Damon Albarn may retire Gorillaz

After more than a decade together, Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett are reportedly considering quitting on a high note

Could Gorillaz be calling it a day? As the group round off their first world tour in a decade, Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett are reportedly considering quitting on a high note. "We always think that when we get to a point where we've achieved something, it's time to stop," Albarn said this week. "I couldn't keep going at this size and pace."

Albarn's comments are unexpected: with guests such as Lou Reed and Bobby Womack, the band is touring the largest arenas of their career. And they have even talked about a new album, recorded on Albarn's iPad, which could be out before Christmas. "It's been an unqualified success, bizarrely," Albarn said. But sometimes, it seems, you need to quit when you're ahead.

"This would be a wonderful point to leave Gorillaz," Hewlett revealed to the Age newspaper. "At the end of this tour, I think." Although not quite ready to tear up his Murdoc and Noodle masks – "That's not a statement," he insisted – it seems clear that things will not continue as they are. "We'll see how we feel in January," after the tour is finished, Albarn said. "[After] a period of reflection and sobriety."

"This tour, with these people," Hewlett said, "is a one-off. It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We'll never repeat this." But outside of Albarn and Hewlett's collaboration, Gorillaz have never been a specific group of players, or a particular style of performance. "Gorillaz is more like a big sprawling gang of people you could do any number of projects with," Hewlett explained. Maybe their next project will be a sabbatical.

As for that new Gorillaz album, who knows what could be waiting at the end of their digital advent calendar, posted this week. So far the band have offered arts and crafts, Polaroids and backstage videos: something more may yet be in store.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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