Every great band is destroyed by their success: cartoon bands are no exception."
The Gorillaz story is now something of a legend. The tale of a world-storming band born out of the sick mind of soul-smelling bass-player Murdoc Nicalls. Satan-loving mastermind Murdoc assembled the exceptional band members in his own unique style.
The good natured pretty boy 2D was made singer after Murdoc's car crashed through the window of the show 2D was working in, almost killing him in the process.
Hip-hop hardman Russel Hobbs had been sent to England for his own safety after his friends were killed dead in a drive-by shooting. Unfortunately he was quickly tracked down by the unscrupulous Murdoc and recruited as the Gorillaz drummer.
And finally Noodle the ten-year-old Japanese kid with no past - a Zen master of guitar. She arrived hand-delivered to the door of Kong Studios in a Fed-ex crate.
The story of their whirlwind ascent to stardom was equally controversial. The media frenzy that was their first gig at the Camden Brown House, the sick-figure record deal, drafting in superlative collaborators to record the award winning debut album 'Gorillaz', a fantastic collision of dub reggae, punk and hip-hop and then the subsequent release of a relentless array of top-notch videos. Gorillaz won countless awards around the globe. Then followed the gob-smacking Brits performance and the trawl of shame that was The Gorillaz American Tour. Like Dresden on ice.
What have they been up to? C'mon kids! Let's catch up!!
With the American tour over and offers of film deals falling out of their collaborative arse, Gorillaz de-camped to L.A. for a six month descent into darkness and screen tests that stretched the band's patience to breaking point.
'This is a wind-up!'
Gorillaz decided to blow out the movie moguls, def the film off and go their separate ways to recuperate.
Our charismatic leader and bass-playing lethargio headed south to Mexico for a little sun, warm tequila and cheap senoritas. However he got himself caught red-handed slipping dud cheques to girls down at the local brotherl. Murdoc was thrown in jail. Cheapskate.
However, after eighteen months and some pretty lengthy negotiations held in Jurdoc's new officers ...er.. the prison showers, our legendary Gorillaz superstar decided that enough was enough. 'Time's up!'
With no sign of parole in sight Murdoc got himself bust out of jail! EMI wanted a new album and Murdoc wanted his fat new advance cheque! So now with his big tough bad-boy credentials complete, arthritic booze-monkey Murdoc has elevated his repulsiveness into uncharted regions.
'Lock your drinks cabinet and hide your daughters! Murdoc's back, folks, ... and he's really thirsty!'
2D hung around in L.A. for a while but ultimately aimless and deeply disillusioned he pissed off back to England to get his head together.
2D returned home to see his dad who runs the local fun fair down on the East coast, and was given a job collecting the money on the 'Switchback Ride'. Hopping from carriage to carriage, chatting up the 'birds', these were the greatest days of 2D's life. 2D became a local celebrity all over again; the star of the dogems, and King of the carousel!
What's more, with no Murdoc around to bully him 2D quickly got his own ego back. And then some. He realised that it was him, 2D, who was responsible for the Gorillaz success. Not the others. Great!
His confidence fully restored 2D decided to return to Kong Studios and '... like, sort that duh-brain Murdoc out, for picking on me! Give him a kicking or summink!'
The previously unshakable Russel Hobbs had started going crazy long before the film was even terminated. With Del's ghost long overdue for collection by the Grim Reaper, Russel underwent a gruelling and harrowing exorcism to return Del's spirit to its rightful place.
This left Russel a shadow of his former self, wandering aimlessly up and down the streets of Hollywood Boulevard, just another burnt out goon stumbling in and out of the various cult organisations that this town seems to breed.
Living on a diet of wheatgrass and crazy pills, Russel finally ended in Ike Turner's basement. It was here from the depths of his mental wilderness that he began to dream up his next project. A hip-hop album of such devastating ambition and beauty it would enchant the world with peace and love!
It would be his masterpiece: the hip-hop pet sounds! The breakbeat Sgt. Pepper's!!
However...it was not to be. The overwhelming task of completing this insurmountable musical vision was the last straw. After almost a year of splicing, re-editing and overdubs, the unhinged Russel became terrified of his mammoth creation.
Believing that his music was causing freak vibrations to ripple across the planet, the 'Seventh Heaven Hip-Hop & Harmony' album got shelved. Right next to Brian Wilson's 'Smile' and Prince's 'Black Album'.
Shattered, Russel decided to return to England and the relative security of Kong Studios. Little did he know. Out of the frying pan and into the fire...
Plagued by silent nightmares and half-forgotten images, Noodle returned from L.A. to her homeland of Japan, to search for her past - the one she could never remember. She trawled the streets of Tokyo for almost a year, following rumours of secret army bases and crack miniature-troops. These snatches of stories seem to stir something within her.
Noodle discovered she was one of 23 kids trained as part of an elite military team for the Japanese government. Every child was given a special individual skill of their own. Noodle was taught as a musician. Her weapon of choice was ... 'Guitar'!
But it was as a junior fighting militia where the kids really excelled.
'No-one would ever suspect that these children were capable of such devastating destruction! Godzilla destroyed Toyko maybe 100 times but this was nothing compared to what these kids could do when activated. A wave of unstoppable fury that would last precisely one minute! It was ingenious!'
Her memory regained and her awesome new skills returned, she also remembered the importance of her true mission - the real reason for her training. Time is of the essence and these are matters of great importance!'
Noodle returned to Kong Studios to complete her unfinished business. It is time to re-united Gorillaz and launch another killer Gorillaz album.
NEW ALBUM NEW DANGER
Noodle's return to Kong Studios preceded the others by a good six months. Which is probably just as well. What was once a well-equipped studio on a hilltop in Essex has now in their absence degenerated into a terrifying horror-filled house of blood, guts and infestation from Zombies. Death, disease ad the undead roam the corridors.
'The dark is rising, there is a day of reckoning coming and maybe the Harvest is almost upon us!!'
One by one the four Gorillaz have returned hom to Kong, inexplicably drawn back to the hub of his horribly, haunted house and each with their own story to tell. Fo' Shizzle.
So what now?
Only Noodle knows the real reason for the recruitment of a 'creative army', and the truth of the battle ahead. Who or what is that she is looking for? What do you do when half your band's crazy, your studio's full of dead stuff, you're being blackmailed by banditos and your team leader's a ten year old kid with the devastating killing abilities of an atom bomb! Huh?! Why! Make a new album of course!!!
Welcome back Gorillaz. You saucy bastards.
--- from the official Gorillaz website