Damon Albarn has said heroin was “incredibly creative” and helped to change him as a musician.
The Blur and Gorillaz frontman began taking the drug at the height of Britpop during his relationship with Elastica singer Justine Frischmann, before stopping at the end of the 1990s.
“I hate talking about heroin because of my family,” Albarn told Q magazine. “But, for me, it was incredibly creative. It freed me up… A combination of that and playing simple, beautiful, repetitive shit in Africa changed me completely as a musician. I somehow managed to break out of something with my voice. I can only say heroin was incredibly productive for me.”
Albarn went on to say that he gave up the drug with the aid of just two aspirin tablets, but added: “It turns you into a very isolated person. Ultimately, anything that you are truly dependent on is not good.” Explaining why he began taking the drug, Albarn – who also stated that he had regularly taken cocaine – said: “It’s what I found going on in the front room (when I was living with Justine). The telly was on, so I just thought: ‘Why not?’ I never imagined it would become a problem.”
During his addiction, Albarn didn’t take heroin at weekends, saying he was “five days on, two days off.” He said this attitude has left him with a regimented approach to making music, working Monday-Friday office hours at his west London studio.
Albarn recently unveiled new song ‘Heavy Seas Of Love’ from his debut solo album ‘Everyday Robots’, which is released on April 28. He follows the album with two shows in London and headlines Latitude festival in July.
Damon Albarn plays:
London Rivoli Ballroom (April 30)
London Queen Mary University (May 1)
SOS 4.8 Fesitval, Spain (May 3)
Paris Alhambra (May 5)
Down The Rabbit Hole Festival, Netherlands (June 27)
Werchter Festival, Belgium (July 3)
Werchter Festival, Denmark (July 4)
Latitude Festival (July 19)