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I never really thought about anything as far as I can remember.
~ 2-D


Stuart Pot (also known as 2-D, Stu-Pot, Face-Ache or Pot) is the lead vocalist and keyboardist of Gorillaz.

Background

2-D was born on May 23, 1978, to David and Rachel Pot. His real name is Stuart Pot (his last name was often thought to be Tusspot, though his father changed his name to "Pot" shortly before Stuart was born to avoid him from getting bullied at school), but is often shortened to Stu-Pot. He was born in Crawley, England and was being educated at St. Wilfred's School (the same school that educated the members of The Cure). His father, David Tusspot, worked as a mechanic and owner of the Tusspot's Fairground. His mother, Rachel Tusspot, was a nurse who supplied Stuart with headache pills from his tree accident. While Stuart wasn't a very intelligent boy (indeed, he was often described as "a bit thick"), he was known as a kind person and had a general love of music. His parents recall a little ten-year-old Stuart bouncing around in his room listening to The Clash, Augustus Pablo, The Human League (his favorite band) and many other musicians of the sort. He hit his head when falling from a tree at the age of eleven, causing all of his hair to fall out. When it came back it was a deep 'azure blue'. [1]

Young 2D

An old photo of 2-D (foreground center) during his days at St. Wilfred's school.

On August 15, 1997, when he was 19, the drama in his life began, as hooligan Murdoc Niccals, age 31, purposefully crashed his Vauxhall Astra through the wall of Uncle Norm's Organ Emporium, where Stuart had been working, in an attempt to ram-raid it and steal the synths. Murdoc's bumper crashed into Stuart's face[2], landing him with an 8-ball fracture also known as 'hyphema', although he could still see through his injured eye. Murdoc was arrested and sentenced to carry out 30,000 hours (1,250 days) of community service as well as care for the incapacitated Stuart for 10 hours every week.

One year later, in a poor attempt to impress some women, Murdoc performed a 360 in a Tesco car park in Nottingham with his vehicle. This sent Stuart crashing through the windscreen, hitting his head on the curb, fracturing his other eye. When Stuart awoke after sliding through the cement for about a mile, he turned to look at Murdoc. This was the moment when Murdoc knew he had his frontman. "A blue-haired, black-eyed god", Murdoc recalls. Murdoc nicknamed Stuart '2-D', which stands for the "Two Dents" in his head. Rather amusingly, Stuart adored his new nickname, dropping the use of his birth name completely and even signing formal letters with the first name "Two" and surname "D". 2-D would appear to have a chronic history of violent blows to the head, coupled with a complete lack of natural intelligence. Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett commented on this, saying that he has a blank sheet of paper where a brain should be. Despite this, he serves as Gorillaz's lead vocalist. [3]

2-D is the very first member that Damon and Jamie came up with for Gorillaz, despite sometimes saying it was Murdoc. He was loosely based on Stuart 'Stu' Lowbridge, a longtime friend of both Damon and Jamie's who has worked as Damon's stage engineer and live music co-ordinator for all of his projects since the beginnings of Blur.  Originally, auditions were held to find a singing voice for 2-D, with one serious final contender being Rob Gallagher AKA Earl Zinger.  However, Damon quickly realized that was not the way he wanted Gorillaz to work, and that the proper way to do it is to sing as 2-D himself, and instead use collaborators and guests, rather than have another singer be 2-D.

Gorillaz Phase 1: 1998-2002

In 1998, 2-D and Murdoc moved into Kong Studios and assembled Russel Hobbs to join them. 2-D's girlfriend, Paula Cracker, was originally the group's first guitar player but was soon fired after Russel caught her giving Murdoc a blowjob in the studio toilets. 2-D was upset about this and he and Paula broke up. Later, 2-D began dating Rachel Stevens, a former member of S-Club 7 and invited her to the band's first gig at the Camden Brownhouse.

After Gorillaz attended the record label signing party, Rachel broke up with 2-D the next day, after Murdoc spent most of the evening hitting on her to get her attention.

After Gorillaz played their last gig at the Isle of MTV in Portugal, Gorillaz moved to Los Angeles to write a film and tension began to grow between the band members. After suggesting many crazy ideas for the film, Murdoc snapped and attacked 2-D, almost choking him. Luckily, Russel saved him, but after that fight, the band split up.

