Damon Albarn reveals where he got the iconic hook for Gorillaz's Clint Eastwood, and fans can't quite believe it

Damon Albarn and Gorillaz
(Image credit: Damon Albarn - Dave Hogan/MTV/Getty Images for MTV / Gorillaz - Parlophone)

Damon Albarn, frontman of Blur and Gorillaz, recently invited Apple Music's Zane Lowe to his Studio 13 building in West London for an interview to promote Gorillaz' newly-released Cracker Island album. In the coarse of the conversation, which saw Albarn open up about his inspirations and influences, the 54-year-old musician revealed the source of the iconic hook from Gorillaz's debut single Clint Eastwood is a preset on a Suzuki Omnichord.

While showing Lowe around the studio, Albarn presses the Rock One preset on the Japanese instrument, and the instantly recognisable beat and riff from the song plays through the instrument's built-in speakers.

"It just came like that?" asks an incredulous Lowe asks.

"That’s it," says Albarn. "It's the Rock One preset… that’s the whole song."

The admission has taken some Gorillaz fans by surprise.

"Wow I was obsessed with this track - and this reveal kinda sucks," tweeted London-based musician Morgan Hislop, sparking a debate in his replies. 

"Definitely think this actually makes the track cooler imo," responded Canadian EDM musician Jacques Greene.

"Always rated damon albarn," tweeted Dublin musician det boi, "but he’s gone up tenfold in my book after this."

"Originality is overrated," replies Twitter user 'guybrush999'. "It still takes a lot of skill to take samples and make something unique and interesting out of it."

Hislop brings the discussion to a possible close by linking to his own music, and tweeting, "And seeing as this ran away with itself you’re more than welcome to go judge my own music - I’m a walking contradiction so you’ll most likely hear sampled presets, stock sounds and see that I’ve shown myself up throughout."

You can watch the whole interview with Damon Albarn below:

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.