Damon Albarn talks missing out on Billie Eilish collab: "We've nearly got it together"

9 March 2023, 15:45

Damon Albarn has talked about the possibility of a Billie Eilish collab
Damon Albarn has talked about the possibility of a Billie Eilish collab. Picture: 1. Jim Dyson/Getty Images 2. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for ABA 3. Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Universal Music Group)

By Jenny Mensah

The Gorillaz co-creator revealed he recently sheepishly asked the singer-songwriter if she wanted to make music after lunch in LA.

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Damon Albarn has "nearly" collaborated with Billie Eilish but says they've never quite been able to make it happen.

The Gorillaz co-creator invited the global pop sensation on stage at Coachella for a performance of Feel Good Inc. last year and has admitted he almost came close to making music with her.

Asked whether the Bad Guy singer was meant to appear on Gorillaz's latest album Cracker Island, Albarn told Radio X's Dan O'Connell: "Well, I mean. Yeah. I actually went out for lunch with her when I went to LA last time in January.

"At the end of the lunch, she said: ‘So what you doing this afternoon?’ And I quite sheepishly said, ‘Well, I’d quite like to make some music’… and then everyone sort of looked away and didn’t want to have a look at me, so that didn’t work out."

He added: "I mean she’s really wonderful and super talented and they’ve been a couple of occasions when we’ve nearly got it together to do something. I’d love to, obviously."

READ MORE: Damon Albarn responds to Noel Gallagher's offer to sprinkle "northern magic" on more Gorillaz music

Also on Albarn's wish list is Kate Bush, who he's previously described as "the Holy Grail" of collaborations. Quizzed on the soundbite, he doubled down, telling Radio X: "She really is. The weird thing is she’s, kinda my neighbour in Devon."

While Damon plucks up the courage to go Running Up That Hill between them and knock on her door, he's always got an offer from Noel Gallagher in the bag.

The former Oasis rocker previously featured on the band's We Got The Power track with Jehnny Beth and recently spoke to Radio X about his relationship with his former Britpop rival.

"Me and him get on great," Gallagher told Radio X. "I love his band. I know most of his band.

"The Gorillaz, it’s a cool thing to be involved with because you get to meet lots of really cool…I mean I met De La Soul at their gigs and Most Def and how he puts it all together is really quite incredible. You have a good time doing it."

He added: "If he needs me, I’ll sprinkle a bit of Northern magic for him."

After being played the clip of our interview with Noel, the Feel Good Inc. singer recalled him not being so friendly the last time they met due to a football upset.

"The last time I actually saw Noel was in Porto after the Champions League game and I was going to get my car and he was waiting for his car and he wasn't particularly pleased to see me on that occasion," he joked. "But I mean, cor blimey, how our fortunes have changed in the interim. I'm, sure he'd love to talk to me about football now."

"I love Noel," he added. "I love him. He's great."

READ MORE: Damon Albarn recalls first encounter with The Specials’ Terry Hall

Gorillaz have since scored a UK number one with their Cracker Island album, but talking to us ahead of the result, the Blur man explained why chart success wasn't that important.

He mused: "I wouldn't say I'm ambivalent about it, but it's just a number isn't it?"

"I don't think being number one proves your creative path is intact at all," he added wryly. "There's been a lot of bad number one albums, let's be honest..."

Listen to the album, which features collaborations with Stevie Nicks, Beck, Tame Impala and Thundercat, in full here:

READ MORE - Damon Albarn talks Gorillaz's Cracker Island album - “I’m a useless human being, but I’m OK at making music”