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Gorillaz are an English virtual band formed in 1998 by musician Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett, from London. The band primarily consists of four fictional members: 2-D (vocals, keyboards), Murdoc Niccals (bass guitar), Noodle (guitar, keyboards, vocals), and Russel Hobbs (drums). Buy Gorillaz Merch Here!
Gorillaz Merch - About
Musician Damon Albarn and comic artist Jamie Hewlett met in 1990 when guitarist Graham Coxon, a fan of Hewlett’s work, asked him to interview Blur, which Albarn and Coxon had recently formed. The interview was published in Deadline magazine, home of Hewlett’s comic strip Tank Girl.
Hewlett initially thought Albarn was “arsey, a wanker;” and despite becoming acquaintances with the band, they often did not get on, especially after Hewlett began seeing Coxon’s ex-girlfriend Jane Olliver. Despite this, Albarn and Hewlett started sharing a flat on Westbourne Grove in London in 1997. Hewlett had recently broken up with Olliver and Albarn was at the end of his highly publicised relationship with Justine Frischmann of Elastica.
The idea to create Gorillaz came about when Albarn and Hewlett were watching MTV. Hewlett said, “If you watch MTV for too long, it’s a bit like hell – there’s nothing of substance there. So we got this idea for a virtual band, something that would be a comment on that.” Albarn recalled the idea similarly, saying “This was the beginning of the boy band sort of explosion… and it just felt so manufactured. And we were like, well let’s make a manufactured band but make it kind of interesting.
The band originally identified themselves as “Gorilla” and the first song they recorded was “Ghost Train”, which was later released as a B-side on their single “Rock the House”. The band’s visual style is thought to have evolved from The 16s, a rejected comic strip Hewlett conceived with Tank Girl co-creator Alan Martin.
Although not released under the Gorillaz name, Albarn has said that “one of the first ever Gorillaz tunes” was Blur’s 1997 single “On Your Own”, which was released for their fifth studio album Blur.
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