Welsh rocker Gruff Rhys has been shortlisted for a prestigious literature honour for his debut book. The Super Furry Animals frontman released his new solo album American Interior in May (14), inspired by the story of Welsh adventurer John Evans, who explored the U.S. in the 18th Century.
The special project came with an app and a book charting Rhys' reconstruction of Evans' journey, and now the novel has been announced as one of five works in line for the 2014 Gordon Burn Prize, which honours "authors whose novels enter history".
The winner of the award will be announced in October (14).
Welsh rocker Gruff Rhys has confessed his band Super Furry Animals went on a lavish spending spree in the 1990s after "swindling" cash from Oasis' million-selling albums. The singer/guitarist and his bandmates were signed to the same record company as the Wonderwall hitmakers, and their labelmates' commercial success produced huge profits for the firm.
Super Furry Animals became known for their eye-catching stunts including adorning their stage with huge inflatable creatures and arriving at U.K. festivals in their own military tank.
Now Rhys reveals the band funded their lavish spending with the cash pouring into Creation Records' coffers from Oasis' huge album sales.
He tells Uncut magazine, "We were very ambitious... We were quite demanding and on some weird swindle trip. We had no respect for the industry. We could ask Creation for a tank and they'd say: 'Yeah, no problem.' Ah, and we really need two inflatable 40-foot bears. 'Yeah, we can really see that.' They gave 100 per cent of their passion."
Rocker Gruff Rhys is launching an interactive project with a cell phone app in honour of Welsh explorer John Evans. The Super Furry Animals frontman is fascinated with the bizarre story of his fellow countryman Evans, who trekked across the U.S. in the 18th Century on a futile search for other Welshmen.
The musician has decided to pay tribute to the intrepid explorer with his next solo project, American Interior, which includes a new album and a film, book, and cell phone app about Evans' story.
Rhys tells Q magazine, "It's so far-fetched he might as well have been a Welsh prince who went to Mars in 1969 and stayed and had loads of kids... John Evans put his life on the line chasing mythology, a fantasy. Maybe that's not such a great idea."
Lord Of The Rings star Elijah Wood and Welsh actor Celyn Jones are teaming up to play poets Malcolm Brinnin and Dylan Thomas in a new period movie. Set Fire to the Stars, which will be directed by Andy Goddard, will explore the relationship between the two writers.
Another Welshman, Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals, has been commissioned to compose the score for the movie, which will start shooting in Wales next month (Feb14).
Brinnin was a North American poet who was instrumental in introducing Thomas to American readers in the early 1950s.
Brinnin went on to document his friend's final years in his book Dylan Thomas in America.
Folk star Georgia Ruth has been named the recipient of the 2013 Welsh Music Prize. The harpist overcame competition from 11 fellow artists, including Neon Neon, Racehorses and Euros Childs, to claim the top honour for her debut album Week of Pines at the current Swn Festival in Cardiff.
Speaking to the BBC after her win, she admitted the announcement came as "quite a shock".
The award, billed as the Welsh equivalent of the U.K.'s prestigious Mercury Music Prize, was created in 2011 to recognise the finest in Welsh music.
Rockers Future of the Left took home the trophy last year (12), while Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys was the inaugural winner.