My friends have followed you round Ireland in the hopes of jumping your bones. Does this scare you?
::: Agent Provocateur, Dublin
Gruff Rhys: Of what? Jumping your bones?
Hot Press: That means shagging you.
GR: I don’t believe you.
Dafydd Ieuan: Can’t say we’ve noticed, they mustn’t be making a very big effort.
I know it’s a pretty obvious question, but can you please be specific about what furry animals, super or otherwise, you had in mind when you thought up that daft name of yours?
::: Number 10, Dublin
DI: Magpies. But they’re feathery, so we probably should’ve been called the Super Feathery Birds. We were looking up at the sky at a flock of magpies, and the Lord showed us the way. It was a message from above.
Who’s your favourite Irish band?
::: JESUS, Dublin 8
GR: My Bloody Valentine. I love them. I think Isn’t Anything is underrated because Loveless is so rated – not that Loveless is overrated, I just think that the other one is really good aswell.
When is Cian going to make a techno album?
::: Keith Marshall, Dublin
DI: Well he’s already started. He’s released a record and he has a batallion of tunes that if they see the light of day, will be amazing. He’s a perfectionist, so when it comes, it’ll be extraordinary.
“You and me..united by...itemised bills” is an incredible lyric....do the lyrics form the songs or vice versa?
::: RP McMurphy
Usually the melody dictates the rhythm of the words and you have to fit the words in the melody and hope you crack on a good combination of lyrics, generally. And then you can work a tune around the line, so it varies from case to case, song to song.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever been asked to sign?
::: Budge, Sligeach
DI: Breasts. But they’re not strange, they’re quite nice. Have I signed many? A few, not many. Enough!
GR: People ask us to sign their clothes, y’know, perfectly good clothes. And their shoes and shit like that. I feel sorry in case in a few minutes they’ll get pissed off that we’ve ruined their clothes, but whatever floats your boat.
Which of your albums do you like the most and why?
::: Laura, Clare
GR: We’ve been writing and touring for so long that we haven’t had time to dwell on favourite things. We do listen back to them because we try and make sure that everything we do is equal to what we’ve done in the past, or at least different, or better. So we’re informed by our previous records, but I can’t really pin point a favourite – yet.
Where on earth did the (now infamous) instrumental album ever get to?
::: Hooly, Baile Athá Cliath
GR: It’s in pieces dotted around our other albums I think. And we’ve got a stock pile of songs, an EC-style song mountain beyond the toxic rim of Cardiff where we keep our songs.
DI: We just need to find the time to put it all together.
Is Graham Kavanagh really the guv’nor? And how embarrassing is it to have John Hartson playing for your country?
::: number 10, Dublin
GR: Hartson said in an interview recently that he would die for Wales, for the Welsh team. I don’t think you can ask for more commitment from a player, really. That’s 110%, as they say in football, and Kavanagh is a good guy. Except when he’s injured…
Sam Hamman? Villain or Hero
::: Tom Finn, Dublin
GR: Absolute hero. No, I’ll go further: a visionary.
DI: There was an interview with Sam Hamman recently slagging off Prince William, saying how disgusting it was that so-called the future Prince Of Wales was cheering for England in the rugby and not for Wales, and pointed out how ridiculous it was. He’s got a bit more balls in him than most Welsh people.
What animal do you think you all most resemble?
::: Aoife, Laois
GR: What are those ones? They’ve got ’em in Dublin Zoo. They’re from Peru. It’s got like, eh… it doesn’t look right. [Very Long Pause] Ah fuck! It’s the Tapir! A Peruvian Tapir!! They’ve got big noses too.
Do you have any special magic powers?
::: Daniel (Age 4), Dublin
GR: Many. Weather changing, especially. We only have the power
of sleet and, uhm, I don’t know.
DI: We’ve got the power to make people think we’ve got power.
Where did you get the tank and what did you get up to with it?
::: Dawn, kildare
DI: We bought it off an arms dealer called Baz from Nottingham.
