Gorillaz’s Damon Albarn reveals he made ‘Clint Eastwood’ with a Suzuki Omnichord preset
He also shows off his first-ever voice changer, a Boss VT-1, a Yamaha QY10, and rare instruments such as a Senufo horn and a monochord
Damon Albarn, frontman and a primary contributor to both Gorillaz and Blur, has revealed the unlikely studio equipment behind some of his seminal tracks.
Albarn pulled out the gear during an interview with Zane Lowe, published via Apple Music.
In the discussion, which takes place in his London studio, Unit 13, Albarn reveals how the iconic piano part of the Gorillaz track Clint Eastwood was made using a preset on the Suzuki Omnichord.
“It just came like that?” Lowe asks in disbelief.
“That’s it,” Albarn replies as he presses one button and the instantly recognisable Clint Eastwood riff and backing drums emit from the machine’s in-built speakers. “It’s the ‘Rock One preset’… that’s the whole song.”
The singer/songwriter, known for his vocal manipulation techniques, goes on to show Lowe his first ever voice modulator, a Boss VT-1 Voice Transformer Voice Changer Formant Shifter that was used in the Blur track B.L.U.R.E.M.I. He also shows viewers the handheld Yamaha QY10 that was used to make early tracks.
Albarn also shares a treasure trove of rare acoustic instruments, including a French 19th-century monochord, a clavier, a piano and violin hybrid – jokingly labelled ‘rubbish violin’ – and a Senufo horn from West Africa. This horn, he says, was the centrepiece of a 2020 Parisian opera, Le Vol du Boli, of which Albarn was appointed head of musical design.
Collaboration with legendary artists, which Albarn has become well-known for, is discussed in the interview, too. He talks about working with Lou Reed in New York, plus Bobby Womack and Grace Jones back in the London-based studio. Another notable session he mentions is a “tanked” collaboration with Erykah Badhu, who, he says, “was supposed to get there at 7[pm] and didn’t get there til one in the morning”.
Check out the full interview via Apple Music’s YouTube channel.
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