Gorillaz 3rd album thread- Plastic Beach




All quotes, statements, information about Gorillaz’ third album will be collected in this thread.

  • Album said to have the working title ‘Plastic Beach’ according to De La Soul. The track Bobby Womack contributed to (see below) is about a plastic ocean. Damon got the inspiration for the title Plastic Beach from looking at plastic in the sand in a beach near his house in Devon in the UK. Damon also says he wants to express “the idea that plastic, we see it as being against nature but its come out of nature. We didnt create plastic, nature created plastic.” (more context in the interview transcript below) He also compares shows like the X-Factor and American Idol to “buying a ready made meal in loads of plastic packaging” and says Gorillaz albums are intended to be an alternative to that, pop, but with some kind of depth.

The album features the sounds of some seagulls recorded on a landfill site near London, to give it a real plastic beach feel.

  • The sound was originally (2008) said to be ‘more experimental’ than previous Gorillaz work, with some orchestral material, and possibly less pop overall. However as recording went on the material became more Pop and accessible, as confirmed by Damon in a November 2009 interview with Paul Morley. Einar Orn said earlier that the album is more accessible than the previous two (comment in September 2009)

  • Damon has said his vocals and melodies will be clearer on this album than on the previous two.

  • Both Damon and Jamie went to Syria and Lebanon for weeks during March-May (ish) for music sessions and artistic inspiration.

Possible Collaborators (some reports more reliable than others, see below. Even in the most reliable cases, the track in question may not make the album’s cut and might end up as a B-Side or unreleased outtake)

Tony Allen
Source story:- http://gorillaz-news.livejournal.com/250941.html Tony Allen tells an Australian music site he is working with Damon Albarn on a new album with other guests. Gorillaz-Unofficial note: Damon has recently (August '08) indicated that he is making another album with Flea and Tony Allen, so Tony probably won’t appear on the Gorillaz 3rd album).

Source story:- http://gorillaz-news.livejournal.com/251239.html Kano tells The Sun he’s done work with Damon on at least a couple of tracks with view to their inclusion on Gorillaz album three.

Bobby Womack
Source story: http://gorillaz-news.livejournal.com/255203.html Bobby Womack’s daughter tells Rolling Stone magazine that Gorillaz rung him up for London and he agreed to contribute vocals (they sent him a CD of music).
(further confirmed in Damon’s 2009 interview with Paul Morley http://gorillaz-news.livejournal.com/270957.html )

Waed Bouhasson
Source story:- http://gorillaz-news.livejournal.com/255834.html fan sends in story to G-U, claiming as a source the guys at Honest Jons record company (2-J’s note: People send in bullshit collaborator stories all the time, but this seemed reasonable enough).

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
Source story:- said to have done some work with Damon since the Carousel days (and a song titled ‘Carousel’ on the setlist featured them and was played by Damon and some members of GBQ at the Love Music Hate Racism gig in the first half of 2008). Latest report is from site britishhiphop.co.uk http://gorillaz-news.livejournal.com/256346.html

Mos Def
Source story:- mentioned by britishhiphop.co.uk http://gorillaz-news.livejournal.com/256346.html. Mos Def does have connections with De La Soul, etc, as well.
(further confirmed in Damon’s 2009 interview with Paul Morley http://gorillaz-news.livejournal.com/270957.html )

De La Soul
Source story:- http://gorillaz-news.livejournal.com/261882.html Pos tells LA Weekly that De La Soul have contributed to two tracks in contention for the third album ‘Sloped Tropics’ and ‘Electric Shock’

The Horrors
Source story: http://gorillaz-news.livejournal.com/263987.html in a video interview on Youtube, The Horrors reveal that they have worked with Damon on a track for the Gorillaz’ third album.

sinfonia ViVA (orchestra)
Source story:- http://gorillaz-news.livejournal.com/249354.html reports from sinfonia ViVA event.

Syrian National Orchestra
Source story:- Damon’s comments on the Radio 1 interview. http://gorillaz-news.livejournal.com/248922.html Actual orchestra confirmed in November 2009 Paul Morley interview.

Omar Souleyman
Source story:- Damon collaboration rumour on Syrian website, report sent in by fan who spoke to someone from Honest Jon’s, and Damon played a song of his on the radio 1 takeover

Einar rn Benediktsson
Source story: Einar rn Benediktsson talks to an Icelandic newspaper about contributing to the album and other facts about the album. Mark E Smith is on the same track as Einar rn Benediktsson. Einar Orn is somehow a parrot in the song, and Mark E Smith is the captain.

