Gorillaz Frontman Albarn Worried Nautical Costumes 'A Bit Gay'


RobertPerovichforJeanPaulGaultierLe-1 Damon Albarn, front man for the musical outfit Gorillaz, wasn't sure costumes for the band's latest tour, based off their ocean-inspired album Plastic Beach, would be manly enough for his tastes: "[They] might look a bit, well, gay. Not that there's anything wrong in that but I didn't want us being like something from a Jean-Paul Gaultier advert," said Albarn of a sea-faring wardrobe.

Luckily, Albarn says, he was able to avoid any same-sex sartorial allusions by finding inspiration from German seamen: "They had beards, their clothes were grubby - that was the key. As long as I could carry it off, then I knew the others would follow me."

Well great, now I can never listen to Plastic Beach again without thinking of Albarn's ridiculous remark. But, as a bonus, at least I'll imagine the sailors for Gaultier's aforementioned adverts, like this one...

Some moving sailors, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Gorillaz Plastic Beach is their worst album yet (hands down)

    Posted by: D. Carney | Oct 4, 2010 9:15:25 AM

  2. Yeah but if he isnt gay why would he want to dress gay? His point is very valid, if he did dress more like the Gaultier guys he would look gay.

    Don't make nothing into something.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Oct 4, 2010 9:17:32 AM

  3. I agree w/ Fen. I don't think there is any offense here-although my radar usually beeps when someone says "not that there is anything wrong with that..." Here Albarn didn't mean "gay" as a pejorative, he meant it literally.

    p.s. I think Murdoc Niccals swings both ways.

    Posted by: Jon Lee Hart | Oct 4, 2010 9:27:31 AM

  4. I don't mean to sound rude, but I could do without the injected Queerty-style commentary in the posts.

    Posted by: TonsofT | Oct 4, 2010 9:30:21 AM

  5. You'd think he'd be more embarrassed about releasing another shitty album for white British wankers who think they're listening to hip hop.

    Posted by: Jasun | Oct 4, 2010 9:37:25 AM

  6. no way Carney - Plastic Beach is great

    Alburn is hardly a homophobe - some of the stuff in his Blur days can attest to that

    Posted by: neverstops | Oct 4, 2010 9:37:26 AM

  7. How does a supposedly straight man know all about Jean-Paul Gaultier's homoerotic ads? I'm gay, and I had no clue who Jean-Paul was. Ask 100 straight guys who he is, I think 99 of them won't know. Just sayin' ;-)

    Posted by: David in Houston | Oct 4, 2010 9:39:43 AM

  8. When he was with Blur, back in the 90s, Albarn wrote "Girls and Boys", which is all about a celebration of sexual diversity, the only thing that matters being that your partner should be "someone you really love". Given how popular Blur were in the UK, I'm sure that was positive, and reassuring, for a lot of LGBT teenagers.

    Sometimes (not always) it feels like blogs like this just root around trying to find stuff to be offended by.

    Posted by: Sasha | Oct 4, 2010 10:10:57 AM

  9. Out of the last 10,000 gay guys I've seen around town, I can't say that a single one was dressed like the Jean-Paul Gaultier sailor ad.
    In fact, looking at the various pics of Albarn on his Wikipedia page, it looks like he's already been dressing like thousands of gay guys without the new gimmick.
    I don't know what his sexual orientation is, but whether he's bisexual, straight or gay, trying to create a "de-gayed" look by dirtying himself up makes me wonder what made him want to do that and whether he thinks gay people are always well-showered.

    Posted by: GregV | Oct 4, 2010 10:25:47 AM

  10. While I don't like it when people feed into stereotypes, I have to give him an exception. I too think his point is valid. For a group or person who has so much to worry about, in terms of image, I understand why he said what he did. Even if his remark is not somehow noble or even respectful to the diversity that exists in our community, I still understand the guy. Maybe he didn't need to bring the gay into it, but it's not that big a deal. He's not a homophobe.

    Posted by: Coffee&Chicory | Oct 4, 2010 10:31:38 AM

  11. Well, when actively looking to find and expose as much homophobia as possible, you are bound to have some false-positives every now and then. We are all human after all...

    Posted by: ravewulf | Oct 4, 2010 10:37:36 AM

  12. what is the source for the music in the gaultier ad? if anyone knows - thanks

    Posted by: steve | Oct 4, 2010 10:43:17 AM

  13. I don't see anything wrong with his comment. I don't find it ridiculous in the slightest. He pointed out that there was nothing wrong with being gay; he just doesn't want his band to be dressed like dainty sailors. That's fine by me. I don't think it would fit the band's image anyway. I'm a gay Gorillaz fan & I'm seeing them at MSG this Friday-- if they came on stage dressed as emasculate sailors, I would find it absurd.

