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Interview with Sonic Animation: Saving Super Furry Animals

Author: Stewart Rae
Wednesday, 21 September 2005
Sonic Animation's 'Bugger Off' tour is to be their last. The career of the infamous dance duo has spanned 11 years, and latest artist album, 'Eleven', is both a retrospective and a showcase of the recent tracks to come out of their studio.

We took the opportunity to catch up with Rupert (one half of Sonic) and quiz him on the highlights and lowlights of the past 11 years, their new album, and where dance music is heading in the future.

This tour is said to be your last headlining tour - what are your reasons for departing from the scene-
We are both interested in starting new projects. For me, 11 years is a long time to be in the same band and I wanted to work with somebody else and also do some solo work. Adrian is interested in working as a
producer. He is planning on taking some time off before starting again next year.

What happens next for you guys-
I'm working with someone who is quite well known but not for music. It's a new project that I will be writing most of the music for - look for it late next year...

Sonic animation have been at it for 11 years now. What have been the highlights and lowlights from that time-
There are a couple of things that I really love. One is the feeling you get when you're creating a track and it's all coming together better than you could possibly imagine. I'm usually locked in my bedroom
studio listening to the same loops over and over again and slowly developing melodies and adding sounds. When it's all going well it's a great experience. The other is taking these songs out to play them live.

One of my fondest memories is the crazy reaction to our set at Livid a few years ago when we first started playing Theophilus live. The room
was packed from front to back with people jammed on the stairs trying to get in. There was a huge tug of war between me and the people at the front as they tried to pull one of our furry characters into the crowd. They had this poor girls head (well, the creatures head anyway) and I had her feet. She was saved in the end.

I guess lowlights are the politics of being in the music industry. It's something I'm not interested in, but it's totally necessary to be part of. Management, record deals, labels, publishers, etc. Finding who you
can trust and who you can't. It can make you lose all inspiration to be part of the music industry.

How did you get into making music-
Learnt bass guitar as a teenager, then bought a computer with Cubase(music writing software) on it and a sampler and went on from there. The great thing about computers and samplers is that you can have any
sound you like and your band can be made up of 100 members. The bad thing is that you have to do it all on a computer - I hate computers...

Dance music must have changed an awful lot in the time that you've been at it. In what ways have you seen it change and evolve-
It seems finally to have found its feet. It went through a number of highs and lows and now seems to have finally found its place in a very changing and fickle market. And technology has brought us amazing
sounds and production that just wouldn't have been possible 10 years ago.

It's also made it possible for everyone and their Gran to be a dance producer. Which is not such a bad thing as my Gran writes a mean Drum and Bass riff!

Which direction do you see electronic music heading in the future-
Quite honestly it's heading into RSL clubs. When we're old, instead of listening to brass bands playing Roll Out The Barrel we'll be
hearing the classics like Where's Your Head At played on trombone. A much more appropriate tune for an 80 year old anyway...

Your album 'Eleven' features some previously unavailable tracks. Given that it's your "swansong", was it difficult to decide what tracks to include, and which ones to leave out-
Adrian wrote all the names of our songs on to sticky notes and then stuck them all over me. I stood
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