Q&A: Super Furry Animals
If there was ever a band that defined eclecticism it is Super Furry Animals . The Welsh band has been around for 15 years and remains as unclassifiable as ever, putting forth psychedelic rock and electronica-laced pop with equal aplomb. Irreverent, political, occasionally danceable, but always reliably eccentric, the sound of SFA is unique and self-sustaining. Lead guitarist Huw Bunford took some time to talk about Hey Venus , the band’s latest effort, and what the future might bring to this wild collective.
If I met someone who had never heard of you, what would I say the band sounded like? Are Super Furry Animals comparable to anyone?
There have been so many writers who have written so many words to describe the band’s sound. Obviously, I just think you have to experience us. I mean there are elements of what we’ve all listened to in the past, in our youths, but when you put it all together, it just sounds like us.
How has the band’s sound evolved over the 15 years you’ve been together? Can you guys make it to 20 years?
God, I hope not. Of course, I’m joking. We’ve taken breaks when we’ve needed to; done our own thing. We’ve been at it so long, you get beyond getting on each other’s nerves. We started out with nothing, no money, just begging to get by. Then a few things happen and you have instruments that work, so your sound changes just because you can practice and the lights stay on. But we are all still friendly with each other and that’s important.
How is Hey Venus different from other releases?
I think it’s a more pop record and the songs are shorter. I think we all thought of this as a record to have shorter songs on.
Do you have a favorite?
Phantom Power was fun, but they all have their moments. You become attached to each one as you are making it.
How surprised was the band when your debut Fuzzy Logic became such a hit in Britain?
Well, it wasn’t immediate. We seemed to always have good crowds at the shows, but then they are playing your song on the radio and it becomes something different. You are proud, but kind of scared.
How was it working with Paul McCartney and John Cale? Are there any other legends you want to work with?
Both of them had their handlers, their people circling around them. I don’t really know what it was like working with them. It seemed so distant and academic.
Will there be more recordings in your native language?
Of course, Gruff is always writing outstanding material, much of it in Welsh. We always just see how it plays out. It is sung in whatever language it sounds best in.
You used to be a teacher? If you were in front of a classroom of high school students, what would you want to talk about?
Geology. I think there is nothing better a student could learn about than geology. I really mean that.
The band was on Sony Records. Now you are Rough Trade. What’s the difference?
It was a big thing and now it’s a smaller thing. You really don’t get that involved really.
What other musical directions does the band want to pursue? Is anything out of reach for the band?
It would be nice to have a hit in the states, to be bigger than Justin Timberlake. Although he’s just awful. -- Darryl Smyers
Super Furry Animals play 9 p.m. tonight at the Granada Theater with Holy Fuck and Fiery Furnaces. $15.
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