Damon Albarn on Blur and drug addiction: ‘Heroin made me incredibly productive’

Blur musician describes how he felt the drug had changed him during his career

Few musicians look back at their pasts of hedonistic excess and claim that drugs made them anything other than incredibly bad at handling life.

Not so for former Blur frontman Damon Albarn.

Speaking openly about his past drug addiction in a rare interview moment, he actually described the period in his life as "incredibly productive", and detailed how he would regulate his heroin intake to "five days on and two days off" to maximise on creativity.

"[Heroin] freed me up," Albarn told Q magazine.

"I hate talking about this because of my daughter, my family. But, for me, it was incredibly creative...

"A combination of [heroin] and playing really simple, beautiful, repetitive s**t in Africa changed me completely as a musician. I found a sense of rhythm. I somehow managed to break out of something with my voice."

Albarn, who has long since been clean of drugs, began his relationship with heroin "at the height of Britpop" after he came home from tour one evening and casually found it in his front room.

 

"I just thought, 'Why not?' I never imagined it would become a problem."

He then recites a line from the track "You And Me" to the reporter, which is a song on his forthcoming solo album, Everyday Robots.

"Tin foil and a lighter, the ship across," he sung. "Five days on, two days off."

"I'm happy I found that poetry," Albarn went on to say. "I can move forward now without all the nudge nudge, wink wink innuendo I've had in the background for years."

Albarn has expressed a similar sentiment about his drug use in the past. However, despite the impact heroin had on his creative career, he is also extremely vocal about the dangers of addiction.

"It's a cruel, cruel thing," he said. "[Heroin] does turn you into a very isolated person and ultimately anything that you are truly dependent on is not good."

Damon Albarn’s Everyday Robots is out on 28 April 2014.

Read More: Damon Albarn To Headline Latitude Festival
Everything You Need To Know About Albarn's First Solo Album
Alex James Trademarks 'Britpop' For Soda Drinks Venture
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Have you been doing a brilliant job in an admi...

Surrey County Council: Senior Project Officer (Fixed Term to Feb 2019)

£26,498 - £31,556: Surrey County Council: We are looking for an outgoing, conf...

Recruitment Genius: Interim Head of HR

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you an innovative, senior H...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources and Payroll Administrator

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client, a very well respect...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn