GORILLAZ


Gorillaz ?
My Gorillaz collection
I interviewed Damon Albarn, I was blown away by Gorillaz and now I'm in heaven!
Gorillaz Interview audio file
Gorillaz Interview Transcript


Gorillaz ?



Comment t'expliquer ? Gorillaz n'existe pas... enfin, pas en chair et en os ! Gorillaz est un univers... celui d'un collectif pré-fabriqué, virtuel, fictif qui apparaît sous forme de personnages animés dessinés par Jamie Hewlett, illustrateur de la BD britannique 'Tank Girl' qui a donné lieu au film de science fiction du même nom en 1995.

Gorillaz est né sur l'initiative de
Murdoc, bassiste autodidacte aux pouvoirs maléfiques originaire de Stoke-On-Trent en Angleterre.

Conscient de la nécessité de trouver du matos et si possible une 'belle gueule' pour former son groupe de rêve, il cambriole un magasin de synthé à l'aide d'une voiture-bélier où il amoche sérieusement l'un des vendeurs, Stu-Pot, un angelot qui a soi-disant une page blanche à la place du cerveau. Condamné à des travaux d'utilité publique et à s'occuper de l'épave qu'est devenu Stu-Pot, Murdoc finit par embaucher ce dernier comme chanteur de son futur groupe. Le beau gosse, alors rebaptisé 2-D à cause des 2 entailles ('dents' en anglais) qu'il a dans le crâne, se révèle être un génie du clavier et un fou de mélodica.

Il a des yeux noirs et un regard vague qui laissent supposer qu'il est cool et énigmatique mais en fait il a tout simplement la migraine. Murdoc se met ensuite en quête d'un batteur et tombe à Soho sur Russel, un gros dur habité par des esprits funk, tout droit débarqué de New York City où il oeuvrait déjà auprès d'un groupe de rappers et de DJ.

Reste à trouver un guitariste. Les trois décident de passer une annonce dans le NME. Comme par magie, une petite Japonaise tout juste âgée de 10 ans surgit, sa Les Paul au poing, d'un container déposé devant leur porte, balance quelques riffs et fait quelques sauts de Karaté. Les gars sont subjugués. Noodle - c'est le seul mot qu'elle sait dire - achève la formation du groupe.

C'est à l'issue de leur 1er concert à Camden Brownhouse qu'ils signent leur premier contrat. Voilà grosso modo pour la légende.


Quelle est la véritable identité des musiciens qui se cachent derrière les personnages de Gorillaz ?
Mystère qu'il convient de préserver... mais il semblerait que
Damon Albarn, le chanteur du groupe Blur, qui honore 2-D d'une voix divine, joue à peu près tous les rôles, même s'il a été en partie aidé par Del Tha Funky Homosapien, MC new-yorkais, personnage capital du hip-hop US des années 90, qui interprête quelques morceaux, et encore d'autres collaborateurs comme Miho Hatori du groupe japonais Cibo Matto, un bassiste jamaïcain qui a joué pour Bob Marley et qui s'appelle Junior Dan, Tina Weymouth du Tom Tom Club et ex Talking Heads, le turntablist québecois Kid Koala, le producteur californien Dan Nakamura The Automator qui fait les interludes durant les live sets, Chris Frantz des ex-Talking Heads, Cass Browne, ex-batteur des groupes Delakota et The Senseless Things, Phi life Cypher, un trio de rappers anglais et enfin le crooner cubain Ibrahim Ferrer du groupe Buena Vista Social Club. Quel fabuleux melting-pot, n'est-ce pas ?

Gorillaz a quatre singles '
Tomorrow Comes Today', 'Clint Eastwood', '19-2000' et 'Rock The House' + un album éponyme à son actif, tous produits par The Automator, qui avait déjà collaboré avec Damon Albarn, Del Tha Funky Homosapien et Kid Koala sur l'incontournable album hip-hop Deltron 3030 sorti en octobre dernier et avec lesquels il travaillera à nouveau sur le prochain très attendu Handsome Boy Modeling School. L'album Gorillaz vient d'être totalement remixé en version dub par un collectif dénommé Space Monkeyz et de nombreux autres collaborateurs dont Terry Hall, U-Brown et Earl 16.

La musique de Gorillaz est une véritable passerelle entre hip-hop et rock alternatif. Gorillaz marie dub, reggae, hip-hop US, rythmes latinos, punk londonien, rock acoustique, jazz et peut s'enorgueillir de la superbe voix de Damon Albarn.

Allez visiter le site web très élaboré du groupe, http://www.gorillaz.co.uk , où vous pourrez entre autres vous promener dans l'univers de chaque personnage, composer vos propres morceaux de musique et regarder la superbe vidéo du single 'Clint Eastwood'.

Maryse Laloux © 2002 All I want is ...Blur


My Gorillaz collection

CDs

promos

CDRDJ 6545

Tomorrow Comes Today, Rock The House, Latin Simone, 12D3

GOR 001 rare French 7-track promo CD

Tomorrow Comes Today, Re-Hash, Latin Simone, Clint Eastwood, 5/4, Slow Country, Tomorrow Comes Today (enhanced video)

CDRDJ 6552
Clint Eastwood (Ed Case Refix Edit, Original Mix Edit)

CDRDJX6552
Clint Eastwood (Original Mix Edit)

"Clint Eastwood" autographed by Phili from Phi Life Cypher

Clint Eastwood (12"A) (5"54), Clint Eastwood (Ed Case Refix Full Version) (12"B1) (4"27), Clint Eastwood (Original Mix Clean Edit) (3"46)

DPRO-16183 US promo CD
Clint Eastwood (Original Mix Edit, Ed Case Refix Edit, Phi Life Cypher, Call Out Hook)

Zombie 001

Re-Hash, 5/4, Tomorrow Comes Today , New Genious (brother), Clint Eastwood, Man Research (clapper), Punk, Sound Check (gravity), double bass, Rock The House, 19-2000, Latin Simone (feat. Ibrahim Ferrer), Starshine, Slow Country, M1 A1 + Clint Eastwood Ed Case mix (hidden track)

