Gorillaz (formed 1998) is a music & animation project, created by Damon Albarn of the band Blur and cartoonist Jamie Hewlett, the creator of Tank Girl. In addition to the music itself, Gorillaz also consists of a 'virtual' band of 2-D members, named 2D (vocalist and keyboardist), Murdoc Niccals (bass), Noodle (guitar and vocals) and Russel Hobbs (drums and percussion).
Musically, Albarn is the primary contributor, with a rotating cast of musicians feeding in to the music.
Creation: The Gorillaz project was created in 1998 when Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett shared a flat in Westbourne Grove, London. The first song that they wrote together was 'Ghost Train', which was eventually released as the B-side to 'Rock the House'. The original trio of musicians consisted of Albarn, Dan the Automator and Del the Funkee Homosapien. Albarn and Dan the Automator had previously worked together on Deltron 3030's debut album.
Career: The debut release from Gorillaz was their Tomorrow Comes Today EP, released in 2000. This was followed by the single 'Clint Eastwood', released the following year. In March 2001, Gorillaz's debut, self-titled album was released. The band also created a half-hour mockumentary, entitled Charts of Darkness, which featured Krishnan Guru-Murthy.
Later in 2001, Gorillaz's collaboration with D12 (minus Eminem) and Terry Hall was released. '911' was a track about the September 11th attacks.
At the 2002 BRIT awards, Gorillaz performed via 3D animation, accompanied by Phi Life Cypher. Despite being nominated for six awards, they finished the evening empty-handed.
Laika Come Home, a dub remix album courtesy of Spacemonkeyz, was released in 2002. Later that year, Gorillaz released a DVD entitled Phase One: Celebrity Take Down. It contained the Charts of Darkness mockumentary, as well as the band's promotional videos.
2004 saw Gorillaz release a video entitled 'Rock It', as well as announcing the release of a new album, to be produced by Danger Mouse. The lead single from the album was 'Feel Good Inc.' and the album, Demon Days, was released in May 2005. The album reached number one in the UK and although it began to drop down the charts, the release of the next single, 'DARE', featuring Shaun Ryder of Happy Mondays. The third single was 'Dirty Harry' and the last single from Demon Days was 'Kids with Guns' / 'El Manana'.
A planned tour in which 3D holograms of the band would be employed was eventually called off due to the expense. In October 2006, a DVD entitled Phase Two: Slowboat to Hades. A few months later, Gorillaz' illustrated autobiography was released, entitled Rise of the Ogre. Another documentary film about Gorillaz - Bananaz - was released on the Babelgum website in April 2009.
Plastic Beach was the title for Gorillaz's next studio album, which hit the shops in March 2010.The album featured a number of guest performers, including Snoop Dogg, Mick Jones and Paul Simonon of The Clash, De La Soul, Lou Reed, Mark E. Smith and Bobby Womack.
The digital alter-egos of virtual experimental band Gorillaz hit the dancefloor in a live action setting in the video for their new single 'Strobelite', taken from their fifth studio album 'Humanz'. The song features vocals from Illinois musician Peven Everett.
Similar to their 2010 video 'Stylo', the video - directed by Raoul Skinbeck - is a mixture of both live-action and 3D CGI shots. It also features cameos from other Gorillaz collaborators including Vince Staples, Posdnous of De La Soul and Savages' Jehnny Beth.
Gorillaz released 'Humanz' in April 2017 through Parlophone and Warner Bros., with it reaching number 2 in both the UK and the US charts. The group are currently on tour in support of the album, kicking off the North American leg in San Francisco and finishing off at Argentina's Tecnópolis exhibition in December. November will also see them perform across Europe, with one night in Dubai on October 27th.
Famous rocker Steve Earle has calls Noel Gallagher ''the most overrated songwriter ever'' and praised Damon Albarn.
The 'Copperheard Road' hitmaker has slammed the Oasis legend's lyrical ability and thinks his band rocketed to fame in the 1990s because they ''behaved badly'', but hailed fellow British musician Damon Albarn - who sang and penned tracks in rival group Blur - a ''real f**king songwriter''.
He told The Guardian newspaper: ''I dislike Man City because it is Oasis's club. Noel Gallagher is the most overrated songwriter in the whole history of pop music. They were perfect for the Brit press because they behaved badly and got all the attention. Blur were really great. That guy Damon Albarn is a real f**kin' songwriter.''
Continue reading: Steve Earle: Noel Gallagher Is 'most Overrated Songwriter Ever'
The band will broadcast their new festival online.
Tickets may be all sold out for Gorillaz's inaugural Demon Dayz Festival this weekend, but if you missed out you'll still get to have the experience with a live online broadcast of show. In fact, it will be repeated on a loop for 24 hours.
Gorillaz bring Demon Dayz to Dreamland
Gorillaz founders Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett are curating an incredible day of musical fun on Saturday (June 10th 2017) at Kent amusement park Dreamland Margate. Plus, if you haven't managed to bag tickets, you can watch it all live on Red Bull TV for free from 7pm, presented by Julie Adenuga of Beats 1.
Continue reading: Tune In To See Gorillaz Live At Demon Dayz Festival 2017
Seven years might seem a long time between albums, however, if your two creative protagonists (Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett) have somewhat of a major falling out in the interim, one of them reforms their original band (Blur), and decides to release their first album in twelve years (The Magic Whip), as well as an original solo album of his own (Everyday Robots), well, then time just flies. The impact, success and eclectic quality of Plastic Beach, Gorillaz last album proper (2010 also saw the release of the far less collaborative, 'The Fall') was hard to resist, The collaborations were inspired and the music mind blowingly creative.
