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With a name like Gruff Rhys, it’s hard not to have preconceived notions of what kind of musician he is just by the mere mention of his name. An eccentric folk singer? A bearded indie polymath? Psychedelic rock guru? The right answer is all of the above… and more.
The frontman of Welsh rock band Super Furry Animals has been holding his own as a solo artiste as of late, producing retro-pop ditties laden with his trademark lazy vocals and 70’s style flourishes. The singer comes to TAB this April 29 for an intimate gig in support of his new album Hotel Shampoo which interestingly is inspired by shampoo bottles. We checked in with the singer to find out more.
Hi Gruff! How have things going for you?
It's been good taking it easy, but I obviously miss spending time with my friends in the band.
What was the idea behind your new album Hotel Shampoo?
It was named after an art installation by the same title.
What’s this with you collecting shampoo bottles? Care to elaborate?
Every hotel I stayed in for the first 15 years of touring, I’ve kept the free shampoo bottles in order to, one day, build my own hotel. It's a monument to waste and also serves as a tour diary.
Hmm. That’s very eco-minded of you. About Hotel Shampoo, what inspired you when you write songs for the album?
The songs are quite reflective and cover the same time period as the building of the hotel.
Did you work with anybody on this record?
I worked with an amazing drummer called Chris Walmsley; El Perro dal Mar sings on “Space Dust #2” and Miles Kane plays guitar on the same track.
Did it feel any different making this album as opposed to your previous solo albums or The Super Furry Animals records?
It's my most refined solo album, and was very different to making a Super Furry record which is more of a shared experience.
Which do you prefer? Solo or going Super Furry…
I love doing both.
Any plans for the band in the near future?
Yeah, of course. We need to start our 10th album at some point.
What can fans here expect from your gig here?
I'm very much looking forward to my first visit to Singapore. I’ll be bringing my one man show, a guitar, a couple of keyboards as well as a few other noise making gadgets!
We have 2 pairs of Gruff Rhys tickets (worth $96 per pair) to give away to 2 very lucky winners.
Simply answer this question: What Welsh band is Gruff Rhys involved in as the lead singer?
and send in the title and URL of the page to firstname.lastname@example.org along with your full name, NRIC , inSing username and mobile contact details.
Contest ends: Apr 29, 12pm
Catch Gruff Rhys Live in Singapore, Apr 29, 8pm at TAB. Tickets $38 (pre-sale) available at www.tab.com.sg; $48 at the door.