By Jazz Monroe.
Gorillaz’ forthcoming LP Humanz is stacked with guests—Grace Jones, Danny Brown, and Mavis Staples among them—but not everyone answered the cartoon band’s call, their new interview with Q magazine reveals. Among those who turned down guest spots are Sade and, after a “month long email exchange,” Morrissey. Dionne Warwick also said no because the lyrics conflicted with her religious beliefs, according to Q. (“I don’t take rejection personally,” Damon Albarn joked.) Elsewhere in the interview, Jamie Hewlett revealed that a 10-episode Gorillaz TV show is in the works, and that an animated Gorillaz movie for DreamWorks—related to the long-rumored Celebrity Harvest—never came to fruition, because “it was too dark to spend a couple of hundred million dollars on.” The article also alludes to a Chicago installment of the band’s festival, Demon Dayz.
Albarn, meanwhile, said The Good, the Bad & the Queen have been working on a new LP for three years, with Brexit providing renewed inspiration. He also spoke about how Humanz, as Pusha T suggested, was envisaged as a response to the prospective Trump presidency: “I told everyone to imagine you’re in America after the inauguration,” Albarn told Q, “and it’s the worst-case scenario: how would you feel that night? Let’s make a party record about the world going fucking nuts.” Hewlett added, “Humanz is not a political statement about Trump—it’s about a world in which he could get elected. Where are we as a race? Why haven’t we grown out of this? Putting the Z on the end is not a hip-hop statement, it’s more like an android Z. Are we human beings or just humanz? What the fuck is wrong with us?”
Also discussed is a lengthy “fallow period” in Albarn and Hewlett’s relationship. “He basically left and I felt upset by that,” Albarn said. “I’ve had the same experience with Graham [Coxon] over the years. I get the sense that sometimes people quite like getting off my steamroller and doing their own thing for a while and then joining me further down the road.” (Hewlett agrees that there was “a little bit of a disagreement.”) The pair didn’t speak for three years, according to Q, before drunkenly pledging to revive the group after a Blur concert in 2015.
Q’s Gorillaz cover story arrives on newsstands tomorrow. Humanz is out April 28.
This story originally appeared on Pitchfork.
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