Murdoc Niccals is the official bass player and founder of Gorillaz.
Murdoc Alphonce Niccals was born in Stoke-On-Trent on June 6th, 1966. Although the exact whereabouts were never verified, it was rumoured that his mother gave to birth him at the Belphegor Sanatorium, a halfway house for "the sick, the needy and the incredibly bored."
As an infant, he was dumped on the doorstep of his father's house one night and was discovered by him as he was returning home from the pub.
Murdoc went on to a very abusive childhood. It has been proposed that his many addictions and his sour attitude were due to his abusive childhood. His father, Sebastian Jacob Niccals, (or Jacob Sebastian Niccals, depending on who's asking) was a spiteful drunk of a man who often verbally abused and exploited his sons.
During his childhood years, Murdoc attended Sodsworth Comprehensive School where he gained a reputation for his truancy, pranks, ugliness, poor personal hygiene and bad behavior and was the target for much bullying from both the teachers and the pupils. He would frequently be found lurking in the corridors and propping up against walls during lessons, distracting the other students with "endless quacking noises and pointless, malicious humor". His form teacher, Mr. Gravadlax described Murdoc as "an appalling student" and "a stupid imbecile who often turned up smelling of whisky". Although, even as a child, he had charisma and had a great knack of getting his acquaintances to see things "the Murdoc Niccals way". Murdoc was also bullied at school by a boy named Tony Chopper. Murdoc got back at Tony by calling him a lot of offensive and extremely harsh names, calling him "a useless, bloated backward waste of space who would probably get a job of holding up 'For Sale' signs on the corner of streets only to then get himself fired and replaced by a bucket of soil" and that "a pissed monkey would stand a better chance in life", which resulted in Tony punching Murdoc in the nose, breaking it.
The local pub had a routine talent show called the "Are You A Star?" talent contest that Murdoc was often forced to participate in so he could win his father's drinking money. The performances arranged by his father were always humiliating song and dance numbers, usually with feathered costumes and tap shoes, including one performance in which Murdoc was forcibly dressed up as Pinocchio and sang "I've Got No Strings". It was from here on out that Murdoc decided to become a musician, and he would never again take the stage under someone else's direction. He would wreak his havoc on this world of buffoons.
Murdoc dreamt about becoming a famous musician and leaving Stoke-On-Trent. After becoming a Satanist, he began making deals with the devil and came to an arrangement with him. If Murdoc was to become a famous rock star, he would offer Satan his soul. When the deal was finalized, Murdoc acquired Satan's bass guitar "El Diablo" and his middle name was changed from "Alphonce" to "Faust".
Murdoc played in a number of bands before Gorillaz, though they never went anywhere. The names and instruments of the other members appear in the Gorillaz 2005 promotional booklet and are given as follows: Billy Boy (who is based on a character in A Clockwork Orange) and Tiny on guitars, Crunch on drums, Rocky on keyboards, and Munch, who appears to be listed as "Band Artist." Not much else is known about these characters including their personalities or current whereabouts, although they appear on a few pieces of official Gorillaz artwork, most notably in the previously mentioned booklet as well as in Kong Studios, where an image of Crunch, Billy Boy and Tiny can be seen on the wall in the instrument room.
At some point in the early 1990s, Murdoc founded a band called, Murdoc's Burning Sensations. Not much is known about the band outside of being a featured headliner for a concert at the Withered Hand in Stoke-on-Trent on November 29, 1994. It is assumed that the band broke up at some point prior to 1997 due to unknown circumstances.
In August of 1997, Murdoc and a gang of criminals were on a crime spree in a stolen Vauxhall Astra. Their next target was Uncle Norm's Organ Emporium where Stuart Pot (AKA 2-D) was working. Murdoc launched the car through the shop window, crashing directly into Stuart's face, putting him into a coma and giving him 8-ball fractures. After the incident, Murdoc was arrested and was sentenced to 30,000 hours of community service and spending 10 hours a week caring for Stuart.
One day while skidding his car around a car park in Nottingham, Murdoc accidentally sent Stuart flying through the windshield into a curb, waking him up from his coma. Impressed by Stuart's appearance, Murdoc recruited him as the lead singer and keyboardist for his band and gave him the nickname 2-D.
Gorillaz Phase 1: 1998-2002
In September on 1998, Murdoc discovered Kong Studios on the internet and moved in with 2-D.
