April 15, 2012

Blur continues to give mixed messages about reunion

Damon Albarn had an in depth interview for The Word magazine this week. The interview offered many insights into Blur's future and Albarn's relationship with the rest of the band. But it also gave more mixed messages about Blur's future; the singer recently said to The Guardian that Blur's "end" is approaching and that Hyde Park 2012 may be their last ever gig

Scroll down and click to open the scans of the interview. Credit goes to Gorillaz-Unofficial for the scans. 

Thanks again to Gorillaz Unofficial for transcribing the Blur parts. Scroll down to read what Damon said about Blur, Adele, Alex's five kids, getting fatter, keeping off weight (!) and their 2012 comeback... 

Here's my grand theory about Damon Albarn. It's precisely because you are so in touch with that creative flow that you can drop in and out of Blur in a way that Morrissey and Robert Plant or Ian Brown or Paul Weller never can do with the bands that launched them. Your own work is never threatened, never overshadowed. 

That is it exactly and I know it's a very unusual situation to be in. But that's completely accidental, I assure you. I just love music and I love making it and I'm adventurous, so why should anything else overshadow something I do? Of course I respect Blur enormously, and that's why it's always good to go back to them. Writing that song was important as it felt like I was contributing to a real band again. It's a chord sequence I've had for years - it's such a standard chord sequence, I thought it was too obvious to use. I wrote it, lightheartedly, as an idea for a national anthem I was going to write for my house in Devon and that whole beautiful area by the sea. The idea was to have one copy, one record I'd keep on a wind-up gramaphone, and play it as I hoisted the flag. Obviously I never got round to it! I started it as, "There was a bright sky in my city today..." It was when the cold spell was coming, so it talks about snow and that beautiful moment when the planes come in at sunset and they turn into comets. So it's about the Westway too. The lyrics were written upstairs too. The men in yellow jackets are in it. In the song they're putting adverts in my dreams (grimaces). That's a scary though. People just walking into your dream and holding up a sign that reads, "NIKE". 

That day is coming soon. 

I know and I always enjoyed it in Blur when we had songs like The Universal, which seemed very strange and at odds with the spirit of the times, but now they're these dystopian anthems. 

Are the rest of Blur like distant family members now? 

There is definitely an element of that, but, honestly, I still feel like I always did making music with Graham. We started together and we still have that magic, and that's really nice. But we've also had a decade of not talking to each other. Nothing just arrives. If you want to stay in a band and do good stuff, it's a very hard road. 

Your relationship with Graham goes back to childhood - not many people get to share that kind of history. 

I suppose not, but we don't dwell on it. I'm just really glad that we got the band back together in 2008. That was the healing that we needed. But Blur had to have a reason each time it comes to life. It can't just because people have bills to pay. 

You would refuse to take part under those circumstances? 

Absolutely. I have done. I could be an incredibly wealthy man. I'm not a badly off man anyway, but I could be far wealthier than I am if I'd agreed to all the things that we've been offered and if I worked to those principles. But Blur has to be special; it has to have a joy for me to make it work. 

But that's tricky because you might be in a better position than anyone else in Blur to pay your bills? 

Well (very long pause) that's because I go to work at ten o'clock and finish at five, five days a week. It's my job! We all have our own situations. Alex has five children. That is extraordinary to me (very long pause) but, of course, that's wonderful and I'm proud of him. Dave is nearly a lawyer now; he has this amazing alter ego. Everyone works very hard in Blur. But I also work with a lot of other people. 

The three other members of Blur seem a bit more damaged by the experience than you. 

That's true. But I have made life a lot harder for people in a lot of other ways. You can't compare experiences. I'm reluctant to do that. The older you get, the more you realise that it's the same for everyone. When we were at the Brits I was conscious of how there were all these people who were about 25, then this massive gap until people like us. With Coldplay in the middle. (pause) and that's their business. 

That's where they're comfortable. 

Well, exactly. When you first put a record out and it does well, your sense of entitlement become incredible. The first thing you ever did and everyone's into it! Naturally you then assume that everything you do will become of interest to people! 

And that's not quite the case, is it? 

Ha! No, that's such an illusion, I liked the way all these kids are all very excited about taking on the world. 

Do you remember what it felt like to be in a hot new band? 

I do remember that feeling - it's wonderful but it's an illusion. Being older and seeing it all in a very different light was a lot of fun. Singing This Is A Low with Guy Garvey was magical and I loved camping it up on the ramp. I really did! Once in a blue moon for that sort of thing is lovely, but you must never forget it's all an illusion. That's why ritual in your life is important. Ritual can feel different at different times in your life, but that's why you maintain it, so that it does give you these super-sensitive reflections of who you are and where you are. 


Let's talk about your Brit Awards speech, which certainly split opinion. 

Well, that's why I agreed to do it in the first place! Hand on heart, I did it so I could thank a lot of people especially [his and Blur's manager] Chris Morrison, his contribution to our lives. He's been an important player and a good operator and a great friend. 

Poor old Adele though? 

Yeah, but that's nothing to do with me. We were standing there like lemons waiting for the curtain to come up. I'd have been quite happy to wait another two minutes and let her finish her speech. I didn't mind. None of us were bothered by that at all. 


How do you feel about closing the Olympics? Blur have now been positioned as the single most emblematic English band. You are representing your country! 

Yes, yes, that's all true. But I don't think about it too much. I don't think about it too much at all. All I know is I have to be fighting weight and I have to be able to hit all the top notes. What's really important is that there's enough spark left in the material to make for some real drama and joy on the day itself. To make all that work I have to be pretty fit these days. 

Does that get harder? 

No, not at all! It's great. It's just a wonderful excuse to be strong.


This particular interview seems much more friendlier and positive than the Guardian one (click to read). Blur's future may not be as bleak as it looks after all, unless of course Damon changes his mind again. 

Additionally, Graham Coxon did an interview for the Manchester Evening News on April 13th, and at the end he says of Blur "Now the pressure is off and people are used to us being back it feels nice again' and ' Blur are capable of a lot of really interesting stuff, so it's really healthy, and we can do what we feel like doing, we're not forced to get on the treadmill. It's a great situation". 

Blur forumer Jonathans offers an interesting theory - "Can we allow for the possibility that Damon is actually doing something quite sensible; taking the classic denial route which means that eventually people stop asking about a blur comeback and leave the band to get on with it quietly, or at least decide in their own time what they want to do next. Personally, I think it makes sense to stonewall the topic and let things happen, if they happen, when they happen." 

Makes sense, we think. 

Read Damon's full Guardian interview deeming the end of Blur HERE
Read all about Blur being BASHED AT THE BRITS (Adele!) HERE
Read all about Blur talking about their bleak future HERE
New "tear jerker" song HERE and check out their newest track Under the Westway HERE and read our REVIEW HERE.

If you missed old news, visit the NEWS ARCHIVE to read about past news!

Remember to subscribe to RSS and "LIKE" BlurBalls on Facebook.

Stay Tuned and Get The Latest Blur News delivered straight to you- BlurBalls is the most updated Blur fan site on the internet! 

Also email subscribe to receive the latest news on everything Blur, Gorillaz, Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon!