Geraint Rhys email interview
1) What inspires you to make music?
Anything that moves me emotionally. I think it is important as a creative person to be open to everything and anyone. That way you can always be learning new things.
2. Who are your heroes / heroines : musical, artistic, political, sporting, other?
I have so many influences and new ones get added everyday. John Cale has always inspired me though. My mam is from the same place, Garnant / Glanamman and I have always admired how this kid from a tiny Welsh speaking rural place managed to form one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century and produce some of the most influential bands of that era.
3. Do you believe that music / art can change the world?
Of course it can, and does so, everyday. Even if it is at the most micro of scales. If you're having a shitty day and you hear a song which helps you remember a happy time, place or person it can change your whole outlook on life. Music is humanity's most universal language.
4. Tell us a bit about the new single 'Stop The War'.
'When the Syrian War broke out and the images of helpless families and children were everywhere, it made me further question the point of war. Since then we have had countless conflicts. Whether it be between Ukraine and Russia, Saudi Arabia and Yemen or the numerous terrorist attacks, graphic violence is now a staple of the social media world, but yet, we easily move from watching horrendous scenes on our phones to seconds later retweeting a funny dog video.
Through this song I ask a bunch of rhetorical questions. Searching for no answers I express how I felt when seeing image after image of people in pain through no fault of their own. Although lyrically heavy, I emphasise that through the process of questioning can come understanding.
For the video I wanted to represent the contrasting chaos and beauty of human struggle and so worked with the dancer Ffion Campbell-Davis to use movement to capture the immediacy and complexity of war.
5. You sing in Welsh and in English, however many Welsh bands sing in English. In which language do you prefer to sing? And in which language do you feel more comfortable singing?
I don't have a preference. I love singing in both.
6. You draw lots of parallels between the situation in Wales and Catalonia; could you expand on this a bit please?
I have visited Catalunya numerous times and have performed over there, and have many friends there who are active in the pro-independence movement. As a Welsh person who supports independence I therefore find many parallels with their struggle and ours. As a result I have released both a single 'Visca la Terra' and a short film 'Vibrations' on Youtube. It's also a beautiful country that I urge people to go visit.
7. What is your opinion about the current Welsh music scene, both in Welsh and English?
8. You are an independent artist, what is it like for an independent artist trying to get their voice heard?
The most difficult thing for me is never the creative part, it's always the bit after. The fun and worthwhile part is always the creation. From writing the songs, to recording, to making the artwork, the videos etc. No matter how hard work it is, it is always the worthwhile bit. The difficult bit is getting the right people to share it in the right places. If you want decent press or radio coverage then you have to pay thousands and thousands of pounds to PR companies and radio pluggers for the possible chance of being heard. Which is unrealistic for many independent unsigned artists.
9. What are your short and long-term projects?
I release my new single and video for 'Stop the War' on the 11th of October so keep your eyes and ears open for that!
10. How can our readers hear your music, and why should they bother?
I am on all the capitalist digital platforms, from spotify to itunes etc. But if you want to see my music videos then please head to my website www.geraintrhys.com and watch the all there or on youtube.
11. Traditional R*E*P*E*A*T final question - what's best, chips or cream buns?
Stop the War is released digitally on 11th October and will be available from the usual streaming platforms.
Thanks to Geraint for his time and his inspiration:
Hir ywr oer, felly dilyin dy gallon di