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“I don’t agree with the chorus of pessimism”

That went quickly. Together with producer James Ford (Arctic Monkeys), Damon Albarn has recorded the Gorillaz album “The Now Now”. We meet the mischievous and boyish-looking Albarn in his attic office in West London. In the small kitchen, he first throws celery, Randen, carrot, apple and ginger in a device that produces a brew with a roar. Damon Albarn (takes a strong sip): Delicious. Just the right thing. This morning I need all the vitamin I can get.

Why?

Because of last night! Usually, my life is pretty calm. In the morning I get up early, I do yoga, work, eat, watch TV with the family, and go to bed at 10pm. At least most days. Yesterday it was different, I was traveling with friends and got drunk with sake and vodka. It happens sometimes.

Even if you do not look like this: you are 50 years old since March. How do you cope?

Getting older is a good thing. I think life becomes more interesting with age. It’s great to be a bit more mature. I hope that with age I will not become me a clown. Look here, it doesn’t have to be that way. (pointing to a Japanese magazine lying on the table with Bob Dylan on the cover). It was the surgeon’s turn! Read More

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Damon Albarn on Gorillaz’s stripped-down new album, The Now Now

What should fans expect from a new Gorillaz album in 2018? Some might be surprised to see one at all — at least coming so soon on the heels of the virtual supergroup’s Humanz, which bowed only last spring.

One easy explanation: Unlike so many of their previous releases, the band’s latest, The Now Now (due June 29), is a comparatively intimate affair, minus the usual wide-ranging guest roster — Humanz alone featured Noel Gallagher, De La Soul, Vince Staples, Popcaan, and Grace Jones, among others — and attendant Mt. Everest of studio coordination such a major undertaking involves. Read More

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Translation by yggdrasilbohdi

GORILLAZ GETS OUT OF ITS CAGE.

The English band is back with a charming album. An opportunity for Damon Albarn to shoot Kanye West down in flames. A meeting.

“In Gorillaz, Damon makes the music, I do the drawings”, says Jamie Hewlett, co-founder of Gorillaz, a band that has four fictional members (Murdoc, 2D, Russel and Noodle). “I have to wait for him to send me his songs to draw the characters, so I’m always a step behind Damon.” As Prince Philip still walks behind Queen Elizabeth? “Well, I’m like the Duke of Edinburgh and Damon is such a big queen … I hope he didn’t hear me.” Read More

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Translation by yggdrasilbohdi

GORILLAZ: COMIC DROP!

Behind this animated band, two creative British men are hidden. On the occasion of the launching of their new album, they tell us about this idea that shook up the music industry.

“Fuck, twenty years already!” With his characteristic outspokenness, Damon Albarn (right) still can’t believe it. This year, the former leader of the British pop-rock band Blur celebrates the 20th anniversary of the creation of his second band, Gorillaz, after 17.3 million albums sold all over the world. He is in charge of the music, a revolutionary mix of rap, reggae, soul and pop, along with folk guitar riffs and sharp electronic arrangements. Jamie Hewlett (left), originally the illustrator and graphic designer of, among others, the comic book heroine Tank Girl, handles the whole visual aspect. Read More

For his 50th birthday, Damon Albarn is offering Gorillaz’s sixth album, The Now Now.

Original article in french.

The Now Now is more intimate than Humanz, and there are only three collaborations … you needed to focus on yourself?

Yes, it’s just me. I cultivate extremes, and that’s what Humanz had shown. But calling on so many voices can make you crazy. It takes a crazy time, it is impractical on tour, it costs a fortune … Never again. In addition, working with Twilite Tone (the producer of Humanz, ed) had been complicated, while this time it was with James Ford, with whom everything was more fluid. There, I just wanted a simple album, fast, intimate … and cheap!

Especially since you are very busy, as usual?

It’s a very busy year, I’ve got The Now Now with Gorillaz, the new TGTBTQ album, which is the best record I’ve ever made, I’m working on a proyect related to the Théâtre du Châtelet, and then Africa Express. And most importantly, I’m 50. I realized that I should calm down. So I try to get up early, work well during the day and go to bed around 22:30! Like a farmer.

Let’s be honest: these 50 years, you don’t really have them, except on your ID…

Oh no, I’m really 50 years old: my left knee is telling me every day, especially on stage! But I’m taking care of myself. I don’t smoke anymore, for example.

Was it hard to quit?

No, I always promised myself to stop at 50, so it was about time. And I was never addicted to anything. When I stopped heroin about 20 years ago, I detoxified myself with only two aspirins!

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Gorillaz’s main man Damon Albarn talks new about his ‘fresh’ new album The Now Now – from politics to melancholic tunes

Damon chats about how US politics influences some of the lyrics as he wrote the album while touring the country last year.

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IT’S a bright and breezy early summer morning when I pitch up at Damon Albarn’s discreet Studio 13.

I make my way to the top floor and glimpse the Westway scything through Ladbroke Grove on its way into central London.

Emerging from the kitchen area is the mercurial music maker, sporting a pale pink polo shirt, black jeans and baby blue Reebok trainers.

Damon greets me with a friendly hug (we go back a long way!) but I can tell he’s nursing the mother of all hangovers.

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“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