Where your shades at, Curtis? This future so bright! American hip-hop producer Boom Bip and Welsh singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Gruff Rhys (of psychedelic rock band Super Furry Animals) are lending some fresh thrust to ‘80s synthpop. In the world of electro-laden grooves, you’re only as hot as the song you’re remixing; originality is rare. But the duo, known as Neon Neon, is showing the scene how it’s done, beaming heavy with sound waves and synth rays that leave more than just a burn on the backs of their dedicated fans.
Wampire: There are a lot of dark moments on tour that can be pretty funny to look back on.Can you tell a story about one of your darkest moments on the road? Gruff: There was this time before we became a duo. Neon Neon was a seven member collective. We were badly organized, living in a disused grain mill squat-type situation in Dsseldorf, West Germany. So we started to develop a central hard drive that would regulate calendars and integrate musical direction based on data collected within the band by an outsourced accounting firm.
In any case, we were out on tour in Italy promoting our fourth album when five of the band members suffered near death by alcohol poisoning due to severe grappa intoxication. Two of them were pronounced dead prematurely only to be revived by electroshock. It was the final straw for the central hard drive. He instructed the two teetotal members to punish the poisoned members by birching. The saxophonist caught wind of this and threw the hard drive over the famed Rialto Bridge in Venice, into the Grand Canal. I still deeply miss the wise directives of that first drive.
Marry, Boff, Kill: Morrissey, Prince, and David Bowie, and why? Boom Bip: I think Prince should marry Morrissey and have an affair with Bowie. Morrissey can teach Prince that perfection is impossible to obtain and Bowie can teach him that glam isn’t everything. The outcome would be Terence Trent D’Arby.
You have a day to live: What are your regrets in life and what do you wish you would have done differently? Boom Bip: If I had a day to live, I would not be wasting time on regrets. I would surround myself with what I consider the human experience and bask in love from friends, family, and the sun. If you need a regret, though, it would be getting myself into a situation where I was only given one day to live.
Grooming Notes: Facial fuel no-shine hydrator and facial fuel no-shine moisturizing lip balm by KIEHL'S.
Photographer: Jessie Craig at jessiecraig.com. Groomer: Elliot Bssila for dwmanagement.co.uk using Kiehl’s. Producer: Seona Taylor-Bell. Photography Assistant: Paul Craig. Special Thanks: National Theatre of Wales at NationalTheatreWales.org.