Damon Albarn, one of Britain’s most prolific musicians, has hinted at the possible demise of both Gorillaz and Blur. It’s a shame really, since this year we saw a revitalization in both bands via Blur’s Brit Awards performance and Gorillaz’ collaboration with Andre 3000 and James Murphy. Although these instances might have led fans to believe that both acts were alive and healthy, Albarn’s recent interview with the Guardian has nipped these assumptions at the bud.
When Blur debuted their new song “Under The Westway” at a pre-Brit Awards concert, people got to thinking that a new album might be on the way. Apparently, the chemistry just isn’t there anymore and that might be the last new track we get out of Blur. Here’s what Albarn had to say of “Under The Westway” and the future of Blur:
We recorded it live, One take. It’s the first Blur song where it’s been one take, because previously I never finished the lyrics before we recorded. This time, I’d done that, so we were actually able to perform it. […] Which is quite nice, because I don’t really see any more recordings after this. So it’s nice to have finally done one song where we did it properly. […] I find it very easy to record with Graham. 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.
When The Guardian asked Albarn if the end of Blur was near, he responded succinctly: “I think so, ya, […] In all likelihood, I would say.”
Unfortunately, the future for the Gorillaz doesn’t look any better. Albarn’s relationship with Gorillaz’ artist Jamie Hewlett soured when they took Plastic Beach on tour and Albarn chose to underscore the role of Gorillaz’ animation in the live setting. It appears that currently, the two of them aren’t on speaking terms. Here’s the crucial information that Albarn shared with The Guardian about the past and future for the Gorillaz:
Gorillaz was a really wonderful, spontaneous thing. It started with two people sitting on a sofa, going, ‘Let’s make a band.’
[Hewlett] ‘All right, I’ll go into my studio and draw some characters.’
[Albarn] ‘I’ll go in mine and make a tune, and we’ll put them together.’
When asked, “Will there be more Gorillaz music?”, Albarn hesitantly responded, “Er… unlikely.” And when Guardian interviewer John Harris said “Do you feel you’re done?”
Jamie does, 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 […] I’m just doing what I always do. It’s a bit daunting sometimes, but it’s important to keep challenging yourself.