Artist News Releases

Gruff Rhys digs up American Interior album, book, film and app

By | Published on Thursday 30 January 2014

Gruff Rhys

Super Furry pop auteur Gruff Rhys has announced an album, a book, a short film and an app, all at once, and all about an eighteenth century farmhand.

That is to say, all four parts of the venture, titled ‘American Interior’, draw in various ways from the story of one of Gruff’s ancestors, a John Evans, who in 1792 journeyed from his home in Wales to the US, looking for a long-rumoured Native American tribe called the Madogwys. Who, he’d heard it said, could speak Welsh.

What follows involves all kinds of wild creatures, capers, and coups, volcanoes and map-making, and a path Rhys himself retraced in 2012, taking an ‘Investigative Concert Tour’ over north America in search of Evans’ grave.

Gruff writes on his Gruffington Post blog: “Evans was last sighted in New Spain in 1799 under a new name: Don Juan Evans. Did he find the tribe he was looking for? What became of him? What is it that sends men and women to the ends of the Earth in the vain pursuit of glory?”

So since that’s largely unanswerable at this stage, I’ll move on, to the goods. The LP is out via Turnstile on 5 May, and was written partly whilst Gruff was on the tour. The book, a “historical travelogue” on both Evans and his own adventures, is published later that same month. The app is a sort of collage of over 100 pieces of animation, artwork, prose and audio clips.

Meanwhile the film, which charts the trip, is due via Soda Pictures on 9 May. This is its trailer: