Damon Albarn Talks Inspirations Behind New Solo Album

The Gorillaz frontman discusses the inspiration behind his latest studio installment and the poetic title 'The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows'.

AceShowbiz - Damon Albarn chose his album title "years ago."

The 53-year-old singer has released his latest solo album, "The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows" - the follow-up to 2014's "Everyday Robots" - and explained he had singled out a line from poet John Clare's "Love and Memory" some time ago with the intention of using it in a musical project one day.

"Clare was a working-class poet, an interesting guy and really ahead of his time," he told Britain's The Sun newspaper. "He even checked into a wellbeing clinic, 19th Century-style."

"When I was much younger, my mum gave me an anthology because he was from Essex and we had spent a lot of time there. I've had the book for ages and I'm a dipper into poetry."

"I underlined the 'nearer the fountain' line years ago because I thought it would be a wonderful springboard for something."

And Damon admitted the rest of the poem "came into focus" when he began work on the record in his barn studio in Devon.

"I wanted the whole record to have a strong poetic feel. Its mood demands it," he added.

But the Blur and Gorillaz frontman admitted the stone building he uses as a makeshift studio made him and his collaborators, including former The Verve guitarist Simon Tong and composer and arranger Mike Smith, ill because of the conditions.

"I'm having it renovated in the next year," he said. "It's very rough-and-ready, extremely cold, damp and very dusty."

"We all got chest complaints and some days the instruments didn't work. I had a guy who was constantly having to drive down and fix my collection of old synthesisers. They're a labour of love, like old cars."

"The one I use most on this record is an Elka, a classic Seventies synth that would have been used by people like Emerson, Lake & Palmer. It's huge - huge. Weighs a ton!"

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