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Villain Overview

Snobs look down on people, and I look down on everyone. Not in a sooty classist way. I mean because I'm better than everyone else. I don't give a shit about good manners.
~ Murdoc Niccals

Murdoc Alphonse "Faust" Niccals is the fictional official bass guitarist, self-proclaimed leader and founder of the popular British Virtual band Gorillaz.

He is voiced by Phil Cornwell.

Appearance

Murdoc is a green-skinned, medium length black-haired 54-year-old man with long unclean fingernails and a wonky nose due to getting punched in the face quite frequently as a child and adult. He is 5 ft. 9 inches tall and has a rather skinny body. He always wears a golden reversed cross necklace (the symbol for the anti Christ) and his attire usually consists of simple jeans, brown shoes and a black shirt; however he does change his attire from time to time in some music videos. His tongue is long and pointed and his teeth are uneven, dirty and spiked.

Personality

The Life of Murdoc Gorillaz!!! (2).gif

Murdoc is extremely short-tempered, arrogant, grouchy, and just plain rude. While he gets along with bandmates Russel and Noodle, He particularly likes to pick on 2-D. As seen in the Do Ya Thing music video, Murdoc is extremely lazy and even uses a chair lift to go down the stairs in his, 2-D, Russell and Noodle's flat despite being perfectly capable of walking normally without assistance. During the video, he is also shown to be even more grouchy in mornings as evident from his behavior towards 2-D (i.e. growling at him for no apparent reason and whacking him over the head with a converse shoe).

History

Childhood

Murdoc Niccals was born in Stoke-On-Trent on June 6, 1966. Although the exact whereabouts were never verified, it was rumored 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 Murdoc and his half older brother, Hannibal.

Sebastian Jacob Niccals and Murdoc.png

He was educated at Sodsworth Comprehensive School where he gained quite the reputation for his pranks, poor personal hygiene, terrible behaviour and all around ugliness. His rival at school was a bully named Tony Chopper of whom constantly bullied Murdoc, the latter got revenge on Chopper however by calling him several offensive, rude names when right afterwards Tony punched him in the face which give Murdoc the first fracture of his signature wonky broken nose. Murdoc dreamt of becoming a musician ever since his father forced him to participate in talent contests in order to win drinking money.

Leaving Home, Meeting 2-D, and forming Gorillaz

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Once Murdoc left his home town he became a Satanist and made a deal with the devil being that if he were to become a famous rockstar then Satan could take his soul. Upon making the deal he was given Satan's base guitar El Diablo. Murdoc played in countless bands before Gorillaz all of which went nowhere and faded into obscurity, one evening in 1997 he and a gang of criminals were on a vicious crime spree and stole a Vauxhall Astra. The gang and Murdoc were going to next invade Uncle Norm's Organ Emporium where a young 2-D (originally known as Stuart Pot or Stu Pot by his family and friends) was working. Murdoc crashed the car into the shop and hit Stuart directly in the face, putting Stuart in a coma and giving him severe 8-ball fractures to one of his eyes. As punishment for the crash Murdoc was forced to do 30,000 hours of community service by taking care of the injured Stuart, however one night when skidding his car in a Tesco Car Park in Nottingham, Stuart flew straight through the windshield and his other eye suffered an 8-ball fracture giving him his signature look. Impressed by Stuart's appearance when he stood up, Murdoc named him 2 Dents (2-D for short) and 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 who later give 5 more punches to his bandmate's nose. They later received Noodle through a mysterious Fed-Ex package containing her and the band was finally named Gorillaz.

Life with Gorillaz

After Noodle joined the band and they were finally named Gorillaz, Murdoc organized 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 in November that year.

The Life of Murdoc Gorillaz!!! (24).jpg

With the success of the band's self titled 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.

The Life of Murdoc Gorillaz!!! (1-).jpg

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 paper-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).

The new album, Demon Days, made the band into even bigger superstars. After several number-one videos, Noodle was apparently "killed" during the "El Mañanamusic video shoot.

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.

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 25, 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 Cloud" 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 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 smiling at the Boogieman.

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. As it turns out, the devil was getting impatient, waiting nearly forever to get Murdoc's soul. He sent the Boogieman to collect it, but of course, he was unsuccessful.

Murdoc attempted and failed 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.) Murdoc had said that the "Gorillaz Tribute Band" was actually a group of people made by Lucifer, in punishment for not allowing him to take his soul.

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.

In a 2011 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), Murdoc resurfaced and was 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 created yet another pirate radio station and was now sending transmissions from a brand new mystery location. 

After escaping the Plastic

Murdoc, while taking a leek, and Cyborg Noodle escape Plastic Beach.

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. 

Quotes

Well, we went through a lot of names but seeing as musically I wanted to swing through the jungle baring my arse, I thought Gorillaz was a perfect name.
~ Murdoc on why he named the band Gorillaz.
He don't feel too good, he feel eel.
~ Murdoc to Russel after melting the eel's face.
I'll tell you what I've seen quite a few episodes of MTV Cribs and EVERY house is the same. What's all that about? The first thing these peasants do when they get their hands on some money is buy some tacky show home, and fill it up with all this s--t. They call it culture. They wouldn't know what culture was if jumped up and bit them you know, an' took em on holiday. Peasants, slag, scumbags.
~ Murdoc in the Gorillaz: MTV cribs short.
THE BATH!
~ One of Murdoc's lines in Saturnz Barz (which has now became a popular meme).
Would you pleeease stop playing that sodding BANJO?! (2-D: But it helps calm my nerves before the show!) If you strum another bum note on that hillbilly instrument, I'll stick it in your mouth!
~ Murdoc to 2-D

Trivia

  • He was created by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett
  • During Phase 1, Murdoc is shown to have heterochromia, as his left eye iris is light red and is then darkened during Phase 2 but turns back to red during Phase 4 and 5.
  • 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.
    • However this conflicts with the fact that his confirmed birthday is June 6, 1966, making him in his early 50s as of 2016, and proving this as being incorrect. Despite this, Jamie also thinks that Murdoc 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. Although Murdoc says in his radio show that "they" tried to pin it on him, but in actuality, he helped put it out by digging a trench.
    • Other reasons given for Murdoc's skin being green is that it is a strange kind of tan, or that it is caused by his alcohol consumption.
  • His voice changed drastically during the transition from Phase 1 to Phase 3. Initially, Murdoc's voice was higher-pitched and nasally but in later phases, his voice is lowered in octaves and became a mix between nasally and raspy.
  • Murdoc is the oldest member of Gorillaz as he is in his early 50s.
  • Murdoc has his own Twitter account. Formerly, the account was inactive since 2012, but later became active years later following his imprisonment in 2018.
  • He is the only mixed member of the band due to his mother being Romani.
  • Murdoc has a half brother named Hannibal. Nothing else is known him except that he is older than Murdoc.
  • His prisoner number 24602 was a possible and likely reference to the novel and musical Les Miserables, with the main character Jean Valjean's prison number being 24601.
  • One of Murdoc's many nose breaks was caused by Russell after he caught him having an affair with Paula Cracker, 2-D's ex-girlfriend in the Kong Studios toilets, a furious Russell punched him in the face, breaking his nose in 5 places.
  • A line Murdoc said in Saturnz Barz (The Bath) became a popular meme. He is aware of the meme's existence and remarks about it occasionally in interviews.

See also

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