Murdoc later went on to recruit Russel Hobbs as his band's drummer after kidnapping him from Big Rick Black's Record Shack in Soho. The band also hired 2-D's girlfriend at the time, Paula Cracker, as their guitarist, but was soon fired after she was caught having sex with Murdoc in the studio toilets by Russel and received 5 more punches to his nose. After Noodle joined the band and the band was finally named Gorillaz, Murdoc organised a gig at the Camden Brownhouse and invited Mr. Wiffy Smiffy from EMI Music to see them. He and the rest of the band were successfully signed after their first gig on November that year.
With the success of the band's first album in 2001, the band launched a disastrous world tour. While in the United States, Murdoc established a cult of personality with various seedy individuals, chief of which being Little Jimmy Manson, a psychopathic midget dangerously obsessed with either killing Murdoc or falling in love with him. In a hotel room one night, Murdoc summoned a black-skinned demon boy that ended up siding with Jimmy and stalking the band ever since. After achieving fame, fortune, and several nasty hangovers, the alcoholic bassist relocated his band over to Los Angeles so they could begin production on a movie.
Post-Phase 1 to Pre-Phase 2: 2002-2004
Unfortunately, this was never to be. They were conned by a movie director (who it turns out, was just an insane man) while Murdoc attempted starring in a television program (he was too old for the part), and they ventured unsuccessfully into scriptwriting. Murdoc took off to a Tijuana brothel after strangling 2-D (who, like the rest of the band, went their separate ways) and was eventually thrown in prison with a 30-year sentence for giving counterfeit checks to prostitutes. It was during this sentence that he was acquainted with his raven Cortez, the "jailbird with a chilling reputation". While serving his sentence Murdoc acquired some prison ink (in the form of the seven deadly sins tattooed across his back), and also took an open University course: "Amateur Administration of Pharmaceutical Medicines" and managed to pass a medical exam, earning the title 'Dr. Niccals'. He escaped with the help of two Mexican criminals as well as a papier-mâché mannequin of himself and a taped loop of himself moaning.
After returning to the brothel to make a final point to the Mexican authorities, Murdoc loaded up on duty-free tequila and a few sombreros and made his way back to Kong, finding that Noodle had written the second album by herself (which he tried to take the credit for).
Gorillaz Phase 2: 2004-2007
The new album, Demon Days, made the band into even bigger superstars. After several number one videos, Noodle was apparently "killed" during the "El Mañana" video shoot (it can be noted that Murdoc came up with the idea of shooting down the floating island with Noodle inside, though he tried to save her in the long run).
After the El Mañana conspiracy, 2-D and Russel were frantic about Noodle's supposed death, but it turned out to be a hoax. Murdoc revealed the truth about the "El Mañana" video in the Gorillaz official autobiography book, Rise of the Ogre. Gorillaz-Unofficial released an article containing the contents of the book.
|“||There's no way on earth I'm killing Noodle. Are you mad? She's Noodle. We're Gorillaz! The greatest band on earth. I'm arrogant, ruthless even, but I'm not stupid. I'm not having some two-bit mouldy despot record company nut killing off my band. No way, José. That clown got what he deserved. . . He set himself up and burned all the evidence in the process. Instant Karma for Mr. Jimmy Mason.
— Murdoc Niccals, Rise of the Ogre
It turns out that the entire El Mañana conspiracy was calculated specifically to get rid of an enemy of the band: Little Jimmy Manson, a psychotic hippie turned industry executive who was set on sabotaging Gorillaz. The reason why was because Jimmy had auditioned for Gorillaz a few years back, but was turned down after Noodle got the job, causing Jimmy to have a grudge with Gorillaz ever since. Murdoc saw Jimmy's plan and decided to get rid of him before it was too late. Murdoc told Jimmy that he had a plan to "help him" to kill off one of the band members so that Gorillaz would end with a bang, and that Jimmy could start a new band with Murdoc. Noodle was to do the El Mañana video with Manson stowed away on the island and, while the windmill was crashing around them, Jimmy would shoot the guitarist whilst taking the parachute for himself. However, Murdoc turned the tables on Jimmy by not only "forgetting" to leave the weapon aboard the island, but by also locking him in the windmill. Jimmy supposedly died within the crash while Noodle parachuted to safety. It was stated by Murdoc that Noodle had been planning to leave after Demon Days, although leaving what, the band or the country, was never answered. Though it had been planned for months, she had neglected to tell anyone of her plans (although Murdoc stated it was obvious what she was doing). Murdoc, in order to run with his plan to off Jimmy, made a deal with Noodle: she could disappear for some R&R with no fuss if she did the video.
