Noodle; fictional, Japanese musician and lead guitarist of the world’s most successful virtual band, Gorillaz, talks about their album, global tour, and crazy adventures…
Hey Noodle! I’m really loving your latest and sixth studio album, THE NOW NOW. What’s the reaction been like since its release and how’s everything with you and the band currently?
We are touring the THE NOW NOW right now; it has been quite crazy. In Moscow, a torrential storm came down, so we had to stop the show for fear of being struck by lightening. But I don’t think I should read too much into that. It was fun and exciting. Of course, everyone was ok, if a little wet… We recently played a show in my hometown in Japan of the whole record. It was special, and people have liked the album very much. It’s very real and an honest collection of songs.What did you guys get up to between the release of ‘Humanz’ and this new album?
We have been on the road quite consistently and constantly this year. We have toured the world, everywhere from Sao Paolo to Moscow, from Tokyo to Los Angeles, which is what we love to do. We are explorers at heart. We love to go to different places and talk to different people. Then the songs flow out. We are all different, but we say what we want and with Murdoc not around, it was easier… Also, of course meditation helps too.
Can you tell us a bit about the concept for the latest album and what inspired the tracks?
The new album is about being present in the moment. In the now. NOW. Or at least, that’s what 2D thinks. Reset yourself and get back on track. It’s a very emotional record.How would you say the Gorillaz sound and band dynamics have changed over the past 20 years? Would you attribute your surroundings to these changes?
20 years don’t pass for us. We are now. Everyone grows and changes, whether that be in size, or in knowledge and of course without Murdoc around, things have been very different. The world around us is changing and strange things have been happening. There are many bad things which happen, but humans can overcome all. Our music is always a direct reaction to the way the world is influencing us and making us feel, and right now we need to stick together and have faith. Don’t give up. Fight on!
Do you think working with Murdoc has made the band’s journey more appealing to the worldwide audience, or has it just been a danger to your health? Have any of you heard from him since his imprisonment?
Murdoc is there for your interpretation. He’s like green marmite: some people love him, some people hate him. As for me, I miss the energy he brings to the table. He has very high expectations, and always puts energy on the table which often punishes 2D, particularly when the expectations aren’t met by the world. However, I do not miss his smell and the things he would leave all over the tour bus.
Having been with the band for around 20 years now, I imagine you’ve seen some pretty bad habits, but who has the worst?
Keeping up with Murdoc’s lies over the years has been exhausting. Whether he’s lying about what he did last night, or just exaggerating the truth. He’s always up to no good with that mouth of his. We’re living in a time where lies are believed, and nobody benefits from that!What are your favourite memories with each of the band members?
I have a memory involving all four of us. It was when we performed with Madonna at the Grammy Awards. Seeing all their faces as Madonna sashayed past, wiggling around the stage like a beautiful eel! That is a memory. I very much enjoyed playing my guitar too. We toasted the future that night. And now we are in that future. Weird, huh.
Your time with the band has fostered many interesting adventures so far, such as the incident with the demon from hell, Mazuu. Other than that, what has been your craziest adventure?
The craziest adventure is that we are still here. We have been subjected to hell, fire and plague and we still exist.