Post-Phase 1 to Pre-Phase 2: 2002-2004

During the Gorillaz hiatus, 2-D stayed in Los Angeles. He spent a couple of nights at Britt Ekland's flat, but he left because of her habit of running around naked, banging on the walls and never getting any sleep. 2-D finally left L.A to work on his father's funfair in Eastbourne. He used to collect money for a ride called 'The Switchback Ride', and there he met Shane Lynch, a former member of Boyzone, and they became good friends. By the time they met, 2-D adopted a teddy boy style and used to stroll the city along with Shane. 2-D didn't really think about Gorillaz until a couple of years later, when he received a text message from Noodle and, with that, he decided to return to Kong with fully restored confidence after he realized he was responsible for the Gorillaz’ success.

Gorillaz Phase 2: 2005-2007

After the El Mañana conspiracy, 2-D and Russel were frantic about Noodle's supposed death. Although it was a hoax, the band went separate ways but not for long. 2-D was, according to Murdoc, "...poncing off somewhere. He's probably gonna try and become an actor or a model or whatever..." 

According to an official mail-out from October 31, 2007, Murdoc says that "2-D is away on a vacation at a Jamaican beach." On November 13, however, the D-Sides text in the G-Shop stated that 2-D was currently completing a law degree.

2-D returned to the band during the events of 'Plastic Beach'.

Gorillaz Phase 3: 2008-2012

Murdoc had revealed that he had kidnapped 2-D and was holding him against his will on Plastic Beach, enlisting 2-D's vocal talents for use on the third Gorillaz album, Plastic Beach. It was revealed through various media on the trailer in which this kidnapping was revealed that 2-D was in a small flat in Beirut at the time, for reasons which are still unknown. On the Gorillaz website, it was stated by 2-D, in the Plastic Beach adventure game, that Murdoc had "kindly" gassed 2-D and shipped him to Plastic Beach, where he was being forced to sing for his new demos. His room was located on floor B2, and when you enter his room he would be found trembling on his bed. When you would talk to him he would ask who you are and that he didn't think anyone else was on the island. He stated that Murdoc has been gassing various people and forcing them to be on the album.

Throughout an interview, Gorillaz - iTunes Session, 2-D deliberately insults Murdoc just to spite him for the horrible things he has done to him, and physically attacked him when Murdoc brought up the Paula Cracker incident, which is obviously a sore subject for 2-D.

I only really joined the band to make music, and now, I'm being held captive by a bastard bass player in an underwater submarine, being attacked by sodding pirates who are trying to take over this rotten piece of broken plastic in the ocean that Gorillaz call 'home'. All this, just to make a video. It's making me want to die![4]

During the Escape to Plastic Beach World Tour, 2-D wrote his Gorillaz album The Fall which, apparently Murdoc knew nothing about. A new character also appeared on Plastic Beach. His name is Big Rick, who owned a record shop on the beach. It had been reported that the shop (previously locked) would open in time for The Fall's release.

During the special XFM radio show to promote the Gorillaz's The Singles Collection 2001-2011 on the 27th of November 2011, Murdoc said that the last he'd seen of 2-D was when the whale Massive Dick bit a chunk out of the island. This included 2-D's room which he was in at the time ("Rhinestone Eyes" Storyboard Video) and thus he was presumed to have been eaten alive.

It was later shown that 2-D was living with Murdoc, Russel, and Noodle at 212 Wobble Street, London in the "DoYaThing" music video.

Gorillaz Phase 4: 2016-2017

2D Humanz

2-D on the Humanz album cover.

After the events of Plastic Beach, 2-D was eaten by a Great White Whale named Massive Dick and presumed dead. After years of consuming trash, the whale ultimately died from its diet and washed ashore.

Stranded on a deserted island, 2-D was forced to eat the whale's rotting blubber to survive. Worth noting, 2-D had a perpetual fear of whales up until this experience, but now appears to have overcome it thanks to growing an emotional attachment to Massive. Months later, 2-D spotted a plane flying over the island. Unfortunately, the plane did not see him. 23 minutes later, he was in the middle of a beach party. It was later discovered that 2-D was in fact not lost at sea but, on the island of Guadalupe.

In Heathrow, United Kingdom, a man approached 2-D and offered to drive him to West London to reunite with Murdoc and the rest of the band. After multiple failed attempts of persuasion from the man, 2-D agreed to reunite with his captor in West London to work on the band's next album.

