Damon Albarn Considers Futures of Blur, Gorillaz as Solo Tour Nears

"Apart from the visuals, I am Gorillaz," says Albarn

Damon Albarn
Linda Brown Lee
Damon Albarn
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Blur's Damon Albarn is hitting the road in late April for his first real solo tour in support of his upcoming LP Everyday Robots, and even he doesn't quite know what's going to happen. "I really don't know how long the tour is going to last," he says. "It's dependent on how it's perceived and whether it's going to work for me when I play other material from my past. I'm not necessarily going to play obvious stuff, but there's still a lot to choose from. It's going to be really interesting and I'm looking forward to every minute of it."

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The show will focus on songs from Everyday Robots, but Albarn also plans to revive material by Blur, Gorillaz and the Good, the Bad and the Queen. "I'm thinking about playing one Blur song I'd completely forgotten: it's the B-side to 'Beetlebum' called 'All Your Life,'" he says. "We just played that today, so it's fresh in my mind."

Blur wrapped up a long world tour this January with a series of shows in Japan and have no plans for the foreseeable future. "I just haven't got the time," says Albarn. "We put in a good shift last year and played a lot of gigs around the world. Everyone's off doing other stuff at the moment." 

The group reformed in 2008 after a five-year break, and they remain an incredibly popular live act in Europe and most markets around the world. "It's a big part of my life," says Albarn. "I'll never abandon the spirit of it ever. It's kind of in me." 

There hasn't been a new Blur album since 2003's Think Tank, though they have attempted to cut some tracks in recent years. "There is material," says Albarn. "But I can't foresee us in the near future being in a position to finish it. We're just all doing other stuff."

Future plans for Gorillaz are even less clear. "Apart from the visuals, I am Gorillaz," says Albarn. "I am the recording when it comes to Gorillaz. It's complicated since it's just me. Just because I was a cartoon. . .There's no difference, really. . .It's a bit embarrassing for me to say 'yes' or 'no' about stuff that's my stuff anyway. I just don't see it like that. I've been playing Gorillaz songs in rehearsal and some of them sound really fresh, so I'll definitely be playing them on my tour. So, is Gorillaz here or is it not here?

"What makes Gorillaz?" Albarn continues. "We always have different musicians when we play live. The only constant thing, I suppose, is myself. And I'm still here. Is my new album, in a way, a Gorillaz record? It's not, but that sounds. . .I've dug myself into an enormous hole now, haven't I? Sorry."