While some may say this is one of the only occasions when it appears that Murdoc isn't as selfish as he appears, he later states that "no one was going to ruin his band", obviously meaning he would not jeopardise his fame.
However on the 8th November 2007, the day of the live chat on bandmate Murdoc's Facebook page, Murdoc revealed that Noodle has actually been taken to Hell in place of Russel Hobbs by the demons invading the Kong Studios building.
|“||Noodle has been dragged to Hell. She can look after herself, but this one's too big for her on her own. I'm helping her out of there. In fact I only stopped by here to pick up a can of mace, when I noticed that someone had left the door open and let you gonks in...
— Murdoc Niccals on a live Facebook chat
He later explained:
|“||Well... It’s funny. After the first album Russel had this big mad breakdown. He had the spirit of Del exorcised out of him by the Grim Reaper. Which kind of sent him mental. He tried to record a solo album but then he was saying that all these demons were flying out the speakers trying to eat him. Everyone thought he’d just gone loopy. “Living in a basement with Ike Turner”. Turns out though he was right. The Demons were real! You couldn’t really make it up. So next thing we know is after Noodle disappeared after The El Mañana video incident, we hear this voice coming out of the basement room of Kong. Out of a radio. Turns out that when these demons couldn’t get hold of Russ, they grabbed Noodle instead. Dragged her downstairs, to Hades! So of course it fell to muggings here, (that’s me), to go on some epic Odysseus type journey into The Underworld to try to rescue her. It’s all tied up with the contract I signed with Beelzebub that shoe-horned Gorillaz up the charts in the first place. He was cocked off about some late payment of my eternal soul, or something stupid. He as well as anyone should know that these type of payments take time to come through. I mean, well, everyone’s got their demons to battle. It's just that mine take on a more physical form and have names like “Alichino”, “Lilith”, “Baphomet” “Sidragasum”, “Xitragupten” and so on... I guess that’s what you get if you’re born in a mental asylum named after a demon called Belphegor. Still I was never bored as a child. Yup... never bored.
—Murdoc Niccals on a live Facebook chat
Gorillaz Phase 3: 2008-2012
While spending many years on an around-the-world bender, Murdoc began running low on cash, he became a gun runner and was selling faulty weapons in Mexico in order to make fast money. He took further measures by burning down Kong Studios on July 25th, 2008 and attended Jamie Hewlett's opera as an alibi. After blaming the fire on some local kids, Murdoc cashed in on the insurance money and fled the country. His reason for leaving the UK was because he was on the run from a gang of pirates called "The Black Clouds" who purchased the broken weapons from Murdoc the last time he was in Mexico. Now armed with new, working weapons, they began to hunt Murdoc down as an act of revenge for ripping them off.
While sailing the world for a somewhere to hide, Murdoc had discovered an island made entirely out of floating landfill which he would call, Plastic Beach. He would also use the insurance money to erect a new Gorillaz HQ on top of the island and began working on demos for the Plastic Beach album. Murdoc has since revealed various disturbing truths about Gorillaz' history via his "Pirate Radio" broadcasts on Gorillaz.com. Among them include the revelation that Noodle was never rescued; upon entering Hell and searching wildly for her, he discovered that she was not there and that she had disappeared on her own. Returning to Earth, he created a clone-cyborg version of her from DNA that he collected around the wreckage on the site of El Mañana, and used the new Noodle clone as his bodyguard against the Black Cloud, who were pirates and mercenaries that Murdoc had been selling bad weapons to since at least his time in Mexico. At a recent radio interview, Murdoc confirmed that he burned down Kong Studios and used the insurance money in order to create his hideaway/recording studio on a tiny island named the "Plastic Beach", located at Point Nemo. It was an island made entirely of social and cultural garbage. He is presently located on Plastic Beach, where he's kidnapped 2-D and began production of the Gorillaz album Plastic Beach. During the interview, Murdoc also hinted at a possible fourth album for Gorillaz.
Murdoc has most recently been trying and failing to appear at live shows around the world such as Coachella and The Roundhouse, but many things have stopped him, such as being deported from America. He said in an iTunes interview that he "wasn't 100% sure he really exists..." and that Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett have been trying and failing to stick him back on a piece of paper. The ever-so pesky "Gorillaz Tribute Band" has been blocking his way and preventing him from taking the stage (See the Murdoc Dressing Room video shorts where, when preparing for a concert, Murdoc, 2-D, and Cyborg Noodle get trapped inside.).
