Alex James from Blur's Sabbatical
By Paul Elliot, Q Magazine
February 1999

1998. How was it for you?

It's been weird because we haven't done any touring. Glastonbury was our only gig and it was horrible. Michael Eavis can suck my dick.

What did you do last year?

A lot of roistering. I turned 30 on November 21.

What did the rest of Blur get up to last year?

Dave (Rowntree, drummer) and I have both got our commercial pilot's licenses. Graham's released his album and Damon's been in the press a lot. Damon and Mel C, Damon and Shaznay. I couldn't possibly comment. Damon is gay, that's all I'm saying.

What's happened to your cheekbones?

I'm a fat fucker, that's what's happened! I'm 30. This is my Fat Elvis period.

Fat Les versus Three Lions - did you get involved in the rivalry?

That was Keith Allen's department. Vindaloo was great because it meant that we got tickets for the World Cup. Playstation used Song 2 for their World Cup game which meant a medium ker-ching factor but loads of tickets for games.

How's the new Blur album coming along? It's rumoured that you've gone techno gospel...

Techno gospel sounds alright to me.

Another rumour said you'd gone ambient.

Not really. More crunchy than ambient. William Orbit (producer) is a genius. Seriously, though, this record has been a real catharsis for Damon. I've never seen him happier.

Anything you'd like to add?

Yes. My book of the year was One People by Guy Kennaway. My film of the year was Mojo. It's about bullies and bandits. I can't think of a record of the year, but 1998 was definitely the year of the comeback. Blondie made me cry. And let's just say that Robbie Williams will be crying himself to sleep when he hears our new album.