El pasado 8 Abril tuvimos la oportunidad de platicar con uno de los músicos más importantes e influyentes en los años 90’s, hoy Rhys sigue renovándose y haciendo música fresca, realizó varias colaboraciones con artistas como Andy Votel, Damon Albarn, De La Soul, Mark Linkous, Danger Mouse y con Mogwai. Además de su proyecto nominado a los Mercury, Neon Neon que nos puso a bailar a algunos en la década pasada; Rhys es vocalista de los Super Furry Animals, la cual es una de las primeras y más importantes bandas en la escena musical de Cardiff junto con los Manic Street Preachers y los Stereophonics. Hotel Shampoo fue su última entrega como solista y termina siendo un álbum con canciones muy tristes y sinceras, que en la producción emplea técnicas que han sido características de él a lo largo de su carrera, como lo es el overdub.
Gruff Rhys vino a México a presentar su película Separado!, la cual se expuso en la carpa Ambulante del Vive Latino, abajo les dejamos el trailer. En la entrevista Gruff nos platica de un posible regreso con Neon Neon y nos da detalles sobre su forma de trabajar, así como su experiencia en Dark Night Of the Soul.
RP: Can you tell us, what’s your favorite piece of musical equipment?
GR: I have an old acoustic guitar I like to write on and play live with, it’s old and cracked, but it feels like home to my fingers!
RP: Have you any favorite new artist at this moment?
GR: There’s a Surf band from Wales called Y Niwl who are touring with me at the moment, they are an amazing live band.
RP: What do you think about the sample culture? Could this thing call sample be an equal of the Duchamp’s “ready-made”?
GR: I agree, I like the idea of the readymade, I think what’s important with sampling is to bring an old piece of music into a new and surprising context.
RP: What is the craziest thing you have sampled?
GR: Probably some Old Italian shark disaster movies.
RP: Talking about samples, we know you sampled The Cyrkle on your “Shark Ridden Waters” track, what is the story behind this song?
GR: I worked with a producer called Andy Votel on a track called ‘Christopher Columbus’ . We sampled a lot of sea and ship noises, for some reason we started talking about sharks, and we ended up recording Shark riddden waters that night. I recommend all the releases on Votel’s ‘Finders Keepers’ re-issue label.
RP: What would be your dreamy collaboration?
GR: I don’t crave to collaborate with anyone, I usually just end up playing music with people I know, having said that it would be fun to collaborate on something out of my comfort zone, an R&B singer or something!
RP: Are you planning a return with your Neon Neon side project?
GR: The last Neon Neon album ‘Stainless Style’ was a lot of fun to record, so it would be fun to do something someday in the future.
RP: You were here in one of the biggest Latin-American festivals, what do you think about the “Latin-American music scene”?
GR: It was really interesting for me to experience bands I wouldn’t usually get to see live. The scene seems really strong. I think the Anglo-American music industry monopolized the world’s pop music for far too long!
RP: You’ve been seen playing live with some loops and making overdub, what can you tell us about this technique and how do you applied it on your music?
GR: When I play music alone sampling and looping seems like a good way to fill out the sound, especially when recreating vocal harmonies, which is something I always have on my records. (I prefer sampling live, instead of using a backing track or something).
RP: How was the experience of working with Sparklehorse in the Dark Night of the Soul album?
GR: That was an interesting experience, I think Mark Linkous had lost confidence with lyrics… Dangermouse emailed me a demo of one of Mark’s songs, he was whistling the melody… I had to write lyrics to fit the melody, it’s a beautiful song, and I think it’s one of the best vocal takes I’ve ever recorded, I was so sad when he died, so I feel honored to have been able to sing one of his melodies.
RP: How music has helped you to communicate with other people in your process of seeking yourlong lost Patagonian uncle, the poncho wearing guitarist Rene Griffiths?
GR: Music is an universal language, it goes beyond language, even if you don’t understand the lyrics you can understand the emotion of the human voice.