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Damon Albarn Offers Thoughts on Kanye West, Drake, Taylor Swift, and More

MANCHESTER, TN - JUNE 14: Artists Damon Albarn performs during the 2014 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival on June 14, 2014 in Manchester, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Damon Albarn’s just given a new interview a week before Blur’s big return to New York City (with a Madison Square Garden show on October 23) in which he rates other musicians, talks about the upcoming Gorillaz album, and discusses his new Alice in Wonderland-inspired musical. When the reporter asks the U.K. musician about Kanye West, he responds:

I think he’s pretty unique.

He also has thoughts on Taylor Swift (“Remarkable, but not unique”), Drake (“He’s not as consistent as he could be”), Future (“Really interesting, and sometimes exhilarating”), and, somewhat shadily, Rihanna (“Well, she’s on the cover of NME, so she must be cool”).

Albarn also claims he’s a bit averse to the thought of performing with Blur these days. “I still try to avoid it like the plague, to be honest with you,” he tells Rolling Stone. “But something weird happens once I’ve stepped onstage: I just have the best time. And then as soon as we get off, I say, “Never again.” It’s very strange. There has to be some sort of psychological paper that explains that emotion of trying to not do something; and then doing it, and then loving it; and then as soon as you’ve done it, trying not to do it again… I sort of forget sometimes that I did all that work, all those years ago. But then we have such a fine time onstage — it has a very emotional undercurrent, but it’s also fun and silly and noisy. That’s a fantastic recipe, to have all of those elements colliding into each other.”

On the topic of that much-discussed new Gorillaz record, the 47-year-old says he’s in the very early stages of putting it together. “So far, it’s really fast, and it’s got quite a lot of energy,” he claims. “I’ve been stuck on piano, somewhere off Broadway, for years now. I want to go somewhere completely opposite of that.”

Albarn also briefly gets into the Blur vs. Oasis “Battle of Brit Pop” 20-year anniversary. Read the entire interview here.

Blur has upcoming shows on October 20 at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl and on October 23 at New York’s Madison Square Garden.