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Damon Albarn on Morrissey: “If you don’t live in the country, then you shouldn’t be dabbling in its politics”

Damon Albarn (2nd from left) and Paul Simonon (right) with The Good The Bad & The Queen
Damon Albarn (2nd from left) and Paul Simonon (R) with The Good The Bad & The Queen

Damon Albarn has weighed in on the Morrissey controversy. In an interview with NME primarily about the new The Good The Bad & The Queen album, Albarn and his bandmate (and onetime Clash bassist) Paul Simonon, were asked what they thought about Morrissey’s support of the far-right For Britain political party. “Steven is a complicated soul,” said Albarn, and Simonon asked, “does he live in England?” “No, he lives in California,” Albarn said. “He doesn’t care. He’s just doing it to wind people up.”

Simonon then said, “Sometimes if you are away and you don’t live in the country, then you’ve got a misconception of what the reality is from the ground up. It’s the same as John Lydon – he’s sort of got to a certain level and he’s [entitled] to his views, but if you don’t live here, your vision of it is in a bubble.” Albarn added, “Yeah, I totally agree. You shouldn’t even have an opinion. If you don’t live in the country, then you shouldn’t be dabbling in its politics because to have the sensitivity to understand, you have to live amongst the emotional world of the people as well, not just the idea of something. That’s a long way from reality… So I think if you wanna be miserable and English, you’ve gotta be miserable and English. You know — really be it.”

Billy Bragg weighed in earlier this month, saying “as a Smiths fan, I’m heartbroken,” while Paul Banks of Interpol (who will be touring with Morrissey this summer) said “I do not always hold the same beliefs as the artists I work with, and I do not consider that to be a requisite…I abhor racism, homophobia, and any form of prejudice based on a person’s nationality, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identification, or socioeconomic status.”

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