07243 5 32565 2 French promo CD
Album (sampler) Re-Hash, 5/4, Tomorrow Comes Today , New Genious (brother), Clint Eastwood, Man Research (clapper), Punk, Sound Check (gravity), double bass, Rock The House, 19-2000, Latin Simone (feat. Ibrahim Ferrer), Starshine, Slow Country, M1 A1 + Clint Eastwood Ed Case mix (hidden track)

Zombie 002

The Apex Tapes: Gorillaz interview

7243 5 50077 2 8 French promo CD
Dracula (4"41), Hip Albatross (2"41), Left Hand Suzuki Method (3"10), The Sounder (6"16)
note: the track list is printed in the wrong order on the sleeve. The Sounder is the full version here, therefore different from that found elsewhere

CDRDJ 6559
19-2000 (soulchild remix), 19-2000 (original mix) with French gatefold leaflet

CDRDJ 6565
Rock The House (radio edit), The Sounder (edit)

G-Sides - EMI Music France French promo CD

19-2000 (Soulchild Remix), Dracula, Rock The House (Radio Edit), The Sounder (Edit), Faust, Clint Eastwood (Phi Life Cypher Version), Ghost Train, Hip Albatross, Left Hand Suzuki Method, 12D3

SMVG 001- EMI Music France French promo CD
Laika Come Home by Space Monkeyz Vs Gorillaz
1. Jungle Fresh, 2. Strictly Rubbadub, 3. Banana Baby, 4. Monkey Racket, 5. De-Punked, 6. P45, 7. Dub 0 9, 8. Crooked Dub, 9. Mutant Genius, 10. Come Again, 11. A Fistful Of Peanuts, 12. Lil' Dub Chefin'

SMVG 001
Laika Come Home by Space Monkeyz Vs Gorillaz
1. Jungle Fresh, 2. Strictly Rubbadub, 3. Banana Baby, 4. Monkey Racket, 5. De-Punked, 6. P45, 7. Dub 09, 8. Crooked Dub, 9. Mutant Genius, 10. Come Again, 11. A Fistful Of Peanuts, 12. Lil' Dub Chefin'

albums

Gorillaz
Limited Edition Digipack incl. Multimedia section + a 20-page booklet of cartoons by Jamie Hewlett (5320930)
Re-Hash, 5/4, Tomorrow Comes Today , New Genious (brother), Clint Eastwood, Man Research (clapper), Punk, Sound Check (gravity), double bass, Rock The House, 19-2000, Latin Simone (feat. Ibrahim Ferrer), Starshine, Slow Country, M1 A1 + Clint Eastwood Ed Case mix (hidden track)

Gorillaz
(7243 534488 0 6) + 7-track AVCD (07243 879699 0 2)
Re-Hash, 5/4, Tomorrow Comes Today , New Genious (brother), Clint Eastwood, Man Research (clapper), Punk, Sound Check (gravity), double bass, Rock The House, 19-2000, Latin Simone (feat. Ibrahim Ferrer), Starshine, Slow Country, M1 A1, Clint Eastwood (Ed Case/Sweetie Irie Re-fix) (Edit), 19-2000 (Soulchild Remix)

g sides
TOCP-65932 (Japanese Import)
Cover: Noodle is holding Godzilla
19-2000 (Soulchild Remix), Dracula, Rock The House (Radio Edit), The Sounder (Edit), Faust, Clint Eastwood (Phi Life Cypher Version), Ghost Train, Hip Albatross, Left Hand Suzuki Method, 12D3, Clint Eastwood (Video), Rock The House (Video)

click here to read my review of g sides for PRESTO!, a French music magazine

g sides
7243 5 369420 3 (Japanese Version)
Cover: Noodle is holding a skeleton
19-2000 (Soulchild Remix), Dracula, Rock The House (Radio Edit), The Sounder (Edit), Faust, Clint Eastwood (Phi Life Cypher Version), Ghost Train, Hip Albatross, Left Hand Suzuki Method, 12D3, Clint Eastwood (Video), Rock The House (Video)

g sides
7243 8 11967 2 4 (American Import)
Cover: Noodle is holding Godzilla
19-2000 (Soulchild Remix), Latin Simone (Que Pasa Contigo), 19-2000 (The Wiseguys House Of Wisdom Re-Mix), The Sounder (Edit), Faust, Clint Eastwood (Phi Life Cypher Version), Ghost Train, Hip Albatross, 12D3

Laika Come Home by Space Monkeyz Vs Gorillaz
07243 539 982 2 6
1. Jungle Fresh, 2. Strictly Rubbadub, 3. Banana Baby, 4. Monkey Racket, 5. De-Punked, 6. P45, 7. Dub 09, 8. Crooked Dub, 9. Mutant Genius, 10. Come Again, 11. A Fistful Of Peanuts, 12. Lil' Dub Chefin'

click here to read my review of
Laika Come Home for PRESTO!, a French music magazine

All Time Hits 1980-2002
MB CD 137/2103 - Music Box Records (made in Russia)
1. 5/4 (Five Four), 2. The Sounder, 3. Tomorrow Comes Today, 4. Faust, 5. Clint Eastwood, 6. Ghost Train, 7. New Genious (Brother), 8. Man Research (Clapper), 9. 12 D 3, 10. Latin Simone (Que Pasa Contigo), 11. Double Pass, 12. Gorillaz On My Mind (with Redman / from ost Blade 2), 13. 19-2000, 14. Rock the House, 15. Dracula, 16. Starshine, 17. Left Hand Suzuki Method, 18. Slow Country, 19. Sound Check (Gravity), 20. M1 A1

Space Monkeyz Vs Gorillaz
7243 551206 0 1 - CDR 6584
Lil' Dub Chefin' - album version - originally "M1 A1" ; Lil' Dub Chefin' - radio edit - originally "M1 A1" ; Space Monkeyz Theme ; video - Lil' Dub Chefin'

singles

CDR 6545
Tomorrow Comes Today, Rock The House, Latin Simone, 12D3, Tomorrow Comes Today (Enhanced Video)

