Damon Albarn has spoken openly about his heroin use in the late 1990's.
Damon Albarn has spoken candidly of his heavy heroin usage during the "height of Britpop", saying he would regulate his intake to "five days and two days off." The singer-songwriter - who is now sober - said he became taking the drug after returning home from tour and finding it "in the front room".
Damon Albarn Took Heroin "Five days on, two days off"
"[Heroin] freed me up," Albarn said in Q magazine, "I hate talking about this because of my daughter, my family. But, for me, it was incredibly creative ... A combination of [heroin] and playing really simple, beautiful, repetitive shit in Africa changed me completely as a musician. I found a sense of rhythm. I somehow managed to break out of something with my voice."
"I just thought, 'Why not?' I never imagined it would become a problem," he added
Albarn revisits his heroin use on You And Me, a song from his forthcoming solo album. "Tin foil and a lighter, the ship across," he sings, "Five days on, two days off."
"I'm happy I found that poetry," Albarn told Q. "I can move forward now without all the nudge nudge, wink wink innuendo I've had in the background for years."
Albarn's last public discussion of his drug use came during an interview with John Harris of The Guardian in 2012, when the Blur frontman marvelled that the public hadn't commented on the explicit references to the drug in his late 90's albums. "I thought everyone was just being really nice, and not making too much of a deal of it," he said.
Despite speaking of the positive impact that heroin had on his creative process, Albarn ultimately described heroin as "a cruel, cruel thing," adding, "[Heroin] does turn you into a very isolated person and ultimately anything that you are truly dependent on is not good."
Albarn releases his debut solo album Everyday Robots on 28 April 2014. The album features guest contributions from Brian Eno and Natasha Khan.
Albarn headlines the Latitude Festival on 19th July 2014.