Massive Attack Member the Real Banksy? We Might Find Out Soon

Robert Del Naja performing with Massive Attack in 2010.

Robert “3D” Del Naja performing with Massive Attack in 2010.

A new investigative report suggests that Robert “3D” Del Naja, the founding member of the trip-hop band Massive Attack, might be the graffiti artist Banksy.

Craig Williams, an investigative journalist, has plotted Massive Attack’s tour dates and destinations with the times and places Banksy works first appeared, and more often than not, they line up.

For instance, Williams’s research, first reported by the Daily Telegraph, shows us that in April 2003, a month after Massive Attack played in Melbourne, Banksy’s work appeared in the Australian city. In October of 2006, Banksy’s “Barely Legal” exhibition opened in LA, a week after the band played at the Hollywood Bowl. In 2008, marking the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Banksy created 14 stencil-works across New Orleans. Del Naja co-wrote the soundtrack to the Katrina-focused documentary “Trouble the Water” that same year.

The list goes on. Six Banksy murals showed up in San Francisco on May 1, 2010; Massive Attack performed there on April 25 and 27, as part of a world tour. A week-and-a-half later, on May 7, the band performed in Toronto; a Banksy worked popped up there on May14th. On the same tour, the band played in Boston on October 19, the same month a Banksy was found for the first time in the city. And finally, in 2013, when Massive Attack undertook a residency from September 28 to October 4 at the Park Avenue Armory in New York, Banksy began a month-long New York residency of his own, installing a whole series of works throughout the city.

Massive Attack formed in Bristol in 1988; the first recorded Banksy artwork appeared there two years later. Del Naja himself has a history of graffiti art, and is supposedly friends with Banksy. Del Naja even appeared in the 2010 film directed by Banksy, “Exit From the Gift Shop.”

The evidence is there, but it’s far from foolproof. What would it take to turn Williams’s research into  more than just a collection of coincidences?

Well, the band is performing a show in its home town of Bristol tonight, Saturday, September 3, and Williams has predicted that the graffiti artist will reappear there this weekend too. That would be a pretty big hint.

— Taylor Dafoe (@tddafoe)