I recently interviewed Cian Ciaran, keyboard player with Super Furry Animals, and who also releases music with Zefur Wolves, The Earth and as a solo artist. United We Stand’s May issue has a large part of the interview, where Ciaran discusses the upcoming SFA tour and Zefur Wolves album, as well as football.
The second part of the interview appears on (sic) magazine‘s site, and is reproduced below.
[sic] scribe Neil Meehan didn’t need asking twice when it came to grabbing a few minutes with Super Furry Animal Cian Ciaran, asking him about various current projects. And, as far as promotional duties for a new album go, his Zefur Wolves outfit is taking an unconventional approach:
“Playing London on the 13th,” explains keyboardist and co-songwriter Cian Ciaran. All sounding fairly typical so far, then. “Outside the ministry of defence,” continues Ciaran. “It’s part of an anti-trident protest with the CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament).”
Ciaran has strong feelings for this choice of show:
“Voicing my opposition to a hundred billion pounds of taxpayers’ money, spending it on the bombs that we can’t use, doesn’t quite make sense at any time, but seems even more ludicrous in this current social climate.”
This isn’t the first time Ciaran has played an unusual venue. A previous gig was up a windmill, which represented a symbolic alternative to nuclear energy sources.
“Again that was more about the message than the music,” recalls Ciaran. “It only housed ten people, it was a bit of a makeshift affair. But we played half an hour, we had to carry the laptops up 300 stairs, did the show and went back down again. It got a bit of press, got a bit of attention, made a few more people think.”
Politically-charged music is nothing new to Ciaran, his 2013 album They Are Nothing Without Us was essentially a protest album disguised as west-coast pop (sample lyric: “You think you’ve got it/all sewn up in your little back pocket/ well I won’t help you fatten your wallet”). His follow-up is due for release soon, with a similar political edge. The album has been preceded by a series of collaborative singles, the final one being released, Ciaran confirms, ‘the day before polling day.’
“All with guest vocalists,” he continues. “It’s just under my own name, ‘Cian and friends’ kind of vibe. It’s on a political tip, just saying why we think it’s out of order that they’re skimming off the NHS, putting money into the private sector, meanwhile giving bank bonuses away.”
It is not just politicians who are the cause of Ciaran’s ire, as he explains:
“The wider media’s view is promoting Islamophobia, blaming immigrants and blaming everyone and anyone but who owns the real power, i.e. the bankers, governments and corporations, who really dictate policy. It’s just like a scam,” Ciaran continues, “like a magician’s trick where you deflect attention to somewhere else while you push policies through that do the real harm. It’s like divide and rule, age-old tactic.”
“The singles will be out digitally on Strangetown (Records) leading up, and then a few more collaborations post-election, and then putting the album out physically in July,” confirms Ciaran. “So my life’s a bit of a juggling act at the moment between everything. It’s a mad rush trying to mix it all and co-ordinate all the guest appearances and stuff, and get it out in time.”
Those involved in the ‘Cian and Friends’ and Zefur Wolves projects are closely linked:
“It’s all part of the same gang of people. We’re all on the same wavelength.”
Strangetown Records is the label Ciaran is heavily involved with alongside his brother, Dafydd Ieuan, and both are also members of two other bands, Super Furry Animals and The Earth. Ciaran spoke to [sic] shortly after SFA announced their first live shows in six years, something he is looking forward to:
“Yeh, it’ll be good. We start rehearsals next week, dusting down all the equipment. It’ll be nice just to do it again for the sake of playing and having a laugh again, for the same reasons you start a band at nineteen or whatever, just try and have a laugh doing it.”
No new Super Furries music has been confirmed as yet, which is not surprising given how much Ciaran has been involved with himself recently. The other members have too, and Ciaran quips SFA fans have been treated to “five albums for the price of one!”
There is, however, progress on the next album by The Earth, follow up to 2014’s Keltic Voodoo Boogaloo, reviewed here at [sic].
“Daf and Mark have been writing new material and that, trying out different approaches, doing sort of band takes in the same room,” confirms Ciaran. “So that should see light of day. I dunno what plans are for release dates.”
The interview concludes, with an NME interview scheduled for later that afternoon, although [sic] is able to quickly ask one final question: Whatever happened to that Super Furry Animals tanks which we used to see them with at various festivals?
“We sold it back to the guy who we bought it off,” replies Ciaran. “I think he sold it to Don Henley from The Eagles, so I’m told. I think Don Henley bought it and painted it back to its original military colours, which is a shame. Should have kept it.”
~[sic] would like to thank Ciaran for his time and wish his various endeavours s