A virtual band in a realised dark fantasy

Being a virtual band was always part of the sales pitch of Gorillaz, the pairing of the Blur musician Damon Albarn and the illustrator Jamie Hewlett, which has been releasing hip-hop-influenced concept albums since 2001.

Damon Albarn, the Blur frontman and mastermind behind the virtual band Gorillaz, whose new album “Humanz” is out soon, in London.

Being a virtual band was always part of the sales pitch of Gorillaz, the pairing of the Blur musician Damon Albarn and the illustrator Jamie Hewlett, which has been releasing hip-hop-influenced concept albums since 2001. Read More

‘We may be getting to old for Gorillaz’

Murdoc, 2-D and the rest of the cartoons are the virtual band’s official members.
But in reality Damon and Jamie Hewlett are the driving force behind the collaborative project.

Jamie, who designs the visuals, said: “We will be 50, we can’t continue doing this thing seriously for very long.

“Can you imagine the kids in 20 years when they discover that Gorillaz is hiding two senile old 70-year-olds?”

With a current roll call including Vince Staples and Danny Brown, Jamie can see a future of the band without himself or Damon as Gorillaz were always intended to be faceless.

Jamie added: “It is the essence of the rest of the Gorillaz story, even if it is not ours necessarily.” Read More

The Humanz Condition

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In 1998, Jamie Hewlett drew a virtual band that became world famous. Gorillaz consists of four cartoon members with four distinct personalities: 2-D, Noodle, Russel Hobbs and Murdoc Niccals, who are brought to life by Hewlett and an ever-evolving crew of musicians. They just made the freshest comeback of the year with a new album and tour, Humanz, visually powered by Hewlett’s live animation, 360 music videos, detailed backstories, covers, and virtually every single element of the band’s stage presence. His impact on our generation’s visual culture runs deep, and Gorillaz is just one of his many projects, from comics to opera.

In the age of artificial intelligence, a virtual band is appropriate, and Gorillaz have cultivated a soundtrack for a lifetime, with a 20 year history of showing up right when we need them most. They’ve helped an entire generation dance through the darkness, and in the words of Gorillaz guest star Vince Staples, “The sky’s falling, baby, drop that ass ’fore it crash.” Read More