Lou Reed
Source story: Einar rn Benediktsson talks to an Icelandic newspaper about contributing to the album and other facts about the album.
http://gorillaz-news.livejournal.com/267251.html (further confirmed in Damon’s 2009 interview with Paul Morley http://gorillaz-news.livejournal.com/270957.html )

Barry Gibb
Source story: Einar rn Benediktsson talks to an Icelandic newspaper about contributing to the album and other facts about the album.
http://gorillaz-news.livejournal.com/267251.html (further confirmed in Damon’s 2009 interview with Paul Morley http://gorillaz-news.livejournal.com/270957.html )

Mark E Smith
Source story: Einar rn Benediktsson talks to an Icelandic newspaper about contributing to the album and other facts about the album. Mark E Smith is on the same track as Einar rn Benediktsson. Einar Orn is somehow a parrot in the song, and Mark E Smith is the captain.

Snoop Dogg
Source story: Damon revealed this in is November 2009 interview with Paul Morley.


18th September 2008

Damon and Jamie, whilst on Monkey promo duties in Canada, tell the Canadian press that after coming back from their vacations, they have decided to make a third Gorillaz album (they say the same thing to the Pitchfork website on the same promo tour). They say they have already told EMI they are going to make the album. According to the pair much remains undecided about the album although Jamie will “adapt” the characters. Serious work is said to be due to start from January. No prospective guests have yet been contacted. Jamie states half-jokingly that they intend to work with Bruce Willis.


"Q: Whats next for you?
DA: Were doing another Gorillaz record. We came back from summer holidays and realized we could do exactly what we wanted to do with Gorillaz. Essentially, Jamie just had to agree to draw the characters again. Cause I just do what I do anyway.
JH: Im so f—ing bored of drawing those characters. But then we had a moment where we had a new angle on it.
DA: Well, you wont be bored of drawing them again.
JH: Im gonna adapt them. "

“Q: Seriously, what are you guys planning to do to make Gorillaz exciting again?
JH: We really cant say what were doing next. We just started. Youre only the second person weve told that Gorillaz is making an album, actually. We were instructed to keep it a secret. When we told the record company, they went Woohoo! you could hear them shouting in the background and then said, Dont tell anybody”


"there will indeed be another Gorillaz pop album, as Damon Albarn told Pitchfork’s Scott Plagenhoef in an interview that will see the light of Pitchfork soon enough. Albarn noted that he hasn’t started formally contacting folks for those coveted guest spots or anything, but that a record is definitely happening, and therefore, Gorillaz are so not breaking up. "


"NP: Whats next for you?
Albarn: Were going to do another Gorillaz record.

NP: Did Journey to the West change how you collaborate?
Hewlett: We just learned more about what we do, musically and artistically. Thats a shit place to come at when we come to another Gorillaz album. It doesnt have to be animation and music."

Once freed from their operatic duties, Albarn and Hewlett hope to begin work on the follow-up to Gorillaz’ excellent Demon Days sometime in January. For now, they’re close-mouthed about the musical guests who will be involved.

“I want to work with an incredibly eclectic, surprising cast of people,” says Albarn. “But the nice thing after having done Demon Days is that there aren’t a lot of people who say, `No, I don’t want to do that.’ So we’ve got a shit choice. It’s just up to us to use that wisely.”

“I’d like to get Bruce Willis involved in this one,” offers Hewlett.

“Involved in whatever way we can have him involved. Something action-based. I just think its would be really funny to get Bruce Willis involved in a Gorillaz album and I’ll bet you there’s a perfect way to do it.”

31st October

Chris Morrison (Damon’s manager) comment about forthcoming Gorillaz work:- "“He could well go back to it, there is an intention to - on Gorillaz at least.” However he adds:- “Damon tends to start a number of things and one will catch his interest and he’ll develop it and then that becomes real, so I don’t want to pre-empt anything before it becomes real.” from http://news.stv.tv/entertainment/37105-damon-albarns-gorillaz-return/

7th November

Jamie tells The Independent a bit about his plans for Gorillaz Phase 3:- “They’ll be the same characters, but a little bit older and told in a different way.” he comments, adding that Damon has already started work on the music and that he is looking forward to reviving the characters. From http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/features/monkey-business-artist-jamie-hewlett-reveals-how-he-created-his-antihero-997071.html

