Damon Albarn says music needs to be more political because “selfie music isn’t sustainable”

The musician discussed politics and Brexit in a new interview

Damon Albarn has called for music to be more political, saying “selfie music is not sustainable”.

The musician appeared on BBC 6 Music’s The Leisure Society programme with Gemma Cairney earlier today (April 21), during which he discussed politics and Brexit, as well as his love of travel.

Asked if travel was something he felt was important, Albarn said: “Yeah it’s really important and I honestly feel that we could definitely tone down the extremist views people seem to behold at the moment if they weren’t so isolated in their own little bubble.

“The internet has given this weird access to everyone to feel like they’re informed and they connect with the world but they’re not physically going to the places. If you physically see the bigger picture, not just the harsh edit of what something is, and you see the human side of what it actually is, you have such a different view.”

He continued to explain that was why Brexit “has been so depressing.” “On the surface, it makes sense to me to stay friends with your neighbours – that just seems like basic common sense,” he said. “On the broader picture, the licenses given to some of the really tragic ideas that people are harbouring at the moment, that is the tragedy of Brexit. It’s opened a Pandora’s box.”

Cairney then brought up the subject of how music was becoming more political in the wake of recent political events, with which Albarn agreed. “It needs to – it really, really needs to,” he added. “The selfie music is not sustainable. Have I made a selfie tune? I probably tried to but my innate obtuse nature prevented me from doing it properly.”

You can listen to the interview in full here. 

In 2015, Albarn lambasted current musicians for only talking about themselves, “not what’s happening out there.” He continued: “It’s the selfie generation. They’re talking platitudes.”

Meanwhile, Albarn recently revealed why Blur turned down a series of shows to mark the 25th anniversary of ‘Parklife’.

When asked if the band had been contacted with any offers for any such shows, the frontman replied: “Yes, they have been. I’d only want to perform that if it was a positive thing. Say we got to the point of having a second referendum, then I would be happy to play that record as a celebration and as a way of reminding ourselves of a time when we had an idea of Britishness that wasn’t political.

“It was more about our music and culture. That was a bit naïve, no question, but it had a funny side, it had a humour to it. So I’m not against performing that album but I wouldn’t want to do it if I felt like it was just about money.”