Damon Albarn, the frontman of influential alternative rock band Blur and the visionary behind the alternative outfit Gorillaz, recently held an interview with Sky News, where he discussed the pandemic. During the interview, he stated that artists should be allowed to perform with live audiences if they choose to, while also criticizing the UK government’s response to the pandemic.
“If people are willing to perform, they should be allowed to,” Albarn stated. “No one should be forced to do anything, but if people are willing then somehow we can make it work so everyone can feel comfortable and participate.”
The performer also spoke about the importance of keeping people healthy, but explained that people should not forget about live music. “You’ve got to allow music to continue,” Albarn explained. “We are trying to preserve everyone’s health at the moment so passionately, we mustn’t ignore live music in that prescription.”
His response also furthered more criticism against the UK’s conservative government, especially the Cyber First campaign, which promoted careers in tech, while allegedly suggesting that artists abandon their careers to pursue work in STEM.
“I was so upset with it,” Albarn elaborated. “It was such a bad signal to send out to people who were struggling to hold onto their dreams anyway, to literally explode them in their faces was bordering on callous I felt really.”
Albarn suggested last week that a sequel to the group’s influential 2010 record Plastic Beach is something he was looking into. He also discussed plans for an upcoming film and a new television series, the latter of which was first announced back in 2017.
The group released their most recent studio album Song Machine was released last month and supported by the singles “Chalk Tablet Towers” featuring St. Vincent, “Strange Timez” featuring Robert Smith, “Pac-Man” featuring Schoolboy Q, “Friday 13th” featuring Octavian, “Aries” featuring Peter Hook and Georgia, “Désolé” featuring Diawara and “Momentary Bliss” featuring slowthai and Slaves. Gorillaz have also announced a radio show and a live stream, which will take place in London this December.