GUERRILLA ATTACK! IT’S THE SFA FAN-ISH INQUISITION!

SFA answer the questions you posed in part one of their Fan-ish Inquisition...

Tuesday afternoon, 3pm. The Super Furry Animals are due to convene in a Cardiff hotel room, but none of them have arrived.

Word has it that Cian Ciaran, the band’s bonkers electronics maestro, has gone missing. The rest of the band were last spotted twelve hours ago, frenziedly slapping techno records on the decks at their Mash Up The CIA aftershow in a Cardiff club. Chances are they’ll all be feeling a bit, well, fuzzy, today.

Sure enough, when they tumble through the door at 4 o’clock, the Furries – minus Cian – look like they’ve just rolled out of bed. They say they’ve “lost the art of conversation,” and drummer Daf Ieuan simply grunts and collapses on the bed of the hotel suite. He doesn’t wake up again until the end of the interview. Frontman Gruff Rhys, he of the golden tonsils and immaculately dishevelled barnet, settles down on the couch and shakily negotiates the tea service while guitarist Bunf and bassist Guto stare blankly at the silent television in the corner. Are they ready for their Fan-ish Inquisition, surely one of the most challenging and bizarre question-and-answer sessions a band can ever be subjected to?

“Mumf. Hmurble. Ormp,” they say. Then Gruff cracks a grin dazzling enough to send even the most tenacious hangover into permanent retirement. “We’ll try our best,” he promises. And they do just that.

You’re stuck on a desert island and only allowed one album and a packet of sweets, what would they be? ( Nicola R Greig, Denbeath, Fife )

Bunf: “I wouldn’t bring a packet of sweets. I don’t like sweets.”

Gruff: “‘Surf’s Up’, and candy cigarettes.”

Guto: “Wine gums and ‘Surf’s Up’.”

Bunf: ‘Forever Changes’ by Love would be my album, but I don’t know about the sweets. Something big that you could float on, maybe. The biggest Curly Wurly in the world. Or what about cheese? Can I have cheese instead? In that case, Camembert.”

What is your favourite sound? (Chris O’Donnell, Winthrop, MA)

Gruff: “The sound of interference on televisions. Which is also the same sound that went off during the Big Bang. And it’s the radiation from the Big Bang which causes the interference on TV, because it’s still in the atmosphere and that’s the frequency. It’s a really good sound.”

What does guacamole have to do with sleep deprivation? (Alan Priest, Huddersfield)

Gruff: “That’s a catch-phrase. Bunf was going around saying ‘guacamole’ to himself, and I was singing ‘sleep deprivation is driving me insane’ in an Elvis style, because that’s what we do, and the two kind of meshed.”

Bunf: “We had been touring for a few months, which is really draining. Things start to get a bit strange.”

Guto: “We were in the studio at Rockfield. You get loads of free food there. And for some reason they’re obsessed with guacamole at Rockfield. They give it to you constantly. And carrots. But carrots haven’t made it into any of our songs yet.”

What album, bar ‘Guerrilla’, do you deem to be albums of 1999? ( David Johnson, Sunbury-On-Thames )

Gruff:'” “That Papa M album.”

Guto: “‘Willennium’, and that Q Tip solo album.”

Bunf: “‘Come On Die Young’.”

In view of the fiasco surrounding the mayor of London elections, would you like there to be a mayor of Cardiff, and if so, who? (Toby Walker, Worcester)

Gruff: “There is a mayor of Cardiff. He doesn’t do anything, though. We never see him.”

Bunf: “He just gave himself a pay-rise.”

Guto: “I think he voted himself into office. He’s like Napolean.”

Bunf: “In order to be mayor you have to be fat and old.”

Gruff: “I’d like to see Shirley Bassey be mayor. But maybe she’s too old.”

Bunf: “We don’t really need a mayor. However, someone like Chuck D would look really good in that gold get-up. Some rap star.”

Guto: “Kool Keith.”

Gruff: “Yeah, in his Elvis wig.”

What would Christmas be like on Mars? (Evil Sprout)

Gruff: “Unlikely.”

You’ve been billed as the biggest dope smokers in the biz. Do you feel that you deserve that tag? (Rob Fountain, Peterborough)

All: “What?!”

