Sound Bites Interview: SFA’s Guto Pryce

The first in what will hopefully be a long series of interviews asking musicians about food (and maybe some chefs about music). Guto Pryce plays bass for Wales’ finest band, Super Furry Animals.

GutoSoundBites: Is there such a thing as Welsh cuisine?

Guto Pryce: There is. It’s not very good, really. It’s probably a peasant food, not really fine cuisine as such. There are some good cheeses in Wales, though.

SB: Is there a signature Welsh dish?

GP: Well, there’s the Welsh Rarebit…which is cheese on toast. I don’t know what makes cheese on toast particularly Welsh. The signature vegetable of Wales is the leek. When we used to fight the English, you wore a leek in your helmet to distinguish yourself from the enemy.

SB: Are there any foods you strongly dislike?

GP: Butter. I’m not a fussy eater, but that’s just bullshit. I’m not into it at all. Unnecessary. I should clarify — it’s fine to cook with, but I don’t want it on a sandwich.

SB: When you come to America, is there anything you look forward to eating?

GP: I’ve had jetlag all week, so I wake up every day at 6AM craving eggs. Just shitloads of eggs. I don’t know what it is about America that makes me want to eat eggs… we have them at home, obviously. The future of this country is it’s multiculturalism and the fine array of world cuisine you can have just by walking down the street.

SB: Is the band into food, actively I mean?

GP: Oh yeah. Cian [CiarĂ¡n, SFA’s keyboardist] is a cook. He can rustle up a tasty meal out of strange ingredients.

SB: Does he have a specialty?

GP: He’s a pasta man. Red wine and pasta is his thing. We’re all big fans of Sushi. We were in Japan recently so we had a whole week of eating all kinds of Japanese food. Japanese beer as well is amazing.

SB: What’s your favorite piece of sushi?

GP: I actually like the vegetarian one — kappa. Cucumber. But a bit of tuna is good. I’m not big on eel.

SB: What about sea urchin?

GP: I like it, but I prefer an oyster. When we were in Brazil mixing the album, the food was amazing. All you could eat — seafood or meat.

SB: The skewer places… it’s called rodizio?

GP: Right. You have a little coin on your table — one side is green for go, the other side red for stop. You just turn it over when you want more food. It’s a challenge and you just feel like Homer Simpson. The idea is to eat more than you spend.

SB: "Receptacle for the Respectable" features a celery solo. How much of the stuff have you gone through since you’ve been performing it.

GP: It’s not always celery. Sometimes it’s crisps [potato chips]. They’ve got a good crunch to them. Carrots, apples… you can’t get celery everywhere you go, so we have to branch out a little. On this tour, though, it’s been celery every night. We go through a whole package a night.

SB: On the album (Rings Around the World) it’s Paul McCartney doing the chomping. Is it celery or something else?

GP: It’s in stereo, and one side is celery and the other side is carrots. I couldn’t tell you which sides is which, unfortunately, but maybe a discerning listener could. The carrots may sound a little crisper in crunch. Put your headphones on, folks.

Super Furry Animals are touring North America through December 1. Dates can be found here.

Photo courtesy Information Leafblower, who has some really amazing behind-the-scenes SFA photos on his Flickr photostream.

Super Furry Animals North American Tour Dates

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Album for album, Super Furry Animals are without a doubt the best band of the last ten years. Their new album, Love Kraft, has front man Gruff Rhys sharing the mike with the rest of the band for the first time and the results are typically Furry-rific, though it’s not as poppy as 2003’s Phantom Power. (It is, as they say, "a grower.") Actually, Beggars reissued all the early Super Furry Animals albums this year, each with a bonus disc of b-sides. 2000’s Guerrilla is considered by most to be their best album, but I’m partial to their 1997 breakthrough second album, Radiator, and 1999’s all-Welsh Mwng. But all seven album are worth picking up, though, if you must, Songbook: Singles Vol. 1 is a good place to start.

In concert, SFA rarely disappoint, so don’t miss them on their fall North American tour. Previous tours have seen the band bring out mariachi horn players dressed as nuns, gorilla’s throwing celery into the audience, a sound system decked out in 5.1 surround, and the band wearing their "Golden Retriever" furry suits. What will they do this time? There’s only one way to know — go see them. All dates feature fellow furry animals Caribou, so get their early.

Nov 01 – Montreal, QUE – Club Soda

Nov 02 – Toronto, ONT – Phoenix Concert Theatre

Nov 05 – New York, NY – Webster Hall

Nov 06 – New York, NY – Webster Hall

Nov 07 – Boston, MA – The Roxy

Nov 08 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club

Nov 09 – Philadelphia, PA – TLA

Nov 11 – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle

Nov 12 – Atlanta, GA – The Loft

Nov 15 – Houston, TX – Meridian Red Room

Nov 16 – Austin, TX – La Zona Rosa

Nov 17 – Dallas, TX – Gypsy Tea room

Nov 19 – Lawrence, KS – Granada

Nov 20 – Chicago, IL – Metro

Nov 21 – Minneapolisa, MN – Fine Line Music

Nov 24 – Vancouver, BC – Richard’s on Ricahrd

Nov 25 – Seattle, WA – Neumos

Nov 26 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom

Nov 28 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore

Nov 29 – Hollywood, CA – Avalon

Nov 30 – Anaheim, CA – House of Blues

Dec 01 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues