Producer Danger Mouse is the elusive blender behind the Gorillaz latest album, Demon Days. Danger has a lot more than you’d suspect under his belt — don’t let his stellar hip hop past blind you — and it’s his mish-mash of influences that helped shape this new Gorillaz sound.
“I think this record is very ‘pop’ because the melodies are so great, but it’s definitely dark. It was definitely a more somber, moodier record to make,” says Danger. Growing up, Danger’s musical influences included listening to his sister’s hip hop albums, and his parents’ soul records collection, before moving to an indie rock city and experiencing all that spaghetti Westerns and psychedelic music had to offer. Danger is also the secret agent mastermind behind remixing Jay-Z’s Black Album in to the highly downloaded Grey Album.
In spite of the variety of Danger Mouse and the Gorillaz, it doesn’t make Demon Days an overproduced array of ‘must haves’ meant to cater to all types of sales demographics. “It’s not forced at all…not like ‘ok this is the rap, this is the rock song,” he says of their final cuts.
Though no one really knows much about him (much like his inked friends 2D, Murdoc Nicalls, Noodle, and Russel Hobbs), his secret identity is maintained on purpose. Grinning shyly before disappearing, he adds, “If you know somebody, they’re not a mystery to you anymore.”
Dirty Harry, one of the many hits from Gorillaz’ album Demon Days
Gorillaz photo courtesy of EMI Music Image by Jamie Hewlett