Photo by Amanda Koellner
In the run up to his show at Melbourne, Australia’s Palas Theatre, Damon Albarn sat down for an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald. While talking up his debut solo album, Everyday Robots, Albarn revealed that his next record could come from one of his most beloved group projects: Gorillaz.
According to the Herald, Albarn is “in the process of reactivating” the collaborative band for a release aimed at 2016. If that project turns out to be a full LP, it would be the group’s fifth overall and first since 2011’s The Fall.
The last Albarn talked of Gorillaz, he called the possibility of new music “unlikely.” There were rumors of the band’s demise back in 2011, and though Gorillaz tried to squash the talk, Albarn would later again express his uncertainty about the band continuing on. Much of the basis for their supposed split has been grounded in the idea that the band’s co-founder, Jamie Hewlett, was unsatisfied that focus was being diverted from his animated work creating the band’s virtual members.
However, as recently as last year Hewlett said he expected more to come from Gorillaz. “I believe there is a future for the Gorillaz,” he told Consequence of Sound. “But Gorillaz is quite a complicated and expensive thing to produce. So, I think we need to wait a little bit to see what happens because usually in the music industry everything changes.”
If Albarn’s most recent comments are to be believed, times have certainly changed in Gorillaz’s favor. What’s more, he mentioned that a new The Good, The Bad, & The Queen record is “fully written”, and that he’s just trying to find the time to record it. (That supergroup features The Clash’s Paul Simonon, The Verve’s Simon Tong, and Nigerian drummer Tony Allen.)
As for his other band, Blur? “I would imagine there’s some kind of future,” he said in the interview, “but at the moment there’s no time for the future – only the present. Who knows? I’m reluctant to say anything, because if I do, it just gets taken out of context and then I’m accused of being a wind-up.”
Below, taken a listen to the last thing we heard from Gorillaz: “Whirlwind”, an unreleased song from the Plastic Beach sessions which Albarn premiered on BBC Radio 2 late last year.