Blur guitarist Graham Coxon revealed that he agreed to record the new Blur album partly out of guilt left over from his original departure from the band in 2002.

Coxon left the group during the first sessions for the band’s seventh album Think Tank, because he was still in rehab at the time receiving treatment for his addiction to alcohol, but didn’t tell anyone. When he didn’t turn up to the sessions as expected, the group was frustrated at the lack of communication and barred him from the process.

Coxon (far left) with his Blur bandmates in 2012

After that record, Blur went on hiatus before reforming for a series of gigs in 2009, culminating in their triumphant Hyde Park performance in July that year. Last month, they shocked their fans by announcing the release of a new album, titled The Magic Whip, due to come out on April 27th.

Coxon revealed to Uncut magazine that he felt duty-bound to work as hard as possible during the new sessions to make up for the acrimony thirteen years ago. “It's a complicated, emotional thing,” he said. “I wanted to make amends for the ups and downs we've had over the years. Our friendships have got better. The music side of it, I still thought I had some mending to do.”

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As for the recording itself, Coxon admits that there was an awful lot of nervousness, for him and his three bandmates Damon Albarn, Alex James and Dave Rowntree. “We were all scared to death,” he remembered. He then spoke about his own feelings, particularly how he felt about playing some of his initial song ideas to Albarn.

“I wanted Damon to feel that it was nearly finished and I was hoping that it would inspire him.After the first track, he started to warm up. Then he started swearing. Then he started dancing around a bit. Then Dave and Alex shoved some bass on here and there where it needed to be redone because the sound wasn’t that brilliant, the Hong Kong recordings.”

Blur revealed their new song 'Go Out' at the time of the album announcement, and have since teased two more songs, 'Lonesome Street' and 'There Are Too Many Of Us'.

More: Blur unveil the sound of their new album ‘The Magic Whip’ in full during intimate fan club gig