During their two decades as a band, the members of Gorillaz have variously been cloned, possessed by ghosts of their deceased friends, kidnapped (usually by their own bandmates), and hunted down by an international gang of pirates.
Of course, all of this is an elaborate backstory dreamed up by the real-life creators of Gorillaz: Damon Albarn of the British indie band Blur and
, co-creator of the Tank Girl
comic series and the illustrator responsible for the band members’ visual identities.
Billed as the world’s first virtual band, Gorillaz have been releasing music since 1998. Over the years, the four bandmates—Rupert, Murdoc, 2D, and Noodle—have collaborated with a host of real-life musical guests (with Albarn orchestrating behind the scenes). Virtual they may be, but Gorillaz win Grammys; they sit down for live interviews; they play live shows, occasionally appearing as projections or live holograms. The band is not real, exactly, but it certainly exists.