CDR 6552
Clint Eastwood, Clint Eastwood (Ed Case Refix), Dracula, Clint Eastwood (Enhanced Video)

PM 110
Clint Eastwood (5:54), Dracula (4:41)

CDR 6559
19/2000 (original mix), 19/2000 (soulchild remix), Left Hand Suzuki Method, Making of 19/2000 the video. "Realizing The Dream" (Enhanced Video)

CDRS 6565
CD1 of 2: Rock The House, The Sounder, Faust, Rock The House (Enhanced Content)

CDR6565
CD2 of 2: Rock The House, Ghost Train, 19/2000, 19/2000 (Enhanced Content)

CDR 6573
Tomorrow Comes Today, Film Music, Tomorrow Dub, Tomorrow Comes Today (Enhanced Video)

motion picture soundtracks

7243 5 39011 2 7
Blade II incl. Gorillaz & Redman's Gorillaz On My Mind

bootlegs

Gorillaz Live London 2001 (recorded live at La Scala, London, on March 22, 2001)
1. M1A1 ; 2. Tomorrow Comes Today ; 3. Slow Country ; 4. Starshine ; 5. Man Research ; 6. Sound check (gravity) ; 7. Latin Simone ; 8. Re Hash ; 9. Clint Eastwood ; 10. Dracula ; 11. Punk

Gorillaz interview with Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, Paris, 22/06/2001

Gorillaz at La Cigale (recorded live in Paris on June 22, 2001)
1. M1A1 ; 2. Tomorrow Comes Today ; 3. Slow Country ; 4. 5/4 ; 5. Starshine ; 6. Man Research ; 7. Sound check (gravity) ; 8. Latin Simone ; 9. Re Hash ; 10. Clint Eastwood ; 11. Rock the House ; 12. Dracula ; 13. 19-2000 ; 14. Punk ; 15. Tomorrow Comes Today ; 16. Clint Eastwood

Gorillaz at La Cigale (recorded live in Paris on June 22, 2001)
1. M1A1 ; 2. Tomorrow Comes Today ; 3. Slow Country ; 4. 5/4 ; 5. Starshine ; 6. Man Research ; 7. Sound check (gravity) ; 8. Latin Simone ; 9. Re Hash ; 10. Clint Eastwood ; 11. Rock the House ; 12. Dracula ; 13. 19-2000 ; 14. Punk ; 15. Intermission ; 16. Tomorrow Comes Today ; 17. Clint Eastwood

Gorillaz (recorded live at the Forum, London, on September 28, 2001)

1. M1A1 ; 2. Tomorrow Comes Today ; 3. Slow Country ; 4. Sound check (gravity) ; 5. Re Hash ; 6. Rock the House ; 7. Dracula ; 8. 19/2000 ; 9. Punk ; 10. 5/4 ; 11. Clint Eastwood

911 by Gorillaz & D12

chat with Damon Albarn, BBC Radio2, Stuart Maconie's show, 08/04/2002

compilations

Objectif 2001, tome 2 les découvertes, incl. Tomorrow Comes Today, CD LI 01 35, Les Inrockuptibles n° 280, mars 2001

Kevin & Bean present Swallow my Eggnog, KROQ 2001 Christmas 31-track US compilation CD. Includes Clint Frostwood by Chillaz and Don Quixote's Christmas Bonanza by Gorillaz (KROQ Records - 888-1770002), 2001

Objectif 2002, tome 1 événements, incl. Sunset Coming On by Damon Albarn & Malian Musicians and Clint Eastwood (Phi Life Cypher version) by Gorillaz, CD LI 02 46, Les Inrockuptibles n° 327, 26 février-4 mars 2002

Collector 2, incl. Makelekele (version instrumentale) by Damon Albarn & Malian Musicians and Jungle Fresh by Space Monkeyz Vs Gorillaz, CD LI 02 50, Les Inrockuptibles n° 338, mai 2002

records

promo vinyls

10RDJ6545 (UK promo 10")
Tomorrow Comes Today ; Rock The House ; Latin Simone ; 12D3

7RDJ 6552 (UK promo 7")
Clint Eastwood, Dracula

12 RWL 6552 (UK white label promo 12")
Clint Eastwood (Ed Case mix), Slow Country (Curtis Lynch Jr mix), Tomorrow Comes Today (Middle Row mix)

SPRO-16418 (US promo 12")
Clint Eastwood (12" Clean Edit - 5:54) ; (Radio Edit - 3:44) ; (Ed Case Refix Clean Version - 3:55) ; (Phi Life Cypher Clean Version - 4:57)

10RDJ 6559 (UK promo 10")
19-2000 (Original Mix/ Soulchild Remix/ The Wiseguys House Of Wisdom Mix)

GZD 12 911 (UK white label promo 12")
911 featuring Terry Hall by Gorillaz & D12

12RDJ 6565 (UK promo 12")
Rock The House ; The Sounder

RDJ 6573 (UK white label promo 7")
Tomorrow Comes Today ; Tomorrow-Dub

SMVG003 (UK promo 7")
Lil' Dub Chefin', Strictly Rubbadub by Space Monkeyz Vs. Gorillaz

SMVG004 (UK promo 10")
Lil' Dub Chefin', Banana Baby ; Strictly Rubbadub, Jungle Fresh by Space Monkeyz Vs. Gorillaz

KONG01 (UK white label promo 12")
Dirty Harry (Vocal ; Instrumental ; Acapella)

LPs

Gorillaz
5311381 (double LP nicely decorated with drawings made by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett)
Re-Hash, 5/4, Tomorrow Comes Today , New Genious (brother), Clint Eastwood, Man Research (clapper), Punk, Sound Check (gravity), double bass, Rock The House, 19-2000, Latin Simone (feat. Ibrahim Ferrer), Starshine, Slow Country, M1 A1, Clint Eastwood (Ed Case/Sweetie Irie Refix)

12"

12R 6545
Tomorrow Comes Today, Rock the House, Latin Simone, 12D3

12R 6552
Clint Eastwood, Clint Eastwood (Ed Case Refix), Clint Eastwood (Phi Life Cypher)

12R 6559
19/2000 (original mix), Left Hand Suzuki Method, 19/2000 (The Wiseguys House Of Wisdom Remix)

12R 6573
Tomorrow Comes Today, Tomorrow Dub, Film Music (mode remix)

acetates

Gorillaz - 19-2000 Darren Mix (344) (45)
A mega-rare one-sided unreleased 12" acetate of '19-2000' featuring the Darren Mix, 3:44. It was recorded at The Town House Studios, London. It has a Town House hand-written label. It comes in a plain black outer sleeve.

