January 18, 2013

Interview with a Blur Fan: Diana Vasquez

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Diana Vasquez is a vibrant and dedicated Blur fan from California who creates and uploads some of the most interesting Blur videos in cyberspace. 

Many of the Blur, The Good The Bad and The Queen, Gorillaz and other band footages circulating around are uploaded by her using her alias “TracyJackAlbarn”.

We interviewed her recently about her devotion for Blur, video editing, Blur t-shirts and got to know a bit more about why she got into the band’s music in the first place and became a lifelong fan of the band.

1) To start off, tell us a little about yourself.  

My Name is Diana and I'm 20 years old. Though most people online (either from Youtube, Facebook etc.) know me as the huge blur fan "TracyJackAlbarn" who uploads archive Blur videos and old interviews of the band. Frequently, a lot of people think that I am from London, England because of my huge Love for Blur but I'm actually born and raised in Los Angeles, California, the city of stars! 

2) How did you get into Blur ? First Blur memories ?

I got into Blur through my sister's music collection 5 or 6 years ago. My sister has always had a brilliant taste in music and always had awesome concert experiences (she once shook hands with Jack White - I’m so jealous!) Back when I was 14 or 15 I didn’t have a developed music taste and was completely into cheesy pop music, pop singers, boy-bands- you name it.

The first Blur memory I had was when I first listened to 'There's No Other Way' from Leisure. It completely blew my mind. It sounded new and different to me and I became curious to know who the band was. Afterwards, my sister showed me one of Blur’s music videos- "She's So High" was the first music video I ever watched by Blur and I instantly fell in love with their music and their lead singer Damon Albarn! 

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A Leisure-esque Blur - Their first top 10 single was 'There's No Other Way' in 1991

3) You have a popular Blur-related Youtube channel - can you tell us about that ?

Yes. Actually I have my main channels ('TracyJackAlbarn' and 'TracyJackAlbarn2') that I use  everyday. These contain mostly rare video footages of band, with Blur interviews, concert live performances, movie clips from the Blur shows and so much more. There’s even the making of some Blur music video footages, Damon on Bowie and old game shows that Blur featured in, and lots of old interesting clips.

And of course, I make funny Blur parodies, tributes and even birthday videos to celebrate Damon Albarn’s annual birthdays, as well as extra series episodes. My main channels have grown in popularity these few years. This is a pleasant surprise because I didn’t think that people like to watch these funny Blur videos in their free time! I always receive kind "thank you " comments or responses for creating Blur-related videos, and that gives me a good feeling inside. 

4) Damon or Graham ?

Damon. He is definitely my favorite. Well... I don't want to brag too much about his good- looks, but besides that I think Damon is probably one of the most talented human being in the musical scene that I have ever encountered. Damon has made many pieces of art that should be appreciated - from his work on Dr.Dee to DRC Music and the many other solo projects that are separate from Blur and Gorillaz, he has always created excellent music. 

That said, Graham Coxon is definitely a very gifted and excellent guitarist. I've also admired Graham's solo work very much and would love to see him live in concert someday!

5) Favourite Blur song and why ?

Favorite Blur Song? Now that's a hard one, because it always changes from time to time. I think Blur’s B-side hits had always been on the top my list. At the moment, my favourite Blur tracks are 'Trimm Trabb', 'One born every minute', 'Don't Be' and 'Hanging Over'.
Blur 'Hanging Over' poster made by a fan -
Blur are known as a band with "brilliant b-sides"

6) Strangest thing you did related to Blur and the band

Well there are quite a few! From having a picture of Blur on a birthday cake when i was 15... dressing up as Damon for Halloween once during my sophomore year of highschool (though my sister mistook my costume as Pete Doherty from The Libertines!). The strangest thing I ever did relating to Blur was probably making South Park parody videos a long time ago. It was a Youtube hit but I guess they were a little weird for those who watched it.

7) Have you ever seen Blur live ?

Sadly, I have never seen Blur Live. However I have seen Gorillaz live in concert back in 2010. But since the recent upcoming dates have confirmed for a long tour for Blur this year in 2013, I just hope and pray that Blur will come to tour in the USA. If so, I'll surely be the first in line once the Blur boys has landed to LA.

Blur are set for a massive tour in 2013 but
there are no plans for American fans just yet 
8) How has Blur changed you ?

Blur has definitely changed the way I listen to music nowadays. Because of Blur, I've now become more of a stable optimistic indie listener and I listen to a wider variety of music genres. 

I've gotten more into Jack White, Gotye, Yuna, Augustus Pablo, Paul Weller, Johnny Marr, The Kills, Little Dragon, Elastica & many more. In a way, Blur “saved” me from the cheesy-ness of mainstream pop music and expanded my range.

9) What Blur items do you own ? Any blur merchandise ?

I have a few books, magazines, DVDs, & CD's from Both Blur, Gorillaz, Damon Albarn's solo projects. I also own some documentaries and copies of movies that Damon Albarn starred in (only 'FACE' & 'Anna and the Moods'). Just recently this year, I got my first Blur Vinyl & CD single of "Under the Westway/ The Puritan”!  

As for Blur Merchandise, I do have two Blur shirts and one of them has a picture of Damon in the front. I also bought quite a few buttons featuring Blur and Graham Coxon. This sounds quite little but I have a feeling that my collection of Blur items and merchandise will be growing bigger and bigger in the future and ask they continue to release new music!

10) Any last words ?

I would also like to take this opportunity to announce that starting early January of 2013, I'm going to start My first VLOG channel. It'll be full of random miscellaneous videos where viewers can get to know me more. I’ll also include quite a few Blur humor here and then. 

It's truly an honor and privilege being interviewed for BlurBalls! Thank you so much!

Check out more of Diana’s Blur videos on her Youtube Channel  (we can't get enough of this live video of the MAKING OF BEETLEBUM  by Blur). There’s a lot of archive Blur interviews and cool pieces to watch.

You can get in touch with her on twitter (@TracyJackAlbarn)

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