    Get over it, Andrew!

    Posted by: Matt | Oct 4, 2010 10:57:54 AM

  14. @Matt: Isn't it also absurd to believe that men who are attracted to other men tend to dress as "immaculate sailors?"
    It would be a little like a white woman from a girl band saying they decided not to wear scarves because they don't want to look "too black" (because, I don't know, Aunt Jemima has a scarf?)... or a male lounge singer saying he decided against immaculate neckties and pressed shirts because he doesn't want to look "too Jewish"... so he wrinkled up the shirt and decided that was better.

    Posted by: GregV | Oct 4, 2010 11:14:26 AM

  15. He should consider it a win if the costumes are a bit gay, coz honey we have great taste...and we can really dance *snaP*

    Posted by: Tone | Oct 4, 2010 11:17:22 AM

  16. Well GregV, I'm pretty sure I said "emasculate sailors," but maybe they're "immaculate" too. I don't know.

    Secondly, no, not every gay man dresses like a sailor. But in pop culture, for a group of male musicians to come out on stage wearing traditional sailor costumes, I think it would totally read "GAY." (Unless of course those musicians are the United States Navy Band.

    Posted by: Matt | Oct 4, 2010 11:25:03 AM

  17. As far as I'm concerned Damon Albarn can say whatever the fuck he pleases. He's a brilliant musician...and not even remotely a homophobe.

    Posted by: peterparker | Oct 4, 2010 11:27:26 AM

  18. a gimmicky musician worried about going a gimmick too far


    DITTO on

    You'd think he'd be more embarrassed about releasing another shitty album for white British wankers who think they're listening to hip hop.

    Posted by: Jasun | Oct 4, 2010 9:37:25 AM

    Posted by: | Oct 4, 2010 11:31:36 AM

  19. Hate to break it to this guy, but I think bearded sailors in old ragged clothes are pretty hot.

    Posted by: phineas | Oct 4, 2010 11:34:09 AM

  20. Gotta agree with @tonsof here, this commentary style is just too much. I appreciate the opinion of the person posting, but don't you think you should be leaving that to the comments section?

    Also, who among us wouldn't have thought the very same thing had we seen them on tour in those sailor outfits? I'm sure several of you already have your sexy sailor halloween costumes prepared ;)

    Posted by: Jesus | Oct 4, 2010 11:47:20 AM

  21. Not sure what to make of this comment. On the one hand, whenever hanging out with my straight male best friend I ALWAYS feel free to make fun of him for wearing "gay" clothing. And honestly, some clothing do seem like they are more likely to be worn by someone gay than straight.

    But, on the other hand, should he really be saying this since he isn't gay? Doesn't it reinforce stereotypes and come out differently?

    Honestly, it doesn't really matter. I don't think he has the body to pull of the gaultier add (though he could twink it up) and who hasn't thought "is this too gay" before? Is it a problem? Yes, and it does reinforce some negative ideas but I don't think this is the biggest issue right now (though it is uncomfortable).

    Also beared german gay sailors just scream GAY to me so...

    Posted by: Joe | Oct 4, 2010 11:59:01 AM

  22. Has anyone gone to a gay Halloween party where there *wasn't* at least one guy in a sailor outfit?

    I know at least 2 guys that have a sailor outfits in their closets right now.

    Posted by: AdamL | Oct 4, 2010 12:17:19 PM

  23. @Steve: I don't know who is singing in the ad, but the music is the aria Casta Diva from Bellini's opera Norma.

    Posted by: Tom | Oct 4, 2010 12:28:35 PM

  24. There's no such thing as dressing 'gay', that's the issue. Calling certain styles, mannerisms, tastes or anything 'gay' reinforces the stereotype. He meant 'camp' and should have said that. I don't believe that Damon Albarn is a bigot (and nothing is gonna ruin Blur/Gorillaz/TGTBATQ for me dammit) but it was an improper comment. Silly Albarn!

    'White British wankers' is a touch racist, dontcha think? I didn't see any 'another shitty album for black American wankers' on the 50 Cent posts.

    Posted by: BenB | Oct 4, 2010 1:53:04 PM

  25. Damon Albarn = amazing. I was a preteen/teen during Blur's heyday in the 90s, and so he was a major crush of mine. He's always been talented, gay-friendly, and playfully/ironically cheeky, so it's hard for me to take his comments seriously/literally.

    Just watch the video for Blur's "The Universal" and you'll see what I mean.

    Posted by: adam2 | Oct 4, 2010 2:39:51 PM

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