CD-ROMs & DVDs

GOR 002

Dazed&Confused Promo CD ROM featuring the promo video for Tomorrow Comes Today +Band Biog & link to Gorillaz.com

DVDR 6573
Tomorrow Comes Today (DVD Video), Film Music (audio), Tomorrow Dub (audio), 'Jump the gut' PT. 1 (30"), ), 'Jump the gut' PT. 2 (30")

PM: 910

PHASE 1 : CELEBRITY TAKE DOWN (limited special edition)
It features:
- 5 gorillaz videos presented in 5.1 surround sound - Clint Eastwood, 19/2000, Tomorrow Comes Today, Rock the House, and the unfinished video for 5/4, original storyboards and animatics
- multi angle 'live performance' from the Brit Awards incl. Exclusive Mandarin version
- 5 "gorilla bites" (short animation pieces)
- Gorillaz gallery
- website tour
- visuals from the gorillaz live show
- interview with frontman 2d
- Dr Wurzek's winnebago
- "the charts of darkness" - gorillaz behind the scenes documentary
- hidden extras
The bonus cd-rom features 8 screensavers, 2 games, 12 wallpapers and the key to the future of gorillaz.com
It includes 52-page full colour illustrated history of gorillaz and an exclusive sticker sheet
review here

videos

Tomorrow Comes Today

Clint Eastwood

19-2000

Rock The House

Gorillaz on Big Breakfast (March)

Gorillaz on Select, MTV (with Jamie Hewlett & Damon Albarn) (April 01)

Gorillaz on JDM, MCM (with Jamie Hewlett & Damon Albarn) (May 01)

Gorillaz at La Cigale, Paris, June 22, 2001

Gorillaz Special, MTV2 (with Jamie Hewlett & Damon Albarn + promo videos of 19-2000, Clint Eastwood, Tomorrow Comes Today) (11/09/01) (with & without French subtitles)

MTV Europe Music Awards (spotlights with Jamie Hewlett & Damon Albarn: Best New Act, Best Group, Best Song)

MTV Europe Music Awards (ceremony with Jamie Hewlett & Damon Albarn: award for Best Dance: Damon's CND speech ; promo video of Rock The House ; award for Best Song: Gorillaz thank-you speech)

Brit Awards, ab1

Gorillaz at the Isle of MTV, Lisbon, Portugal (Tomorrow Comes Today, Clint Eastwood, tiny bit of Damon interview) (July 02)

books

promo book Gorillaz Partnership 2000 Gorillaz 40-page LDT edtion official comic book

Tank Girl - Get Knotted!, 1990, published by Penguin Books

Tank Girl #3, July 1991, published by Dark Horse Comics

Deadline #36, Dec/Jan 1992 featuring full colour cover of Blur illustrated by Jamie Hewlett and an interview with the band conducted by Jamie Hewlett

postcards

Geep

2-D

Murdoc

Russel

Noodle

photos & slides

6 promo slides from EMI

29 pix from Bristol Academy, Bristol, UK, 15/12/2001

shows

22 June 2001: La Cigale, Paris, France

28 September 2001: The Forum, London, UK

15 December 2001: The Academy, Bristol, UK

posters

limited edition print featuring 12 drawings from the 19-2000 video storyboard

here are some of them



T-shirts

a Noodle T-shirt

Buttons

10 different buttons


I interviewed Damon Albarn, I was blown away by Gorillaz and now I'm in heaven!

By Maryse Laloux (Two's A Crowd) June 2001

click here for a French version

I find it still hard to believe but yes, ... I've done it! I've interviewed Damon Albarn from Blur... er... no sorry... from Gorillaz... and I've made a dream come true!

I had been looking forward to this interview for two long years. When Blur played Paris in Sept 1999 it was then that I was hoping to first fulfill that dream. I had gotten all the necessary permissions to interview the band a couple of months before and had prepared all my questions. So I was really disappointed a few days before the long-awaited date when I was told that Blur wouldn't do any promotion and therefore wouldn't be taking any interviews. For consolation I was given a photo-pass. That was meager consolation compared with the dream I had nourished over the previous weeks but when I found myself standing at Damon's feet while he was shaking his sweat-drops over my camera I sure thought it wasn't that bad!!

This year, we French people are very lucky to have Gorillaz play Paris, their only stop in Europe on this side of the English Channel. As soon as the concert was announced I asked for the interview. OK, Gorillaz isn't Blur.... but it's almost the same! And if by any chance I was to interview Damon Albarn then I'd have all I could wish for! This time I protected myself from disappointment by ignoring the answer I got which said "I don't know yet whether they'll do promotion or not. It's pretty unlikely ? A photo-pass should be OK" and resolved myself to not think about the interview until a few days before. The concert date (June 22nd) getting near, I inquired about the interview. On Tuesday 19th I received a message saying "it's OK for the interview. Leave me a number and I'll call you to give you the time". Gee! Super!... Things were looking really positive this time so I started working double-speed to prepare my questions. How happy I was when I was told on the next day - 2 days before the show - that I would be interviewing the fathers of Gorillaz, Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett themselves! It was a bit of a rush but hey... I was so boosted that I had loads of questions in my head. Surprisingly enough I felt confident and up to it! Wonderful!

On D-day - Friday June 22nd, 2001 - Virginie, with whom I share a passion for Damon Albarn, and I arrived at the pre-arranged meeting place. Virginie was paralyzed with emotions. I tried to keep cool! We were told they were a bit behind schedule and our time slot would be half an hour later. They had only three or four interviews planned that day and we were among them! Gee...! what a privilege! All of a sudden we realized how lucky we were.

