10 Legendary Bands That Were Actually Side Projects

9. Gorillaz

By the time the rock scene reached the end of the ‘90s, Britpop had seemed to run its course for the most part. Outside of some of the more watered down takes on the genre like what was coming out of Coldplay, the golden age that Oasis had pioneered had seemed to fall apart, giving way to nu metal and the seeds of garage rock in the next few years. You’d think that someone like Damon Albarn would have been left by the wayside, but he had something a bit more digital in mind.

After running into some creative tension with Blur during the making of the album 13, Damon had struck up a friendship with artist Jamie Hewlett and came up with the idea for a completely virtual band, operating like a cartoon where Jamie would oversee the animation and Damon would write the material. Though the debut singles like Clint Eastwood may have seemed like a joke at the time, what’s gone on in the years since has been anything but a fluke, as Damon takes his signature sound and pairs it with artists that you would never expect, from De La Soul to slowthai to building the bridges with his ex rival Noel Gallagher for a tune on the album Humanz.

If anything, Gorillaz might be the one side project that might be able to eclipse what Damon had done with Blur all those years ago. You can call Damon Britpop if you want to, but that’s just one musical tool in his arsenal at this point.

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