicos nos estaban esperando”, dice Hewlett, con esa típica seguridad en sí mismo que a fines de los 80 lo convirtió en uno de los niños terribles británicos más desfachatados.
La génesis de la banda, aunque conocida, no pierde su encanto: a fines de los 90, Albarn y Hewlett, por entonces dos treintañeros que ya sabían de qué se trataba el éxito (Damon era líder de Blur desde 1989, mientras que Jamie había rechazado un trabajo en DC Comics tras su consagración con la serie en formato cómic Tank Girl, publicada por primera vez en 1988), compartían un departamento en Notting Hill. Ambos acababan de separarse de sus novias y, por más aburrimiento que duelo, mataban las horas frente a la pantalla de televisión. “Si ves MTV por demasiado tiempo, es un poco como el infierno: no hay nada de sustancia ahí. Así nos surgió la idea de una banda virtual que fuera una crítica a eso”, explica Hewlett en el documental Bananaz, de 2008. Read More
Exclusive interview with Damon Albarn, the genius behind Gorillaz and Blur.
The documentary No Distance Left to Run (2010) describes the life and work of Blur, the drugs, his internal problems and why it disintegrated. His leader, Damon Albarn, one of the greats songwritters from the 21st century, confesses that the heroine destroyed the band. As noted in this brief talk with SEMANA, today he doesn’t care to talk about Blur and the past.
This man, who will be 50 years old in Bogota, is now disturbed by music from different parts of the world – he is obsessed with Africa – and the world of Gorillaz, his virtual band. According to him, this is “more real than the people who appear on television”.
Somewhere in Germany, and after several protocols, Albarn answered the phone call in which he fully demonstrated his reputation as carefree and cheerfull. It could not be otherwise.
Blur was one of the pioneers of ‘britpop’, in the mid-nineties. What did the band and the ‘britpop’ itself leave to music in general?
DAMON ALBARN: Amigo (in Spanish), I really don’t know, I still compose and make music. I don’t spend time thinking about it. Read More