3.15: time to go. We were guided up three flights of stairs along a tiny and dark corridor. On every step I found myself thinking: "Maryse, it's nearly it... You're gonna meet Damon... Your dream is about to come true!" We were shown into a small room where there was a black sofa facing two armchairs and apparently... nobody. Jamie Hewlett then strolled in from an adjacent room. Smoggy, Damon's body guard, was already there, and a cameraman who would film the whole interview was also present. It was only when we drew level with the chairs that we could see Damon Albarn lying on his stomach on a settee in the other room, his face buried in the mattress and a red baseball-cap on his head. He moaned with laziness as Jamie was saying: "Come on Damon... we've got an interview now... there's no time for a nap!". So everything was OK after all... Damon was there... for real! I put my gear down, shook hands with Jamie while Damon got up lazily. He went straight up to me, shook hands, grabbed the lapels of my printed denim jacket, examined the buttons pinned to them and burst out laughing when he saw the doodle on my dark blue T-shirt. I asked him if he recognized HIS drawing, the one he did specially for the Blur Fan Club. I took advantage of the situation to ask Jamie if he knew that Damon was a graphic artist and to introduce Virginie and myself as Blur fans known as "Two's A Crowd". Damon burst out laughing again but Jamie didn't get it. Damon explained to him that "Two's A Crowd" was the duet that started his musical career. Our Damon couldn't have been more relaxed and smiling. I told him how happy we were to be able to be there, took a couple of Gorillaz vinyls and CDs out of my bag and offered them to doodle on them over the interview and got the MD recording started. Damon's attention was caught by my 7" promo vinyl with Clint Eastwood on the A-side and Dracula on the B-side, which he examined carefully. Then we were off for a 30-minute interview with our hero.



This pic cannot be used elsewhere without permission. Thank you.

The interview went splendidly well. Damon and Jamie were so generous with their answers and so light-hearted. Many of my questions caused laughter and jokes... it was a good laugh!


This pic cannot be used elsewhere without permission. Thank you.

After the interview Virginie and I thanked Damon and Jamie warmly and told Damon again how privileged we felt to have been able to spend that half-hour with him. We gave him our cards. Damon wished us a good show and said he'd be interested to know about the audience's reactions to the show. Apparently Gorillaz is the center of Damon's universe at the moment, Blur taking a backseat while he explores his creative limits. I told him I'd write a review of the show and post it on my website and he assured me he'd go and read it. I asked Damon and Jamie if they would mind having their picture taken with us and of course they wouldn't. Damon huddled against me, inclining his head toward me. I huddled against him. His back was wet with sweat... Hou la la! Smoggy took the picture and then we said good-bye. Damon told us it had been a pleasure to be with us and looked genuinely sincere. I felt like giving him a thank-you kiss but I didn't because I have so much respect for the man that I wouldn't want to impose an unwelcome kiss upon him. So I gave him a most hearty smile and shook hands. We left the place, went down the stairs and found ourselves outside... Had we been dreaming it??? Virginie and I felt like screaming, crying, exulting, letting our exhilaration and amazement off... No, it wasn't a dream... we had just spent half an hour with the person we admire the most!!


This pic cannot be used elsewhere without permission. Thank you.


venue : La Cigale, Boulevard Rochechouart, Paris ; capacity : 1400

setlist :
M1A1
Tomorrow Comes Today
Slow Country
5/4
Starshine
Man Research
Sound check (gravity)
Latin Simone
Re Hash
Clint Eastwood
Rock the House
Dracula
19-2000
Punk
---------
Tomorrow Comes Today
Clint Eastwood

The Gorillaz show was another surprise, really unexpected this one! Gorillaz is a brand new band - their first single was released in November 2000 and their first album came out in March 2001. The musicians aren't identified since the band is basically cartoons and, to cap it all, they perform behind a screen onto which video images representing the Gorillaz universe are shown, the musicians appearing only as shadow show. In short, it looked like their show shouldn't be that successful. How could I even envisage that possibility? I, who has seen Blur live a dozen times and is so aware of Damon's talents, who loves his ethereal voice, his intoxicating music, his contagious spirit, his professionalism! That was forgetting that Gorillaz is first and foremost Damon Albarn and that Damon, even hidden by a curtain, can make the hearts of a whole audience faint. It took Gorillaz only a couple of songs to win over an eclectic, mainly male and variously-aged audience. A fantastic opener, M1 A1, got the tension rising. Damon's gripping voice on Tomorrow Comes Today and the accompanying beautiful images of London were terribly appealing. Slow Country was bewitching. 5/4 got us dancing and jumping. Russel, Gorillaz's drummer, supported by the voice of the famous hip-hop producer named Dan The Automator, exhorted us to scream the place down between songs. The public responded with loads of enthusiasm. Then came a powerful Starshine. For the first time we could make out Damon's shadow distinctively. He was brandishing his melodica with one hand, laughing, and then waving at us with the other. He wasn't quite there on stage but it felt almost like it. His rasping and sharp voice was spellbinding, his melodica lines sublime. I was moved to tears and cried. What a wonderful emotion!... Gravity was nearly as poignant, Clint Eastwood won the whole audience over. Rock Da House made me like hip-hop like I never thought I would. Dracula, with its dubbed-up reggae melodies and its oversized robot-like 3-D gorilla images, was pleasantly disturbing. The 3-D images that accompanied 19/2000 were so sleek that they looked unfinished. Punk was sheer madness, typical of Damon's off-the-wall punk songs. And then it was over... at least from what the setlist said... but the frenzied audience wouldn't let them go. An incredible 20-minute applause followed. I had seldom seen such a determined crowd and their persistence was finally rewarded as the technicians were told to reload the visuals and sounds for the Gorillaz came back to encore with Tomorrow Comes Today and Clint Eastwood.

