Nice to see Rush's Moving Pictures on your making of Lifeblood playlist...
(Laughs) I went to see Rush the other night. Some of the best and worst stuff I've ever heard in my life but The Trees was amazing! When I was 15, Alex Lifeson seemed like the missing link between Jimmy Page and Andy Summers. The problem was that Rush seemed vaguely right wing. But fuck it! Alex was God!
This album is much better than Know Your Enemy...
It's a very different record to that one. I wouldn't go as far to say that KYE was stillborn, but I think this album has more oxygen and spontaneity.
Why The Love Of Richard Nixon as first single?
We didn't want to come out all guns blazing with our best shot and a £100,000 video. There's a certain depth to that song, and a lot to absorb in Nicky's lyric, I think. You could argue that history has charged Nixon harshly, as compared to, say, Kennedy.
Reportedly, the working-title was Goodbye Suicide...
Yes. There are songs about the "S" word on the album, certainly, but Lifeblood seemed to be a more positive way of saying the same thing.
Your voice has matured again, no?
I tried to stop screaming. And I fell back in love with the way Nicky and Sean play together. Two beats per minute slower, suddenly find space for vocal expression.
Delicate question, but does Cardiff Afterlife attempt some kind of closure on Richey's vanishing?
When one of your best friends disappears and you haven't got a fucking clue what the answer is, the bad feelings never diminish. I don't know about that word closure, either. I think we've all been watching too much of The Sopranos. The problem with the keepers of Richey's flame was that some of them decided that they knew him better than we did. The last NME review I read was a pie chart assessing how cold or otherwise we'd been to Richey on the greatest hits package. That's the kind of crap that makes you feel like killing someone.