Gorillaz | BBC 1 – March 2001

Interview with Steve Lamacq

thanks to Caroline <carolow1984@aol.com>

Steve: We should have Damon on the phone.
Damon: Yeah, alright.
S: You sound like you just got up.
D: No, but I just had a late night cos my daughter decided to get up in the
middle of the night and play with her toys for about four hours.
S: How are you anyway, apart from late nights?
D: Yeah, I’m good.
S: Now, listen. You’re a close friend of the Gorillaz? How are the Gorillaz
feeling about having a hit, probably, on Sunday?
D: Well they’re, you know, well, they’re preparing themselves, you know. But
you see, the reason I’m talking and they’re not talking is that they haven’t
quite, you know, we haven’t quite, we don’t feel there’s time to introduce
them. But on your show, when they do their session, you’ll be able to talk to
them if you want to.
S: Actually talk to the Gorillaz?
D: Yeah, actually talk to them.
S: (Laughs) We should talk through this idea actually shouldn’t we, the whole
Gorillaz thing. Cos I mean, where did the idea come from? Is it something
which has been there for ages and ages?
D: Jamie and I were living together, sharing a flat, and they came to a party
where, actually I think Murdoc did with 2D, and err, two-dimensional people
at a party, they stand out don’t they?
S: Oh yeah, very much.
D: And we got talking to them, and then we all kind of came up with the idea
that it would be great to have an animated band.
S: Why?
D: Because, everything seems so manufactured these days, even the kind of,
well, the kind of tradition that I come from, indie, even that’s manufactured
now, you know? So, I think we just felt that, let’s just sort of play
everyone at their own game, and make something better, that’s manufactured,
that’s actually good.
S: Have you seen some of yourself, in 2D?
D: Well the funny thing is, my daughter, whenever she sees the video says
“Daddy” to 2D.
S: What about, now obviously being involved with the virtual band, the other
band…
D: Yeah I mean, they’re not VIRTUAL, they exist, you know? I mean, have you
heard the record?
S: I’ve heard the record.
D: Well that exists doesn’t it?
S: That exists yeah. It’s got your voice on it!
D: (Giggles maniacally) And it’s all played by real musicians. It’s very much
a, well you know, my involvement in it, you know, I’m very proud of it. I
think it’s one of the best things I’ve been involved with. I put it up there
with Parklife.
S: Was it a chance to…
D: (Interrupts) And you know from the last time that we got together that I
rate Parklife.
S: Yeah, we did the Blur World Cup, which Parklife won, as the best ever Blur
song. D: (Laughs)
S: But being involved with the Gorillaz project, was that a chance for you to
explore, you know, a ‘funkier’ avenue? Which you’ve hinted at occasionally on
Blur songs.
D: Well, you know, I suppose there was an element of that, you know. Well, a
lot of the songs that I brought to Blur lost an element of that. I’ve always
been in to that sort of music, but it’s never really, it’s never really
become very apparent in Blur that there was that sort of influence coming
through in my writing. So, I suppose in that respect, yeah. But, you know,
the last Blur single I think was pretty funky really. I don’t think, I think
it’s just a case of, err, coaxing them out.
S: There’s a live date March 22nd at The Scala, there’s a session coming up.
There’s an album also on the way, which is far more diverse than I think
people will probably even imagine. It goes from the funk to the punk. In fact
there is a track called ‘Punk’ on it, isn’t there?
D: Yeah, proper punk.
S: Which is proper punk.
D: Yeah.
S: So that’s the Gorillaz thing, the singles out this week. What about the
day job?
D: The day job? You mean looking after my daughter?
S: Erm, (laughs), no. How’s the Blur project?
D: Well, you know…
S: Rolling’?
D: That started everything off for me. It’s sort of part of my life still,
you know. I’ve been working on a lot of other stuff. I’ve done this record in
Mali which is coming out fairly soon. And err, Blur, I’ve been writing songs,
I’ve got loads of err songs. I sort of hang out for a couple of hours and I
go in and record in my little studio at home for a couple more hours each
night. So, I dunno, I’ve got about 15 songs now, I’ve got enough for a record
but I wanna keep working on that. I think, what I can say is that we’ll
definitely be putting out a couple of singles this year. I like the idea of
putting out singles with Blur at the moment, and not albums.
S: It’s almost like going back to the start again, isn’t it?
D: Yeah.
S: It’s a very definite… Do you feel like after doing the hits album, the
hits tour, this is like being a new band again?
D: Yeah.
S: And then, we’ll eventually have the Blur debut album, which isn’t a debut
album.
D: Yeah.
S: A debut of the next era, virtually.
D: We’re just going backwards.
S: (Laughs) Regressing! Well you’ve got loads on at the moment, so thank you
very much for talking to us. We’ll play the Gorillaz single. If you see
Gorillaz, pass on our congratulations.
D: Well as I say, I hope you’ll actually get a chance to meet them when they
do a session!
S: I certainly will, I’ll be down there like a shot. I’ve never shook hands
with a 2-D figure before.
D: (Laughs)
S: It’ll be a whole new experience for us!
D: (Laughs)
S: Damon, thank you very much.
D: It’s a pleasure mate.
S: It’s the Evening Session, it’s Gorillaz, and it’s Clint Eastwood…

 

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