1. Gorillaz are an English virtual band created in 1998 by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett.
2. The band consists of four animated members: 2D (lead vocals, keyboard), Murdoc Niccals (bass guitar), Noodle (guitar, keyboard, and backing vocals) and Russel Hobbs (drums and percussion).
3. These members are completely fictional and are not personas of any “real life” musicians involved in the project. Their fictional universe is explored through the band’s website and music videos, as well as a number of other media, such as short cartoons.
4. The music is a collaboration between various musicians, with Albarn being the only permanent musical contributor.
5. Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett first met in 1990 when Graham Coxon, a fan of Hewlett’s work, asked him to interview Blur, which was a band both Albarn and Coxon had only recently formed. The interview was published in Deadline magazine, home of Hewlett’s comic strip, Tank Girl.
6. Hewlett initially thought Albarn was “arsey, a wanker” and despite becoming one of the band’s acquaintances, he often didn’t get along with its members, especially after he started going out with Coxon’s ex-girlfriend, Jane Olliver.
7. The idea to create Gorillaz came about when the two were watching MTV.
8. Hewlett said, “If you watch MTV for too long, it’s a bit like hell there’s nothing of substance there.
9. So we got this idea for a cartoon band, something that would be a comment on that.” which was later released as a B-side on their single “Rock the House” and the B-side compilation G Sides.
10. The musicians behind Gorillaz’ first incarnation included Albarn, Del the Funky Homosapien, Dan the Automator and Kid Koala, who had previously worked together on the track “Time Keeps on Slipping” for Deltron 3030’s eponymous debut album.
11. 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 self-titled studio album Blur.
12. The band’s first release was the EP Tomorrow Comes Today, released in 2000.
13. Later that same month, their first full-length album, the self-titled Gorillaz, was released, producing four singles: “Clint Eastwood”, “19-2000”, “Tomorrow Comes Today”, and “Rock the House”.
14. The end of the year brought the song “911”, a collaboration between Gorillaz and hip-hop group D12 (without Eminem) and Terry Hall about the September 11 attacks. Meanwhile, G Sides, a compilation of the B-sides from the Tomorrow Comes Today EP and first three singles, was released in Japan on 12 December 2001 and quickly followed with international releases in early 2002.
15. Gorillaz performed at the 2002 Brit Awards in London on 22 February, appearing in 3D animation on four large screens along with rap accompaniment by Phi Life Cypher.