Damon Albarn is here to spice up a frigid winter.
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Albarn took part in a lengthy interview with the Los Angeles Times and was speaking about an upcoming show at Walt Disney Concert Hall where he’ll be playing piano and accompanied by a string section.
The stripped-down show is a welcome challenge for Albarn. “You can’t hide behind anything,” he said. "You learn whether the songs are any good or whether they were popular at the time because of the sound and the attitude.”
When Albarn was asked if he thinks a lot of modern musicians rely on sound and attitude, he responded, “name me someone who’s not.” After the interviewer cited Taylor Swift as an “excellent songwriter,” Albarn offered up a blunt response. “She doesn’t write her own songs,” he said.
The interviewer pressed Albarn saying “of course she does” and that she co-writes some of her music. “That doesn’t count,” Albarn responded. “I know what co-writing is. Co-writing is very different to writing. I’m not hating on anybody, I’m just saying there’s a big difference between a songwriter and a songwriter who co-writes. Doesn’t mean that the outcome can’t be really great.”
The Blur frontman then went on to call Billie Eilish and her brother FINNEAS interesting songwriters. “I’m more attracted to that than to Taylor Swift,” he said. “It’s just darker — less endlessly upbeat. Way more minor and odd. I think she’s exceptional.
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Speaking of Blur… Albarn was asked about the possibility of a Blur reunion to mark the 25th anniversary of their self-titled album, which featured the hit song “Song 2.”
His response is, well, we’ll give it in his own words. “I’m not into how beloved you become of the smell of your own farts,” he said. Albarn then went to cite The Rolling Stones as an example.
“The greatest exponent of that is the Rolling Stones, who just couldn’t let it go,” he said. “It’s disappointing. Not to say that I didn’t absolutely love the Rolling Stones in their heyday — they were magnificent. But do other stuff in your life. Singing ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ when you’re pushing 80? Come on.”