GR: We just phoned him up. There was an ad in Tank Weekly. We put some decks in it and slapped on some speakers. Then we sold it to Don Henley from The Eagles. He keeps it on his ranch in California. That’s a true story. The main reason for getting it was to decommission a military tank. As a pacifist band, we thought that if every rock band decommissioned a military vehicle and used it to shoot food at the hungry that the world would be a better place and everyone would come together as one and there would be the end of famine.
We’re going to Wales soon and want to be able to abuse the locals. Can you give us some swear words in your local tongue?
::: Kato, Catland
GR: Cocoen! (Pronounced Cock-oyn) That’s a serious insult. It means lamb’s dick.
DI: Then there’s Dos I Chwarady Nain (pronounced Dossy Karrady Nine). That means ‘Go finger your Granny’.
Where did you get the name for the new album?
::: Simon, Wexford
GR: From a button on our desk, a switch on the mixing desk.
DI: What is it? We’re not quite sure, but it’s there. It sends powers to electrical equipment and mics.
GR: We hijacked the term and gave it its own meaning.
What was recording Rings Around The World in Woodstock like?
::: Brian, Meath
GR: We were in the middle of a forest in upstate New York and there was live bears coming down every morning to look for bagels in the skip. There were cute little baby ones, but we were scared that their mum would be round the corner waiting to pounce. We had to walk back through the forest every night for about a quarter of a mile to our woodland hut where we stayed. It is pretty scary, like. So we had to howl like a wolf so that the bears wouldn’t come too close.
I heard you guys are great mates with Howard Marks. Does this mean you guys are huge stoners and are you into smuggling?
::: Purdy, Dublin
DI: Not necessarily! We’re mates with Howard, but it doesn’t make us dope smugglers!
GR: There’s loads of preconceptions about Welsh culture, the rugby and Tom Jones. That was the cliché. So partly for the sake of information to us, the Welsh people, we wanted to inform people of Welsh anti heroes.
DI: And then Howard conveniently came out of jail.
GR: We asked him if we could use his photo on the record sleeve and he phoned up and asked if he could come check us out, so we had Howard Marks + 10 on the guestlist. He invited us to stay in his villa in Majorca. He’s an incredibly charismatic guy, a very interesting guy.
Were your mums proud when you got mentioned in Parliament?
::: Molly, Dublin
GR: Prouder than us, probably. We weren’t particularly arsed, personally.
DI: I’ve even forgotten what it’s about, dya know what I mean? That’s how arsed I am.
GR: The Westminster establishment doesn’t mean shit to me.
You guys have addressed environmental, communication and local community issues in your music. Are you trying to save the world?
::: Dan, Limerick
DI: Hell no! We can hardly look after ourselves. We like to point a few things out now and again, but we’re not preachers.
GR: I’d also like to point out that we’re musicians who get paid to tour the bars of the world to make people jump up and down, which doesn’t exactly give us the right to comment on the economic make up of globalism, or whatever.
What are your feelings on Tony Blair?
::: Josh, Kilkenny
GR: I think Tony Blair is a war criminal and should be arrested accordingly and put on trial in the Hague.
Do you guys have any craziness planned for the tour?
::: Mark, Belfast
DI: You can’t plan craziness, then it’s not crazy. Crazy’s gotta come when you’re least expecting it. Spontaneity is the key.
What’s your preferred method of mind-bending?
::: Niall, Galway
GR: A G clamp and glue.
What’s the most embarrassing record in your collection?
::: Anto, Dublin
GR: I don’t believe that any record should be embarrassing really. There is a lesson to be learnt from even the bad records, y’know, there is a certain beauty in ugliness.
Are you guys big fans of Dirty Sanchez?
::: Elizabeth, Galway
DI: We were in the same class at school.
GR: And the first time I saw them I pissed myself laughing. Especially the bit where they drove into the guy standing on the ladder. The funniest thing was them watching it back afterwards.
DI: But, God, putting nails through your cock! I suppose if he wants two holes at the end of his cock that’s up to him.
GR: As well, compared to Jackass, it’s that they… (pauses)
DI: They’re not American?
GR: They’re kind of, y’know, they acknowledge the pain. They
seem a bit more human. They always question themselves, like ‘Why the fuck did I
do this?’ I like Americans as well, and it’s just a different kind of thing.
It’s less Hollywood I suppose.