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"I'm A Forty-Five-Year-Old Dad, I Can't Be Angry Anymore!" - Player, 17th September 2014

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ARTICLES:2014



Title: "I'm A Forty-Five-Year-Old Dad, I Can't Be Angry Anymore!"
Publication: Player
Date: Wednesday 17th September 2014
Writer: Hauschel Tamás


On the Island, we caught the Manic Street Preachers frontman, who was aging so much that we almost believed him. Testimonies of British politics, fossil cell phones and lost rage to everyone who loves it.

You said in an interview that your new album, Futurology, is one of the most optimistic Manics albums. What happened to you?
I'd rather be outward looking than optimistic. I don't think looking outward and optimism mean the same thing. Of course, there is optimism about the experiences that have come to us in recent decades. We have been forming a team for a very long time, we have toured a very long time, mainly in Europe, and we have changed so much over the years and this is mainly because we are getting older. It is strange because, for example, we have come to love the ideology that Europe conveys, but we do not like the institutional system that unites it.

You're not too Unionist ...
No. But I wouldn't say that I'm completely skeptical about the European Union, as most people in Britain do. I do not so much support what is happening in Brussels. So if there is some optimism in our music, it comes from Europe itself, from culture, from history, but there is some disappointment in political corruption. I wouldn't say Futurology out there, but optimistic .

You really got the chance to write songs about cities or entire continents. Tokyo, Australia, Moscow, Europe. Why did this happen to you?
I'm very attached to these places. I love them. Our favorite bands like The Clash, Public Enemy or Sex Pistols used to write songs about such relationships, and they didn't have love songs. I've listened to a lot of indies in the past, bands like Magazine or The Smiths, but they haven't written songs about a girl meeting a boy or God forbid a boy with a boy or a girl with another girl. These bands were our teachers, but they taught us to write records instinctively so that everything would come from the subconscious. But we thought a little differently.

How did this come about?
As a musician, it's very easy to keep looking at you all the time, but we rather watched what was going on around us. I remember once, in an interview with The Clash, when I was a teenager, if you wanted to write a song, just look out the window, just step out the door and the inspiration will come. And this is true. We saw a very politically oriented Europe as a teenager in Wales. The miners went on strike, the government was trying to destroy the area where I was growing up, so we were very angry as a teenager, and we started writing songs about it.

Did you release everything yourself?
We felt a great relief. It was cathartic, we felt we were doing justice, doing good. If we put ourselves among the performers we admired, we were much more outward looking than them.

How angry are you lately?
I'm a forty-five-year-old dad, I can't be so angry anymore.

Oh, no!
No, you're so worried (laughs) at this age. I think I have reached a stage in my life where politics will no longer be so important to me. I've never said that, and I didn't think I'd say it once. For example, if I had a vote tomorrow, for the first time in my life I would not know who I would vote for. I was disappointed with the Labor Party, which was voted with the utmost naturalness by both myself and my family, I would not be able to choose them if I had to, but unfortunately no other political party. Two recessions hit Wales, we were involved in countless wars, and not many musicians saw it write.

Why did you make this change politically?
I'm not sure. Maybe because every party has a dead ideology. I am also disappointed that young British bands did not have too much enthusiasm for political issues. I don't accuse bands of not being interested in the topic, I just don't understand how they can't write about it.

In a recent interview, you criticized young bands pretty much for being the same. Is there someone you like?
Of course, I'm listening to a lot of new records. I like Kurt Vile, for example, I like War on Drugs and Cate Le Bont, and I got a new record for each of them along with some other new artists this year. I buy quite a few records anyway, but I'm not looking for music because it responds in some way to current culture or politics. I think it's completely extinct from the music. I listen to the songs for the sake of the songs. The discs I just talked about are all about the death of ideology and the internet, because these have completely changed the world.

Did you kill rock'n'roll, for example?
They made people feel a click of a button on an online petition and not want to write a song about why the petition was written. I think I'm too old, maybe that's it.

You keep getting older, but you're not even half-footed in the grave.
I really became a different person. I have the same set of values, I believe the same as I used to, but I couldn't adjust to the modern age. I have never sent an email in my life. I've never downloaded anything. Here's my phone, for example (pulls out a fossil half brick cell) .

Okay, I understand…
I know the names of politicians, what's going on because I watch the news, listen to the radio, read the newspapers, I'm well-informed, but I don't know what to do with what's in your hands, for example.

You better know that what I have in my hand is a two generations before the current phone.
It's possible, but it doesn't matter, the point is that the Internet has changed everything in this world.

You are not following the technology of the present, but your new album , Futurology , has come out. Somewhat ironic…
I live in the present, I am committed to the present, to the people who are unemployed in Britain, interested in how many new factories are being built and how many are going bankrupt. I'm just not connected to this present in every way.

And how do you connect to a new solo album? In The Great Western it has came out eight years ago, and it was a great album.
Thank you very much! There won't be a new solo album because I didn't enjoy being part of the band. I'd rather be in a team.

Don't you have any songs you couldn't bring into Manic Street Preachers?
I write all my songs to the band. It was strange that I broke away from my best friends, who I had known since they were a kid, that quitting all of them gave me far less than when I was making music with them. We are a very strange band, we have known each other throughout our lives.

That doesn't sound weird, it's better if you really know everything about the other one.
I may have used the wrong word. Not strange, but rather rare. Most bands have only known each other for a few years or less. And I've known the others since they were five or six. We have a common history, a common experience, and in a sense our values. It's hard enough to get out of it. We are an institution.

But a good institution ...
Sometimes (laughs). Sometimes it's a strange institution, but it's good.