Gorillaz - Song Machine

Discussion about the band and related projects.

Moderators: tom_cas1, Caitlin, MrMagpie

User avatar
Rubi
Posts: 1963
Joined: 20 Nov 2014, 20:54
Location: Room on fire

Re: Gorillaz - Song Machine

Post by Rubi » 12 Sep 2020, 12:38

UnderThePuritan wrote:
12 Sep 2020, 06:43
Freedom doesn't always equal quality. Damon's very hit and miss these days. It would be nice for him to put proper focus on a project and be selective with what he chooses to release rather than trying to collaborate with everyone, everywhere.

He can do whatever he wants, he's earned that. I still love Momentary Bliss and Aries from Song Machine. But from a personal perspective I'd much rather hear a Blur record with Graham, Alex and Dave's instrumentation than another synth pop tune lol.
Don't get me wrong, I was talking from Damon's perspective. For him Blur are a thing of the past, a melancholic note which he chooses to revisit once in a while. But they don't represent the basis of any future projects. They don't offer the same excitement and freedom that Gorillaz does.

Damon doesn't have to prove anything to anyone anymore, and he especially doesn't owe anything to anyone. He's just an ageing bloke who wants to get as much joy as possible from the passion he has devoted his entire life to.

If you asked me personally, I'd give anything for another Blur album. Nothing would make me happier. But we have to be realistic, if it's going to happen it'll be a one-off thing out of spontaneity, just like The Magic Whip.

And besides, I also love Gorillaz. So there's that.

idreamofpikas
Posts: 54
Joined: 05 May 2015, 16:02

Re: Gorillaz - Song Machine

Post by idreamofpikas » 12 Sep 2020, 13:23

semi wrote:
11 Sep 2020, 15:28
Rubi wrote:
11 Sep 2020, 15:22
*awaiting usual Sledge Hammer comment about how Damon is wasting time with Gorillaz and should return making music with Blur*
Isn't he?
No. The sad truth is that there are not as many people interested in hearing a Blur album than there is a Gorillaz album. Damon's songs and ideas will reach more people if he uses Gorillaz as his outlet.

Pyongyang is my favourite song from the Magic Whip. It is tragic how many listens that song has on Spotify and Youtube. Had he released it as a Gorillaz original it would have 5 times the streams on those platforms.

I'd love a new Blur album, but that would only interest Blur fans and hardcore Gorillaz fans. New Gorillaz music still reaches far more people even if it is not as popular as it once was.

Artistically Damon gets to work with people he admires. I can't imagine it gets old for him making these songs with such a wide range of people. And the great thing about Gorillaz for Damon is that he does not have to be front and centre, he can take a step back. For Blur he is still the face, the one expected to do all the interviews to promote the band. Something I don't think Damon was ever that comfortable with.

vitekm
Posts: 213
Joined: 14 Feb 2016, 12:33
Location: Czech republic

Re: Gorillaz - Song Machine

Post by vitekm » 12 Sep 2020, 18:22

idreamofpikas wrote:
12 Sep 2020, 13:23
semi wrote:
11 Sep 2020, 15:28
Rubi wrote:
11 Sep 2020, 15:22
*awaiting usual Sledge Hammer comment about how Damon is wasting time with Gorillaz and should return making music with Blur*
Isn't he?
No. The sad truth is that there are not as many people interested in hearing a Blur album than there is a Gorillaz album. Damon's songs and ideas will reach more people if he uses Gorillaz as his outlet.

Pyongyang is my favourite song from the Magic Whip. It is tragic how many listens that song has on Spotify and Youtube. Had he released it as a Gorillaz original it would have 5 times the streams on those platforms.

I'd love a new Blur album, but that would only interest Blur fans and hardcore Gorillaz fans. New Gorillaz music still reaches far more people even if it is not as popular as it once was.

Artistically Damon gets to work with people he admires. I can't imagine it gets old for him making these songs with such a wide range of people. And the great thing about Gorillaz for Damon is that he does not have to be front and centre, he can take a step back. For Blur he is still the face, the one expected to do all the interviews to promote the band. Something I don't think Damon was ever that comfortable with.
How many listens on Spotify it has? And how do you know that? I have this figure listed only for 10 "most popular" songs on my Spotify. (You are very welcome to share more figures here.) I can see your point, but views count is not the only importnant factor. Why would he do an album and tour with TGTBTQ than, band (by number of views) even much less known than Blur?

