Damon Albarn has put the finishing touches on his first solo album and is set to embark on a supporting tour. The Blur frontman recently sat down with Rolling Stone to answer some questions about his career and his plans for the coming months.
Albarn is a musician with a lot on his plate. With two bands and multiple side projects, acting, and a recent foray into opera, it seems as if he never sleeps. Of his projects, Albarn says:
I get bored extremely easily. Blur was definitely my Nineties, Gorillaz was my 2000s, and then I’ve done a lot of different stuff this decade.
On the upcoming tour, Albarn plans to play songs spanning his entire career, including ones by Blur and Gorillaz. He is also well aware of the fact that Gorillaz have been much more successful in the US than Blur ever was:
Oh much bigger, yeah. It would be nice to play “Clint Eastwood” and “Feel Good Inc.” with Blur, but I can’t. They won’t play them with me! [Laughs] But I’ve just finished a solo record – when I go tour that, I’ll play play stuff from all my different bands.
Despite their huge success, the last Gorillaz tour (2010) was apparently a bust:
That was the most expensive tour of all time. I had 70 musicians. I toured around the world, played massive venues all around the world. I made about 20 pounds by the end of it [laughs], so I won’t be going on another of those. It was incredible fun, I loved doing it, but economically it was an absolute fucking disaster.
However, Albarn is confident that the reception of his new LP will be less of a fiasco :
I’ve been making it with [XL Records chief] Richard Russell. We worked together on the Bobby Womack record, and really enjoy working together. He’s done spectacularly well as a music mogul, but I think he wants to focus his energy on producing records. Making a solo record is can be such a disaster, so I thought if we’re going to make a record with my name on it, I should get someone to really produce it – take that responsibility away from myself. Richard does the kind of rhythmic side of it and I do everything else.
Though the tour is in promotion of the solo album, Albarn doesn’t seem to mind going back to some old favorites:
I enjoy playing them. A lot of the songs were quite dystopian in their worldview. And a lot of that stuff is much more pressing now than it was then. It seemed like the future then, and now it just seems like every day. So I can kind of get into it.
With all this and the possibility of a new Blur album, we’ll be hearing a lot from Damon Albarn in the near future.