Welcome to the fandom of Gorillaz! The band ‘Gorillaz’ are a British virtual band created by Blur’s lead singer Damon Albarn and Tank Girl comic illustrator Jamie Hewlett in 1998. The band is made from four fictional characters, 2-D (Lead Singer, Keyboardist), Murdoc Niccals (Bass Guitar), Noodle (Guitar) and Russel Hobbs (Drums and Percussion) . They were created from Albarn’s and Hewlett’s outlook on celebrity culture, this was sparked when the two of them were watching MTV.
“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 cartoon band, something that would be a comment on that.” - Jamie Hewlett
The Gorillaz’s universe, characters and storyline is explored through the band’s website, music, autobiography, interviews and short cartoons made in 2001, these are known as a ‘G-Bite’. This was Jamie’s way of showing fans the Gorillaz world.
Name: Murdoc Faust Niccals.
D.O.B: June 6th,1966. Stroke-Upon-Trent, England.
Murdoc was dumped on his father’s doorstep and went on to a very physically and emotionally abusive childhood. It has been proposed that his bullying attitude and sour personality were due to his upbringing. Sebastian Jacob Niccals, (or Jacob Sebastian Niccals, depending on who’s asking) was a drunk who verbally abused and exploited his Murdoc and Hannibal, Murdoc’s older brother. The local pub had a talent show that Murdoc was often forced to participate in so he could win his father drinking money. In one performance Murdoc was made to dressed up as Pinocchio and sing “I’ve Got No Strings”. It was after this horrific event that Murdoc decided to pursue a career as a performer and musician, swearing that he would never go on stage under the influence or direction of someone else. With great passion and determination, Murdoc was set to creating the best band in the world. He is known as the womaniser, satanist, drunk, dark-minded genius, self-proclaimed leader and drive of the group.
Name: Stuart “2-D” Pot.
D.O.B: May 23rd, 1978. Hertfordshire, England.
Stuart was brought up in Crawley by his father David Pot, mechanics and owner of a local fairground, and mother Rachel Pot, a nurse. Though Stuart wasn’t intelligent or bright as other children his age, he was very kind, warm and had a strong passion for film and music. At the tender age of ten, Stuart accidentally fell out a tree, making him temporarily loose all of his body hair. When his hair finally returned, it was a strong electric blue, adding more attention to the young man. At the age of nineteen on August 15th, 1997, whilst working as a Saturday Boy at Uncle Norm’s Organ Emporium, a Vauxhall Astra crashed through the front of the shop, driven by Murdoc, and landed on Stuart. This accident caused Stuart’s right eye to be pushed back into his head. After learning that Murdoc intended to steal instruments from the shop, the court sentenced him to community service and to take care of the vegetated Stuart. Due to Murdoc’s continuous reckless behaviour, Stuart was once again victimised when he was thrown through a car windscreen, causing his left eye to be pushed back. His dark image, singing voice and music ability was enough for Murdoc to want him in his band. Nicknamed after the “2 Dents” in his head, Stuart was reborn 2-D and was to join the band.
Name: Russel Hobbs
D.O.B: June 3rd, 1975. Brooklyn, NY.
Russel was very well know for his good, soft-spoken and respectable manner as a child. He attended the School For Gifted Youngsters in NY, but was expelled after attacking several students while possessed by a demon. He fell into a coma for the next four years, at the end of which, the demon was finally exorcised from his body by a priest. He returned to school in Brooklyn, where many of the students were gifted in Hip-Hop and Rapp music. In a drive-by shooting, all of Russel’s companions were killed, and their spirits came to reside in his body, the most prominent being Russel’s best friend ‘Del the Ghost Rapper’. For his own safety, Russel flew to Soho, London, and worked in Big Rick Black’s Record Shack. After Murdoc and 2-D established the band and began to write music for the debut album, Murdoc set out to find the next link in the chain, the drummer. After hearing rumours about a one-man rhythm king who was possessed by the dead, Murdoc instantly wanted him in his band, and even want as far to kidnapped Russel from the store. Back at Kong Studio’s, the first home of Gorillaz, the music they played Russel was good enough to keep him there. He is the heart and soul of the band and is known as the Hip-Hop Hardman.
D.O.B: Octorber 31st, 1990. Osaka, Japan.
Noodle spent her childhood in Japan as a subject of a classified Japanese super soldier project under the management of the Japanese scientist, Mr. Kyuzo. Noodle, along with the other children were trained with the sole purpose of fighting as soldiers of the Japanese military and government. After the children were deemed too dangerous and unstable for combat, the project was scrapped. Mr. Kyuzo was then ordered to dispose of all possible traces of the failed experiment, as well as its participants. After killing the other children, Kyuzo was reluctant in killing Noodle. After temporarily clearing her memory of the project, Kyuzo smuggled Noodle to the United Kingdom in a FedEx crate and falsely reported her death. Noodle was the last band member to be recruited and arrived at Kong Studio’s in 2000 inside a large FedEx crate, shortly after Murdoc had put an advertisement for a guitarist in the magazine NME. Though she didn’t speak any English and was only ten at the time, her guitar skill got her the place within the band, replacing the old guitarist, Paula Cracker. She got her name from the only English word she spoke when meeting the trio, “Noodle.”
The three main albums, “Gorillaz”, “Demon Days” and “Plastic Beach” all follow a storyline that is incorporated with Gorillaz. The album, “The Fall”, was released in 2010 shortly after “Plastic Beach”. This album was made whilst on tour.
If you would like to know more I would recommend getting the Gorillaz “Rise of the Ogre” autobiography. You can buy it or read it for free online on a PDF file. It is such a good read!