Gorillaz - The Book of 2D

Gorillaz - The Book of 2D

Gorillaz Phase 5: 2018-2019

Gorillaz-nme-office-1.jpg 1000x1500

2-D at NME Offices in June 2018.

Following the incarceration of Murdoc, 2-D became the defacto (Temporary) leader of the band with Ace of the Gangreen Gang temporarily taking Murdoc's place as the band's bassist. With Murdoc holding 2-D both figuratively and literally, 2-D's confidence in his own abilities grew substantially enough that he went on to release his own album, The Now Now.

During this phase, 2-D began to gain a considerable amount of confidence in himself to the point of appearing to be rude and arrogant. Russel and Noodle initially accepted this as a part of his transformation after being free from the shackles of Murdoc's abuse. However, as time progressed, his ego became more prominent and Noodle became concerned and speculated that El Mierda was perhaps related to this, theorizing something was changing inside 2-D.  However, it turned out in the end that El Mierda wasn't related and 2-D had just grown a huge ego without Murdoc in the group.  

In the music video for Humility, 2D is rollerskating happily around Venice Beach, California while Noodle plays chess with Remi Kabaka Jr. and Ace subsides in a basketball court. 2-D has been depicted as having high affinity towards Ace compared to Murdoc, stating that 'he's cool and really respects me'. Despite this, Ace has still been known to tease 2-D as much as the others. For example, at one point, Ace once stole a toaster from 2-D and sold it to Russel for $5, who then sold it back to 2-D for $10. 2-D once recalled a moment where he greeted Ace and he responded with 'Please, will you get out of my way?'. In the Tranz music video, 2-D sings and plays keyboard alongside the rest of the band members all playing their respective instruments. Originally 2-D was going to have a conversation with Ace at the beginning of this video, but this had to be scrapped to save the budget.

Gorillaz Phase 6: 2019-Present

After receiving a post-card from Noodle, on the 7th of September 2019 2D sent a post-card to the band while visiting Beirut. He informed Noodle that he received parts for a machine that she had previously mentioned building, and asked what the machine would be used for. The post-card arrived at Studio 13 on the 24th of September.[5]

The machine (revealed as the "Song Machine ") was activated on the 28th of January. The following day, the band announced their next project, Song Machine, a multimedia series of songs/music videos released episodically through 2020, as a continuously-updating playlist via streaming services.

In Momentary Bliss, he is shown recording the song with the rest of the band members as well as Slowthai and Slaves in Kong. In the Machine Bitez for Momentary Bliss, he conducts interviews with Slowthai and Slaves about the song and its meaning. 

In Désolé, 2-D opens a portal door at Kong Studios that transports him to a pier in Lake Cuomo, Italy with the rest of the band, where he then goes on a boat ride with Damon and Fatoumata, leaving a confused and saddened Murdoc behind by himself at Kong. In the following Machine Bitez, he interviews the songs collaborator Fatoumata Diawara.[6]

In Aries, he rides a motorcycle with Murdoc as the band races each other around Lotissement Doha, Morocco, completely oblivious to Murdoc's plans to inject him with a truth serum syringe along the way.[7] After being injected with the syringe in his side, Russel gets out of his vehicle and punches Murdoc in the nose again for hurting 2D, with Noodle pulling him off. In the Machine Bitez preceeding Aries, 2-D explains the portals in the new Kong to a confused and curious Murdoc after teasing him about crying because he was left behind. Russel theorizes that 2-D was injected because Murdoc wanted control of the portals in Kong and believed 2-D was keeping secrets from him about them.[8] After the events of the Aries video, 2D and Murdoc apparently went missing, with Russel and Noodle unable to find them.[9] 


Physical Appearance

2-D has big hands and long fingers. He is tall and thin, standing at 6'2", and has black eyes. The reason it looks like this is because of his 8-ball fracture when the iris of the eye filled with blood also called a hyphema, causing his pupils to be completely invisible most of the time. He has naturally blue hair resulting from when he fell out of a tree at age eleven, causing all his hair to fall out and grow back a deep azure blue. His original hair color used to be brown.

