Get Pumped for The New Gorillaz Album W/ These 5 Iconic Moments
Gorillaz may have only released four albums in its 18 years of existence, but the influence they’ve had and the indelible mark they’ve left on contemporary music has been prodigious. Which is saying a lot for a band that’s not only “virtual,” but also initially began as a project meant to parody the state of music at the time. Apparently it was a shared hatred of MTV that brought Damon Albarn (former frontman of Blur) and Jamie Hewlett—the two minds behind Gorillaz—together. In a 2015 interview, Hewlett put it best when he 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 cartoon band, something that would be a comment on that.”
Rather than taking the typical route of most contemporary musicians and using their smoldering looks to their advantage (which believe us, they could’ve easily done), Hewlett and Albarn instead enlisted a a cast of animated, fictional characters—Murdoc, 2D, Noodle, and Russell Hobbs—to represent the band. It may not have seemed like a recipe for success at the time, but it worked. Over the last 18 years, the hits Gorillaz have churned out have been plentiful, and their musical scope incredibly far-reaching. And yet all the while, they’ve managed to firmly establish themselves as the ultimate “fuck you” to both mainstream media and mainstream music.
And so it came as quite a shock last week when they made their first appearance on social media—Instagram, to be more precise. Normally we would never encourage such acquiescent behavior, but we’re going to let it slide this time—if only because it’s brought us ample reason to believe that the rumors of an imminent, fifth studio album are indeed true. Apparently, it’s slated to be released in 2017.
And now in celebration of the return of one of our favorite bands, we bring you 5 of their most iconic moments during their rather extensive career.
Their First Magazine Cover
In Gorillaz’s early years, before they really hit it big, they appeared on the January 2001 cover of Dazed magazine. But it’s the accompanying interview that really gave the world its first glimpse into the band’s satirical DNA—and, in our opinion, is seriously worth revisiting. And while we won’t give anything away, we will tell you this: When asked about Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, and their current chokehold over the music charts, Murdoc responded with: “The charts have always always been dominated by music for children’s parties, that’s nothing new.”
When They Took Over MTV Cribs
It certainly did not seem to be this way at the time, but in retrospect, MTV Cribs was perhaps one of the most pivotal TV shows to air in the ’90s. It introduced us to some of the most bizarre celebrity moments to date, including but most definitely not limited to that episode in which Ja Rule gave us a tour of a house that turned out to not even be his. But barring the two-part, Mariah Carey Cribs extravaganza, the most unforgettable episode had to have been the one hosted by Gorillaz bassist Murdoc, who took the viewer on a virtual tour of the fictitious mansion in which all of the animated band members supposedly resided.
Their Grammy Performance With Madonna
Our middle school selves would be lying if we said “Hung Up” by Madonna doesn’t live somewhere very close to our hearts. But when Gorillaz took the stage at the 2006 Grammys to do an electric mash-up of “Hung Up” and “Feel Good Inc.” with Mags—well, that took “Hung Up” to a whole new level.
When Gorillaz Came to New York
In 2011, Gorillaz hit New York to do a few tribute concerts in celebration of some of their early musical collaborations. But not before doing a press tour expressing their love for the city, in which they appeared in creepy puppet form.
The Release of Plastic Beach
In 2010, we saw the release of Gorillaz’s critically-acclaimed, most recent album, Plastic Beach. The pop-slash-hip-hop project brought us some of the most iconic collaborations to date, including “Some Kind of Nature” with Lou Reed, “Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach” with Snoop Dogg, and “Stylo” which featured Mos Def.
Image via 2D Galleries and Esquire.
Stay tuned to Milk for more on Gorillaz’s upcoming studio album.