“The three tenets for this record were pain, joy, urgency,” he said.

By Hayden Wright

Gorillaz are back this year after a long hiatus, and it begs the question: Why now? According to Damon Albarn, co-creator of the virtual band, today’s political climate stirred new musical ideas for the prickly animated characters.

“The three tenets for this record were pain, joy, urgency,” Albarn told Q magazine.

Related: Gorillaz Share Remixes of ‘Andromeda’ and ‘We Got the Power’

“I told everyone to imagine you’re in America after the inauguration and it’s the worst-case scenario: how would you feel that night? Let’s make a party record about the world going f—ing nuts.”

Jamie Hewlett, the band’s chief animator, refuted Albarn’s idea, saying the album is “not a statement about Trump” but more broadly about the “world in which he could get elected.”

It’s not the only issue the two disagreed on. Hewlett revealed that creative differences kept him and Albarn separate for a long time.

“We’d lived in each other’s pockets for 10 years,” he said. “Damon’s an artist. He’s one of the few real artists that I know, but that means you can be a little crazy and a little difficult and I can be the same.”

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