The term rock and roll tends to put most people in a little box. For a genre that’s all about breaking down what you can do with a few chords, it gets a little frustrating when you find yourself playing the exact same song over and over. If you decide to go in a different direction, it doesn’t hurt to come up with a completely different nickname as well.
While none of these bands technically had issues with their old sounds, it was the different personalities they decided to embrace when it came time to play something a little different. Again, there are several ways to do this. On the one hand, you can go the concept recording route and make an album that’s very close in style.
Other times though, people end up creating another band entirely, with everything changed and the band playing with strengths that most of us didn’t even know they had at the time. For all the great music they’ve already given us, this is where these acts stepped up into very different territory. We weren’t just dealing with a fun group anymore. No…they were artists of our generation now, and they were about to be treated accordingly.
The turn of the millennium wasn’t necessarily so kind to old Britpop rockers of the 90s. You had most of the bands that had either broken up around that time, or there were giants like Oasis doing their best to navigate their way through tough times in their careers. Although Damon Albarn may have had some tension in Blur, his cartoon turn worked just as well with the new crowd.
Descending down the rabbit hole of more experimental music, Gorillaz was always considered a side project at first before becoming one of the biggest moments of Damon’s career. Working with famed cartoonist Jamie Hewlett, everything that comes out of 2-D’s mouth is Damon, bringing with him elements of trip hop, rap, and whatever other genre he was planning on doing at the time.
For any other artist, that would have been a recipe for disaster, and yet Damon seemed to make a second career out of it, with most music fans knowing him more for Gorillaz these days than anything he’s got. made with Blur. Hell, the band ended up being so successful that they may have single-handedly ended the Britpop battle, with Noel Gallagher eventually guesting on Gorillaz track We Got the Power. On the contrary, it offers another path for musicians like Albarn in the future. Just because you grow up doesn’t mean you lose your creativity, so it’s best to embrace digital once in a while.