Mystery Gorillaz: who is really hiding under the animated characters?
Gorillaz - a British virtual band, one of the most legendary of its kind! It is a cult project, which for several decades now has been showing its fans a vast fictional universe surrounding the "band members" themselves... The debut record sold many millions of copies worldwide and earned the project a place in the Guinness Book of Records (“Most Successful Virtual Group”). Second album Demon Days 5 times platinum in the homeland of Gorillaz and 2 times in the United States! Already by 2007 world album circulation crossed the threshold in 15 million copies ... Their videos are gaining hundreds of millions of views on YouTubeand live shows are sold out! However, not all fans of their work are aware of who is actually hiding under the images. Gorillaz in real life… Today we decided to lift the veil of secrecy…
History of formation: how Gorillaz appeared, and the events leading up to it
The history of one of the most successful virtual bands dates back to far 90s... Or rather, even earlier, ten years before the official start. The now world-famous Damon Albarn began his active creative activity towards the end 80s years: he founded a rock band Blur, and managed to declare himself as a worthy frontman. But - in 1988 the glory of Blur was small and could not go beyond its boundaries in any way ... Simply put, only the most devoted fans knew about the group. But the plight of the young team changed thanks to Jamie Hewlett - A comic book writer and friend of Albarn who had the right connections in the press. What does it have to do with Gorillaz? It's all about the fateful interview of Hewlett, in which he expressed himself regarding the group of a comrade as follows:
“Blur members look so disgusting that they should consider creating fictional, well-drawn characters for themselves ...” (Hewlett put it so rudely because of his recent conflict with Albarn).
However, a crude joke turned into something more, and already in 1997 year a group appeared Gorillaz, which became a joint project Damon and Jamie! Both recall the history of the creation of the group in much the same way: they just sat in the apartment and watched TV, in particular MTV. Then they came up with the idea of a "virtual band" as a commentary on the emptiness of popular music at the turn of the millennium. The project was originally called "Gorilla", a little later it became familiar to all of us "Gorillaz"!
According to friends, it was to be an ambitious musical project with eclectic, genre-changing melodies, unique visuals, and a detailed backstory of how the band actually came into being...
Composition, image, sound
This time Albarn moved away from Britpop towards popular influences such as hip hop and electronic music. Soon the friends came up with not just a fictitious biography of the band, but also an entire alternative universe filled with animated characters... As you might guess, Hewlett was involved in their creation, while the musical groups Albarn took over. Having given the world one of the most recognizable screen characters in the history of music, the friends managed to hide their identity from the press until the release of their debut record... Who were they really? The answer to that question remained a mystery to everyone...
The first clip of the project was "Ghost Train" 1997 years (to date it has been viewed by more than 8 million once). So, critics and listeners were sure that the group consisted of four drawn members: 2D (Stuart Pot) - vocals, keyboards, lyrics / Murdoc Niccals - bass guitar, vocals, drum machine / Noodle — guitar, vocals, keyboards / Russell Hobbs - drum kit. Each "participant" groups had its own unique and inimitable biography, on which they worked hard Albarn and Hewlett. But in fact, behind all these images was one person, Albarn himself: he was the vocalist, the drummer, the bassist, the songwriter... Hewlett, in his turn, took responsibility for the music videos and illustrations, which later became the band's calling card.
By the beginning of the 2000s they loudly declared themselves by releasing a couple of good hits that broke the charts ... The most recognizable, perhaps, was the track "Clint Eastwood" (nearly half a billion views on YouTube): it was released as a single from the band's self-titled debut album, which was released a few months later. Today "Clint Eastwood" is a big hit, one of the most important and significant in the work of Gorillaz:
As for the album, it was a resounding success at home! In the States the record was also well received - number 14 on Billboard. It was enough for Gorillaz to get into the Guinness Book of Records as "the most successful virtual band ever".
First live performance: how was it?
After the release of the album group everyone said! The popularity of the project grew inexorably, and given that its participants did not need to go on long musical tours, they could fully concentrate on the creative process. Yes, in 2005 year the world saw Demon Days, the second studio album, which released a super-famous hit Feel Good Inc.:
But this time, after the second resounding success, the group had to go on stage ... To prepare for the show Albarn and Hewlett approached as seriously and creatively as possible: the most modern technologies and special effects, such as holograms, were used for the concert! Yes, on stage MTV Europe Music Awards the virtual heroes beloved by the public appeared!
In general, the discography Gorillaz includes 7 studio albums: the last one was Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez 2020 the year that marked the return of Murdoc Niccals' character. Their fourth album The Fall was recorded during their US tour. Escape to Plastic Beach. Remarkable, but The Fall positioned as the first album made entirely on the iPad.
Characters groups appear only in animated form and are not the alter egos of real people, as is often mistakenly believed. There is an extensive fictional backstory behind the band members written by Albarn and Hewlett. Their albums, several of their music videos and an autobiographical book Rise Of The Ogre - all this tells about this saga. By the way: Damon Albarn - the band's only permanent musician. The musical style is broad with many alternative influences including rock, hip-hop and electronica...