13th November

Various sites report new comments from Damon (at the Monkey premiere? ) about getting temporarily distracted from the album. “It’s very difficult to not make music with everyone all the time, because you become such good friends with people, but there’s not enough hours in the day and you can get very distracted. I’ve been to Africa, and then it was half term and this, that’s a month-and-a-half out. I was a third of the way through the Gorillaz album, and I got completely blown off course again. I need to find my way back. I’ve been hanging out with Graham quite a bit recently, and it’s really nice to have my old friend back.” From e.g. http://musicnews.virginmedia.com/entertainment/news/music/2008/11/12/damon_struggles_with_gorillaz_album

15th November

The news corporation ITN caught up with Damon and Jamie at the Monkey premiere and asked about the new album. Damon talked about being more experimental and about two orchestras he’s been working with. Jamie talked about the fact that they want Gorillaz to tour more extensively around the third album.
Damon: “It [Monkey] really has changed the way I that I write. I think I can still just about do pop Turkey but maybe only very briefly in between lots of different stuff. I think I’ve got something to say with the next record but I am approaching it in a different way. But it will be a Gorillaz record, that’s for sure. I’m working with different orchestras. One really interesting one from the East Midlands who come out of Derby, and then one from Syria, just sort of putting stuff together. It’s good, it’s interesting. I’m desperate to get back to it actually, and concentrate and finish it off. But this is somewhat distracting”.
Jamie: "We can be a bit more experimental. We can be a bit more daring about what we do next. And I think also one of the things we’ve never done a lot of with Gorillaz is live shows. We did some shows at the Manchester [International] Festival and the Apollo, but I think what we’ve learnt is maybe, after doing this [the Monkey live shows], pulling this off, with a live orchestra and everything else, I think that means we could probably do the same with a Gorillaz show. Tour. Gorillaz can tour, instead of doing ten shows for two albums! [laughs] It seems a bit ridiculous really, we didn’t really exploit that one."
Video interview:- http://itn.co.uk/news/c0476cc3e17578d44e4e2caadeeaf11b.html

14th January 2009

Damon ‘takes over’ Zane Lowe’s show whilst Zane is on holiday, part of 2 weeks of takeovers by artists while Zane is away. Jamie is also present in the studio and Murdoc calls in to pay a visit.
Damon says some of the songs he plays on the night feature people he was worked with / will work with on Gorillaz third album tracks, but he does not reveal specifics.
Full transcript and mp3s etc:- http://gorillaz-news.livejournal.com/248922.html


Damon and Jamie go to Syria and Lebanon to record / gain inspiration

7th March 2009

Tony Allen collaboration possibility story. “In a recent interview with themusicblogs.com.au Afrobeat legend Tony Allen stated: “I am currently working with Damon Albarn on a new album project with other guests”. It has not been clarified whether this is the Gorillaz album or some as-yet-unannounced project. Tony previously collaborated with Damon on the project The Good, The Bad & The Queen.”

7th March 2009

Kano collaboration possibility story. “I went into the studio with Damon a while ago. We worked on a demo idea that he came up with in Lagos in Africa. We went back and actually produced the idea. It just so happened that I added a little bit on a couple of tracks he gave me. Its all sounding good. The albums not wrapped up yet. I think the process Damon goes through is that he makes loads of demos, then cuts them down and starts getting into the production. Hes at that stage now where hes finishing off the record. Ive just left him alone to do whatever he does. What Damons played me of the album sounds really good and despite Africa Express, which I took part in, it doesnt sound very African influenced. I was honoured to be working with him and the whole project.”

10th April
Bobby Womack story: "They called me from London and said, Man, we want to do something with you, recent Hall of Fame inductee Womack tells Rolling Stone. The unfinished track arrived at his California home just a few days ago. In the days when I would get loaded, I would have thought this was shit, says Womack. Now that Im straight, I think Im too square to know where theyre at. I kept listening and thought, Damn, why do they want me? Its all new to me. The only thing that convinced me was my daughter said, Dad, you got to do this. Theyre awesome. I said, Youre hip to them? Luckily, Womacks daughter was able to explain that the Gorillaz are a rotating cast of musicians, rather than a wild band of primates. I thought she was talking about a real gorilla. I said, I worked with a lot of people, but I never worked with a gorilla. After it was all sorted out, Womack called the Gorillaz and said he was down to participate. I just called them back and said, I want to be a help and bring something to the table. I gotta be honest though, I dont know why you want me. They said, Its about a plastic ocean. Just imagine yourself in a plastic ocean. Just get on there. Do what you wanna do. Itll work out. It should be interesting. "

