Damon Albarn was put off a career in politics after meeting Tony Blair

9 December 2021, 12:09

Damon Albarn and Tony Blair in the heady year of 1997
Damon Albarn and Tony Blair in the heady year of 1997. Picture: Allstar Picture Library/Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

The Blur and Gorillaz frontman considered dabbling in politics, but was left "terrified" by the experience.

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Damon Albarn has revealed that he considered a career as a politician... until a meeting with Tony Blair prompted him to turn to music instead.

The Blur frontman has recalled a conversation he had with Blair - which took place "before he became prime minister" in 1997 - and it left him "terrified".

He told the Metro: "Politics is such a murky business. I would be lying if I said I hadn't considered it when I was younger.

"I even went and had a strategic meeting with Tony Blair before he became prime minister, but that terrified me so much.

"[I thought] 'I don't know if this is for me at all. I'm not a politician, I am a musician.' "

Damon Albarn: "Music is part of our national health."

Albarn - who is taking Gorillaz back on the road in 2022 - admitted that music is still the ideal vehicle for political statements.

He explained: "I have strong views. Music is escapism. It's not really there for the unpleasant truths of life.

"But I've always felt, 'No, that's the perfect place for it'. It can catch people unaware emotionally in a way nothing else can."

The musician explained how his solo career is inspired by his concerns about politics, the environment and society as a whole.

On his new album The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Streams Flows, Albarn took inspiration from the name of Britain's nuclear missiles for his song Polaris.

He added: "A big anxiety of my adolescence was nuclear destruction. It has now become third or fourth on the list of imminent doom and armageddon."

Damon is also concerned with climate change, and says: "Solar and wind and hydro are the only thing that is sustainable. Imagine in a country as small as Britain having 15 or 16 nuclear power plants. It's terrifying."