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Watch This: Silent Running by Gorillaz

The concept of the virtual band is nothing new- it goes all the way back to the Archies in the 1960s. However, the most successful example of all time has to be The Gorillaz. Founded by musician Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett, they have been putting out music and animated videos since 1998.

Their newest video is for the track Silent Running. It was produced by Nexus Studios and directed by Jamie Hewlett and FX Goby. The song is the fifth to be released from their upcoming eighth studio album Cracker Island, due for release on February 24.

The video incorporates animated and live-action elements, so that the members of the band can interact with the real world. It features a scenario where 2D has been captured by a sinister cult and is set to be sacrificed. And it's up to his bandmates to try and mount a daring rescue.

Originally based at Kong Studios in West London, early last year the group of musical misfits relocated to Silver Lake, California where their new mansion home in the hills proved to be the perfect base from which to recruit new members to join ‘The Last Cult’. Early reports from the Golden State indicated that The Great Leader AKA Murdoc is not only in love with the lady next door, but has a new scent, bottled as his own Divine Essence. Russel is glued to the TV in an effort to salvage some meaning from the static and save humanity, while Noodle is compiling a handbook of wisdom and knowledge. 2D is busy being 2D. With the band in search of the One Truth to fix the world (and Murdoc out to impress his neighbour), they are barrelling towards a prophesized day of reckoning called The Rupture. What this is, and the fate of the band itself, is revealed in the new ‘Silent Running’ video.

The live-action, animated and FX elements blend extremely well to create a satisfying whole and some pretty impressive imagery. Hewlett and Goby "set out to create a narrative-led and creatively ambitious music video for the band bringing together prosthetics, pyrotechnics, performance and intricate visual effects." The sense of scale is "conveyed through layers of detail large and small, incorporating minuscule carvings on the cave walls, evaporating cult members and the use of real fire on set." 

"It was a mega-ambitious project, so we had to be mega-creative to get every detail perfect. It was a thrill to capture all of this while exploring each of the Gorillaz members' stories" said Goby.

Nexus Studios - 'Silent Running' by Gorillaz, directed by Jamie Hewlett & Fx Goby from Nexus Studios on Vimeo.