The singer admits it took him a while to convince the remaining members of Blur that he hadn't walked out on them...

DAMON ALBARN has admitted his work with Gorillaz caused tension between the members of his other band Blur.

Albarn has spent much of the last 12 months working on the animated cartoon project, which has been hugely successful across the globe. Speaking in this week’s Time Out listings magazine, he said that it took him a while to convince the remaining members of the group that he hadn’t walked out on Blur.

He commented: “I couldn’t really not make a big deal about Gorillaz. I don’t think they were particularly cool about it. But…we’re in the studio now and we’re written 14 tracks in four weeks and I think everyone sees that I wasn’t leaving the band in any way – I was just filling my mind and my heart with things that gave me a real reason to go and do justice to a band that we’ve worked so hard on building up.”

He said that when the band entered the studio as Blur to work on the new album by Marianne Faithfull, to which they contribute a track, things came to a head.

He continued: “For the band, it wasn’t one of the best experiences. Partly for obvious reasons, and partly for reasons that are private. It wasn’t a good time for the band. We didn’t want to be with each other. Bands are like that. But I’m sure Marianne Faithfull (Faithfull) will say that she brought the band back together in her wonderfully 60s way. She’s a very extraordinary woman.”

A new Bluralbum is due for release later this year or early 2003.