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.
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