Morrissey continues to find himself at the center of controversy after pledging his loyalties to far-right, extremist political party For Britain. While artists like Billy Bragg have outright condemned Moz’s “white supremacist” stance, Damon Albarn is now claiming that The Smiths singer shouldn’t even have an opinion at all given that he doesn’t live in the UK.
Speaking to NME, Albarn called Morrissey “a complicated soul” who has no business commenting on UK politics since he currently resides in California. “He doesn’t care,” Albarn remarked. “He’s just doing it to wind people up.”
Albarn’s The Good, The Bad & The Queen bandmate Paul Simonon chimed in, saying that Morrissey lives in a “bubble” that bars him from having a full and accurate outlook when it comes to UK politics. He also compared Moz to John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten.
“Sometimes if you are away and you don’t live in the country, then you’ve got a misconception of what the reality is from the ground up,” he said. “It’s the same as John Lydon – he’s sort of got to a certain level and he’s [entitled] to his views, but if you don’t live here, your vision of it is in a bubble.”
“Yeah, I totally agree. You shouldn’t even have an opinion,” added Albarn. He further echoed Simonon’s sentiments,
“If you don’t live in the country, then you shouldn’t be dabbling in its politics because to have the sensitivity to understand, you have to live amongst the emotional world of the people as well, not just the idea of something. That’s a long way from reality… So I think if you wanna be miserable and English, you’ve gotta be miserable and English. You know — really be it.”
Albarn and Simonon’s comments come from a different place compared to those of other detractors, however, the message is still the same — Morrissey should be tuned out.
In June, Bragg slammed Morrissey for his allegiance to For Britain, saying that he had “betrayed” and “broken the hearts” of Smiths fans worldwide. The world’s oldest record store even went so far as to boycott all of Moz’s releases.
And although Interpol are still on board for their tour with Morrissey, frontman Paul Banks felt compelled to address Moz’s views. “I do not always hold the same beliefs as artists I work with, and I do not consider that to be a requisite,” he remarked in a statement.
But not everyone is convinced that Moz’s name is completely toxic. Fellow Smiths member Johnny Marr said he “wasn’t worried” about Morrissey’s behavior affecting the legacy of the band. The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers also still regards Morrissey as a “king” when it comes to music’s greatest songwriters. “He’s unparalleled in what he’s achieved and his prowess and his lyrics and his sense of melody, it’s just incredible,” said Flowers.
In case you’re still on board with Morrissey, his joint tour with Interpol begins in September, and tickets can be found here.