Written by: Abbie Alonzo
This week we are so excited to be talking to a fan account for one of the most innovative bands! With their unique creation of an animated world, Gorillaz cultivated a fan experience all it’s own! We are talking with the fan account @gorillaz_club run by husband and wife, Andrew and Darina! 👏🏽
Darina shares with us that she began listening to Gorillaz in 2010. Their latest album at the time, Plastic Beach, caught her attention and her love for the band began to blossom. She recalls that although Plastic Beach was the first album she heard, Demon Days has her heart. The depth and atmosphere of their music is what makes it so magical, Darina says. Andrew, on the other hand, began listening to Gorillaz in the early 2000s. Though his love for the band did not go into full effect until a few years later, Andrew says that his sister was a huge fan of theirs and introduced him to them. He recalls being weary of the band and their out-of-the-box imagery and vibe at first, but came around when he heard “Feel Good Inc.” for the first time. After this first encounter, he listened to Demon Days, the album “Feels Good Inc.” is from, on repeat! Andrew even found himself asking around to see if others were familiar with the band, later forming a fan community on a local social network (where he would later meet Darina!) 😍
Music speaks to people in so many different ways, and we love hearing about how people connect to songs or albums! When asked what their favorite songs were, Darina says that “On Melancholy Hill” was “love at first listen”! She shares that it is a beautiful song filled with such deep feelings that you can not help but fall in love with it. A close second would have to be “Andromeda”. This song, Darina says, is magical and is written with such vulnerable emotion. ❤️
Andrew’s favorite song, “Stop the Dams,” gives feelings like no other. He says, “When it starts playing, it's like everything around you stops, and only you keep moving.” Andrew describes how this song makes you feel like you know something that no one else knows, which is both exciting and sad at the same time. This is a song that you can listen to no matter what emotion you are feeling! 😌
An interesting thing about Gorillaz is that they are portrayed by characters! In videos and performances, we are shown recurring animated characters carrying out the song. Every video of theirs is so unique and captivating; we could not wait to hear which videos were these superfans’ favorites! Darina loves live performance videos above all else. Some of her favorites include "El Mañana", "Empire Ants", "Souk Eye", and "Sleeping Powder". She describes how the song “M1A1” is a fantastic opening song, and you can feel the energy even through a computer screen! 💻
Andrew did not hesitate, stating that “DARE” was his favorite video. He says from the first time watching it he was hooked! It is a mesmerizing video with incredible graphics and a tune that is sure to get stuck in your head! You will feel as though you are one with the world on the screen. 😱
Darina was very excited to talk about engagement experiences with Gorillaz! She told us that the co-creator of Gorillaz, Jamie Hewlett, has followed the account and commented on some of their posts! This was so exciting for the couple, as Darina shares that you don’t necessarily start a fan account in hopes of engaging with the artist, but rather to support them and show your appreciation. So, when the artist you adore does interact with your account, it means that much more! It meant so much to Darina that Jamie himself appreciated them. 🥰
The couple has had more than just online interactions with Gorillaz, though. Andrew recalls that he and Darina had a run-in with the other co-creator of the band, Damon Albarn, who was in a hurry to get to his yoga class at the time! That same year, Darina and Andrew attended ParkLive Festival in Moscow. Through a project within Andrew’s fan community, they were able to present a gift of a hand-painted balalaika to Gorillaz’s bassist, Seye, before their set! He was very kind and grateful for the beautiful gift. Darina and Andrew went on to watch about 40 minutes of Gorillaz’s set before a thunderstorm forced the band to stop playing. Despite this, Darina looks back on this experience very fondly to this day! ✨
Speaking of concerts, we asked Darina and Andrew what their dream lineup would be at a Gorillaz concert! Andrew was quick to answer Blur–an English alt rock band that Damon Albarn is also a part of! He also felt that Modest Mouse and La Roux shared vibes and sounds that would nicely compliment that of Gorillaz. In terms of live performances, Andrew would LOVE to see Gorillaz do a concert with Metric! 🎶
Darina and Andrew regard starting a fan account as one of the best things they have ever done! It has given them such a sense of community and allowed them to meet so many amazing people they would not have met otherwise! Darina’s favorite hashtag they have started was #FanArtEvening, in which people in the fandom would share their art. She says that Jamie is an artist and inspires many of these fans with his own works, and to be amid so many talented people is an amazing feeling! Gorillaz fans are very dedicated and are always guessing what the next song or artwork from the band will be. The couple often receive messages from fans about new projects the band may be embarking on, and they then monitor different social channels to see if they can confirm or deny the news before sharing it with their followers. In Darina’s words, “Fans never sleep!” She shares how at the end of the day, the best part about having a fan account is the fans themselves. They are so dedicated and excited about Gorillaz, and it is amazing to be a part of something so passionate. 💗
We asked if given the chance to talk to the band who had such an impact on their lives, what would Darina and Andrew want to say?
“I would probably write them the most trite words that they have already read and heard a million times from their fans, but this is sincere - thank you for your music and art, you inspire and unite millions of hearts. I'm happy to be a part of this community.” Cue the tears! 🥺
We were delighted to get to talk with Darina and Andrew this week and learn more about the band behind hits like “Feel Good Inc.” and “Clint Eastwood”. The love the couple has for this band is next level, and we are honored to be a part of it! Make sure to check out @gorillaz_club on Instagram, and stay tuned for another Behind the Fan coming soon! 🌟
Darina of @gorillaz_club is from Ukraine. We spoke with her about the senseless violence that is taking place in her home. She shared with us that she is safe, and this fan account is a bright spot where the amazing connection and support of other fans all across the world can be felt. We stand with the people of Ukraine and all of those in Russia who oppose what is taking place. Darina is so thankful for all of the support being shown, and we are thankful to Darina for providing a home for all Gorillaz fans. 💙💛
To learn more about what it taking place in Ukraine, click here.
To learn how you can help the people of Ukraine, click here.
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