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Damon Albarn

Gorillaz are this week’s UK Represent artist on Julie Adenuga’s Beats 1 show on Apple Music. Damon Albarn from the band spoke to Julie on yesterday’s show about the band’s new album, ‘The Now Now’, which is released on Friday.

On releasing the new album…
Does anyone even recognise them as albums anymore? Or am I just completely out of date, out of sync, out of place, just out basically…I just wanted to have some tunes to play this year, there was a real demand to come back this year and I wasn’t up for doing it unless I had something fresh to play. I suppose from the last record I kind of forgot to include myself, it wasn’t intentional, I think we just got so carried away with collaborating, maybe that was just the idea that was in our heads at the time. But I suppose this is sort of like a ‘reset record’.

On the vibe of the record…
I am yeah [on every single song], and I’m trying to be quite “up” which is quite hard for me to be sort of optimistic but I think I’ve managed it on this record. Naturally, I don’t really make happy music, but somehow this record sort of turned out quite happy…I was in America and I think what it was, was that I made it in hotels, but at the top of hotels so I had great views.

On the Gorillaz characters…
They have got older. Noodle has turned into a woman; she was a child, now she’s a woman. Murdoch is in prison and has been replaced by Ace who originally was in the Gangreen Gang who were a part of The Powerpuff Girls. 2D’s hair is kind of slightly receding and Russell fluctuates in weight depending on which album cycle he is in.

This record, because it’s got my voice, which is 2D’s voice, it really does focus the characters around the record more so than ‘Humanz’ which has so many guests. It’s quite hard for the characters to sort of pop out, but it’s a lot easier around this record. So the narrative around this record is sort of effortless. In fact, the record was pretty effortless. It was one of the easiest records I’ve made. And it’s rare, they’re not always easy.