It wasn't finished yet... of course! As usual Virginie and I would now wait for the artists to come out. And we did well. It gave us the opportunity to talk with friends and sound out the public's reactions. Most of the time people were dumbfounded, stunned by the quality of the performance and astounded at their own enthusiasm. We also had a little chat with Phili, one of the band's rappers. He admitted that the Paris show had been so much more successful than the London show a few months before and told us he had heard of the "Two's A Crowd" interview through Jamie Hewlett! Cool!! Finally Damon was in the hall of the venue, with Smoggy of course. He stood there a few seconds. That was enough time for Virginie and myself to press our noses against the glass doors and catch his attention. How lucky we were! Damon spotted us straight away. He recognized us, gave us a broad, hearty smile, made a little sign to us, placed two fingers on his mouth and blew a kiss to us. Thank you Damon... what a precious gift that was! The little kiss we would have liked to get on our cheeks after the interview was a thousand times made up for with that kiss for which we didn't ask and which went straight to our hearts.

Now I'm back home. I'm listening to and watching the Paris show and I get messages telling me what a real mind-blowing experience that show was. So I'm really happy, all the more that I know Damon has set his heart on Gorillaz.

Vive Damon... Vive Jamie... Vive Gorillaz !


The pics cannot be used elsewhere without permission. Thank you.



Gorillaz Interview audio file

Listen to the Gorillaz interview and hear Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett laughing and joking!

http://www.sdep.com/real/ecoute.ram.php?src=itvGorillaz062001

The audio file is provided by http://www.soitditenpassant.com (Merci Pierre xx)


Gorillaz Interview Transcript

Interview conducted by Maryse Laloux (All I Want is... Blur) and transcribed by Toby L. (rockfeedback.com).
Paris, 22 June, 2001

click here to read part of the script in French

- Within a few months the Gorillaz project has become amazingly popular, not only in Europe and the UK but also in the United States. How do you account for such great success?

(Pause)

Damon: "Well, it's new (the concept), isn't it? I think that people who like pop music (will get it). There are two kinds of pop music fans: there's the fan who just goes with the majority and soaks up all the shit that they're given on TV and in magazines, and then there's the discerning pop fan, who still likes the whole idea of pop culture, but wants something more from it - and hopefully we're appealing to them."

- In a recently published Q article, Damon you described Gorillaz as a 'genuine collective' which began as an equal split between yourself and Hewlett. The article says you Damon wrote the songs while Jamie invented the band members... Does that collaboration go back to the time when you were flatmates?

(Instantly)

Jamie: "Yeah."

D: "Yes."

J: "It started there. We spent a year living together and..."

D: "I got introduced to Jamie through Graham (Coxon), who was a big fan of 'Tank Girl' and then Graham fell out with Jamie and he became a friend of Alex's..."

J: "... Not through any choice of my own! I just sort of know them because... I knew that lot because I'd had friends or girlfriends who knew them, so I've always sort of been somewhere where they've been. We (Damon and I) ended up being mates through a very bizarre twist of fate, didn't we (poses to Damon who agrees) and moved in together - and had a good laugh. That's how Gorillaz came about really - just, you know, comic-artist, musician: what can we do, in a time where anything is possible?"

D: "Yeah... I mean, that's the thing you know. There's so much possible these days and... I don't know many people using the technology; not many people using the Internet in the way they could be using it, and making a culture out of it, where people can go and feel very much involved in it. I think - from my point of view - what I wanted to do was something where it could be very interactive with the audience, but - at the same time - I could keep my distance... I didn't really want to have my personality in there, you know? I wanted to concentrate on making music - good music."

- Then the Q article I was referring to says hip-hop producer Dan Nakamura - best known as Dan The Automator - supplied the beats...

D: "...Not all the beats. I mean, for example, something like 'Clint Eastwood' was completely done, but what he brought to 'Clint Eastwood' was Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, who did the rap on that."

- Damon, you studied drama in college?

D:"Briefly, yeah..."

- Now you are into role-playing sort of...

D: "I suppose you can look at it like that; I don't see it as that. When I sort of fall in love with music or a band or anything, I want to get further with that you know... and sort of express my love for it from my own music."

- But you're supposed to step in for 2-D and play the role of a fictitious character...

D: "Well, no, he does it all himself, 2-D! I don't do anything! I just made the record!"

J: "Yeah, none of the band members are based on anybody alive behind the scenes; they are themselves. Everyone seems to think Damon is 2-D, but he's not... 2-D's stupid and Damon's hugely intelligent! The only thing they've got in common is that they're both pretty!"

- Damon, I wouldn't want to be too personal but you live with a girl who is a native of the Caribbean, is that right?

D: "Er, no. Her mother is a black South African and her father is a white South African."

- So I'd like to know to what extent your interest in Suzi's musical background has been influential on Gorillaz.

D: "Oh, massively! When I first met her, she had spent a lot of time outside of England - in the 90s, she had been in Africa, and South America and Nepal, all over the place - and she didn't even know what Blur was, or who I was. She was into Latin music and hip-hop and that's it really."

" I suppose I'd sort of been into that sort of stuff, but - when you live with someone - that (her music-taste) was something that really attracted me as a musician, who's constantly looking for new things. She had such a different outlook on life and I really sort of liked it; I found it very refreshing. I just got more and more into it, I suppose and - in a way I suppose - making the Gorillaz album was a way of expressing my love for her."

- Martin Hayward from Blur Fan Club has the theory that Gorillaz's music is largely supplied by Damon Albarn and also Dan The Automator and that you probably played various instruments on the album - bass, guitar, and keyboard parts. Damon, you are such a versatile musician.

D: "This sounds like 'This Is Your Life'!"

- Is it fair to assume that you not only step in for 2-D but also for Noodle and Murdoc?

J:"No - don't answer that question."

D: "Well, you know, it doesn't really matter who makes the records - that's the whole point you know; and I like the mystery you know?"

- OK. So we'll keep the mystery.

D: "Yeah!"

J: "Noodle is the finest ten-year-old guitarist that you're likely to meet, except she's eleven now and we're not telling anybody..."

