A highly original and much loved figurehead of the Welsh and UK music world – Gruff Rhys has been releasing records, cassettes, and flexidiscs since 1984 and is 20-something albums into a varied music career as a solo artist and as a member of Super Furry Animals and Neon Neon. He also created two immersive musical plays, Praxis Makes Perfect and Candylion, both with National Theatre Wales, and a series of films and books about tours; including the feature length documentaries, American Interior and Separado! with ie ie productions. His first book, American Interior, published by Penguin, was longlisted for The Guardian First Book Award and shortlisted for The Gordon Burn Prize and The Wales Book of the Year Prize, and also featured a groundbreaking app. His most recent album is 2019’s Pang! on Rough Trade, which The Guardian described as “a chamber folk-rock minor masterpiece.”
Resist Phony Encores! is a selective memoir in the form of graphics, images, and mass communications by musician and songwriter Gruff Rhys. Rhys weaves anecdotes from his life in performance through designer and long-term collaborator Mark James’ xeroxed graphics and doctored photos, as well as cue cards, which—for the past 15 years—Rhys has used as a part of his live performances. The book – available for pre-order now via Hat & Beard Press will be published on February 21st and retails for $29.95. (Also available for shipping from the UK on domestic postal rates.)
Rhys, whose projects over the last few years have included a Super Furry Animals reunion tour, a gallery exhibition of his collection of internationally pilfered hotel soaps titled Hotel Shampoo, a much lauded book – and accompanying documentary – tracing an 18th century relative’s journey across North America in American Interior, and a steady stream of captivating solo recordings, is one of the UK’s most inventive and brilliant artists. Resist Phony Encores! begins with photographs of his pre-Super Furries punk band, a Welsh language group whose name translates roughly to “Coffee Beans For Everyone.” Popular on Europe’s minority language punk rock circuit, Gruff cut his teeth as an outsider artist intent on infusing his work with irreverent, often absurdist, humor. His live shows have long been renowned for his playful encouragement of audience participation and fans will be familiar with many of these images, some of which have been made into a companion set of cue cards.
Applause! Louder! Thank You! These cue cards have gradually become more ambitious and absurd: Wild Abandon! Burger Franchise Opportunity! Generic Festival Reaction! The crowd generally goes wild on cue, prompting Rhys to seek explanations for the unimaginable highs and weirdness of life in music through the lens of crowd psychology. The book will appeal to students of linguistics, propaganda, and graphic design, and anyone interested in music and live performance.
Publicity Contact: Chloe Walsh