Ever since the Gorillaz’s frontman Damon Albarn announced the Gorillaz were going to release a project in 2016, we haven’t heard anything else regarding the band beyond last year. Albarn’s co-creator and the band’s comic artist, Jamie Hewlett, just released new Gorillaz’s artwork yesterday. Hewlett posted the new Gorillaz’s artwork on social media. When a fan asked him if the artwork meant the Gorillaz were returning, he replied, “Yes Gorillaz Returns.”
The Gorillaz are made up of Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett; Albarn is the musician and Hewlett is the comic artist. The animated/virtual band consists of 2D, Russel Hobbs, Murdoc Niccals, and Noodle (Albarn plays the role all of the animated characters). The band’s first album, Gorillaz, sold over seven million copies in 2001. The album released four singles, including the smash, “Clint Eastwood.” The song sold 480,000 copies in the United Kingdom, and it was ranked Number 38 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Best Songs of the 2000s. After their first debut album, the band released Demon Days in 2005, Plastic Beach in 2010, and The Fall in 2011. Demon Days went on to sell six million copies worldwide, and it earned five Grammy Award nominations (winning one for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals). The album featured guest appearances by De La Soul, MF DOOM, Ike Turner, and Neneh Cherry. “Feel Good Inc,” “DARE,” “Dirty Harry,” and “El Mañana/Kids with Guns” were all released from the project.
While Gorillaz were on hiatus, Albarn released his first solo project Everyday Robots in 2014. The album faired well on music charts around the world, and it was well-received by music critics. Albarn has not addressed how the return of Gorillaz will affect his other musical obligations. The frontman doesn’t speak too often about his Blur band, but Albarn did mention working with The Good, the Bad & The Queen again. Besides Albarn, the band consists of Paul Simonon, Danger Mouse, Simon Tong, and Tony Allen. The band only released one album, but it reached Number 2 on the UK Albums Chart and went Gold in the United Kingdom. Last year, Albarn said the band’s new album was written, and it just needed to be recorded in the studio. There’s a possibility Albarn will release projects for both the Gorillaz and The Good, the Bad & The Queen around the same time.