It appears from the music videos of "Stylo" and "On Melancholy Hill", an evil force known as the Boogieman is chasing Murdoc, and is after him to claim his soul. The Boogieman also appears in several other pieces of Gorillaz artwork and is also seen in the 2-D ident, though the motives of the character are still unknown. However, on the Gorillaz website, it was noted that the Boogieman is a physical manifestation of Murdoc's evil side, with the Evangelist being a lighter side, though all we know of the Evangelist is that it was created for the sole purpose of saving Murdoc from himself.
Murdoc got together a group of collaborators in 2010 and went out to look for Noodle, and although they still haven't found her, she is now confirmed to be alive after the "El Mañana" incident, as she appears in the "On Melancholy Hill" video. This relates to Murdoc and the collaborators looking for Noodle, as they are in submarines in the ocean at the same time as Noodle, although the video also shows the arrival of the gang to the island of Plastic Beach.
On December 25, 2010, to cap off the end of 2010, the Gorillaz unveiled (via the Gorillaz Advent Calendar) their newest album, The Fall. It was made on the Escape to Plastic Beach World Tour using Damon Albarn's iPad.
As of late 2011, in a recent XFM Broadcast, Murdoc stated he left his pirate-infested Plastic Beach to live in Hawaii. It is evident by his detailed "story" that he is there alone, though, some fans are convinced he is lying about 2-D's "sudden death" (which didn't happen in an uncut version until he said it again was true) and the appearance of Russel and Noodle, as well as the destruction of the Cyborg Noodle. He also revealed that he faked his death by putting a Murdoc look-a-like in his place and killed him to fool the Boogieman. He finally escaped Plastic Beach via rowboat, until he got caught up in a typhoon and was blown thousands of miles across the ocean and ending up in Hawaii.
After nearly a year underground (or lurking in the dark corners of who-knows-where), Gorillaz’s Murdoc Niccals has resurfaced and is again wreaking havoc — this time over the airwaves. It seems in fact that, following a dramatic exit from Gorillaz’s Plastic Beach HQ, the miserable despot Murdoc Niccals has created yet another pirate radio station and is now sending transmissions from a brand new mystery location. It's all about Gorillaz Converse single will be called "DoYaThing" and will feature collaborators Andre 3000 (of Outkast) and James Murphy (of LCD Soundsystem). The single was released on 23 February.[2 It turns out that Murdoc wasn't in Hawaii at all, but was living in a ransacked house in England; 212 Wobble Street, London to be exact. It is unknown what happened after the rest of the band finally caught up with Murdoc, but in the DoYaThing video, it is revealed that they are all living together. However, they have been threatened with an eviction notice. The band's current status is unknown now.
Gorillaz Phase 4 (2016-)
Murdoc escaped the Plastic Beach ruins in his submarine, taking Cyborg Noodle along with him (her destruction by Noodle is implied to be a lie on Murdoc's part). The two were captured by the EMI Battleship Ringo, and imprisoned in "Dungeon Abbey", underneath Abbey Road Studios. Soon after, Murdoc was approached by an Entertainment Internal Affairs representative, who releases him with orders to write songs for the next Gorillaz album.
- Murdoc has his own Twitter account.
- Murdoc's wonky nose has been broken from being punched in the face eight times. The first punch was from Tony Chopper, the second and third punch came from his brother, Hannibal, and the last five punches came from Russel Hobbs after he caught Murdoc making out with Paula Cracker in the toilets of Kong Studios.
- Murdoc is the only mixed member of the band, due to his mother being Romani.
- In a video by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett titled "Gorillaz - ASK:REPLY", Jamie states the reason Murdoc is green is that he is an "immortalist" and he has been around since the dawn of time, so his body is a "rotting carcass", hence the green skin. Jamie also thinks that he has played a part in every major historical event, for example, he says the Great Fire of London was probably started by Murdoc throwing a cigarette out of a horse and carriage. Of course, this could just be a joke.
- Murdoc's attire in each phase of the band draws its inspiration from Ozzy Osbourne.
- Murdoc's voice changed drastically during the transition from Phase 1 to Phase 3. Initially, Murdoc's voice was higher-pitched and nasally. In later phases, his voice lowered in octaves and became a mix between nasally and raspy.
- Murdoc has one brother named Hannibal. We don't know anything about Hannibal except that he is older than Murdoc.
- His favourite colour is "blue mixed with green" because it creates turquoise.
|The full image gallery for Murdoc may be viewed at Murdoc/Gallery.|