Gorillaz prepare for virtual tour of teen website Habbo Hotel

LONDON - Teen website Habbo Hotel is to host a VIP visit from the two-dimensional animated hip-hop group Gorillaz, giving users the chance to get up close with the band 'in person' and giving a selection of fans a private interview.

The band is signed to Virgin's record label and is the front for Blur's Damon Albarn, producer Dan the Automator and artist Jamie Howlett.

They will be conducting a "world tour" of Habbo Hotels in 12 countries from August 22 to September 2, the day that the band will be hitting the UK website.

Habbo Hotel is a virtual hotel owned and operated by interactive entertainment company, Sulake. Users can hang out with their friends and meet new ones by creating their own customised online persona called a "habbo".

Habbos can then play a variety of games, attend parties, dance, eat, drink and chat in the cafes, restaurants and games rooms.

Gorillaz will have their own specially created characters for the one hour sessions for each country. The room will be cleared every 10 minutes by the site's moderators to make way for as many Habbos as possible who want to ask the band questions.

The website is designed for 14- to 20-year-olds and operates in 16 countries with more than 4m unique visitors each month.

Gorillaz band characters are 2D on vocals, Murdoc Niccals on bass, Noodle on guitars and Russel Hobbs on drums and percussion. The band's debut album 'Gorillaz' was released in 2001 and sold more than 6m records worldwide. Their second album is 'Demon Days', featuring the hit single 'Feel Good Inc'. A second single from the album, 'Dare' featuring Shaun Ryder, is to be released on August 29.

In June, Parlophone, part of the EMI Group, launched a digital campaign designed by Gorillaz creator Jamie Howlett and maintained by his team at Zombie Flesh Eaters, giving fans a look inside the world in which the band live.

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