It’s a full-blown pop row: Damon Albarn is “pissed off” with the Rolling Stones.
The blur frontman sat down with French magazine Les Inrockuptibles, discussing his future plans – clue: it doesn’t include blur to any great extent – while meandering off into a number of other topics.
The interviewee opted to probe Damon Albarn about another batch of UK legends, asking the frontman for his thoughts on the new Rolling Stones album ‘Hackney Diamonds’.
“This really annoyed me” he said, “because my family lives in Hackney and the way they showed up at the Hackney Empire venue really pissed me off. They’ve never did a thing in Hackney, they’ve never played there, never contributed to anything. They just showed up. It’s all nonsense.”
Which isn’t quite true. Even as recently as 2018 the Rolling Stones played London Stadium in Stratford – OK, technically in Newham borough, but a decent walk from Hackney Empire itself. To say nothing of the band’s 60s dates, that criss-crossed East London…
Lead single ‘Angry’ – aired at the famous Hackney Empire in-conversation event – featured Hollywood actress Sydney Sweeney, with the Euphoria actress on top of a car in a racey video.
“I listened to their new song and watched this horrible music video showing them at different stages of their lives on billboards. And this young woman objectified. What the hell is this? There’s something completely disconnected.”
The title asked Damon Albarn if he could envisage himself “80 years old, on billboards capitalising on your past glory”, to which the blur frontman responded: “There’s no chance and I’ll tell you why.”
“I did all sorts of things, whereas they’ve never been anything other than The Rolling Stones,” he said. “I love the idea of devoting your life to one thing, in search of the sublime. But the truth is, they’ve became worse. Worse at persisting to stay themselves. That’s something I don’t understand. Making exactly the same music but not that good. There must be no joy in doing something like this.”