Creators: Damon Albarn, Jamie Hewlett
Band Members: Stuart “2-D” Pot (voice, keyboards), Murdoc Niccals (bass), Noodle (guitar), and Russel Hobbs (drums).
Birthplace: London, England
Years Active: 1998-
Gorillaz came into existence in 1998, created by English musician/producer Damon Albarn and illustrator Jamie Hewlett as a commentary on overly-produced pop music acts. By constructing a “virtual” band illustrated by Hewlitt, the duo was able to take the manufactured image of a pop music group to its most absurd, fantastical ends.
The illustrated band consists of brain-damaged singer Stuart “2-D” Pot, spirit-channeling psychic drummer Russel Hobbs, martial arts master and guitar virtuoso Noodle, and bassist Murdoc Niccals, who made a deal with the devil to be a successful musician. In between fighting zombies, evading pirates, tracking shapeshifters, and escaping from prison, the band has managed to release 6 albums: 2001’s Gorillaz, 2005’s Demon Days, 2010’s Plastic Beach and The Fall, 2017’s Humanz, and 2018’s The Now Now. In addition, the group has released a variety of videos, toys, books, and video games.
Musically, Albarn has been critically celebrated for the Gorillaz’s innovative mixture of pop, rock, hip-hop, and electronica. Albarn’s diverse taste in music can be seen through the musicians that he regularly features in Gorillaz albums, including: rappers Snoop Dog, Del The Funky Homosapien, Pusha T, Vince Staples, Kilo Kish, Danny Brown, and De La Soul; electronic musicians Danger Mouse, Dan the Automater, Jean-Michelle Jarre, Jamie Principal, and Peven Everett, pop singers Kali Uchis, Kalela, and Miho Hatori, and Rock and R&B legends Mick Jones, Paul Simonon,George Benson, Mavis Staples, Carly Simon, and Grace Jones. Albarn has personally cited John Lennon as a major influence on his songwriting.