13th April 2009

Reports of Amy Winehouse working with Gorillaz. See http://gorillaz-news.livejournal.com/255314.html

14th April 2009

Waed Bouhasson report. Fan writes in:- “Hi, I have some more news on the new Gorillaz album. A Syrian singer named Waed Bouhassoun is working on at least one track on the forthcoming Gorillaz album. This is not a rumour. The boys at Honest Jons Records are partly responsible for the collab. She has an album that came out last year titled La Voix de l’Amour (A Voice For Love).” http://gorillaz-news.livejournal.com/255834.html

16th April 2009

Britishhiphop reports Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Tony Allen and Mos Def to be on album. Source:- http://gorillaz-news.livejournal.com/256346.html

8th May 2009

Gorillaz third album expected before the end of this financial year, according to EMI:- The UK Music Industry magazine Music Week reports that EMI (Gorillaz’ record label) expect Gorillaz to release a new album within the next financial year, i.e. before the end of March 2010. (“The companys release schedule for the year includes new albums from Air, Gorillaz, Norah Jones, Massive Attack, Kylie Minogue, KT Tunstall and Robbie Williams.”)

16th May 2009

Fan report about Del: Gorillaz fan DiscoverCatch23 writes in:- I PERSONALLY spoke to Del the Funky Homosapien at his concert in Ann Arbor, Mi on tuesday [5th May]. He said he IS working with damon, or more specifically when I asked why he stopped for the second album he said ‘But who said I stopped altogether? Yeah, the new album is more than half way done, but it’s hard to get the final touches because Damon and I are two separate entities and it’s hard to synch up sometimes, we are both doing several projects right now’." http://gorillaz-news.livejournal.com/259403.html

16th May 2009

Chris Morrison (Damon’s manager) comment:- “[Damon]'s got a plethora of tracks at the moment. Whether they all make the light of day or get refined and come down to a normal amount you get on a record of 10 to 15 tracks, I cant tell at this point in time. It’s far too early in the stage of what we are doing. Itll come round when its ready and when its been finished and when hes happy with what hes done. There is no point putting art round schedules, you put schedules round art and what you need first of all is Damons music. The plan for the new Gorillaz album is well wait until Damons finished recording it. The thing is, its formulating at the moment and its going to be out in about a years time. I hope. Im probably pre-empting something Ill get shouted at for.”

27th May 2009

The UK’s Daily Star newspaper has an (indirect) mention of Gorillaz’ 3rd album in today’s edition. The small article mentions that Damon has let the band Magistrates use his studio but, as Magistrates singer Paul Usher is quoted as saying “While recording, Damon came in and was like: 'I need the studio back for half an hour to record a Gorillaz track.”.

6th July 2009

The Horrors work on a track for Gorillaz third album:- http://gorillaz-news.livejournal.com/263987.html "“Funnily enough we actually recorded a track with Damon recently which is possibly going to be used on the next Gorillaz record. And we met Jamie… so yeah, maybe there is a possibility of that happening.”

29th September 2009

Einar rn Benediktsson speaks to an Icelandic newspaper and reveals that he, Mark E Smith, Barry Gibb and Lou Reed have contributed to the third album sessions. Also says the album is more accessible than the first two

28th November 2009


Damon Albarn was recently interviewed by journalist Paul Morley and the interview was published in the early hours of yesterday morning (GMT) on the website of the national UK paper The Guardian. You can read a summary of a few points of the interview and listen to 39 minutes of it on The Guardian’s website here. Damon talks about a lot of things but most interestingly for Gorillaz fans he spoke a lot about Gorillaz’ third album. Amongst the details revealed were the following:-

The title ‘Plastic Beach’ is confirmed for the third album.

He got the inspiration for the title Plastic Beach from looking at plastic in the sand in a beach near his house in Devon in the UK. Damon also says he wants to express “the idea that plastic, we see it as being against nature but its come out of nature. We didnt create plastic, nature created plastic.” (more context in the interview transcript below) He also compares shows like the X-Factor and American Idol to “buying a ready made meal in loads of plastic packaging” and says Gorillaz albums are intended to be an alternative to that, pop, but with some kind of depth.

The album features the sounds of some seagulls recorded on a landfill site near London, to give it a real plastic beach feel.

The album features Snoop Dogg on a track. (Damon also confirmed that previously rumoured or mentioned artists Lou Reed, Mos Def, Barry Gibb and Bobby Womack would appear on the record).

