Prior to the release of the Ffa Coffi Pawb retrospective Am Byth, Gruff Rhys and Dafydd Ieuan talk about punk rock, onstage drilling and playing gigs for beer.
Last updated: 21 November 2008
Why did you decide to form Ffa Coffi Pawb?
Gruff Rhys: Me and [guitarist Rhodri] Puw were in the same class at school. We went through various bands, started to get into the punk rock thing. We started listening to local bands like Anhrefn, Y Cyrff, Datblgyu - bands like The Jesus And Mary Chain, Big Black, Joy Division.
We invented this means of multi-track recording where we'd record something on cassette, play it out of Mr and Mrs Puw's stereo, and play along while recording on another tape recorder.
Has this material survived?
Gruff: Yeah, it's on cassette. I think we made 100 copies. We went to the bargain centre in Bangor; you could get three cassettes for 50p in a plastic bag. We did it tape to tape, made loads of copies, and we used to sell them in pubs around Bangor.
When did you first realise people were seriously into the music you were making?
Gruff: There was this movement called Pop Positive started by Rhys Mwyn. He was organising everything himself then, putting records out. But he couldn't be arsed to do it all himself anymore, so he started holding these meetings to try to get people into the scene.
We went down to a few meetings there, and met Gorwel Owen and sold him a cassette. He was very encouraging. He invited us down to his studio. Pop Positive was really good; it was like some punk rock collective. And a launch-pad, I suppose, for Ffa Coffi Pawb.