Page last updated at 07:39 GMT, Tuesday, 28 July 2009 08:39 UK

Talking Shop: Gruff Rhys

Gruff Rhys
Super Furry Animals played on the same bill as Teenage Fanclub, I Am Kloot and King Creosote

Welsh indie rockers Super Furry Animals recently released their ninth studio album Dark Days/Light Years.

The band celebrated its release by performing the entire album live through an exclusive stream on their website.

Next month, they head to Japan for the Summersonic festival and have just headlined at the Ben & Jerry's Sundae on the Common in London.


You've just come off stage, how did it go?

It was great but I was really nervous going on stage after Teenage Fanclub. I saw that we were on the the line-up after them and I was like, 'Oh no'. So yeah, really nervous. But these festivals are good fun because you get to meet all these bands and have some crazy experiences.

Gruff Rhys
We've labels coming out of most orifices at the moment

What's been your highlight of the summer so far?

Probably playing Somerset House in London last week, because when you play a festival, you get an allotted time and you have to be on stage at a certain time and you have to get off at a certain time or you get fined, so you get really scared.

It's quite a frightening experience but when you do your own show, you can relax and play as long as you like without any sense of panic, we played loads of old tunes and it was great.

So, there was less pressure in front of your own fans?

Yeah, and we got them to pull down the union jack for the duration of the show. We didn't think it looked cool flying above the stage and they were really kind and took it down.

Then we played the show only to find out that there were two huge Coca Cola banners at either side of the stage, so you can't win.

What else are you up to at the moment? More writing?

We're always writing. We're recording a song for Yo, Gabba Gabba!, the crazy kids TV show at the moment and then carrying on playing some festivals.

How do you go about writing a song for a children's TV show?

Neon Neon
Neon Neon's album Stainless Style recounted the life of John Delorean

You drink lots of additives. You go to the shop and buy everything that's coloured orange or red and because you're grown up, you have to drink 50 times the amount a kid would need to go mental.

Then you just play at hyper-speed and jump around and stuff.

You had a Mercury-prize nominated album last year with Neon Neon, are there any plans to do more with that band?

Not at the moment, it was a concept album about John Delorean and we covered his life, so not unless we find out something about his afterlife. We really enjoyed making the record and we were amazed at the reaction it got.

We'll see how it goes but I know that (producer) Boom Bip is busy making a new record and I'm busy with the Super Furries touring, so no crazy plans there yet.

And we hear that you're setting up your own record label?

I've set up a label called Irony Bored and we're putting out a record by Cate Le Bon in October and she, of course, sang on the Neon Neon record. She's recorded a really dark, raw solo record, so that's quite exciting.

Super Furry Animals
The Furries latest album was well received by critics

And (keyboard player) Cian's busy with his techno label, called Som Bomb. He's putting out a lot of techno stuff, it's a digital label and it's doing really well. Lots of DJs are playing the tunes all over the world.

And (drummer) Daf's got Strangetown Records and puts out The Peth (band featuring actor Rhys Ifans on vocals) records and we've got the band label, which is Placid Casual.

So, we've labels coming out of most orifices at the moment.

Are you a hands-on boss?

I'm pretty relaxed. I've tried to work out a way that I don't have to deal with any money, because that would be the downfall of any business. So, I just get to make creative decisions.

Generally. I just communicate through morse code and try and keep out of the way.

Gruff Rhys was talking to BBC News entertainment reporter Kev Geoghegan.



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SEE ALSO
Online gig launches Furries album
16 Mar 09 |  Wales
Venue seeks DeLorean for concert
15 Aug 08 |  Wales

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