July 26, 2013

Damon Albarn Jamie Hewlett: "We have a kind of monkey madness" (Vanity Fair)

The August 2013 edition of Vanity Fair magazine features an exclusive interview and photo-shoot with Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, both of whom talked about the relaunch of their opera 'Monkey Journey To The West' in Lincoln Centre, New York this July. 

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(Vanity Fair - Aug. 2013 (Click to enlarge. Scan by grahampls)

The production, created by Damon Albarn and his Gorillaz partner Jamie Hewlett, originally premiered at the Manchester International Festival in 2007. The new set of productions will be Monkey: Journey To The West's New York debut.

The duo had much to say about the opera and music, as quoted from Vanity Fair

“Like all that has folk resonance, something from its past has carried forward and been delivered in a new way,” says Albarn, who composed the score, which sets traditional Chinese instruments against a contemporary electronic backdrop. “The first song inspired my daughter to start learning Mandarin.” Albarn, who is finishing a solo record, co-produced R&B singer Bobby Womack’s 2012 comeback album, The Bravest Man in the Universe, and headlined the Coachella music festival, in Indio, California, in April with Blur, his own award-winning band. 

"We have a kind of monkey madness"
Jamie Hewlett on his relationship with Damon Albarn

Hewlett, who co-created the comic book Tank Girl in 1988 and won Britain’s Designer of the Year award in 2006 for his work on Gorillaz, created both Monkey’s animation and the fantastical costumes. “Suddenly you realize,” he recalls, “that all these costumes you designed have to be worn by somebody who has to leap 10 feet in the air, stand on somebody’s shoulders while he is singing, and do kung fu.”

Jamie has been busy promoting the opera for various media outlets, including conducting live Q&As on Monkey Journey To The West's official Facebook page. He was also recently interviewed by Inside Hook and Flavorwire.

Monkey: Journey to the West is showing at Lincoln Center through Sunday, July 28. Click here for the full timetable. Click HERE to visit their Facebook page and see the latest updates, pictures and rehearsal snapshots from the opera. 

It's monkey business all the way for the duo - but one question that lingers is when will Damon monkey-around and make a new Gorillaz album? Will Damon change his mind yet again? 

Visit THIS page to see more fantastic images of Jamie Hewlett. 

October 28, 2012

Damon Albarn - There Could Be a new Gorillaz album

Damon Albarn has hinted at a future new Gorillaz album, and this time it's without Jamie Hewlett.  

In an interview with Shortlist Magazine, Damon Albarn said nothing will change if Gorillaz went ahead and made a new album without Hewlett's illustrations. The only aspect that would be missing is bass player Murdoc's cartoon drawing. 

He said: "It was very much Jamie [Hewlett] did the visuals and I did the music. The music won’t change, so there could be another Gorillaz record tomorrow. It wouldn’t necessarily have Murdoc - the cartoon aspect to it - but musically, no, nothing’s changed whatsoever."

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One moment it's over, the other it's on again - Damon Albarn
The Blur frontman also denied rumours that Gorillaz were "over" for good. Damon said that Gorillaz would undoubtedly continue on if Jamie Hewlett and himself reconciled their differences that contributed to their fallout this year. But wait - Damon also mentions how Gorillaz are still going strong in another much earlier interview.

"Jamie wants to do other things and I understand," he said. "But you never know, in a few years he might have a burning desire to draw those pictures again, and as soon as he does that, as far as I’m concerned, there could be another Gorillaz album." 

It seems very likely fans of Albarn and Gorillaz will be getting a new album. It is merely a matter of when the musical pair will agree to work together again. Looks like Gorillaz was, and is not over.

What will be the New Gorillaz sound ?

Order the new Blur: Parklife (Live at Hyde Park CD / DVD) HERE
Order the new Blur boxset HERE
Blur first ever 2012 gig-  Maida Vale gig full coverage HERE
Blur for Spain and Porto HERE
Blur Europe Tour News  HERE


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