Like Noodle, 2-D's looks have evolved heavily throughout Phases 1 to 5. In Phase 1, 2-D is seen with very geometric, and almost purple hair at times, unlike in Phase 2, where his hair has seemed to gain a more realistic, lined tone and turned to an almost teal color. In Phase 3, 2-D is seen with much more realistic hair, larger eyes, and more tanned skin. In Phase 4 2-D's hair becomes a dark blue, his nose shape changes and his eyes become more oval. He also has one of his front teeth back and has started painting his nails. Further, his shape in Phase 1 was almost ruler-straight; in Phase 2 and onward, he seemed to gain some tone and shape and wrinkles, giving him more of a 'hippy' look, compared to his Phase 1 appearance. In the first three phases, 2-D's eyes were primarily pitch black, but phase 4 often depicted him with white eyes, and since phase 5, his eyes now appear to be completely white most of the time. 

Despite missing a front tooth, 2-D can sing clearly. His speech, while still mainly clear, has a definite Cockney (or thereabouts) accent: he says "summfink" instead of "something", and "fing" instead of "thing." 2-D's speaking and singing voice have changed considerably throughout the years. In phase one, 2-D's singing voice. Originally, in the  2-D is considered the 'pretty boy' and frontman of Gorillaz. 

Trivia

  • 2-D has an irrational fear of whales.
  • 2-D's top 3 favorite musical artists are The Human League, The Clash, and Augustus Pablo.
  • 2-D's father being an employee a fairground is perhaps a reference to Damon Albarn's father Keith Albarn, who was also a designer for Ekistikit, an attraction at the amusement park for Margate Dreamland in Kent, England that was the world's first psychedelic Fun Palace.[10]
    • Gorillaz would go on to launch their first-ever Demon Dayz Festival in Dreamland, the same amusement park that Albarn's father built his attraction for.[11]
  • According to a page in the Gorillaz autobiography Rise of The Ogre, 2-D found out about his father's original surname Tusspot through the Gorillaz fan website Gorillaz-Unofficial.
  • 2-D was the first member that Damon & Jamie created for Gorillaz, even though they've sometimes said it was Murdoc.[12]
  • 2-D is loosely based on Stuart Lowbridge, a friend of Damon and Jamie's who has worked with Damon as a stage engineer since the start of Blur.[13]
  • Gorillaz originally held auditions to find a singing voice for 2-D, with Earl Zinger being a serious contender for the role at one point. However, in the end, Albarn decided to sing the songs himself and feature other artists instead, rather than have someone else be 2-D.[14]
  • 2-D was originally going to have a conversation with Ace at the beginning of the music video for Tranz.
  • In Sleeping Powder's music video, Damon is the one who is wearing the motion capture bodysuit for 2-D, as confirmed by Damon himself.[15] 
  • 2-D's new voice actor, Kevin Bishop, is best known for his role as Muppet Treasure Island's main character Jim Hawkins and Sam Spalding on Grange Hill.[16]
  • 2-D's original voice actor, Nelson De Freitas, apparently still works with Damon Albarn outside of Gorillaz, and worked with him under Electric Wave Bureau on the soundtrack for the 2019 film The Kid Who Woud Be King. [17]
  • 2-D's original voice actor was also the voice of Gorillaz side characters such as Whiffy Smiffy and Tony Chopper in the Rise of The Ogre audiobook.
  • In Humility's music video, the live action stand in for 2-D is an actor and model named Edgar Khatchatrian.[18]
  • The Now Now has been described by Damon Albarn as being 'from the perspective of 2-D', often mentioning the impact 2-D's storyline of being temporarily free from Murdoc had on the creative process for the album, saying that the idea behind The Now Now was to do an album purely about the cartoon characters.[19][20][21]
  • In the visual for Gorillaz' Brit Awards performance of Dirty Harry, 2-D is wearing a shirt of the album cover for Danger Mouse & MF Doom's Adult Swim-themed project Danger Doom.
  • 2-D's speaking voice was originally inspired by the voices of figures such as Joe Pasquale, David Beckham, and Norman Wisdon.[22]
  • 2-D's name was originally Terry, according to the first ever doodles of Gorillaz.[23] This is perhaps a reference to Terry Hall of The Specials, whom Damon Albarn has often cited as a key influence on Gorillaz.
  • 2-D was originally going to be 19, and the rest of the band were originally all teenagers as well. [24]
  • 2-D was apparently still dating Paula in Gorillaz' first ever interview with Dazed Magazine from 2000.
  • 2-D's looks strikingly similar to Earl Monkey, a character from a scrapped comic strip created by Jamie Hewlett and Alan Martin that predates Gorillaz by a couple of years called The 16s.
  • Although 2-D's primary instruments apart from vocals are keyboards and synthesizers, he has been shown being able to play other instruments as well. The Now Now's album cover depicting him playing an acoustic guitar is perhaps the most famous example of this. He also recorded The Fall all by himself without the help of Murdoc or Cyborg Noodle.[25]
  • His eyes don't turn white for any particular reason other than when he feels like it.
  • 2-D is named after Robert '3-D' Del Naja, founding member of the famed trip-hop band Massive Attack, whom Damon Albarn frequently cites as a primary influence on the creation of Gorillaz and have even featured 2-D on their song 'Small Time Shot Away' from their 2003 studio album 100th Window.
  • Before phase four, 2-D's name hadn't been spelled with a hyphen since phase one. In 2017, Gorillaz started spelling 2-D's name with a hyphen again for the first time in 15 years.
  • In the hiatus between phase one and two, 2D appeared as a featured artist on Nathan Haines' Squire For Hire on the track 'FM', and on the previously mentioned Massive Attack track 'Small Time Shot Away, from the album 100th Window. There were also plans to have him as a featured artist on a Horace Andy track, but that song never came into fruition. 
  • 2-D's singing voice is actually produced using a very distinct vocal effect produced by hardware in Studio 13, according to Damon Albarn, who calls it 'not autotune, but a very early form of synthetic voice.' 
  • 2-D's voice actor Nelson De Freitas recieves additional songwriting credits on Doncamatic, alongside Damon Albarn's partner Suzi Winstanley. 

