Gorillaz’ collaboration with Stevie Nicks was originally meant for Julian Casablancas

Damon Albarn spoke about how the 'Cracker Island' song 'Oil' came about

Damon Albarn has revealed that Gorillaz‘ forthcoming collaboration with Stevie Nicks was originally meant to be sung by Julian Casablancas.

The animated band enlisted the Fleetwood Mac star for the song ‘Oil’, which will appear on their forthcoming eighth album ‘Cracker Island’.

Nicks recently spoke in an interview about her experience of becoming “an honorary Gorilla” on the Greg Kurstin-produced track. “I can’t wait till it comes out because I’m so proud of it,” she said.

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During a new conversation on Apple Music 1, Albarn explained that ‘Oil’ came together “very quickly” as he had previously recorded a demo version in London. However, he’d initially set his sights on The Strokes‘ frontman as a guest vocalist.

“At first I was thinking of Casablancas for the voice, but that didn’t work out,” Albarn said. “Not for any [reason], just logistically and everything. And so, I don’t know. Somehow from Julian, it came to Stevie Nicks.”

He continued: “I was amazed when Greg Kurstin said, ‘I can get Stevie Nicks’. In a way, one of the nice reasons for working with people from so many different eras is that it’s not a numbers game. It’s not like, ‘If I get this person, I will get this amount of numbers’, which unfortunately, collaboration has turned into.”

two side by side images of Stevie Nicks (left) and Damon Albarn (right) performing live on-stage in 2022
Stevie Nicks and Damon Albarn perform live. CREDIT: Getty

The musician went on to say that collaborative projects have become “somewhat generic” of late, adding: “So this [song with Nicks] is the antithesis of that. This non-generic collaboration.”

Last month, Nicks revealed that her “one demand” to Gorillaz was to feature in the official ‘Oil’ music video. “Because that’s how I know about the Gorillaz, is because of all their crazy cartoon videos,” she said.

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“I want to be a Gorilla, and I want to have big, false eyelashes, and I want to have blonde hair, right? So, that’s what I said. And so, they’re doing [the video] as we speak. And the whole song is… I think that song is somewhere between love and war.”

‘Cracker Island’ is due for release on February 24, 2023 via Parlophone (pre-order here). It’ll also contain Gorillaz’ recent Tame Impala team-up, ‘New Gold’, as well as guest spots from the likes of Bad BunnyBeck and Thundercat.

Meanwhile, Damon Albarn has said he will collaborate in the studio with Billie Eilish at some point in the future.

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