Cartoon band Gorillaz will have a busy autumn, as it plans to release a series of EPs, a book and a DVD. “Rise of the Ogres,” the group’s literary premiere, will be released Nov. 2 through Penguin Books. The biography is revealed through interviews, as well as a number of “photos” from the past and present from visuals creator Jamie Hewlett.
“It starts right back from our childhoods, and how I put this band together piece by piece. It basically tells the story of how we, Gorillaz, came to rule the world,” frontman Murdoc Nicalls tells Billboard.com via e-mail.
The group (an amalgamation of personalities from Blur’s Damon Albarn, Cibo Matto’s Miho Hatori, Hewlett and a smattering of musical collaborators) managed to round up anecdotes and cameos by De La soul, Ike Turner, Dennis Hopper, Madonna and Shaun Ryder, but failed to secure a blurb from non-collaborator Keith Richards.
“Here’s a funny thing, right,” says Murdoc. “We tried to get a quote off the man for a TV advert a while back but, when asked, he kind just went, ‘Er… Who the f*ck are Gorillaz?’ So this time round we asked if we could use that quote for the book. [But] we never got any of his team to sign off on it, so we missed out.”
The EPs, “DARE,” “Dirty Harry,” “Feel Good Inc.” and “El Manana” will be released exclusively via iTunes on Oct. 24, Nov. 7, Dec. 2 and Dec. 5, respectively. Each contains live and video versions of their songs, as well as previously unreleased material.
As for the DVD “Phase Two — Slowboat to Hades,” due Oct. 31 via Virgin, it rounds up videos, short films and live performances. “I think we work well in any medium. I mean, the really obvious thing would for us to do the Gorillaz-type film. We’ve talked about it for so long,” Murdoc says. “Or we might skip that and just appear in people’s head, as kind of digital dreamy holograms — a whole new telepathic technology. Sexy, huh?”
Gorillaz are also kicking around new music, despite Murdoc’s desire for personnel changes. “Well, it’d be great to kick 2-D out of this band, but I just can’t find anyone to better his vocal abilities,” he admits. “Obviously it’s plain to see he’s a complete moron, but he sounds great on record so I guess the freak gets to keep his job. Regarding future collaborations? Ooh baby, have we got something special lined up for you. I can’t let you in on it just yet, but needless to say it makes the Gorillaz ‘Demon Days’ period look like a warm up act. You hear it here first too, kids!”