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
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

HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam