Super Furry Animals interview (2000)

Gruff Rhys

This interview with Gruff Rhys originally appeared on the now-defunct Land Of Song website in February 2000, and is now republished here.

Last updated: 24 November 2008

Did it surprise you when Creation folded?

No. It wasn't the most surprising thing that could happen. Four on a scale of one to 10.

What's going to happen to the band? Superfurry.com says that it's going to be exciting and ever so creative. Are you going to launch your own label?

Yes. For the next album, which is called Mwng, but we don't have a name yet. It's all in Welsh.

What do you think the fans are going to think of it?

I dunno. I don't think language is the most important element of how it sounds. Otherwise you'd just write books.

What's the attraction of singing in Welsh for you?

It's easier to ask the other question: why sing in English? We've always sung in Welsh. When we started out we'd sing in Welsh. We'd been in Welsh bands before this band.

You used to do a lot of Welsh b-sides, particularly around the time of Fuzzy Logic. Was that the record company demoting them from the albums?

No. Between us we'd released about six or seven albums in various bands in the Welsh language. So we formed an English language band to make accessible music. There aren't any ideological terms to decide why we sing in English or Welsh, but on the other hand there's fuzzier reasoning, which is: we don't know, you know. We just do it.

The real reason is that we speak two languages, and we end up writing in English and Welsh. So, in the past we've put out English language albums, because we've got ambition and we thought it was potentially easier for an international audience. Also, I listen to a lot of music where I don't understand the lyrics. Even something like Nirvana. I listen to them but I don't understand the lyrics fully. A song like Smells Like Teen Spirit, God knows what he's singing but it sounds great.

I think that's very important for music. If you listen to bands like Kraftwerk, if you were singing 'Motorway' it would sound crap, but that Germanic pronunciation makes the sound. We have no commercial expectations for Mwng, but if people are open minded there's no reason why they shouldn't get into it.


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