Neal Zeal
Posts: 395
Joined: 17 Oct 2014, 16:43

Re: Gorillaz - Song Machine

Post by Neal Zeal » 12 Sep 2020, 19:09

lumaka wrote:
10 Sep 2020, 20:40
Neal Zeal wrote:
10 Sep 2020, 13:30
I don't remember Smith ever saying anything complimentary about Blur though, and maybe even slagged them off a bit.
There is this delicious quote from his interview for Blah Blah Blah magazine, done in 1995:

We played a concert recently in France and Blur were supporting us. The whole front ten rows were diehard Goths. They were giving Damon shit and screaming at him, so he started chucking water over their hair. He said, 'The more you shout, the more water I’m gonna pour over you, and you’ll all look stupid when Robert comes out.'
I like Blur for having a sense of humour. That’s something that’s underpinned everything we’ve done. People think we’re Mr. Doom & Gloom, but they should spend an evening with us. We laugh more than anyone I know.
Thanks - that's good to know. For some reason I thought Smith was quite anti-Blur.
Maybe it was just because he used to bang on about how much he loved dim witted Blur-haters, Mogwai!
Last edited by Neal Zeal on 12 Sep 2020, 19:18, edited 1 time in total.

Neal Zeal
Posts: 395
Joined: 17 Oct 2014, 16:43

Re: Gorillaz - Song Machine

Post by Neal Zeal » 12 Sep 2020, 19:14

idreamofpikas wrote:
12 Sep 2020, 13:23
semi wrote:
11 Sep 2020, 15:28
Rubi wrote:
11 Sep 2020, 15:22
*awaiting usual Sledge Hammer comment about how Damon is wasting time with Gorillaz and should return making music with Blur*
Isn't he?
No. The sad truth is that there are not as many people interested in hearing a Blur album than there is a Gorillaz album. Damon's songs and ideas will reach more people if he uses Gorillaz as his outlet.

Pyongyang is my favourite song from the Magic Whip. It is tragic how many listens that song has on Spotify and Youtube. Had he released it as a Gorillaz original it would have 5 times the streams on those platforms.

I'd love a new Blur album, but that would only interest Blur fans and hardcore Gorillaz fans. New Gorillaz music still reaches far more people even if it is not as popular as it once was.

Artistically Damon gets to work with people he admires. I can't imagine it gets old for him making these songs with such a wide range of people. And the great thing about Gorillaz for Damon is that he does not have to be front and centre, he can take a step back. For Blur he is still the face, the one expected to do all the interviews to promote the band. Something I don't think Damon was ever that comfortable with.
If Damon wants people singing along to his songs at festival shows or other huge concerts, Blur wins hands down, every time.
I remember how disappointed he seemed when hardly anyone sang along to his Gorillas set at Glasto (in 2010?) the year after people went nuts for Blur on the same stage.

Personally, I ain't bovvered whether he puts out stuff through Blur or Gorillas. I just wish there was much greater quality control on the actual compositions of the songs. I thought Magic Whip was a huge disappointment - not a single great song, and haven't liked post PB Gorillas. The Song Machine stuff might be better but I'll wait and buy the album to listen to it properly. My favourite thing by far that he's done in the last 10 years is the second GBQ album (although that wasn't really a patch on the first).

User avatar
Rubi
Posts: 1963
Joined: 20 Nov 2014, 20:54
Location: Room on fire

Re: Gorillaz - Song Machine

Post by Rubi » 13 Sep 2020, 15:16

Neal Zeal wrote:
12 Sep 2020, 19:14
If Damon wants people singing along to his songs at festival shows or other huge concerts, Blur wins hands down, every time.
I remember how disappointed he seemed when hardly anyone sang along to his Gorillas set at Glasto (in 2010?) the year after people went nuts for Blur on the same stage.

Personally, I ain't bovvered whether he puts out stuff through Blur or Gorillas. I just wish there was much greater quality control on the actual compositions of the songs. I thought Magic Whip was a huge disappointment - not a single great song, and haven't liked post PB Gorillas. The Song Machine stuff might be better but I'll wait and buy the album to listen to it properly. My favourite thing by far that he's done in the last 10 years is the second GBQ album (although that wasn't really a patch on the first).
By now you should have figured that Damon is a relentless person that loves constantly making music and being involved in various projects. Just check out his discography from the last 10 years:

2010 - Plastic Beach
2011 - The Fall, Kinshasa One Two
2012 - Rocket Juice & the Moon
2013 - Africa Express
2014 - Everyday Robots, Africa Express
2015 - The Magic Whip
2016 - The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians and Guests
2017 - Humanz
2018 - Merrie Land, The Now Now
2019 - Africa Express
2020 - Song Machine

I mean, you honestly think he cares about being selective? He doesn't take time like other artists do, who usually spend 2-3 years to gather thoughts and come up with new ideas. He's constantly on the move, producing and releasing, be it Blur, Gorillaz, or any other variety of projects. That's his high.

