Damon Albarn intended for the new Gorillaz album to be like funk band Earth, WIND and FIRE.

The virtual band - created by Blur frontman Damon Albarn and comic book artist Jamie Hewlett - have just announced their first album in six year, 'Humanz', and the 49-year-old rocker has revealed the direction was inspired by the ''joyous party'' band, who delve into a mix of genres including R&B, soul, funk, jazz, disco, pop, rock, Latin and African music.

Speaking to Gordon Smart on his Radio X Evening Show, about the star-studded record, which features collaborations with Rag'n' Bone Man, Noel Gallagher and De La Soul, he said: ''Well I think when I start I kind of have this very vague idea of where I'm heading to, but it's not planned and then one thing leads to another. I wanted to make a real funk band like Earth, Wind and Fire or that kind of ilk, that's what this whole record is kind of, sort of heading towards - that big, kind of, joyous party.''

As well has being a ''funk'' album, Damon says he also hopes fans can listen to it and feel ''terribly melancholic''.

Asked if it is a funk record, he said: ''Yeah, yeah, this band's got the funk. This time I really wanted to make a ... call it a party record, a dance record, a record you could party to and dance to, but also sit in your room on your own and become terribly melancholic over. I did set out to make an urgent, joyous and painful record and I think we've achieved that.''

'Humanz' is slated for release on April 28.

Gorillaz' Damon Albarn was speaking on the Radio X Evening Show with Gordon Smart, weekdays 7pm-10pm on Radio X. Tune in to Smart on Sunday with Gordon Smart this Sunday from 2pm on Radio X to hear more from Damon Albarn.