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Friday, Aug. 1, 2008
'We hate each other'
By SIMON BARTZ
Neon Neon is a collaboration between Super Furry Animals' Gruff Rhys — from Cardiff, Wales — and off-the-wall Cincinnati-based hip-hop producer Boom Bip. Their long-distance relationship seems to work — as the fortunate souls who saw their wacky, breezy, majestically upbeat alt-pop set at the Red Marquee on Sunday night can tell you about.
What's this Neon Neon project all about, then?
Gruff: It's a concept album about a concept, which is (car-maker) John DeLorean in the 1970s. It was a very corrupt time.
How do you make the tunes over such a long distance?
Gruff: I was brought in to write lyrics.
Boom Bip: Catchy hooks are what the record was built on. A focus on pop structures, singalong pop songs, songs you can drive to. I sent Gruff my unfinished ideas and he delivered more hooks and everything fell into place.
You're not friends, right?
Boom Bip: We hate each other.
Do you have something beyond your music that you want to promote?
Gruff: I'm trying to project devolutionary ideas. It's not a regular album of music, because we're talking about a certain time in history.
Gruff, Super Furry Animals are playing at Summer Sonic in two weeks' time. Are you staying in Japan for a while?
Gruff: No, I booked this gig back in Britain. I just can't get enough. But it is rather foolish to fly so much.