I personally agree with you. I'd much prefer if he only focused on Blur and Gorillaz, interchanging between the two every 3-4 years. But that's just not how it is.

idreamofpikas
Posts: 54
Joined: 05 May 2015, 16:02

Re: Gorillaz - Song Machine

Post by idreamofpikas » 13 Sep 2020, 15:19

vitekm wrote:
12 Sep 2020, 18:22
How many listens on Spotify it has? And how do you know that?
On Spotify the Magic Whip has a combined 90.3 million streams. (12 songs plus the bonus Y'all Doomed). So ignoring Y'all Doomed, it has an average of 7.5 million streams per song

https://chartmasters.org/spotify-stream ... View=Disco

On Spotify Humanz has a combined 578.8 million streams. (19 songs plus 4 interludes). Ignoring the interludes it has an average of 30.4 million per stream. That is also ignoring the remixes of those songs plus Sleeping Powder and Garage Palace that adds another 59 million streams to the Humanz project.

https://chartmasters.org/spotify-stream ... View=Disco

On Spotify the Now Now has a combined 281.6 million streams (11 songs). This is an average of 25.6 million per song.



And this is just on Spotify, on Youtube the difference is immense. Gorillaz has two official channels on Youtube.

https://socialblade.com/youtube/user/gorillaz This is the music video channel, with 2.6 Billion views

https://socialblade.com/youtube/channel ... DSnW_MOmcQ And the music audio channel, with 279 million views.

Blur just has the one channel, were they combine both music videos and audio. 95 million views.


If the argument was about which project was a better use of Damon's time, then the statistics are more than clear, it is Gorillaz. Not only does that project still outsell Blur (worldwide, if not the UK) but the streaming is significantly higher.


vitekm wrote:
12 Sep 2020, 18:22
I have this figure listed only for 10 "most popular" songs on my Spotify. (You are very welcome to share more figures here.) I can see your point, but views count is not the only importnant factor. Why would he do an album and tour with TGTBTQ than, band (by number of views) even much less known than Blur?
I agree, that is not the only factor.

This might be unpopular, but Damon was probably more interested in working with Tony Allen and Paul Simonson on a project than he was with Dave and Alex. Tony and Paul are (or I should say were RIP Tony) full time musicians. 50% of Blur stopped being full time a decade ago. They don't have the same freedom, Alex at least does not seem interested in playing the size of venues Damon wanted to with the TGTBTQ.

For some reason the lack of Blur music is constantly blamed on Damon. Alex and Dave have given up on music, they've moved on with their lives. If Graham, Alex and Dave were that desperate to make more Blur music, there was little stopping them, they could have done so, even if it was under a different name.

Damon and Graham are hugely passionate about music, they'd still be making it even if no one was listening. Alex and Dave don't have that same level of passion, which is perfectly fine. But it is going to impact who Damon works with

vitekm
Posts: 213
Joined: 14 Feb 2016, 12:33
Location: Czech republic

Re: Gorillaz - Song Machine

Post by vitekm » 13 Sep 2020, 17:09

idreamofpikas wrote:
13 Sep 2020, 15:19
vitekm wrote:
12 Sep 2020, 18:22
How many listens on Spotify it has? And how do you know that?
On Spotify the Magic Whip has a combined 90.3 million streams. (12 songs plus the bonus Y'all Doomed). So ignoring Y'all Doomed, it has an average of 7.5 million streams per song

https://chartmasters.org/spotify-stream ... View=Disco

On Spotify Humanz has a combined 578.8 million streams. (19 songs plus 4 interludes). Ignoring the interludes it has an average of 30.4 million per stream. That is also ignoring the remixes of those songs plus Sleeping Powder and Garage Palace that adds another 59 million streams to the Humanz project.

https://chartmasters.org/spotify-stream ... View=Disco

On Spotify the Now Now has a combined 281.6 million streams (11 songs). This is an average of 25.6 million per song.



And this is just on Spotify, on Youtube the difference is immense. Gorillaz has two official channels on Youtube.

https://socialblade.com/youtube/user/gorillaz This is the music video channel, with 2.6 Billion views

https://socialblade.com/youtube/channel ... DSnW_MOmcQ And the music audio channel, with 279 million views.

