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damon albarn

He Noels me well

Damon Albarn reveals close friendship with Noel Gallagher and says ex-rival is one of the only people who understands him

IT was once the fiercest rivalry in rock, with two of its most hedonistic stars clashing while dominating the charts.

But 20 years on, Damon Albarn reveals his friendship with Noel Gallagher has become fiercely important to him — as the Oasis star is one of the only people who understands what he went through as Blur’s frontman.

Despite recently turning 50 — and joking he had expected the milestone to be more enlightening — Damon still gets “nightmare” flashbacks to his hard-partying heyday.

He explained: “It’s a long time since I’ve indulged in that sort of thing. It was magnificent while it lasted, but it was a very long time ago. I went to see that Alexander McQueen film last night, and I spent all night having nightmares just because it kind of triggered all of those scenes of nightlife and people getting wasted. It triggered stuff that I wasn’t aware I was storing. It was cathartic in a weird way. I mean, it terrifies me to think what I might have turned into.” Read More

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Q November 2006

Interview with Damon Albarn

By Garry Mulholland

How are you?
Damon: I’m very busy. But much further on than I was last year in the eternal quest to be a rounded, genuine, nice person.

Where are you right now?
I’m in the auditorium of the Apollo in Harlem.

What does Q mean to you?
Q’s been there longer than most, and it’s a good format. But I don’t buy music magazines.

What were you doing 20 years ago?
I was 18 so I was probably worrying far too much about my hair. And playing a gig with [early band] Real Lives at Stanway comprehensive school in Colchester. Graham [Coxon, former Blur guitarist] was on drums.
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‘It’s a record 100% honest.’

Interview translated by Kevin. Find the original article in french here.

“Everyday Robots ” is the first album of the English singer under his name. Poetic and very personal.

After twenty years of one of the most prolific careers of pop after the Blur project, Gorillaz, The Good, The Bad & the Queen, Damon Albarn reveals itself more than ever.

 This first solo album is it the start of something?

That is possible. But it may be that this is a dead end, too! I give my full attention to each of my projects. I devote the time it deserves. When it runs out of steam, I try a new approach. The idea is to continue this creative spirit, to sustain life. And that has not changed since my debut, I’ve always wanted to have new and interesting things to do. At the moment, I am about my own attention. But this is not necessarily a permanent condition. Read More

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I’m totally overrated.

With Blur and Gorillaz, Damon Albarn played at the top of the charts, with world music and opera, he convinced even the most skeptical critics. Now the 46-year-old musician released “Everyday Robots”, his first solo album. A conversation about his childhood, love songs and ambition.

During a visit to Damon Albarn’s studio in west London you can already see on the interior that here an energetic artist lives: hanging on the wall the map of Mali, on the shelf an instrument built from an oil can, and the coffee table shows an excerpt of the route of London Underground.

Damon, here is where the magic happen?

Sometimes. On a good day.

Down at the entrance there is a bookcase where the last three books are about occult philosophy, have you actually read them? Read More

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The Good, The Bad, and The King

Playing at Toumani Diabaté’s Festival Acoustik Bamako, Damon Albarn becomes an honorary royal?

Damon Albarn’s picking up an OBE in March. But before that, on January 31, he was granted the status of a local king in Mali and has a new name, Makandjan Kamissoko. It’s quite some honour, and was made by the country’s leading griots, hereditary musicians who are the guardians of Mali’s ancient history and songs.

Griots don’t forget, and they had taken note of Albarn’s commitment to the country, coming back here at a time when the Foreign Office advise against “all but essential” travel, after the terrorist attack on a luxury Bamako hotel in November, in which 20 people were killed. Read More

“The best act of resistance is to touch people’s hearts”

Thanks to Blur North America for sharing the interview. Original article in french here.

Damon Albarn, lead singer of Blur,  agreed to respond about the Paris attacks. But when he answered the phone in London, a Radisson Hotel in Bamako was being the victim of a terrorist attack.

After Paris, now is Bamako, a place you know well, who is under a terrorist attack…

I was shocked by what happened at the Bataclan. One of my close friends left the room ten minutes before the attack. I can not believe this is happening again in Bamako. Paris will recover from this, they will emerge even stronger, but the economy is so fragile in Bamako that this kind of event can have serious consequences on people’s lives. I will return in January to give concerts in Bamako with Africa Express. The music world can do a lot for Mali. I’m nothing on my own, but I am part of a very large family. Our network extends in all cities, all villages. The resistance is there, they will never wipe us off the map.
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