Damon Albarn: the next Gorillaz album will be fast and energetic

Singer says he’s been stuck behind a piano with the group and wants to go ‘somewhere completely opposite’

Damon Albarn has confirmed he is working on a new Gorillaz album, days after his collaborator Jamie Hewlett said “2016 is going to be Gorillaz all year”.

Speaking to Rolling Stone, Albarn said it was “early days” for the next album but that “so far, it’s really fast, and it’s got quite a lot of energy. I’ve been stuck on piano, somewhere off Broadway, for years now. I want to go somewhere completely opposite of that.”

Gorillaz have so far released four studio albums, each featuring an array of guests and collaborators, including Snoop Dogg, Lou Reed, Bobby Womack, Mark E Smith, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and Shaun Ryder. Albarn did not divulge any details of the collaborators on the new record.

Albarn also spoke about Blur, ahead of their show at Madison Square Garden in New York – for which Mike Myers turned down the chance to take the Phil Daniels role in Parklife. Albarn said of playing live with the band: “I still try to avoid it like the plague, to be honest with you. But something weird happens once I’ve stepped on stage: I just have the best time. And then as soon as we get off, I say, ‘Never again.’ It’s very strange. There has to be some sort of psychological paper that explains that emotion of trying to not do something; and then doing it, and then loving it; and then as soon as you’ve done it, trying not to do it again.”

Albarn need not get too worried about having to avoid appearing with Blur – the group have only four shows left on their schedule, culminating with the Madison Square Garden gig on 23 October.

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