Previously unseen Super Furry Animals photos: Rockfield 1995

Spending six weeks in the rural, residential Rockfield Studios in the autumn of 1995, Super Furry Animals set about the recording of their acclaimed debut album, 'Fuzzy Logic' with friend and photographer, Rolant Dafis there as a ‘fly on the wall’.

For the first time in 21 years, Dafis has released a selection of his unseen, archive shots to mark the release of both the remastered 'Fuzzy Logic' (Remastered 2CD Deluxe, LP, Download, HD) and 'ZOOM! The Best of Super Furry Animals 1995 – 2016' (2CD Deluxe / Download) albums on BMG on Friday 4 November 2016. Both ‘Fuzzy Logic’ and ‘ZOOM! albums are available to pre-order now via Pledge Music.

All photo credits: Rolant Dafis.


Gruff Rhys: “You know you’re in a ‘classic rock’ studio when they have mushroom shaped, stone features in the grounds. Shortly before this shot was taken I was talking with the guitarist from T’Pau, who were recording in the other studio, about the space-time continuum.”

Rolant Dafis: “I have no idea how Gruff managed to look so serious and earnest sitting cross legged on a stone mushroom outside a recording studio in rural wales, it must have been a micro expression.”


Gruff Rhys: “I was singing outdoors, for different, dry acoustics, perhaps for the recording of ‘Mario Man’. It was a bit cold as we recorded in November. Gorwel Owen, our producer, was always a great innovator and mentor. Always trying new stuff out.”

Rolant Dafis: “Standing next to Bunf’s Ford Fiesta on a very quiet and cold November night. Thankfully there was an external light, one bare yard light is all it takes, and no shutter noises during the take which is probably why there are no pictures of Gruff actually singing. I always remember it as Gathering Moss.”


Gruff Rhys: “With the money that we got from Creation Records to buy new instruments came lots of weird shaped guitars. Daf and I had already been in bands together for ten years by this point and were record-producing partners in crime.”

Rolant Dafis: “The Gibson Flying V was a surprise, not what I expected from Gruff. I had only seen 80’s hairy metal shredders like Michael Schenker use one before then, but Gruff? Well, of course he could.”


Gruff Rhys: “Here’s the band in the Rockfield control room, with the Fuzzy Logic wall chart on the wall and various paraphernalia of the road on the coffee table. I think I can spot a trumpet, cans of industrial lager, an Ebow, a pack of Eno Oblique Strategy Cards and cups of tea. It looks like Guto might be preparing to re-do a bass take from the sofa.”

Rolant Dafis: “So much of the action with musicians in the studio is internalised. It’s about listening to sound and detail, there’s no audience and no flashing lights and they play Tetris.”


Gruff Rhys: “We were visited regularly by the label and here you can see them studiously examining progress on recording. Left to right are Mark Bowen, our A&R, Dick Green, Label Manager and John Andrews, Creation Marketing Manager and Tank Buyer. They all went on to do interesting work afterwards, with Mark and Dick setting up Wichita Records and John being part of Caught by the River Collective and trading in vintage fishing gear.”

Rolant Dafis: “The shot feels so different to the others, these guys have a different agenda, they are listening intently to the work they are funding and they are calculating something different. I love the fact that Gruff is just visible in shot, writing, with his own Furry version of the European flag hanging behind him.”


Huw ‘Bunf’ Bunford: “I’m doing an overdub in the control room. I found it easier to do individual takes without using headphones. We’d record by plugging directly into the desk, going without microphones.”

Rolant Dafis: “In the time I was there it was very noticeable that most of the recording done was in the control room and not behind the glass in the sound proofed room. Bunf went from guitar to cello and someone played the Balalaika at some point.”


Cian Ciarán: “Me and my beloved Yamaha DX100’s and the Boss RDD-20 that had seen better days, in the separate room adjoining the control room where we set up a constellation of synths.”

Rolant Dafis: “This was my first sighting of Cian in Rockfield, taken within the first half hour after I arrived. I popped my head round the corner to find Cian with a big grin making lovely noises, from what looked to me like bare circuits.


Guto Pryce: “Tuning up again! Creation Records gave us a pile of cash to buy new guitars, but they came straight from the shop and didn’t stay in tune. In the end, we mostly ended up using our old, cheaper guitars.”

Rolant Dafis: “It’s great to be able to take such intimate pictures of musicians, most of the time when they are playing they are out of reach on stage.”


Daf Ieuan: “We’d worked with our producer, Gorwel for a long time, but this was the first time in a major studio for all of us. Over six weeks in Rockfield we all had to get to grips with it pretty quickly. Here we are considering all of our options in the middle of recording.”

Rolant Dafis: “The amount of space in Rockfield from a photographer’s point of view was great. I’d been in Gorwel’s studios with Gruff and Daf before, a very dark and very small space, but I could move around in Rockfeild without getting in the way all the time, and there was some light.”


Daf Ieuan: “Who drank all my f**kin’ beer? Bacon sarnie it is then! Is this an early morning or a late night at Rockfield? I certainly can’t remember.”

Rolant Dafis: “It was probably me that drank Daf’s beer, well I helped anyway. I can’t remember either. Some shots were always a surprise in the darkroom.”

Super Furry Animals are on tour around England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales in November and December 2016, performing their first two albums, 'Fuzzy Logic' and 'Radiator' in full, in order and back-to-back. Dates are as follows:

Wed 30 Nov – Belfast Limelight
Thu 1 Dec - Dublin Olympia
Fri 2 Dec - Aberystwyth Arts Centre
Sat 3 Dec – Llandudno Venue Cymru
Sun 4 Dec - Norwich UEA
Tue 6 Dec - Bristol O2 Academy
Wed 7 Dec - Bournemouth O2 Academy
Thu 8 Dec/Fri 9 Dec - London Roundhouse
Sat 10 Dec - Birmingham O2 Institute
Mon 12 Dec - Edinburgh Usher Hall
Tue 13 Dec - Brighton Dome
Thu 15 Dec - Leeds O2 Academy
Fri 16 Dec - Nottingham Rock City
Sat 17 Dec - Cardiff Motorpoint Arena

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