- The Gorillaz singer is named 2-D because he's got 2 dents in his head, right? My friend Virginie wonders if it's because 2-D got his head checked twice by a jumbo jet when he was young?

(Laughs)

D: "Blimey..."

J: "What's this?"

D: "The line from 'Song 2' (sings a dreary version of the lyric to remind Jamie where it fits into the track)."

J: "How cool!"

D: "The thing is, Jamie and I, when we discovered that we actually really got on, we also discovered that we had got so much in common. So, the way this whole thing works is that he does his thing and I do my thing - and it works, because you know we are in a band. I've known Jamie for almost as long as I've known Graham, Alex and Dave, although it's only recent in the last three years that we've really spent any time together."

J: "We were actually discussing the possibility of a curfew in our friendship and (introduce it) in six month's time, because we're having too much fun, so we're going to have to put a stop to it!"

- 2-D was 23 years old last year when Gorillaz came to life and you Damon you were 32 then. Now that you've turned 33, has 2-D turned 24 or 33?

J: "21... Murdoc's 35 because he was born on 6/6/66... He's 35 and 2-D's 21... It was his (Murdoc's) birthday a few weeks ago... It's not easy living two lives!"

D: "I wish it was only two... I could handle two!"

J: "Yeah, you've got five lives (laughs)."

- There was talk last year about you Damon releasing a solo album and you actually confirmed it to me when I spoke with you at the Soccer Six aftershow party last year. You told me that you had just been to Jamaica to record solo material.

J: "That's when you couldn't talk about Gorillaz yet and you were bullshitting, basically!"

- So the solo album you were working on at the time was Gorillaz, right?

D: "Er... Yeah, I suppose so... Kind of can't really get out of that one! Did I say I was doing a solo album?!"

- Yes, you did.

J: "You did a very good job at keeping quiet about everything for a very long time; I think that's probably what he was talking about..."

D: "I would have kept my involvement completely quiet if it hadn't been for the fact that everyone seemed to know it was my voice, which I suppose is fair enough!"

- So Damon, did you get involved in the Gorillaz project to sort of remain invisible in a fictitious band because you were kind of fed up with being constantly in the limelight as Blur's frontman?

D: "Well... I did it because I was... Oh God, it's a lot of reasons why I did it... I mean I did it because, in the last Blur album, I felt I put a lot into that record and I felt it got perceived in the wrong way. I was pretty angry about that really, I suppose and I wanted... Oh, f**k all that... The reason I did it was because you know Jamie and I get on well and we came up with this great idea. As far as I'm concerned you know, it's been the happiest couple of years of my life in every way really. Musically, I can't compare the two (Blur and Gorillaz), but it doesn't mean to say I've given up on Blur, because I haven't..."

- A couple of months ago the Gorillaz website was said to be the biggest EMI website.

D: "Yeah - by far, I think."

J: "Well, it's not hard, if you look at their other websites ..."

- What's your part exactly in the Website?

J: "We came up with the idea for it."

D: "The website is built in his (Jamie's) studio, and his studio is next to my studio."

J: "And everyday, I stand behind my little row of computer technicians and I say (puts on large, commanding voice for comic effect), 'I want this', and they go (puts on small, weak voice for further humour), 'OK', and they do it basically!"

"We wanted to create an environment where the fans of Gorillaz could actually go and, instead of reading lots of text and looking at the odd photo, they could actually feel as though they were there with them (the band)... Which they are essentially."

"We're building it everyday and interacting with the kids everyday."

- How many people work on the website?

J: "Three... and me. Oh, four - four people, and whoever else wants to put their ideas in. It's a full time job - every single day we have to live the lives of the characters and update everything that happens on it really - so .. it's very hard work."

- Jamie, you're a cartoonist, but do you have other talents?

J: "I have many talents (laughs)!"

- Let us know what they are...

"No - I don't want to go into it (laughs)!"

- Can you play bass?

J: "I don't play any instruments - I've never been interested by them; I've never been interested in being a pop star or anything like that..."

D: "You lying c**t!"

J: "What - I've never wanted to be in a pop band!"

D: "What about you in 'QQ'... the photographs of you in 'Q' (UK magazine)?

J: "Yeah, you're right."

D: "I think that's slightly not the truth..."

(Jamie laughs, acknowledging the poses he displayed for a photo-shoot in said publication and how it can be interpreted that he would like to live a famous pop-star lifestyle.)

J: "No... Damon has a habit of always telling lies!"

- Is that what you need to be in Gorillaz - to tell lies?

J: "If we just explained how it was, it wouldn't be very interesting. (Demonstrates the boring kind of answers they'd give if they didn't liven up answers in interviews and introduces a monotone voice) It'd just be like, 'We had an idea... We did it...' You have to lie a little bit. But I don't play the bass or the 'tromboon' (laughs)! I just draw and have lots of ideas."

- About the 'Smash Hits' cover stars. STUMBO from Bristol (a Gorillaz fan) asks: Is it a complete sell-out or is it part of the 'subvert from within' plan?

J: "About going on the cover of 'Smash Hits'? Is it a sell-out?"

D: "A sell-out? Not at all (sarcastically)..."

J: "The only reason I did that was because he (Damon) told me it was a good thing to do..."

(Laughs)

D: "Well - from my experience... We've been on three covers in England that we've wanted to be on - the covers of 'Dazed & Confused', 'NME' and 'Smash Hits' and - as far as I'm concerned - that's it, really... We don't need to be on the cover of any other magazine."

J: "That covers just about everyone. (This meaning that the three magazines they've been on the front page of satisfies different music-consumers' interests.)"

D: "That covers everyone. That's what magazines are there for - getting ideas across. Compared to everything else that's in 'Smash Hits', it's really anarchic (making Gorillaz the cover stars)..."

J: "Yeah, but we trashed the whole issue! Murdoc does the editorial and completely slags the whole magazine off, and says it's a load of crap! Then, we review all the singles and we slag off everything!"

D: (Diplomatically) "Whether people believe that we think that or not is irrelevant... The fact is we've said it..."

"So... 'Subvert from within'? Well, there was a degree of that; I've always kind of been interested in that..."

