Damon Albarn is set to be a very busy man this year with a host of projects falling behind the triumphant return of Gorillaz and their new project ‘Song Machine’. Albarn sat down with Hanuman Welch on Apple Music’s latest avant-garde music show, ALT CTRL to discuss the band’s return as well as slowthai, Tame Impala and Brexit.
Gorillaz marked their return with the new project ‘Song Machine’. It sees some of the group’s favourite artists join them in the studio to lay down a track, all of which is premiered live from Kong Studios.
A new artist is expected each week and last week saw both Grime artist slowthai and punk duo Slaves feature on ‘Momentary Bliss’. A choice of artist that Welch found irresistible.
Working with the dynamic slowthai was clearly something Albarn held dear, sharing with Welch, “He’s just a kindred spirit. You need to work with people who are kindred spirits, people who are in the same pocket as you are about world view, emotion.”
The former Blur frontman, Albarn has never been shy about his political leanings and given the current climate of British politics was again asked by Hanuman Welch for his thoughts on the generational struggles we’re facing. It’s a situation that Albarn empathises with, “In some ways every generation, [it] crosses their mind – when I was his age, there was still the last decade of the cold war – there was a huge anxiety about atomic apocalypse. We really felt that as kids.”
“I feel for everyone really: having to assimilate so much information which they are absolutely innocent of its creation, but have to live with its implications. Someone like slowthai has a great positivity about him – even though He talks about grim scenarios but he’s got an energy that is uplifting…it makes you feel like you can do something about it…which is what you need.”
With Britain’s departure from the European Union confirmed on January 31st, conversations then moved on to Brexit: “We raged against it for three years and in the end, it was such an empathic vote to leave, I think there’s an element of betrayal and disappointment and sadness, we all just have to move on from it – it’s not something we really dwell on anymore. It’s “immutable”, as they say.”
With news being teased out last week that the latest recruit for the ‘Song Machine’ project was Tame Impala Welch couldn’t help but ask what Albarn and the rest of the greatest 2D band to have ever lived, had in store on the next installment. Enticingly, Albarn replied, “…There’ll be lots of surprises!”
Listen below to Damon Albarn discussing Gorillaz return, slowthai and Brexit on ALT CTRL: