Damon Albarn: Robert Smith is 'the ultimate night owl'

Virgin Radio

26 Oct 2020, 17:11

Of all the artists to collaborate with Damon Albarn's Gorillaz, your first thought probably wouldn't be king of the goths, Robert Smith of The Cure.

They've worked together for a track on the new Gorillaz album, Song Machine Season One: Strange Timez.

Damon decided to be bold and message Robert a song idea, he told The Sun; "I just sent him this skittish piano track, a drum beat and my nine-year-old niece’s mad trumpet playing"

He recalls: “Robert said he absolutely loved it and I left it in his hands . . . ” but then silence.

Damon says “the months passed with hardly any feedback,” apart from an occasional “oh yeah, I might get the chance when I’ve finished something else.”

He'd also been busy working on another project that he finally finished: "I was so relieved that I’d done it that I had a few drinks with Sam, my engineer. On my way out of the barn, I fell over, hit my head and I don’t remember getting back to the house" he recalls. 

“These things can happen when you’re in the middle of the countryside. When I woke up, I had a massive bump on the side of my head but, in my inbox, was an email from Robert Smith", and no, he wasn't dreaming.

“It must have been five in the morning. I opened it and there it was, Strange Timez, the song that provided the title of the album. He’s the ultimate night owl. All of his emails were nocturnal… they would start as the sun set,” he says.

“I didn’t realise it at the time but I also discovered that he’s very into astronomy.”