The free exploration of any musical genre, where any idea is possible and where creativity and artistry is allowed to flourish is surely any musician's idea of heaven. Once again for the Gorillaz latest album, 'Humanz', Albarn is blessed by those he has teamed up with. I doubt there was any need to coerce any of the many artists who appear alongside Albarn on the latest Gorillaz incarnation because by now they all know what they were buying into. Humanz isn't just more of the same, largely because there isn't really anything that remains the same, but there is a bond, a cohesion and a vibe that runs through all of their music.
Albarn and Hewlett, now at peace following a post gig chat many years ago, have revived an artistic and creative anomaly and that has to be a good thing. Gorillaz may at times seem like a play thing, a project or just a musical folly that is an indulgence of its founders, but in reality it is so much more than that. Gorillaz music is always somehow of the moment, a social commentary on the larger social and economic realities of the world which is also something of a juxtaposition given that they're a virtual band! Musically too, Gorillaz not only beg, borrow and steal, they also adapt, re-invent, sample, re-shape and create new and exciting, artistic, intelligent music that melds so many different forms.
Continue reading: Gorillaz - Humanz Album Review
The band embark on their UK and European tour this Fall.
Just days after they announced their UK and European Fall tour dates for new album 'Humanz', Gorillaz have added yet more dates in Paris and London due to popular demand. It marks their first run of shows since 2010's 'Escape to Plastic Beach Tour'.
Gorillaz announce new European tour dates
They'll kick off their show schedule at Luxembourg's Rockhal on November 1st 2017, with their last two dates at London's O2 Arena on December 4th and 5th. They'll also be performing in Vienna, Copenhagen, Budapest, Prague, Berlin, Amsterdam, Manchester, Glasgow and many more including two dates at Paris' Zénith on November 24th and 25th.
Continue reading: Gorillaz Add More European Tour Dates Following High Demand
Damon Albarn insists he has ''no agenda'' with Gorillaz and loves that they can record anything and make it work.
The 49-year-old singer loves the fact his animated band are able to adapt to whatever he is writing or whatever musical direction he is keen to explore and insists it doesn't matter if their songs don't match up with collaborator JAMIE HEWLETT's drawings of band members 2D, Murdoc, Russel and Noodle.
He said: ''I don't think that matters.
Continue reading: Gorillaz Have No Agenda
Summer 2017 is shaping up to be good one for music!
As March progressed and the sun began to come out a little bit, it was hard not to get the feeling that 2017 had finally begun to actually happen after the cold winter months. So it was for music fans, who were treated to a lot of great news about new music from some of the biggest bands in the industry, both in Britain and internationally.
We’ve detailed six of the biggest – and, hopefully, best – new albums to look out for in the coming few months!
Gorillaz - Humanz
A television show for the virtual band is in the works.
Earlier this year, Damon Albarn-led virtual, animated group Gorillaz dropped their first track in six years, which served as a sort of protest against the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump. Titled 'Hallelujah Money', the song featured Mercury Prize winner Benjamin Clementine and dropped the night before Trump was inaugurated into office. The statement they were trying to make with its arrival was for many immediately clear.
Gorillaz are back with new music and a planned TV series
Fans were brought right back into the Gorillaz fold with the release, nostalgic vibes flowing after months of waiting for new material. Fresh songs had been expected for some time, after a new Gorillaz Instagram account and official website was launched in September, 2016, teasing their return.
Continue reading: Gorillaz Snag 10-Episode TV Series
A generous tracklist and a myriad of special guests for Gorillaz's new album 'Humanz'.
Damon Albarn has brought back Gorillaz with an exciting new album entitled 'Humanz', alongside which they have unveiled an electrifying single called 'Saturnz Barz' with a jaw-dropping new video. They'll be playing the album live for the first time today (March 24th 2017).
Gorillaz return with their epic new album 'Humanz'
'Humanz' is a 14-track extravaganza featuring a number of special guests including Vince Staples, Grace Jones, Pusha T, Benjamin Clementine, Mavis Staples, Carly Simon, Rag 'n' Bone Man and, of course, De La Soul with whom they previously worked on 2005's 'Feel Good Inc.'. Recorded in London, Paris, New York, Chicago and Jamaica, the album was co-produced by Gorillaz, The Twilite Tone and Remi Kabaka and will feature an extra 5 tracks in the deluxe addition. Extra dialogue by Ben Mendelsohn also appears on the record.
Continue reading: Gorillaz New Album 'Humanz' Could Just Be Their Most Exciting Yet
They'll perform at their brand new music event this summer.
Gorillaz have launched their very own one-day summer festival named after their second album. Demon Dayz Festival will hit Dreamland Margate in the coming months, with the electronic duo slated as the headline act of the day for their first live show since 2010.
Demon Dayz Festival begins this summer
The band's founders Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett introduce three stages at the forthcoming event, where all fans will receive free admission to the amusement park alongside their festival pass. It will mark Gorillaz first time performing live since their sold out Plastic Beach World Tour seven years ago where they hit North America, Europe, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand. It was 2010 that also saw them make their spectacular live debut as 2D (vocals), Noodle (guitar), Russel Hobbs (drums) and Murdoc Niccals (bass) at Coachella Festival.
Continue reading: Gorillaz Headline Inaugural Year Of Their Demon Dayz Festival