Blur was one of the names on a long list of choices that they finally decided on. The line was plucked from The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, where Eastwood refers to a saddlebag full of gold as sunshine in a bag. Albarn’s regular alias, Dan Abnormal, is actually an anagram of his name, used most famously in the title of a song on ‘The Great Escape’. ‘Song 2’ is not only two minutes and two seconds long.
Other anagrams include Abandon Marl, Banal Random, Anal Mad Born and Ban Damn Oral. It’s also the second song on Blur’s self-titled album, the second single from that album to be released, and the second song on their greatest hits collection, ‘Blur: The Best Of’. Damon’s radically beset anti-war stance stems from the strong relationship he shared with his grandfather.
"I play them all the stuff that I've got."That's often a healthy heap of music: the Britpop star has long taken a workmanlike approach to his craft, spreading his musical wings wide with an assortment of solo projects, reunion tours with Blur, extravagant musicals and devoting himself to studying West African music.
In the 16 years since Gorillaz released its self-titled debut album, the virtual, alternative hip-hop band's co-creators, Blur musician Damon Albarn and illustrator Jamie Hewlett, have wrangled an impressive, wildly diverse roster of music's biggest talents into their genre-defying orbit.
A freewheeling spirit of experimentation colors the band's work, and over a handful of boundary-pushing albums everyone from Lou Reed and Snoop Dogg, to Bobby Womack, MF Doom and members of the Clash have been charmed by its allure.
Albarn however says he's loath to ever force the issue when it comes to bringing other artists into the fold. Hewlett began constructing the technology-assisted visuals for the forthcoming tour before the album was completed, but, he notes, "everything is driven by the music." Albarn is constantly toying with how to enhance the band's live experience.
"It's not a 100 percent hit rate at all," he explains. "I suppose in my dreams I would have a brass section and dancers as well," he says of his ideal Gorillaz stage show, "but I'm already carrying over 15 musicians (on tour) and that would take it into an almost prohibitive cost. "Luckily a lot of people want to come see us, so that really helps. I do sometimes look at Ed Sheeran," who performs by himself and use triggers and loops to simulate a full band, "and think, 'Why don't I do that?