This February, the world's best-loved virtual band, Gorillaz, have collaborated with LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy and Andre 3000 of OutKast for a one off track, 'DoYaThing' for Converse's 'Three Artists. One Song' project. The band have also unveiled four design concepts for the footwear collaboration this spring, combining the iconic Chuck Taylor All Star with the band’s famed graphics by designer and Gorillaz co-creator Jamie Hewlett. Together with the Converse website, we premiere the video for 'DoYaThing', and talk to Murdoc and 2D about the collaboration...
I think in a funny way it’s one of the very best things we’ve ever done. It seems to encompass every aspect of the Gorillaz oeuvre
How was the footwear collection born?
Murdoc: The plan was to get a range of the shoes together using Gorillaz own special artwork. So, I put in a call to our art-and-video director Jamie Hewlett, and see if he’d like to put something together with us. Which Jamie did and they looked great... Converse said it’d be good to have a track, y’know… some music. And I thought it’d be wonderful to put something together with Converse, music-wise. It’s what we do, Gorillaz. Music. We’re known for it. Gorillaz are all about the collaboration, aren’t we, so it seemed like a perfect fit.
How does the collaboration with Converse rank among the past music collaborations the band has done with the likes of Snoop Dog, De La Soul, Lou Reed, etc?
Murdoc: I think in a funny way it’s one of the very best things we’ve ever done. It seems to encompass every aspect of the Gorillaz oeuvre, almost like it’s got a little ingredient from each period of the Gorillaz back catalogue.
How long have you wanted to work with James Murphy?
2D: Sound Of Silver is a great album. A fantastic piece of work. I’ve always been a big fan of keyboards and technology and bloopy noises and Krautrock and everything else... so LCD Soundsystem really works for me.
What about Andre 3000 made you guys want to work with him on this track?
2D: He’s cooler than being cool, isn’t he? Gorillaz love OutKast, They’re one of the few outfits that all four of Gorillaz love. Aquemini, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, and Stankonia are great albums. OutKast always capture that really colourful, really liquid, playful funk and wrap it round with lyrics about love, and politics and truth and fun… It was a real pleasure for me to sing alongside Andre.
Murdoc: Andre’s lyrics are really great too, incredible… very fluid. He’s an incredible rapper, so tight. And the lyrics just pour forth like a tidal wave out of him. And – as Andre sings in this cut – he really is the ship.
Are some outtakes from the song that may see the light of day soon?
Murdoc: Hmm… not sure they’re outtakes, more... different versions. There’s a fair few versions to come out the oven…there’s an extended mix that’s knocking on for 12-13 minutes. That’s “DoYaThing” on full throttle. It’s “The Director’s Cut,” i.e. my one. It’s a real epic.
Was it tough cramming 10 years of your band’s history on to four shoes?
Murdoc: Not really. That’s what it’s always been really. Four pairs of shoes. Me, Russel, Noodle and er…the other one. “2D”. Always forget his name. But, the whole history of this band has been just four pairs of shoes. Only this time, they’re available to buy through Converse.
The free track will be available for download at www.converse.com on February 23, 2011. The Converse & Gorillaz collection will be available at premium retail stores and online at www.converse.com beginning February 23, 2012