DIGITAL LOVE!

Frontman Gruff Rhys takes time out to talk to NME.COM about the massive, groundbreaking project which delayed the release of 'Rings Around The World'...

SUPER FURRY ANIMALS frontman GRUFF RHYS has spoken to NME.COM about the band’s forthcoming album ‘RINGS AROUND THE WORLD’ and the videos and remixes that accompany the DVD version.

The 12 short films for the album tracks DVD, which were unveiled at Cardiff Chapter Arts Centre last night (June 11), include contributions from SFA “monsterist” Pete Fowler, ‘Smokin’ video director Pete Gray and cult film directors the Dogme Collective.

Rhys explained that he chose a selection of “friends, artists, web designers, animators and hairdressers-cum-Flash animators” to direct the videos for the DVD because “There’s so many mundane and commercial pop videos around we wanted to choose people that would bring something extreme and interesting from our songs.”

Among the DVD’s highlights is the video for album track ‘Run! Christian Run!’, which was produced by The Ministry Of Truth, a Texan husband and wife duo “with extreme politics”, according to Rhys. The film features powerful texts being dropped into a barrel of fire.

He said of the Ministry Of Truth: “They were very difficult to get hold of and the first time I rang them they gave me the number of some welfare society in Austin. The second time, they argued they weren’t in whilst I was talking to them! I don’t know how I persuaded them.”

The video opens with a digitally created Sputnik-style satellite flying 2001-style through tears in the fabric of space, while the remainder of the films are, on the whole, lo-fi efforts.

‘Sidewalk Serfer Girl’ makes full use of the DVD’s surround sound capabilities, the track’s power-pop fireworks accompanied by blinding strobe effects and colourful hypnotic spirals.

Almost -title track ‘ (Drawing) Rings Around The World’ shows pyramids on the surface of a leafy planet drifting through space, the song’s lyrics spiralling cartoonishly into the distance in a parody of ‘Star Wars’.

The band only appear in fleeting moments, such as when Gruff’s image is Che Guevaraised on the side of Cuban cigars that launch like rockers on the Python-esque cartoon satire ‘Presidential Suite’.

Speaking about the remixes of SFA tracks on the DVD Rhys said he was particularly impressed with the Lesser and Kid 606 tracks, describing them as “pure genius.”

He said: “I listen to a lot of that minimalist electronica stuff and I was very tempted to go back and add glitches all over the album. Luckily, the rest of the band persuaded me it would probably sound rubbish, so I gave the tracks to other people to fuck up instead.

“Like most of our earlier albums, it’s a mess of ideas and inspirations. You never know what you’re going to get next. It’s also a more lush and cinematic record.”

A clip of the video for new single ‘Juxtapozed With You’ can be seen on the SFA website – [url=]click here.