Gorillaz: 9 Shocking Facts You Didn’t Know

The Gorillaz is a British-virtual band created by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett in 1998. The band originates from Essex, England and plays majorly alternative rock, trip hip-hop, electronica and alternative hip hop. The band is made up of four virtual members, 2D; who lead vocals and keyboards, Murdoc Niccals; handling bass guitar and vocals, Noddle; a guitarist, keyboard and backs vocals and Russel Hobbs who specializes in drums and percussion.

The Gorillaz is relatively a large group. There are only two actual members, seven live members and, as mentioned before, four virtual members. The founders of the group are the two actual members. The live members include Mike Smith, Jeff Wootton, Mick Jones, Cass Browne, Paul Simonon, Gabriel Wallace and Jesse Hackett. The virtual members, as the name suggests, are fictional. Being a famous virtual band, there are many things known about this group. However, just like other celebs, highlighted below are nine things you didn’t know about the Gorillaz. Gorillaz Shocking Facts!

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Gorillaz Shocking Facts: How Did Hewlett and Albarn meet?

Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett met in 1990. Initially, Albarn was a musician whereas Hewlett was a comic book artist. Initially, Albarn had formed a band with Coxon, a talented guitarist, known as Blur. Coxon was a fan of Hewlett’s comic work. He asked Hewlett to interview the band, and the interview was published in the Deadline Magazine. After meeting, Hewlett and Albarn didn’t quite like each other. They just couldn’t get along well. In fact, Hewlett thought that Albarn was a ‘wanker.’

Hewlett also began seeing Coxon’s ex-girlfriend, Jane Oliver, worsening the troubled relationship. Despite these conditions, the two began sharing a flat in Westbourne Grove, London in 1997. Hewlett later broke up with Oliver whereas Albarn was the epitome of their relationship with Justine Frischmann.

Gorillaz Shocking Facts: Why call their band Gorillaz?

Initially, after the band formed, the members went by the name ‘Gorilla.’ Their first song under this name was ‘Ghost Train.’ The musicians behind this first incarnation include Dan the Automator, Kid Koala and Del the Funky Homosapien. After some time, they changed their name to Gorillaz. Reason? It is speculated that this is because both artists were born in the year 1968. If you can recall, this was the year of the Monkey. This, probably, could have led to the name.

Gorillaz Shocking Facts: The 2008 Beijing Olympics Ad

Do you remember the 2008 Beijing Olympics commercial? Certainly, it was among the best and coolest commercials ever in the history of Olympics ads. Don’t be surprised as the best is always expected from the Gorillaz. BBC hired Hewlett and Albarn for the two-minute clip. They featured a cartoon version of the 1970s children program Monkey. In brief, the clip featured Monkey, Pigsy, and Sandy. They were on a perilous journey to the Olympic stadium, Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Stadium, for a variety of activities including diving, sprinting and the hammer.

The Chinese folklore ‘Journey To The West’ for an epic quest for enlightenment inspired this animation. If you remember, the clip had title sequences of shorter versions to push its coverage of the Beijing Olympics.

Gorillaz Shocking Facts: World Records Broken By The Group

Gorillaz got into the Guinness Book of World Records in 2001 after their debut album. The band sold more than seven million copies. As a result, it made them probably the most successful band despite having minimal competition. As if this is not enough, they also broke one of the YouTube records. Their music, ‘Stylo,’ broke the record of the most views on YouTube. This is after garnering a total of 900,000 views within the first 24 hours after being uploaded. The music video featured Bruce Willis.

Other interesting accolades won by this creative band include one Grammy’s award. They have also won the BT Music Digital Awards four times, the Q Awards thrice, NME Awards once, MTV Video Music Awards twice, MTV Europe Music Awards three times, GQ Awards and three Billboard Video Music Awards. In brief, out of the 61 nominations for various awards, they have scooped 18. Quite astonishing!

Gorillaz Shocking Facts: A Fan of Zombies and Vampires?

Judging from the appearance and references of most of their songs and videos, the Gorillaz are undoubtedly a fan of Vampires and Zombies. As a result, most of their songs, if not all, refer to zombie and vampire related movies. Just to mention, think of films like ‘The Amityville Horror, ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ and the ‘Resident Evil.’

Gorillaz Shocking Facts: A Huge Fan of Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood is a famous American actor, musician, political figure and a filmmaker. With all these capabilities, he certainly has a huge fan base. The Gorillaz – not left behind. They have not only admitted being a huge fan of this figure but also made several compositions for him. Just to mention, they named their first single after this actor. In addition to it, they also recorded a clip for his Dirty Harry character that features the 2D’s slurred vocals.

Gorillaz Shocking Facts: Plastic Beach: Home to Murdoc Niccals

As mentioned before, Murdoc is among the fictional character with a bassist role in the Gorillas virtual band. Hewlett stated that Murdoc is always angry because he is not the frontman of the band. And it’s this way despite all his efforts responsible for the majority of the Gorillaz creation. Just to mention, Murdoc is an aggressive character born on 6th June 1966. They believe that he had a difficult childhood that contributed to some of his current behaviors.

In 2005, during the phase 2 of the project, Niccals burnt down the official home of the band, Kong Studios. He then proceeded in search of another place for the members of the band to make them feel safe and private. Niccals finally found a new location, the Plastic Beach. It was full of trash. Actually, this is the name of their third studio album and the place where they recorded it.

Gorillaz Shocking Facts: What inspired the Doncamatic?

Doncamatic is a single track that Gorillaz released in 2010. They recorded the song in September and released it in November the same year. Singer Daley is featured in this song. The Gorillaz claim that the Korg Musical Instrument company’s designed drum machine inspired the formulation of this song. Initially, the Plastic Beach featured the song as a bonus but never released.

Gorillaz Shocking Facts: Source of Idea To Create Gorillaz?

The idea to form the band Gorillaz came about as the two were watching MTV. While watching TV, the two were not happy with the lack of content and substance. Therefore, they decided to form a cartoon band that would at least bring something interesting to MTV.


The Gorillaz is certainly one of the most interesting, fascinating and eclectic musical projects that ever existed. Cartoon aficionados can relate the level of creativity and innovation present in the content. The members have created some of the catchiest tunes that have attracted millions of followers through their virtual quartet of animation. With their interesting characters, the characters took place in almost all the interesting video films and games. Just to highlight, FIFA 2002 used the song 19-2000 as a theme song. There are many other interesting facts you probably didn’t know about Gorillaz, this combination of real, fictional and virtual characters.

Gorillaz: 9 Shocking Facts You Didn’t Know