Gallery

Latest Gorillaz-2D, Feel Good Inc 2D 10-28-16
The full image gallery for 2-D may be viewed at 2-D/Gallery.

Sources

  1. Gorillaz. Page 18-19 Rise of the Ogre. Penguin Group. Published 26 October 2006.
  2. "About 2D". Electronic Beats. Retrieved March 24th, 2017.
  3. Gorillaz. Page 20-21 Rise of the Ogre. Penguin Group. Published 26 October 2006.
  4. "Gorillaz' Interview with 2-D & Murdoc (iTunes Session) - Part 3/3 (2:03)". YouTube. Retrieved March 24th, 2017.
  5. https://twitter.com/gorillaz/status/1176592764248702983
  6. "GORILLAZ: SONG MACHINE SEASON 1 EP. 2 FT. FATOUMATA DIAWARA". Nasty Little Man. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  7. "GORILLAZ: SONG MACHINE ‘ARIES’ FT PETER HOOK AND GEORGIA OUT NOW". Nasty Little Man. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  8. "Gorillaz on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  9. "Gorillaz on Youtube". Youtube. Retrieved May 23, 2020.
  10. http://eastcliffrichard.blogspot.com/2014/05/when-dreamland-was-turner.html
  11. https://www.silentradio.co.uk/03/08/new-festival-alert-demon-dayz-launching-10th-june-2017-at-dreamland-margate-with-gorillaz-headlining/
  12. https://gorillaz-news.livejournal.com/189176.html
  13. https://youtu.be/z9Z9KAJGlh8?t=97
  14. https://imgur.com/y4EuVq6
  15. https://vimeo.com/222655647
  16. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0084107/
  17. "Exclusive interview with The Kid Who Would Be King director Joe Cornish". Cineworld. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  18. "Edgar Khatchatrian | IMVDb". IMVDb. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  19. https://youtu.be/YRtzjriLF6Q?t=205
  20. https://www.npr.org/sections/world-cafe/2018/08/24/641265349/gorillaz-on-world-cafe
  21. https://www.thesun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/6653051/gorillazs-damon-albarn-new-album-the-now-now/amp/?__twitter_impression=true
  22. https://web.archive.org/web/20170131002744/http://www.gorillaz-unofficial.com/news/index.htm
  23. [1]. Instagram. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  24. [2]. Instagram. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  25. "GORILLAZ “THE FALL” SET FOR APRIL 16 VINYL RELEASE FOR RECORD STORE DAY; CD & DIGITAL DOWNLOAD RELEASE SET FOR APRIL 19". Nasty Little Man. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
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