It's been five years since Gorillaz released their last album, and you'd be forgiven for thinking that it could be five more, given Damon Albarn's recent spate of activity with Blur.

Not so, says his Gorillaz collaborator Jamie Hewlett - their fifth album and the follow-up to 'The Fall' is scheduled for release at some point next year.

The animator told DIY magazine: "That’s next year. I’m working on it at the moment, and it’s going very well. I’m very excited. I don’t want to say too much about it, but I’m at that phase of experimentation.

"What I try not to do when I’m working in this creative period, the cooking of the mess, is go to other peoples’ exhibitions and look at other peoples’ work," he added. "I close my eyes, and don’t want to know what anyone else is doing. Doing that has kind of ruined the creative process for me in the past, and I don’t want to let that happen again."

Since the last Gorillaz album, his bandmate Albarn has released his solo debut 'Everyday Robots', composed the soundtrack for 'Dr. Dee: An English Opera', released an album and EP with supergroup Rocket Juice & the Moon, and worked extensively with the Africa Express project, as well as releasing Blur's comeback album 'The Magic Whip' earlier this year.

Multi-tasking, it would seem, is not a problem.