J: "If you become subversive, that's when you're kind of limiting yourself to what magazines you're appearing in; you've got to get to everybody, haven't you?"

D: "How can you change the mainstream unless you get involved with it and embrace it? You can't. That's what we're trying to do really; if you want to get the serious side of what we're doing, that is it..."

- Josh from GorillazFan HQ wants me to know why you're parading around like Gods even though the only reason why you're here is because Murdoc helped you along with your flagging careers?

J: "I think Josh wants to get a couple of hours' sleep (Damon and Jamie laugh)!"

D: "He's become quite a character, Josh..."

J: "Josh is our biggest Ally in the States; he's our man! Because people keep telling us to do this (promotion)... We just want to go to bed forever!"

D: "We'd rather that the characters did all the interviews, but it's really difficult sometimes, because it's difficult to get them all... They're here, they're downstairs, but I don't know where they are. Murdoc's probably in Napi Gall somewhere..."

J: "If Josh wants to come over here and pretend to be Murdoc, then he's very welcome (laughs)..."

- Liliana Aguilar from Lima, Peru - she's on the BFC mailing list - observes: 'Gorillaz has done things an animated band could've never done - a concert! So she wonders about the band's limits , being 2-D people...

D: "Well, if they turn to the side, then they disappear - that's the basic limitation of being two-dimensional. We've told them time and time again, 'Just face the audience - don't turn to the side!"

- Andy Chivers from Bexley, England, is wondering if you'll take down that screen you perform behind at some stage.

(Laugh and joke at his name, which is also a marmalade in the UK, soon recognising that it's not as bad a name to have in comparison to others)

D: "Never!"

J: "That defeats the object... If he wants to try and pull it down, I'm sure Smoggy will wrestle him to the ground (laughs)!"

D: "That's the whole point; you don't know what kind of musicians are playing - and I think that's great... It's the opposite of what everybody else is doing, which is like, 'Come on - look at me'; this is like, 'Don't look at me!'"

J: "The idea behind Gorillaz is there is no room for celebrities, there's no room for egos and there's no room for... even though I did a photo-shoot for Q magazine..."

D: (Serving up a gag with relish, counter-acting Jamie's current answer) "Oh, excuse me, I need my massage now!"

J: (Continues response, ignoring bandmate's jape) "I was pouting... - which has been an important lesson to... Damon especially..." (Insinuating that Mr Albarn indeed is arrogant)

"I mean being behind something and not taking credit for it is something very good for the brain, I think..."

"There's an inevitable sort of bird-trap about being a human-being who receives a lot of praise and a lot of glory and for being famous, because - eventually - you end up screwing up everything don't you? you can't take it."

"The good thing about this is that nobody is actually taking all the glory for it, except these four characters, so we can carry on and it won't get in the way of us being creative."

- Roxanne Shakoori from Hillsborough, CA - she's on the BFC mailing list - and R J Abbate from Elizabeth, NJ. & Peter J Daley Jr both from the Dandy Warhols mailing list would love to see Gorillaz in their country so they want to know if you're planning to promote or tour in the States.

D: "Yeah, I've just come back from there doing lots of interviews... It's going well, I think. We'll be over there soon... Yep - we will definitely be going over to America; I don't think there's any question about it... Or should I say they are going over to America?!"

- Jamie, I read you intended to make a movie out of the Gorillaz cartoons. Is it still on the agenda?

D: "Yeah, we're gonna make a film; and we fully intend the next thing that we really do with this is gonna be a film with an album, which is also a soundtrack."

J: "Yeah, we're not just gonna make a film for the sake of it; it's gonna be the next album, basically, so we can do it (the whole process of releasing a record) differently. We've done it like this, so the next album we're doing will be put out differently..."

- About the next album, I've read Damon that you wanted Liam Gallagher to sing on the next album... Do you confirm?

D: "Yeah - I'd like to write him a really good pop song."

J: (In deadpan delivery) "We're also going to get Frank Sinatra through Russel; that'd be good."

- Marc Thuillier, a Sonic Youth fan from Paris, would like to know what you think of Sonic Youth and Thurston Moore's work.

D: "(Whispers) Blimey... Well, I was actually listening to a couple of Sonic Youth songs; I always used to find them very difficult to listen to, but now I don't find them very complicated at all. In fact, I'd say that they're quite simple - I don't know what that says... I don't think that they're as complicated as what people make them out to be; they're much more straight-ahead. I suppose that's maybe now because people sound more like Sonic Youth, or I don't know... They're a cool band."

- Did you attend their experimental show in London a week ago?

D: "No, I was in America."

J: "Me too. Missed it."

- Roxanne Shakoori again from California is curious to know what kind of music both of you have been listening to lately.

D: "I've been listening to a lot of hip-hop actually; a bit of Usher, Nelly - I like the Nelly album a lot - I think that's really cool! I like little bits of the Eve records... What annoys me with hip-hop is its tendency to sort of get Dr Dre, if you can afford him, to do one or two tracks and then the rest of it is real shit! Dr Dre's a genius - he's a fantastic producer; I love his backing-tracks."

J: "I've been listening to a lot of Gang Starr..."

D: "Yeah - I've been listening to a lot of Gang Starr, it's fantastic!"

"Gang Starr.. The guru."

- Damon, what do you think of the Dandy Warhols? You went to their last London gig, didn't you?

D: "No. They toured with us and I hung out with them. They toured with us in America a few years ago. What do I think of them? They're all right, you know they're...

J: "... a lovely bunch of people."

- Oh yes, they are. So cool! Very friendly.

D: "Yeah, they're nice people, but I don't listen to their records...

-
No? Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia? That's their last album.

D: "No, I mean maybe I should - maybe I'm missing something, but I enjoyed some of their gigs and I like them."

- OK. Well... Thank you so much. I mean... we feel so privileged to have spent that half an hour with you.

D: "Oh!... It was a pleasure."


And you can also see a different edit of the interview in an xclusiv article for www.rockfeedback.com... Go and read it... It is excellent...

[Back to Home]