Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllsantysiliogogogoch is no easy word to pronounce but when you’re Welsh and you have your first EP to name, what better way of making it a memorable one. But for the last 20 years fans all over the world have been trying and undoubtedly failing to crack the title whilst the guys of Super Furry Animals have been busy delivering album after album of melody driven psychedelia.
Ahead of their Bristol show at O2 Academy on Tuesday, we caught up with Super Furry Animals’ Gruff Rhys to discuss their busy schedule, music scene and the 20th anniversary of Fuzzy Logic and Radiator.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Fuzzy Logic and Radiator, how are you feeling about the tour?
I’m excited! We’ve never played full albums before so it’s been something we’ve been looking at since September. Luckily I still feel those lyrics and still enjoy singing those songs.
What prompted you to decide to do the back to back albums?
It made sense, Fuzzy Logic was being reissued so we had the idea to do some shows around that which is fine but the album is only 40 minutes long and our record Radiator came out a year later so we wanted to almost relive the past in real time and do a 20th anniversary tour. It’ll be excited to play both in one night and it’ll be a really enjoyable I think, plus we like playing long sets.
You’ve been around for a long time, have you noticed a change in the music scene?
Yeah in the 20 years it definitely has changed. We’ve been touring for that long and we’ve been introduced to music we never imagined even hearing at the time. We used to buy a lot of records y’know but when we released Fuzzy Logic in 1996 the internet had only been going for two years, so it was really slow and couldn’t really download music or anything.
And, do you find it strange that in that 20 years we’ve surpassed digital downloads and almost gone back to buying records?
As far as I can say, things have always been in a state of flux, the only constant being that vinyl records didn’t sell very well then and they don’t sell very well now. How music is played and sold will always change but the most important things is the music itself and it’s important to not get hung up on that.
Were you aware Mexico City is home to your biggest listenership on Spotify?
I suppose that makes sense in that it’s one of the biggest cities in the world. Maybe a lot of our records haven’t been released physically there, but that’s a fantastic stat, definitely gonna tell all my mates.
Do you have any more albums planned?
We’ve been doing some solo records on the way so nothing planned yet, but Cians just finished a classical piece, like a symphony and Guto is in a band called Gulp and they’ve got an album on the way, so yeah we’ve all got bits and bobs coming out.
Have you ever played Bristol O2 Acadamy? And what other cities are you most looking forward to playing in?
Yeah I did a gig there once support The Flaming Lips, it was fantastic night so I’m looking forward to it. Obviously Cardiff on the last night of the tour and we’re also gonna be playing in Dublin where audience always seem to have so much volume, I don’t know why but there is a lot of energy in that city.
If you could do a tour with any band who would it be?
In the 1990s we played a lot with a band called Granddaddy. We did a tour over here and in America and that felt really good, felt like it was great socially and we put on a good night of music, so yeah I’d always be up for doing that again.
Do you have any pre gig rituals?
No not really I’m not superstitious. I try and turn up, just basic things like that.
You’ve been pretty busy over the last year, any signs of slowing down?
Well we’ve been touring for a year and a half now so this will be the last tour for a while. We did a tour in the UK last year and we’ve been playing a few gigs all over the world. We toured North America too so this is the last tour for quite a while I would imagine so we’re gonna fully enjoy it. It’s amazing to be able to do it and play a really different set as well.
You’re in the Guinness Book of Records for the longest EP title, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllsantysiliogogogoch, how did that come about?
It’s the best known Welsh cliché and this was at a time when we were fighting off clichés. We were releasing our first EP so we just did the iconic cliché and stuck (In Space) after it and told everyone it was in the Guinness Book of Records.
So it’s not actually in the Guinness Book of records?
I don’t know, I’ve never checked but I’ve been told by everyone it is. They say it’s a post truth era but as far as I can see it’s always been pretty post truth and we were happy to give crazy facts to the media.
I did take the time to check and unfortunately I couldn’t find any mention of Super Furry Animals in any record book but for what it’s worth, it’s a great piece of believable fiction that has had everyone, including me, fooled. Nice one guys!
Fuzzy Logic 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition is on sale now. Tickets to their Bristol show are available here. Watch the video for ‘Bing Bong’ below.