DE­MON DAYZ FES­TI­VAL

Mem­bers of the Bri­tish vir­tual band Go­ril­laz chat with Kelli Skye Fadroski about its LA area De­mon Dayz Fes­ti­val

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Though it’s a vir­tual band, brought to life in 1998 by Blur’s Da­mon Al­barn and comic book artist Jamie Hewlett, Go­ril­laz are very much in touch with re­al­ity. Its four an­i­mated mem­bers — lead vo­cal­ist and keys player 2D, bassist Mur­doc Nic­cals, gui­tarist Noo­dle and drum­mer Russ el Hobbs—have re­leased six al­bums, in­clud­ing its lat­est, “The Now Now,” which dropped in late June.

Go­ril­laz has been out on its Now Now Tour and brought a spe­cial show to the Los An­ge­les area as it pre­sented its cu­rated De­mon Dayz Fes­ti­val at the Pico Rivera Sports Arena and Grounds on Oct. 20. The line-up fea­tured a head­lin­ing set by Go­ril­laz, as well as per­for­mances by an eclec­tic mix of artists in­clud­ing Erykah Badu, The In­ter­net, Dram, Tony Allen, Lit­tle Simz, Kilo Kish, Ana Ti­joux, Yota, Hyp­notic Brass En­sem­ble, Las Cafeteras and Chulita Vinyl Club. De­mon Dayz Fes­ti­val made its de­but year as the band was out in sup­port of its al­bum, “Hu­manz.” The one-day fest was held at the Dream­land amuse­ment park in Mar­gate, Eng­land, and fea­tured De La Soul, Vince Sta­ples, Danny Brown and more and it was capped with a head­lin­ing set from Go­ril­laz.

Since the group is cur­rently out on the road — and ob­vi­ously not real — we caught up with the mem­bers for an email chat to dis­cuss its sec­ond an­nual De­mon Dayz Fest.

THE FIRST DE­MON DAYZ FES­TI­VAL WAS HELD OVER IN ENG­LAND. WHAT WAS AP­PEAL­ING ABOUT BRING­ING IT TO THE US AND TO THE LOS AN­GE­LES AREA THIS YEAR?

Rus­sel: Lis­ten, my man, the Go­ril­laz train rolls out wher­ever it’s needed. You peo­ple state­side are over­due some sonic truth, and

we’re here to deliver that like FedEx. Plus, you know, it’s Oc­to­ber. LA got sun, Eng­land puts up the brolly. That’s English for um­brella, BTW. Least I think it is.

CU­RATED FES­TI­VALS HAVE BE­COME BIG BUSI­NESS AS THERE ARE SEV­ERAL NOW PLAYING OFF THROUGH­OUT THE US, WHAT MAKES DE­MON DAYZ STAND OUT FROM THE REST? WHO IS THIS A FES­TI­VAL FOR?

2D: It’s for ev­ery­one. Al­though hope­fully not ev­ery­one comes ‘cos the queues for the toi­lets could get quite long, and we might run out of hot dog buns. De­mon Dayz stands out be­cause it’s not like other fes­ti­vals, ac­tu­ally it’s more like an anti-fes­ti­val, fes­ti­val, i.e., the op­po­site of a fes­ti­val, while also still be­ing a fes­ti­val. But we are anti-la­bels at Go­ril­laz, so it’s not that ei­ther.”

WITH FES­TI­VALS OF­TEN COME SUR­PRISES AND COL­LAB­O­RA­TIONS, WILL GO­RIL­LAZ BE SPOT­TED DUR­ING ANY OF THE OTHER ARTISTS’ SETS THROUGH­OUT THE DAY? OR IS THERE PO­TEN­TIAL FOR SOME OF THAT DUR­ING THE GO­RIL­LAZ SET?

Mur­doc: “Bloody hell, you’re es­sen­tially ask­ing me to spoil the sur­prises for ev­ery­one. I hate spoil­ers. I’ll never for­give (Mur­doc’s for­mer prison mate) for ru­in­ing the end of “Charmed” for me when I was in the slam­mer. So as I say to my heav­ily sub­scribed life driv­ing class: Sit back, all will be re­vealed.”

HOW DID THIS PAR­TIC­U­LAR ROS­TER OF ARTISTS COME TO­GETHER FOR DE­MON DAYZ? HOW WERE THESE ARTISTS SE­LECTED AND WERE THERE CER­TAIN QUAL­I­TIES OR SOUNDS YOU WERE LOOK­ING FOR?

Rus­sel: First and fore­most, it’s artists that Go­ril­laz re­spect, folks we feel the world needs to get more of in their ears and minds. Great mu­si­cians, great peo­ple. Eclec­tic, too. Afrobeat and Neo Soul shar­ing the same stage? Hell yeah.

EV­ERY FES­TI­VAL HAS A SPE­CIFIC LOOK AND FEEL, WHAT WILL DE­MON DAYZ LOOK AND FEEL LIKE?

Mur­doc: Still look­ing for spoil­ers, eh? YOU’RE LIKE A KID RIlING THROUGH THEIR mum’s draw­ers for Christ­mas presents and it’s not even Thanks­giv­ing. All I’ll say is this: It’ll be dark, de­monic and kick you square in the soul. Twice. Bit like one of my Afghani brown­ies. Ac­tu­ally they would make a bloody great Thanks­giv­ing.

OB­VI­OUSLY WE HAVE A NEW AL­BUM FROM GO­RIL­LAZ, “THE NOW NOW,” ABOUT HOW MUCH OF THE NEW AL­BUM WILL WE GET TO HEAR AT DE­MON DAYZ?

2D: I’ll answer this one, guys. Well, I’d say cer­tainly some of it, if not more. GIVE OR TAKE A FEW SONGS. IT’S DI­Fi­CULT to be pre­cise be­cause I have no idea. No one ever shows me the set list. But I an­swered the ques­tion as it’s just nice to be in­volved. Hope you’re all well.

Jack Black was in the “Hu­mil­ity” mu­sic video. Any chance of him com­ing out to per­form with Go­ril­laz? Who would win in a musical bat­tle: Go­ril­laz or Tena­cious D?

Noo­dle: There are many bat­tles to be fought to­day, but this isn’t one of THEM. PLUS I WOULD NEVER iGHT JACK be­cause he’s a nice guy.

Mu­si­cian-singer Da­mon Al­barn per­forms with his band Go­ril­laz

Singer Erykah Badu per­forms at De­mon Dayz Fes­ti­val

Be­low: US rap­per D.R.A.M.

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