When Blur recently announced its first new album in 12 years, many were eager to find out what had prompted the creative inspiration for such a move. After all, besides the occasional single or live show, the band hasn’t been tremendously active; frontman Damon Albarn has also carved out a musical niche for himself both as a solo artist and via various side projects. So fans will be excited to hear that, in the words of Blur guitarist Graham Coxon, the new songs came about because playing the old ones was getting “tedious.”
Coxon recently revealed the source of the band’s creative energy in an interview with the South China Morning Post—fitting, since new album The Magic Whip was recorded in Hong Kong. With the kind of enthusiasm usually reserved for customer service associates suggesting that you might try unplugging and then re-plugging your computer back in to fix the screen freeze, Coxon detailed the backstory. “We just couldn’t have done any more shows without some new material. It was getting tedious, and some of the fans were getting peeved about it.” With such a burning desire to make art, it’s no surprise the band returned to the studio.
Coxon also briefly discussed the decision to record in Asia, which was apparently made with an equally fervent need to get those musical demons released from within. “It just came up. The management said: look, the shows in Japan have fallen through, and Damon said, ‘It might be rather nice, rather than just going home and coming back, to give the crew a few days off and find a local studio’.” With such passion, it’s hard to believe the group didn’t flame out, Icarus-like, by soaring too close to the Muses. You can judge the results for yourself by watching the video for debut single “Go Out” here.