In just a few weeks, on April 28th, Blur will release The Magic Whip, their first album in 12 years. But if U.S. fans are hoping to celebrate by seeing the band in concert, they might have to keep waiting. "I’m up for doing a bit of touring," says singer Damon Albarn. "But there’s a great question mark when it comes to America with Blur for me."
Since reuniting in 2009, Blur have played dozens of shows in Europe, Asia and South America, but just two in North America (both at Coachella in 2013). Albarn says the reason has to do with his lukewarm memories of trying to break into the U.S. concert market with Blur in the Nineties. "I spent a long time when I was younger, traveling and doing it the right way in America, and always feeling very frustrated with the brick wall that we always seemed to hit," he says. "Partly through our own attitude, and partly through it not really being the right climate for us. I don't know if that’s the case now. It may not be."
He admits that he's had much better experiences playing the U.S. more recently with Gorillaz. "I love America," he says. "It's had a profound effect on me. So I'd like to come back again – but if I don't I'm not going to lose any sleep over it."
Adds Albarn, "It's really up to whether anyone likes [the new album] over there. That's my attitude. If you like it, we might come over. If you don't. . .I wouldn't want to arrive with my suitcase and wide eyes to indifference. Why would you?"