Britpop and sporting event superstars Blur are set to record their seventh studio album shortly, but for once, they band won't be starting at a studio in their London home. Instead, the quartet headed off to Morocco, either to avoid hearing "Song 2" in any stadiums, or to get some REALLY good drugs. Or, as the bassist Alex James put it on their website, "to escape from whatever ghetto we're in and free ourselves by going somewhere new and exciting." My guesses were close, though. James continued to say that,
"Our bedrooms were full of people having a party so we were up until everyone had gone. I ended up sharing a bed with Damon (Albarn), just like the old days! Maybe it's just because it's all new, but it seems very very alive. That's all we're after." The band has since returned to London to tweak the songs with on-again/off-again producer Norman "Fatboy Slim" Cook. The band hope to release the album in the beginning of next year.
This news comes straight off the heels of rumors that guitarist and founding member Graham Coxon had left the band. Coxon, who was very vocal in his disapproval of Albarn's much-more-successful-in-the-US side project Gorillaz, was reported in various tabloids as having been involved in many fights with his band's singer, as well as not being in the studio with the band during recording. His spokesperson said that he had, indeed, been recording with the band in Morocco but wasn't with the band in London, solely due to the fact that he is finishing up his solo album. Coxon himself added,
"I've known Damon Albarn since I was 12. Any arguments we have are very quickly resolved - we're beyond any really serious bust-ups. Honestly, I'm in Blur and enjoying making the new album." We shall see how this situation pans out, however...