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by Bill Pearis
Just last week we posted about some of the many Super Furry Animals splinter projects currently happening. Add one more to that. Or four rather, all connected: Gruff Rhys will release a new album, book, documentary and mobile app, all titled American Interior, which will be out in May. It is, needless to say, high concept and we'll let Gruff explain:
In 2012 I embarked on an investigative concert tour of the American Interior, retracing the steps, and looking for the grave of a relative called John Evans.Dylan Goch, who worked with Rhys on his film Separado!, shot the whole thing (that 2012 tour didn't hit NYC), as well as reenactments with a puppet version of John Evans. Rhys wrote a book about it too which was the basis for the album, and the mobile app will combine all those things in some cross-pollinated way. Sounds pretty cool.
John Evans left Wales for Baltimore in 1792 and walked into the wilderness of the Allegheny mountains in search of a lost tribe of Welsh-speaking Native Americans, believed to be the descendants of Prince Madog.
Over seven eventful years, with very little in the way of resources, he embarked on a series of incredible adventures, lived with several First Nation tribes and left a trail of political chaos from which America never recovered. I took his cue and travelled through the Midwest playing gigs and writing songs. In St Louis I picked up Kliph Scurlock from The Flaming Lips, who joined me on drums. We powered up the Missouri River by boat, playing more shows on the shore. In Omaha we went to Mike Mogis's Arc studio and cut a record, then carried on upriver to play the UMOnHOn and Fort Berthold reservations.
You'll also be able to experience this live as a concert/powerpoint presentation tour that will happen over the summer, details still to come. In the meantime, watch the trailer for American Interior below.