Gorillaz To Tour U.S. This Year, Without The Holograms

'You can't, at this point, do holograms,' lead singer Damon Albarn explained.

For just about as long as they’ve been a (not real) band, Gorillaz have toyed with the idea of launching a full-blown, hologram-enhanced tour . After all, it seemed like the most logical way of bringing the group to life.

The only problem? Well, as you can imagine, lugging all that 3-D equipment around gets to be a tad bit expensive. Oh, and then there’s the fact that, no matter how hard they try, Gorillaz masterminds Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett just can’t seem to get the hologram thing to work the way they want it to.

So, while, yes, Gorillaz will be touring the U.S. later this year, if we’ll have them (“We’re coming back, going to play all around America, if they want us, of course,” Albarn smiled), they won’t be bringing the holograms with them. It seems they’ve officially closed that chapter of the band’s history … and they’ve got Madonna, with whom they “performed” at the 48th annual Grammy Awards in 2006, to thank for that.

“You can’t, at this point, do holograms. … This is what happened at the Grammys. We opened the Grammys — on television it looked great — but we had an invisible film pulled across our stage, and you project onto that, and put smoke behind it — it’s a Victorian technology, actually,” Albarn told MTV News. “So Madonna manages to come and sort of gate-crash our idea, as people like Madonna do, because that’s why they’re so deep. … She gate-crashed our idea, so we couldn’t play with any bass or any sound, because it would vibrate [the film] so it was really quiet.

“So we open the Grammys, but no one could hear us, in this huge, great arena, and we were crestfallen at that moment. And I’m trying to get Bono to move, because his huge, great Stetson is obscuring my view,” he continued. “And then, our song stops, and she appears on the other side of the stage, with her inflated-ABBA riff, at full volume, and the place goes insane. And at [that] point, I just thought, ‘You know what? Sometimes, just keep it simple.’ ”

Which means that fans can expect more performances like their guest-heavy Sunday night set at Coachella , with appearances by the likes of Brit rappers Kano and Bashy, De La Soul and the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. There’s no word on just when their U.S. tour will kick off. E-mails to the band’s label, Capitol, were not returned by press time, but with all that hologram business now behind them, Gorillaz can focus on putting on a booming, in-your-face set. Which is all fans really want, anyway.

“We want it to be powerful, and for people to feel good about it,” Albarn said. “No pun intended.”

Will you check out Gorillaz in concert? Let us know in the comments below!