Blur
Interview by Gilbert Bleckin

Damon Albarn's favourite albums: 1.KURT WEILL-Three Penny Opera, 2.THE KINKS-Best Of, 3.ALAN KLEIN-Well At Least It's British, 4.SCOTT WALKER-Scott 4, 5.WIRE-Chairs Missing.

Alex James' favourite albums: 1.JOY DIVISION-Still,  2.MARIANNE FAITHFUL-Strange Weather, 3.QUINCY JONES-Quincy Plays For Pussycats, 4.DAVID ROSE ORCHESTRA-The Stripper, 5.SPIKE JONES-Thank You Music Lovers.

One thing I like about Blur is that you never denied being an ambitious band, even though it is a lot more trendy to be a bit apathetic these days.

Damon: I think that fundamentally our egos are to big to behave like that.

Alex: Everybody wants success and media attention. It's just wanting to mean something and be taken seriously. And more importantly not being taken seriously, because you have to be really important to be taken not seriously.

"For Tomorrow" is quite different from the other songs on "Modern Life Is Rubbish". Do you think that this song already sets the mood for the next album?

Damon: It's possible, 'cause that was the last song we recorded for this album. I think we're going to become more orchestral on the third album. We like big orchestral sounds.

Alex: As long as we can avoid being pompous. We go as far as we can.

In an early interview you said that your lyrics are not meant to mean that much. Has your attitude changed towards that subject with the second album?

Damon: I hate things having a meaning. They should just work as they stand, they shouldn't need to be explained. I think we do suffer from pretentious intellectual songwriting on occasions, especially on this album. But I do still feel that the best songs are the simpliest, because they say much more.

Alex: Music is such an intangible thing. It falls to pieces if you're trying to analyse it. It's like a bubble going to burst.

Do you think a good popsong should be written in a way that children can relate to?

Damon: Yes, absolutely. If a little kid likes it, it means that the tune is charming. It's very hard to write pure tunes like that, but it's very rewarding. I think bands are not encouraged enough to communicate on a more pure level. They're sort of isolated by their media image. It would be lovely if bands were going to primary schools and sing their songs. Unfortunately, we live in a very sick society. So to survive a lot of the time you have to be very analytical and precocious just to maintain your sanity.

Can you still identify with your first album "Leisure" or is this album definitely a thing of the past?

Damon: Basically it is a thing of the past. "Leisure" was a fashion album while this album is like a baby.

Do you think you weren't even ready to do an album in 1991?

Damon: No, we weren't. It was too quick. We had this textbook "Overnight Success" and we did it all by the book virtually. And then we started to subvert. But it didn't started out like that. We were an artschool punkband, but then we were really craving to be famous, so we totally changed ourselves. And now we've satisfied that lust. It's like lusting after a girl or a boy. It can blind you from everything. And once you actually satisfied that, it wasn't as attractive as you imagined.

Alex: Good metaphor.

I heard of a little incident in a recent concert. Is it true that you jumped on the speakers and couldn't get back on stage?

Damon: That's true. I climbed so high that I got stuck, so they had to get a ladder.

Can you laugh about that with a little distance?

Damon: I laughed about it at the time.

Alex: On stage he just goes nuts. He's like a monkey on cocaine.

Damon: I just love showing off, especially in front of 8000 people. It's like circus really. I'm sure people would like to see a bit of that.

Do you think a real popstar should be able to make a fool of himself from time to time?

Damon: Oh yes. I just hate people who can't. They really piss me off.

What do you think will be the main changes with the third album?

Damon: I want to sing more. We want to become more punky and orchestral at the same time. We want to be as good as The Buzzcocks and Scott Walker.

I'm a little surprised you like Scott Walker.

Damon: He's got one of the best voices I've ever heard. He's up there with Frank Sinatra.

What do you think of his heirs like Marc Almond and Billy MacKenzie?

Damon: I like Marc Almond a lot.

Alex: Yeah, he's quite brave.

Damon: He can fulfill all his Scott Walker and Jacques Brel fantasies and he plays the Royal Albert Hall twice a year.

And what about Billy MacKenzie?

Damon: He's got a great voice but I've got a bit of a problem with Scots. They're lovely people but musically I don't really understand where they're coming from.

On "Modern Life Is Rubbish" your voice sometimes reminds me a bit of John Lydon.

Damon: I haven't really worked out who I am. I am trying to. It probably comes from my love of theatre, my love of different characters. And sometimes I really believe I am John.

Do you think the definite Blur album is still to come?

Damon: Yes, 'cause I hope there's even more potential in us. We really don't see this second album as a sort of definite statement. But at least we now have the freedom to really strive for that ultimate album, because now we exist in our own little world. All those great bands always changed massively. And I would always sacrifice the fashion pop fame side of it for the chance to be a bit experimental.

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