Blur just has the one channel, were they combine both music videos and audio. 95 million views.


If the argument was about which project was a better use of Damon's time, then the statistics are more than clear, it is Gorillaz. Not only does that project still outsell Blur (worldwide, if not the UK) but the streaming is significantly higher.


vitekm wrote:
12 Sep 2020, 18:22
I have this figure listed only for 10 "most popular" songs on my Spotify. (You are very welcome to share more figures here.) I can see your point, but views count is not the only importnant factor. Why would he do an album and tour with TGTBTQ than, band (by number of views) even much less known than Blur?
I agree, that is not the only factor.

This might be unpopular, but Damon was probably more interested in working with Tony Allen and Paul Simonson on a project than he was with Dave and Alex. Tony and Paul are (or I should say were RIP Tony) full time musicians. 50% of Blur stopped being full time a decade ago. They don't have the same freedom, Alex at least does not seem interested in playing the size of venues Damon wanted to with the TGTBTQ.

For some reason the lack of Blur music is constantly blamed on Damon. Alex and Dave have given up on music, they've moved on with their lives. If Graham, Alex and Dave were that desperate to make more Blur music, there was little stopping them, they could have done so, even if it was under a different name.

Damon and Graham are hugely passionate about music, they'd still be making it even if no one was listening. Alex and Dave don't have that same level of passion, which is perfectly fine. But it is going to impact who Damon works with
First of all, thank you very much for the figures or for the link, I´ve always been curious about this. And I agree that with Gorillaz Damon can reach much wider audience around the globe. But as for other Blur members, I don´t think that Dave and Alex are not interested in making music anymore. Dave certainly is, he has written or co-written several movies or series soundtracks in recent years. He is also very passionate about Blur, see his brilliant listening parties on Twitter (about Parklife and The Great Escape) or his regular chats with fans. He seems to be very proud about Blur and his part in the story. Same for Alex, I this he´d love to hit the road or the studio with others at any moment. Its just that he´s not songwriter / composer, so he can´t make it on his own like for example Graham. But I don't think he forgot to play, he proven it (and also after a long break) on the Magic Whip album.

dougharrison
Posts: 304
Joined: 08 Sep 2014, 03:01

Re: Gorillaz - Song Machine

Post by dougharrison » 13 Sep 2020, 18:15

idreamofpikas wrote:
12 Sep 2020, 13:23


No. The sad truth is that there are not as many people interested in hearing a Blur album than there is a Gorillaz album. Damon's songs and ideas will reach more people if he uses Gorillaz as his outlet.

I'd love a new Blur album, but that would only interest Blur fans and hardcore Gorillaz fans. New Gorillaz music still reaches far more people even if it is not as popular as it once was.

Artistically Damon gets to work with people he admires. I can't imagine it gets old for him making these songs with such a wide range of people. And the great thing about Gorillaz for Damon is that he does not have to be front and centre, he can take a step back. For Blur he is still the face, the one expected to do all the interviews to promote the band. Something I don't think Damon was ever that comfortable with.
5/10 years ago I would have made you right. Now I'm not so sure. Demon Days was over 15 years ago now, been a long time since Gorillaz had a serious hit and major exposure. In fact their last major exposure was the Glastonbury headline set which got at best a mixed reaction. It's also been primarily Damon promoting Gorillaz (i.e. appearing in interviews) for quite some time too, the early days of the characters being front and central ended quite a while back. To slightly counter that they can release more promo via their own channels eg. social media, but that's really a case of preaching to the converted, not what is appealing to new younger listeners.

None of which makes Blur necessarily any more in demand in 2020, but in truth as far as popular culture is concerned Gorillaz were a 00's band in the way Blur were a 90's band. FWIW Damon/Blur/members of Blur should release what they want, when they want and in whatever guise they want.

dougharrison
Posts: 304
Joined: 08 Sep 2014, 03:01

Re: Gorillaz - Song Machine

Post by dougharrison » 13 Sep 2020, 18:21

idreamofpikas wrote:
13 Sep 2020, 15:19


I agree, that is not the only factor.

This might be unpopular, but Damon was probably more interested in working with Tony Allen and Paul Simonson on a project than he was with Dave and Alex. Tony and Paul are (or I should say were RIP Tony) full time musicians. 50% of Blur stopped being full time a decade ago. They don't have the same freedom, Alex at least does not seem interested in playing the size of venues Damon wanted to with the TGTBTQ.

