It's been six years since Gorillaz blessed the world with new music and while the music landscape has changed considerably since 2011's 'The Fall', the band have once again proven they are able to stay ahead of the curve with 'Humanz'.
Featuring collaborations from musical heavyweights like Vince Staples, Popcaan, D.R.A.M., Grace Jones, Anthony Hamilton, De La Soul, Danny Brown, Kelela, Mavis Staples, Pusha T and Benjamin Clementine, the album's 20 tracks (and 26 on the Deluxe Edition) proves that good things come to those who wait.
We sat down for an exclusive chat with Noodle and Russel about the long-awaited new album and answer entertainment.ie's Big Questions.
Hi guys. So, what took you so long with the new album?
Noodle: People think that if you are not recording then you are not creating. But you can’t live in a studio. It is only in the chaos of the real world that you find something to say. It is like this for all art. The good thing for Gorillaz is that chaos seems to find us very easily. In the last few years I’ve fought pirates, beheaded an ancient demon, evaded a yakuza death squad, and FedEx’d myself in a crate from Tokyo to London. And this morning I burned my mouth on a Pop-Tart.
Why call it 'Humanz'?
Noodle: I guess it’s like a snapshot of the human race at this point in time. We are becoming something else, more digital. So right now we are humanz with a z. Part android, part organic. We are already augmented by technology, many of us are less capable without it. 2D relies on satnav to find his way around the house. In the past, Murdoc hired private detectives to spy on his enemies – now he uses a fleet of surveillance drones.
Describe your perfect day off.
Noodle: I find meditation really helpful. And I’ve just got into quantum mechanics and astrophysics. I read a lot about that, and hope to one day discover the deepest truths of the universe. I also do a lot of online gaming. My handle is EatMyRocketLauncher.
Pick the director and lead actor(s) for a biopic about your life
Noodle: It would be scary, weird and violent, so to direct I’d pick Bong Joon-ho. I loved The Host and also Snowpiercer. He has great taste. To play me, this is a bit of a weird question to think about. Chiaki Kuriyama was pretty kick-ass as Gogo in Kill Bill. But I’m probably only saying that as I want one of those spikey mace things she had. Serious weapon envy.
In three words, describe the minute before you walk on stage.
Russel: Brown. Trouser. Time.
How do you wind down after a gig?
Russel: I never wind down. Got to stay in the moment, stay focused. The world is spinning out of control, people. No time for distractions. Cos that’s what The Man wants, man. Wants you dumbed down, diverted, head stuck in a smartphone or computer screen. Like you are right now. Yeah, I see you. Russel’s watching you. I mean, I’m not actually watching you, that would be messed up. And breach a ton of privacy laws. But the point is… what was my point… uh… oh yeah, FOCUS!
Which song on the album are you most proud of?
Russel: Keeps changing. But right now I’m giving Ascension a lot of spins. Vince Staples straight up kills it. And that tune really kicks you in the ass. Great beat. Pure chaos. Perfect for my morning Zumba class.
Name one piece of music memorabilia that you wish you owned.
Russel: The original King of New York by Barron Claiborne. It’s the portrait he took of Biggie just three days before his death. Dude looks like royalty, a demon in a crown. A true icon.
Gorrilaz's new album 'Humanz' is out now.