Alex James says he isn’t friends with neighbour David Cameron: ‘I should have moved to Wales’

Prime Minister is Blur bassist James' local MP

Alex James of Blur has defended his career as a cheese farmer and explained his perceived friendship with Prime Minister David Cameron.

James has gained an eccentric reputation in recent years after moving to a farm in Oxfordshire and starting to manufacture cheese. Asked by the Sunday Times if making a new album with Blur represented a difficult gear change, the bass player bristled and argued that the two interests have a history of working alongside each other.

“I don’t like this ‘because you make cheese, you can’t be a musician’ thing,” he said. “Monks make cheese in the morning and sing in the afternoon.”

However, James was happy to distance himself from PM David Cameron and described a picture (see above) taken of himself with Cameron (who is his local MP) alongside former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson as “weird”.

“I think you have to be careful who you get photographed with. You know, bedfellows,” James said, explaining that the picture was taken when Cameron turned up at a food festival he held in 2011 and that he did not want to seem rude. He added: “That photo was a weird one. I should have moved to Wales.”

Speaking in the same interview with the Sunday Times Culture magazine, frontman Damon Albarn criticised what he perceives as a lack of political engagement in modern music, hitting out at what he calls pop music’s “selfie generation”.

“Look at music now. Does it say anything?,” Albarn is quoted as saying. “Young artists talk about themselves, not what’s happening out there. It’s the selfie generation. They’re talking platitudes.”

Blur release new album ‘The Magic Whip’ on April 27, their first with guitarist Graham Coxon since 1999’s ’13’. Coxon recently told NME that the new album helped him “make amends” with Albarn.

Earlier this month, Blur shared the video for their track ‘Lonesome Street’ featuring San Francisco’s Phoenix Fly Line Dancing Group, specialists in Chinese folk dancing – watch the video here.

The band will headline British Summer Time in London’s Hyde Park on June 20. They have also been announced as a headliner for this year’s Isle Of Wight festival and Benicàssim festival in Spain.

Drummer Dave Rowntree has claimed that Blur will not be headlining Glastonbury this year.