When asked to sum up his band’s evolving style, Gorillaz drummer Russel, confidently answers: “We keep it real, always.” It’s a conviction that has seen the animated band – founded in 1998 by Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett – carve a career of constant progression and re-invention and one that feeds into the group’s latest venture: the launch of their first-ever fully-fledged capsule collection: G-Foot.
Designed by Gorillaz co-creator Hewlett, under the creative direction of Remi Kabaka, producer, drummer and voice of Russel, the collection draws on the band’s stylistic evolution throughout their journey, plucking sartorial sensibilities from each member’s wardrobe: Russel Hobbs’ crane print kimono, 2D’s oversized hockey jersey, Noodles’ gold satin jacket and Murdoc’s quilted embroidered bomber. While the band’s signature gorilla palm print adorns wardrobe basics.
Celebrating the launch, Gorillaz drumming maestro Russel gave us the rundown in his own inimitable manner.
Why did the time feel right for a full Gorillaz collection?
Russel: The time is always G time.
How did you want the collection to feel? What were the core ideas floating about during the design process?
R: Style is a constant evolution, it’s a lifelong journey. We need to be able to rely on the things we like and like Jack Bruce said; “These are things we like.”
Talk us through some of the motifs and details that represent each band member?
R: Comfort and Classic. Inside clothing for outsiders. Or outside clothing for introverts.
Something to stay home or go out in without changing.
How has the band’s style evolved over the years?
R: We keep it real, always. We still got it. Inspiration comes from all kinds of places, films like Crooklyn and Drive, bands like The Clash, people like Jackie Robinson in his hey. Our melting pot is overflowing with flavour from all over the world.
Having conquered the 2D clothing world, how does the 3D industry compare?
R: We go backwards to go forwards. What’s new to you is recycling for someone older, always.
What’re you up to at the moment musically?
R: The spirit of carnival and togetherness is in the air and we’re responding to that in the music right now. Going with the flow and seeing where we land, it’s just like that.
This year marked the 20th year anniversary of your debut record, how did the band celebrate?
R: Our friend and longtime collaborator Kano has an acquaintance by the name of Pantz, he’s a purveyor of fine cocktails. Once you’ve had a Rumbaclart, you aint never gonna be the same again.
Shop G-Foot now.