British virtual band Gorillaz are giving fans a reason to “feel good” with new music and a tour announcement! Their latest record, titled The Now Now, is set to be released June 29 and the group plans to embark on a North American tour in support of the album.
The trek will kick off this fall, with the first U.S. date on October 11 in Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center. From there, Gorillaz will hit Brooklyn and Boston before wrapping the U.S. leg in Chicago's United Center on October 16.
The band, which is led by mastermind Damon Albarn, recently released two fresh singles off their upcoming album: “Humility,” which also has a music video featuring Jack Black, and “Lake Zurich.”
Albarn described the new Humanz (2017) follow-up album as “a summer record,” although 2-D and co. will be extending the good times into fall with their tour. Supporting them on select dates will be Swedish electronic music band Little Dragon and hip-hop group The Internet.
In addition, Gorillaz confirmed their Demon Dayz Festival will return for a second year on October 20 in Los Angeles. The lineup features names like Vince Staples, De La Soul, and Danny Brown.
Who Are Gorillaz?
Gorillaz are a British virtual band created in 1998 by musician Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett. Albarn is the frontman for the British rock group Blur and Hewlett draws comic books. The band consists of four animated members: 2-D (lead vocals, keyboards), Ace (bass guitar), Noodle (guitar, keyboards), and Russel Hobbs (drums and percussion).
Ace, formerly of the Gangreen Gang from the Cartoon Network show The Powerpuff Girls, replaces Murdoc Niccals, who is currently in prison (apparently for events that took place in the band's "Strobelite" video).
Per Hewlett's animation, original member Murdoc is the devil-worshipping bass player, 2-D is the melancholy lead singer, Noodle is the 10-year-old Asian female guitarist, and Russel is the drummer/rapper. These members are not based on real-life people and their fictional universe is explored through the band's music videos, as well as several other short cartoons. Albarn is the only permanent musical contributor for Gorillaz, and their music is often a collaboration between various musicians.
Albarn and Hewlett met in 1990 and became roommates in 1997, which is when their relationship blossomed into a musically professional one. The idea to create Gorillaz came about when they were watching MTV. Hewlett 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."
Their first musical project was the EP Tomorrow Comes Today, released in 2000. The band’s first hit single was “Clint Eastwood,” which peaked at number four in the U.K., followed by “Tomorrow Comes Today” and “Rock the House.” Their second studio album, Demon Days, debuted at number one on the U.K. albums chart, supported by singles “Rock It” and “Dirty Harry.”
Gorillaz released three more albums, Plastic Beach (2010), The Fall (2011) and Humanz (2017), and is set to release their sixth album, The Now Now, at the end of June.
They are unique in that their shows are completely animated, featuring a video screen that displays their cartoon images. Albarn is the only member who plays at every show.