Gorillaz’s New Album Explores the World of Cults, Keith Richards Not Impressed

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source: IGN

The world is a strange and “tribal” place, according to the British virtual band Gorillaz. In their eighth album titled Cracker Island, the animated quartet (Murdoc, Noodle, Russel and 2D) find themselves in Los Angeles, starting their own cult.

The inspiration for the album came from conversations between the band’s founders, Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, about the increasingly segregative nature of our world.

source: Entertainment Weekly

According to the Malay Mail, Hewlett explained how “There are cults we don’t even think of as cults. You take something like Fox News — it’s a cult. If you’re not wearing what I’m wearing, not following the news that I’m following… it’s about being segregated.”

Despite their fictional status, Gorillaz have become a successful and enduring institution in the music world. Known for their collaborations with an eclectic mix of artists, from Snoop Dogg and Mos Def to Elton John.

This new album will include features from popular artists of old as well as contemporary ones including (but not limited to) Bad Bunny, Beck, and the legendary Stevie Nicks.

source: Los Angeles Times

Despite the hype surrounding the album, not everyone in the music world has been completely receptive. Keith Richards, legendary guitarist for the Rolling Stones, actually served as an inspiration for the character Murdoc but when approached to collaborate, he apparently told them to “f*** off.”

Similarly, Lou Reed initially refused to meet Hewlett as well, allegedly using the same phrase Richards did. Hewlett joked about his first meeding with Lou Reed saying that it was harsh but the pair eventually became friends.

Hewlett attributes the band’s success to his longstanding friendship with Albarn, which began when they were living together in the late 1990s.

source: Music Week

Albarn, looking for a project to take him away from his frontman duties with Blur, and Hewlett, the author of cult graphic novel Tank Girl, came up with the concept for Gorillaz.

Since then, they’ve managed to stamp out attempted imitators who have tried to copy the band’s sound and/or style but failed to replicate their success. Hewlett also admires artists such as Banksy and Daft Punk, who’ve hidden behind alter-egos to an even greater extent than the Gorillaz themselves.

Much love to Keith Richards but we’re pretty excited for the album 🤪