Gruff Rhys announces new album, film, book and app

American Interior will tell the tale of John Evans, who set out to find a Welsh-speaking Native American tribe in 1792

Former Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys is continuing his explorations beyond music – this time with a multimedia project called American Interior, "blurring the boundaries and possibilities of songwriting, music, literature, film and technology to create a multi-sensory experience telling the incredible true story of John Evans".

Evans was a Welsh farmhand who travelled to America in 1792 in an attempt to discover whether legends about a Welsh-speaking Native American tribe called the Madogwys were true. During the course of his explorations, Evans wrestled alligators in the Mississippi, hunted bison, defected to the Spanish, annexed North Dakota from Britain and drew up the map used by Lewis and Clark on their own expedition of discovery. In summer 2012, Rhys – apparently a distant relative of Evans – retraced Evans' journey, though he did so by playing gigs during which he described his ancestor's trek, rather than by reptile wrestling.

Reading on mobile? Watch the American Interior trailer here

American Interior is to come in four formats – a 13-song album, to be released on 5 May, which will be Rhys's fourth solo album; a book, described as "a psychedelic historical travelogue in which Gruff traces Evans' incredible journey from North Wales to new Spain, alongside the tale of his own strange American road trip following in Evans's footsteps", which will be published in late May; a film directed by Dylan Goch, documenting Rhys's 2012 tour; and an app consisting of 100 entries telling Evans's story.

Rhys is no stranger to big concepts. Last year his group Neon Neon released the album Praxis Makes Perfect, about the life of the Italian leftwing activist and publisher Giangiacomo Feltrinelli. The album was accompanied by a theatrical show produced in collaboration with the National Theatre Wales.

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