Bunf: “No way, man. There are so many more degenerates out there.”

Gruff: “I think the most crazed bands are probably the ones who keep quiet about things.”

Guto: “Like Wet Wet Wet, man. Who would have thought?”

Bunf: “All of these big bands that come across so straight, then you find out later they’ve been injecting ketamine into their arse.”

Gruff: “We’re quite open about our habits, but because we’re one of the only bands who talk about it, it makes people think that we are a lot more drug-orientated than we actually are.”

What is your favourite invention of the last century?(Geraldine, Bradford)

Guto: “Television.”

Bunf: “Gnomes.”

Gruff: “I’m going to have to go with television as well.”

Why did the single change around so much? First it was ‘Whereever I Lay My Phone’, then it was ‘Nightvision’, now ‘Do Or Die’. (Rachel Ansell, London)

Bunf: “Because we’re one crazy band.”

Gruff: “Basically, we went away to America thinking that ‘Wherever I Lay My Phone’ was going to be coming out as a single. But when we came back no one had done anything. So then we went to Europe, and when we came back the record company had folded. And our plugging company folded, so we were unpluggable. I don’t know how it happened, actually. A lot of confusion.”

If you could launch a satellite, like Blur, what track would you have playing on it? (Sleepflower, Swansea)

Bunf: “‘Sound Of Life Today’.”

Gruff: “Yeah. One of Cian’s, definitely. They’re the most appropriate.”

I try to say the word “ass” once a day because I think it’s a funny word and it makes me smile. Is there anything you do on a daily basis to improve your quality of living? (Mary Kate Melnick, USA)

Bunf: “Like what, jog?”

Guto: “Most things I do don’t improve my quality of life very much.”

Gruff: “David Lynch has a milkshake every day, perhaps that’s a good idea.”

Bunf: “Maybe I should have a yogurt every day. It improves your insides, doesn’t it?”

Guto: “But would it improve your day as much as saying ‘ass’ would?”

Gruff: “I wonder if it would also work to say words that ended in ‘ass’, like ‘Christ-mass’ or ‘grass’. I think that’s what I’m going to try to do from now on. Say words that end in ‘ass’ at least once a day. I feel better already.”

Are you going to release anything else on the Placid Casual label? Are you looking to release your own stuff following Creation’s demise? (Ginjajesus, Birmingham)

Bunf: “It would be nice.”

Gruff: “So far we’ve only managed one single on the Placid Casual label. It sold out. Which was pretty good, considering we didn’t market it. I think we are going to try to release our own stuff on our own label, but whether or not it will be called Placid Casual, I don’t know yet.”

Guto: “Nobody else will touch us.”

Can you describe your sound in 12 words or less? (Ed, USA)

Bunf: “Buy the fucking record.”

Gruff: “You can’t describe sound.”

Guto: “I can do it one word: Ace.”

With the progression of music technology, do you feel guitar bands are still relevant at the beginning of the 21st Century? (Mike Thompson)

Guto: “I don’t believe that a new art form gets rid of an old art form. There are a lot of guitar bands out there – some of them are shit, some of them are brilliant. But they never cease to be relevant just because there are other things going on as well.”

Gruff: “Very well said. My sentiments exactly.”Do you ever get any bizarre attention from fans? (Alyssa Joye, New York)

Bunf: “There have been lots of weird things. Once, in Japan, we had to judge this competition for people to win tickets to our gig. All these groups of fans did little acts, and we had to vote. They did crazy things for us. Like give birth.”

Guto: “These two girls came running in screaming, then one proceeded to deliver an imaginary baby. They were slapping each other and running around. We let them win.”

Gruff: “Then there were three girls who came in with swords and had a sword fight. Then they pulled out pieces of wood and started to carve them into fish shapes.”

Bunf: “It was quite an ordeal.”

Gruff: “We had one stalker, a few years ago. He crept up and tried to burst one of our forty foot bears. He hid in bushes and camouflaged himself, commando style. He also wrote libellous letters about us to NME. He was really obsessed by us, in a negative way. It was kind of scary. I think he’s locked up now, so maybe we shouldn’t talk about him.”

Scareeeee! Tune in tomorrow then folks for more shocking and slightly unsettling revelations in part two of the SFA NME Fan-ish Inquisition.