Talking Wales with Super Furry Animals

SFA bassist Guto discusses Wales's chances at Euro 2016, for which the band have released new single "Bing Bong".

Guto from Super Furry Animals discusses "Bing Bong" and Wales's chances at Euro 2016
SUPER: Furry Animals

Psychedelic pop legends Super Furry Animals have just released “Bing Bong”, a cosmic Euro 2016 anthem for Wales, so we spoke to bassist Guto Pryce about it all. First be sure to check out the band’s silky skills in this glorious accompanying video:

We know that the phrase “Bing Bong” is a reference to the robot in Buck Rodgers in the 25th Century – but what relevance does this have to football?

Well, in a roundabout way, the lyrics of the song are actually in Welsh and they reference a ball. Gruff came up with the original idea but I’m guessing it’s like an international language, a celebration of song – like Eurovision. We look to the future for inspiration, hence Buck Rodgers.

I’m thinking of sticking a tenner on Wales at 80-1. Am I completely mad?

No, not at all. We have Gareth Bale, who could score a goal in every game. Diego Maradona did it in ’86 and he was as high as a kite.

We’ve seen Leicester win the league with a tight-knit outfit featuring a smattering of star attacking talent, and “Bing Bong” even sounds a bit like Claudio Ranieri’s now-immortal “dilly ding, dilly dong” rallying cry. It’s all coming together.

Maybe. The stars definitely aligned for everything with “Bing Bong” – we were active as a band, we were ready to do it and ready to enjoy it. The Ranieri thing is funny, you can just imagine the look on the players’ faces when this funny old man started spouting gibberish. It clearly worked, though.

Whose idea was the video?

We did that with our long-time collaborator Mark James, a graphic designer who works a lot alongside Pete Fowler. We just had this idea of doing keepy-uppies as gifs as a cheap and easy way of building some hype, and that idea kind of worked its way into the video.

How many head-ups can you do without the aid of video technology?

Two – one off my forehead, one off my nose! I’m alright at keepy-uppies, although I can’t do anything flashy.

Who’s the best footballer in the band?

I would say Bunf. Yeah, Bunf’s good.

If Super Furry Animals were a five-a-side team, who’d play in which positions?

I would put myself as a defensive midfielder, not too much running, spreading the ball out. I’d probably hold that down with Daf actually, he’s a little pit bull. Gruff would be a maverick goalkeeper who sometimes likes to attack. Bunf and Cian on the wings.

We made one of our records in Brazil [2005’s Love Kraft] and the studio assistant was a local guy in Rio who was a bit of a footballer. At one time in his life he played five-a-side with Romario – apparently he’s still got it!

Why did Daf decide to go barefoot for the video? Is it like a Paul McCartney/Abbey Road thing, and if so should we be getting the ball rolling on those ‘Daf is dead’ rumours?

It’s just a look! I dunno, but at least they were clean.

What do you think of the Manic Street Preachers song? It’s certainly in a very different vein to yours.

Yeah. You know, it’s triumphant and it ticks all the boxes, goes for the jugular.

What are your thoughts on Cardiff City’s season?

I’ve stopped going down these last two seasons. I went to one home game this season and it was actually alright – we were back to our crap-but-trying best as opposed to a bunch of prima donnas.

I’m not keen on the way the club’s being run at the moment. You only need to look at Leicester to see how it’s done – every small-to-medium-sized club in the country will have been kicking themselves watching Leicester this season, because in theory anyone could have done it.

You don’t need lots of money, you don’t need the best manager with the best track record – a good striker helps, though. I also get the impression that their owner actually listens to the fans, and that’s not what’s happening at Cardiff City. Until the club changes hands, I won’t be getting enthusiastic about them.

Will you be recording more new material together? You’ve got a tenth studio album that needs making.

There are no plans at the moment. We’ve enjoyed playing and working on “Bing Bong”, but we’re in a position of zero-pressure. It would be nice to get everyone together when we’re in a position to dedicate our lives to something as intense as making an album, but there are no plans to at the moment.

I read an early Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci interview where they said that for their tenth album they’d make it purposefully really sh*t, like a bad Beach Boys album. Maybe we should just do that. Nail in the coffin!

Will you be doing more Gulp stuff?

Yeah, I’ve been working on that for the last year. I think everybody’s got music in the pipeline that’s ready to go, so it’s just a case of waiting for a time when the Furries isn’t so active to put it all out.

This Saturday, Cardiff’s Clwb Ifor Bach venue will stage a charity event in aid of Shelter Cymru called Outspaced, celebrating 21 years of Super Furry Animals. For more information, please visit the event’s Facebook page.