Are we Humanz or are we dancers?
We caught up with music’s most unruly cartoon band to talk Cher-inspired reunions and new album ‘Humanz’.
After a chaotic five years, with more dramatic happenings than your average episode of EastEnders, Noodle, 2-D, Murdoc and Russel are back with the follow-up to ‘Plastic Beach’. Featuring a massive list of star-studded collaborators – from Vince Staples and Jehnny Beth, to Carly Simon, Graham Coxon, and Kelela, to just scrape the surface – we got the whole Gorillaz gang together to talk everything from Freudian disasters involving whales, to their rivalry with a small kitchen appliances firm.
How are things at Gorillaz HQ?
Murdoc: I won’t lie, getting back together again has been pretty emotional. Not for me. For the others. Russel, Noodle and 2D were overwhelmed to be in my presence again. It was almost embarrassing. But that’s why Gorillaz gel so well. Respect for your betters.
Russel: What’s embarrassing is the Snapchat he sent us all, before we agreed to come back.
Murdoc: Don’t know what you’re on about.
Russel: He was naked, hugging a Gorillaz photo and cry-singing ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’ by Cher. It was low, man.
Murdoc: Yeah. Irony, mate. Lost on you Americans. Read More
We skyped every member of Gorillaz.
On its surface, the band’s new album Humanz is one of the most energetic party records of the year – but as 2D, Murdoc, Noodle and Russel tell us, it was the in fact a product of blackmail, manipulation and strife.
Gorillaz’s new album Humanz is a party record for the end of the world, an apocalyptic dream that turned out to be not so far from reality. The album’s political undercurrents are lifted up by a host of collaborators – from De La Soul to Grace Jones – that could only ever come together for the end of days. Meanwhile, joyous accompaniments, tinged with an almost chaotic abandon from the band, feel at once rooted in the now and dragged kicking and screaming from some distant, alternate timeline.
With this in mind, then, you might think that everything was peachy in Gorillaz’s camp – but you’d be wrong. While Humanz might sound like a project created by a bunch of mates who’ve put aside their differences and come together for the music, it’s actually a product of blackmail, manipulation, and a complete disregard for people’s boundaries, both personal and musical. Read More
Gorillaz’s Murdoc says he’s “almost entirely” free of both fear and super-gonorrhea.
In 11 Questions, The A.V. Club asks interesting people 11 interesting questions—and then asks them to suggest one for our next interviewee.
Murdoc Niccals is a bit of a hell-raiser. Although some might say the Gorillaz bassist is just a Keith Richards-inspired cartoon character drawn by Jamie Hewlett and voiced by Phil Cornwell, he actually has a fully formed backstory, from his birth in Stoke-On-Trent at a sanatorium “for the sick, the needy, and the incredibly bored” to his years spent on an around-the-world bender. Lately, he’s been pretty busy doing press for Humanz, the latest Gorillaz record, and prepping for the band’s first North American tour in seven years. Fortunately, he was able to take a few minutes off to sit down and answer The A.V. Club’s 11 Questions.
1. If you could spend the rest of your life inside one movie or TV show, which would it be and why?
Murdoc Niccals: The rest of my life stuck inside a TV show? Sounds like some kind of Orwellian fucking nightmare, mate. No, thank you. And if you did try locking me away, I’d smash my way out like in The Truman Show. ’Cause you can’t cage this animal. No one shackles Murdoc Niccals. No one except Madame Flesch, my dominatrix. Couldn’t escape her shackles if I tried. She’s got some pretty hardcore gear, lot of vintage Cold War stuff. I actually spent a month in an isolation tank she got from the KGB. Absolutely harrowing. Top holiday, that. Read More