Damon has put more thought into making the lyrics and melodies clear on this record than those on Gorillaz and Demon Days.

Damon feels this is the most pop record he has ever made. He says that although he recorded with orchestras in the making of the record, only small parts of the recordings will be on the final album.

Work on the album can be traced back to work on the project Carousel which was about ‘the mystical aspects of Britain’ and although it is now Gorillaz it ‘still maintains a lot of that melancholy’.





Our source reports that Gorillaz have been signed to headline Coachella 2010. Coachella is a long-running music festival held each year in Indio, California. Coachella 2010 will take place from April 16-18 2010.

Our source writes:- “Gorillaz have been signed to headline Coachella 2010… Damon flew back last night from New York last night after some promotion work on PB [Plastic Beach]. But only one venue confirmed! Some problem with Lou Reed not committing to live dates. Dont know the full story on that one though. But thats not just it, its getting increasingly more expensive to put on a Gorillaz show.” According to our source no other Gorillaz live dates have been officially booked at this time.

Mos Def: We’ll I’m involved at this present time on the album as a vocalist but also as a character.

Interviewer: So you’re going to be one of the animated… [characters], you’ll be like what, the 5th or 6th Gorilla?

Mos Def: Yeah I think so. I’ll probably be the 5th or 6th. How many do they have now? I think it’s 4. I’m a Gorillaz cameo. I think my character’s name is Sun Moon Stars. He’s a game vendor at this place called Plastic Beach. There’s a carnival atmosphere, he [runs] one of the games at this place

Interviewer: So what’s the joint like? Is it just one or have you done a couple?

Mos Def: I’ve got three on the Gorillaz record. And they’re all really… what shall we say… ‘Sweepstakes’ is incredible. ‘Sweepstakes’ is one of the greatest things that I’ve ever done… because it’s right on time the first song we ever recorded together and we did it in like one take. So ‘Sweepstakes’ is important to me.

Interviewer: Did you hook up with Damon when we was doing the Kanye West afterparty?

Mos Def: It was around that time. But he had been sending me music over a pretty steady time that entire year, you know. For like 5-6 months before we did anything, like January that time, he was like yo I’m gonna give you some music, and we kept in touch. And then he came to New York and we went at it and it was just sort of amazing. He’s an amazing dude. I wanted all his beats! I was like hey, if you’re not going to use any of these yknow… [laughs]



…“Get the cool shoeshine.”

Are those the right lyrics?


Didn’t know they were working on a 3rd album. I’m interested…



I am hype for this. March 2010? So I get to listen to this while I explore cody’s combo potential? Oh yes. So nice.


Yes, those are indeed the right lyrics XD

Its very possible. We can assume the album is already done except for some minor production work. The website kicks back up in February to kick off the phase 3, and a listening party was held very recently.


Man the soul child remix of that song is so good.

Already something to look forward to next year :slight_smile:


second album was such a letdown…needs more del. it went far from this crazy rock/rap/pop fusion they created from the first album to w/e crap the second one was.


Sweet. I was hoping we’d hear back from Gorillaz soon.

So glad to hear they’re bringing Del the Funky Homosapien back for some more lyrical perfection. I really liked the 2nd album but De Le Soul was a mediocre substitute.



plus a group of other words so my post isn’t just one word.


This literally sounds like awesome news.


Oh snaps! This is awesome news to hear! I can’t wait for it then. I love Gorillaz. :lovin: I loved Demon Days cause I thought some of the lyrics were more thoughtful. Plus they had a cool sound. So, I wonder what this one is gonna hold for us.

As long as it’s badass and I can bump it in my car, this’ll make me happy.


Finally! Some real news.


It’s about time. I was wondering if theyd ever get back on the scene.


Love the Gorillaz, can’t wait for this.


For me its one of my favorite bands ever. One of the best in my book.

I own alot of there merch and have all of there albums so I cant wait to see how this turns out.


pharcyde + gorillaz on dirty harry = my favorite song ever

this album is going to be dope


hahah, bruce willis.

i wonder if they will abandon the horror/zombie thing…

hope not…


Considering Demon Days is my all-time favourite album, I’m STOKED. Absolutely cannot wait to hear what these geniuses have come up with now.


Wow, I thought they’d up and died after Albarn moved onto other projects.

Hope they play live again, my friend saw them do the puppets + projection thing and said it looked awesome.


I cant wait for this album. I remember all my friends use to hate the Gorillaz until they heard Feel Good Inc.