For some reason the lack of Blur music is constantly blamed on Damon. Alex and Dave have given up on music, they've moved on with their lives. If Graham, Alex and Dave were that desperate to make more Blur music, there was little stopping them, they could have done so, even if it was under a different name.

Damon and Graham are hugely passionate about music, they'd still be making it even if no one was listening. Alex and Dave don't have that same level of passion, which is perfectly fine. But it is going to impact who Damon works with
I think the bolded part is probably spot on, as much as I wish it weren't. Did love TGTB&TQ though.

Dave has certainly not given up on music and is still very much involved in the industry, recently involved in a very well received soundtrack (although I can't claim to have heard it).

The lack of Blur music is constantly blamed on Damon, rightly so as it seems fairly consistently clear that all 3 other members are very keen to keep Blur going, even if it's not to the same intensity/frequency as in the 90's. That doesn't make Damon wrong to want to do other things/be disinterested in Blur, that's entirely his right and his prerogative. Personally would prefer for him to do his own thing and feel content/stretched (even if the quality is hit and miss) than half-ass a Blur project out of a sense of obligation.

User avatar
MsMagicAmerica
Posts: 1594
Joined: 08 Sep 2014, 15:33
Location: New Jersey,USA
Contact:

Re: Gorillaz - Song Machine

Post by MsMagicAmerica » 13 Sep 2020, 23:57

I’m gonna be honest, I’m not really digging these new Gorillaz songs. I didn’t like Humanz. I think there were like three tracks from that album that I liked. I absolutely loved The Now Now. But out if all the new tracks, I’ve only liked the song with Beck.

I’m kinda bummed about it too.

User avatar
stephen
Posts: 803
Joined: 25 Sep 2014, 12:53
Location: On a stroppy little island of mixed up people
Contact:

Re: Gorillaz - Song Machine

Post by stephen » 14 Sep 2020, 08:48

I cannot really add to what everyone else has said, Damon has often said he finds being blur's front man difficult, at least it's out in the open now and he's being honest about it. I think Gorillaz is a more natural fit for him where there are no boundaries and he can do as he pleases, I think he could have done some of that through blur in the same way bands such as coldplay have collaborated but they are still technically a four piece band. I liked the approach of the magic whip, I feel anymore material such as another blur album would be again the band working around Damon with him adding in vocals at the late stages. But I guess the band never want to do the same thing twice. blur have always been successful playing live, I don't know if the general public think they are more appealing then Gorillaz. I still think Gorillaz have a more global reach. I got the impression the comeback tour was well received but by 2012 the songs were getting a bit old again and the moment had passed up. I probably wouldn't be too excited about another blur tour in the near future, but I'd be happy seeing Gorillaz in 2021 with their new material and they'll no doubt have a different set up, it's much easier to keep it fresh

User avatar
stephen
Posts: 803
Joined: 25 Sep 2014, 12:53
Location: On a stroppy little island of mixed up people
Contact:

Re: Gorillaz - Song Machine

Post by stephen » 14 Sep 2020, 08:50

Just another thing to add, as far as i know damon is still writing songs. There might be a demo he writes that he feels could only work as a blur record and that's the moment we get a song or two, something like fools day

User avatar
Rubi
Posts: 1963
Joined: 20 Nov 2014, 20:54
Location: Room on fire

Re: Gorillaz - Song Machine

Post by Rubi » 14 Sep 2020, 10:26

MsMagicAmerica wrote:
13 Sep 2020, 23:57
I’m gonna be honest, I’m not really digging these new Gorillaz songs. I didn’t like Humanz. I think there were like three tracks from that album that I liked. I absolutely loved The Now Now. But out if all the new tracks, I’ve only liked the song with Beck.

I’m kinda bummed about it too.
Strange. I think the quality of the Song Machine tracks is considerably higher compared to Humanz and The Now Now. The only tracks I don't really rate that much are Friday 13th and How Far. But everything else has been top notch. What's probably lacking is a big hit, but as we've said many times I think Damon is past that notion.

User avatar
stephen
Posts: 803
Joined: 25 Sep 2014, 12:53
Location: On a stroppy little island of mixed up people
Contact:

Re: Gorillaz - Song Machine

Post by stephen » 14 Sep 2020, 10:41

The quality has been very high imho, i think pac-man or strange timez would have potential to be a big hit in the old chart formatting or even momentary bliss. All 3 could have been hit singles, but yes not to everyones taste

Post Reply