A few weeks ago, the virtual band, known as Gorillaz, emerged from of their six year hiatus and blessed us all with their latest album release, Humanz.
After listening through the entire album, it is blatantly obvious that Gorillaz is no stranger to trying (and succeeding in) different music genres. With that being said, it could definitely be argued that the music that Gorillaz makes can fit almost everybody’s jam requirements.
With songs like Saturnz Barz and Andromeda featured on their new album, the very different sounds and beats from each individual song can cater to a huge number of different people with very different music tastes.
Aside from their amazing music, the band itself has such an intriguing story! Although being what makes them so different, a lot of people seem to forget that Gorillaz is a virtual band. Virtual band meaning that the bandmembers are animated characters and have extremely weird stories as to how they joined the band. The band consists of four members that go by the name of 2-D, Murdoc Niccals, Noodle, and Russel Hobbs. 2-D contributes by lending his lead vocals and keyboard skills, Murdoc Niccals contributes his bass guitar talent to the band, Noodle, the only girl in the band, plays the guitar along with the keyboard, and, last but not least, Russel Hobbs beats on the drums and other various percussion throughout songs. But, remember, these bandmembers are fictional and are not personas of any “real life” musicians involved in the project. Their fictional universe is explored through the band’s website and music videos, as well as a number of other media, such as short cartoons
If you are questioning the backstory of the band it its members, click here for a very detailed explanation. In a brief summary, each of the band members lived a somewhat normal life.
The story begins on August 15th, 1997. Stu-Pot was a mentally deficient keyboard enthusiast and part-time employee at Uncle Norm’s Organ Emporium. Satanist, Murdoc Niccals, decided to ram-raid Uncle Norm’s Organ Emporium to procure synthesizer equipment in order to establish a “chart topping” musical group. However, Murdoc ended up driving his car through the building and directly into Stu-Pot’s head, permanently damaging Stu-Pot’s left eye and putting him into a catatonic state. Not long after, Murdoc again injured Stu-Pot in a car accident in Nottingham’s Tesco parking lot when attempting a 360° in order to impress some women. During the initial rotation, Stu-Pot was thrown through the windshield and landed face first on a curb. This permanently damaged Stu-Pot’s right eye. Murdoc then recruited the newly recovered (albeit still mentally defective) Stu-Pot as the keyboardist and vocalist for his group, giving him the nickname 2-D for the matching pair of dents in his head from the accidents.
Murdoc then found a drummer for the group in a Soho record store: African-American expatriate Russel Hobbs. Russel was a middle-class New York native and was deeply troubled as a youth. He was expelled from an expensive private school for suffering from demonic possession. The trauma of said possession resulted in a four-year coma from which Russel was roused only by an elaborately executed exorcism. After his recovery, Russel began attending Brooklyn High School, where he quickly cultivated friendships with a group of rappers, DJs, MCs and street musicians. He has said that “hip-hop saved [his] soul.”
However, all of Russel’s newfound friends were suddenly gunned-down one night in a drive-by shooting. Russel, the sole survivor, became the unwilling receptacle for the spirits of all of his slain friends. With their latent possession of his body, Russel gained incredible musical prowess in percussion, rap, and hip-hop as well as a disturbing side-effect: his eyes glowed an eerie white. With this new and violent turn of events, Russel’s family shipped him off to England in hopes of helping him recover from his traumas quietly – not realizing they’d put him directly into the path of Murdoc’s hopes of superstardom, and the excesses that came along with it.
At that point, all the fledgling group needed was a guitarist. Their first guitarist was 2-D’s girlfriend, Paula Cracker, but she was shortly fired from the band after Russel caught her and Murdoc making love in the studio toilets. Disgusted by this, Russel broke Murdoc’s nose five more times. Like so many British bands before them, the trio placed an advertisement in NME. The very day the ad ran, a FedEx freight container from Japan was delivered to their doorstep and out jumped a mysterious amnesiac 8-year-old wielding a Gibson Les Paul. The tiny girl made an incomprehensible introduction in Japanese and tore into a “riff to end all riffs” which ended with an impressive karate kick to the air. She then spoke a single word in English to the stunned boys, which became her moniker: “Noodle“.
So yeah, definitely give them a listen, it will totally be worth it.