When asked if Blur — who reunited in 2009 for a series of one-off shows and festival appearances, as well as one anticipated set at this year’s BRIT Awards — would record any new material, Albarn responds, “No, I don’t think so.” He also shoots down the possibility of any live performances past their gig at the 2012 Olympics closing ceremony (August 12 at London’s Hyde Park).
“And I hope that’s the truth: that that’s how we end it,” he continues. “I don’t know: you can write scripts, and they always end up going… [pause]… well, one thing I’ve learned, and I’m sure you’re exactly the same, is that everything I think I’ve got totally sorted out, and I know exactly what’s going to happen – it never works out that way…”
“So how should I put it?” asks the interviewer. “That in all likelihood, this is the end of Blur?”
“In all likelihood, I would say. [pause] Oh, God…”
It doesn’t get better, folks. Later in the interview, Albarn is asked if there will be any more Gorillaz music in the future. “Er… unlikely,” he responds, suggesting that he and Gorillaz co-creator, animator Jamie Hewlett, had a falling out.
“I think we were at cross purposes somewhat on that last record, which is a shame. So until a time comes when that knot has been untied…”, and he trails off.
The demise of the Gorillaz is, as Albarn puts it, “a long story”, and Albarn and Hewlett butted heads when the group toured as huge band in 2010 (including at that year’s Coachella festival). “It was one of those things,” he says. “The music and the videos weren’t working as well together, but I felt we’d made a really good record, and I was into it. So we went and played it.”
When the interviewer asks if he and Hewlett were no longer speaking, he responds, “Well, that sounds very juvenile, doesn’t it? But being juvenile about it, it happens. It’s a shame.”
Quite a shame. Sure, we knew “The End Is Nigh!”, but it’s saddening to hear it’s really the end. That said, that doesn’t mean Albarn won’t still be making music. “I’d like to do a record with my own name on it,” he said last September. “That’s the next one I want to make. I don’t know if I could bear to start a band from scratch again.”
Albarn also completed his first opera, Dr. Dee, and is working with another group called Rocket Juice & The Moon. The man clearly has enough on his plate keeping him creatively fulfilled.
Still… sigh. Forgive us for feeling a little melancholy.