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"I Would Be Unable To Vote For Them If There Was An Election Tomorrow" - Interview With James Dean Bradfield - Recorder, 29th August 2014

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Manic Street Preachers has once again released strong albums in a row (last year’s Rewind The Film , a few weeks ago Futurology ), and once again gave a strong concert on the Island, but many of them, including the Recorder, are celebrating this year with their top work, The The twenty-year anniversary of the Holy Bible - we remembered the history of the album this week . From the heavily political band , we interviewed the strong-handed, eloquent guitarist-singer-frontman James Dean Bradfield on the Island, which is exactly on the 20th anniversary of The Holy Bible ’s August 29, 1994 release.


- Manic Street Preachers always releases a new record that is markedly different from the previous one. This is especially true for the two most recent albums, 2013’s Rewind The Film and the now-released Futurology .

- I've been thinking about this a lot. As a matter of fact, we’re a pretty weird band. The first record was a glam soft metal punk album, the second a classic rock record, the third post punk, the fourth rooted in indie and so on. Rewind The Film was already made so we knew another album was coming soon, so we were able to focus our songs on the two records. Rewind has become an inward-looking, acoustic, Welsh record, and Futurology is open, European in its effects. So I used to think about why we need each of our records to be different, what’s the root of it, and I came to the conclusion that when we were 14-15 years old, the most musically receptive, we all loved different bands. I went to Clashfor Magazine , for Wire , but I was obsessed with Motown-soult, or Frank Sinatra , and even obscure bands like Big Flame or Fire Engines . Or I was just a fan of Public Enemy ! So as a teenager, I went through a lot of styles from hip hop, through punk, through obscure indie to metal. And the same eclectic taste characterized the others, Nick (Wire - bassist-lyricist - ed.) Went there at the age of 15 for Smiths and Whitesnake ! Richey (Edwards - guitarist-ideologist-lyricist - ed.) Killing Joke - andHe was a fan of Echo & The Bunnymen . Sean (Moore - drummer-composer - ed.) Loved Residents et and Kraftwerk et . Now, if you add up these four 15-year-olds, you get a very musically confused team. However, we had only one point in common and that was Clash. And we especially loved them for the way rock and roll worked together with politics. I think that is the answer to the question. Musically, that’s why we’re so crazy about it.


MANICS 'DISCOGRAPHY HAS BEEN REVIEWED AND EVALUATED HEREIN.


- Futurology - in addition to being featured with songs with a strong European influence - has been the band's boldest, most adventurous, "experimental" album since 2001's Know Your Enemy . Was that a kind of goal for you to let go of in that sense as well?

“I have a pretty hard time answering that because we’re never using any proven workflow and we’re never standing for songwriting by now‘ dipping in krautrock ’or now‘ recreating Manicset as Wire ’. It usually happens that Nick gives me the lyrics and if he gives me lyrics like Europa Geht Durch Mich or Misguided Missile or Between The Clock And The Bed, then I somehow automatically bring European musical influences because they are already included in the lyrics. They come out on their own, as soon as I read them. Even if there is a proven workflow, I would say that anything that was in Nick or Richey’s lyrics will find a way out of us musically. But I can say it differently. If I get a text like Motorcycle Emptiness whose text was so huge, broad-spectrum, so generational, you’ll inevitably want to get something widescreen out of it, too. So now specifically European themes came from Nicky, that guided what musical solutions came to mind.


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- Manics has always been a very political band and there is no shortage of topics in this field, the new record also has problems with the war, the economic crisis, but how do you see how young the bands want to follow in this field?

- In the late eighties, when we started, most of the Indian bands were politicized one way or another, specifically strongly like The Men They Couldn't Sound , The Redskins , or McCarthy - and now it's just three bands that I named it from the bite. Even the most popular ones have written a lot of very political songs, like Smiths . Morrisseyhe attacked the Conservatives simply because he hated the royal family. For simple political-philosophical-moral reasons. Now, perhaps, there would be even more reason to write political songs than ever before, just by bringing up the many conflicts in which the West has a role of some degree. Even more important is the many economic crises that are taking place around us. But now it is very out of the air that young musicians want to confront such topics. They simply avoid the thing. And, of course, even young, sensible bands avoid these mainstream. And in this connection, it is important to point out that you can always filter out the thinking of a generation, you can assess a cultural state by what the mainstream allows. But you can even narrow it down to what indie sees, although indie is now also part of the mainstream. And now the fact is that almost no one wants to write about it. There are always exceptions, for examplePlan Bwrote on his latest album on British rights and legislation, for which he deserves great respect, is a difficult subject. But there are few exceptions. It is a very difficult topic to write about political events, circumstances and cataclysms in such a way that the end result is poetic and lyrical. I see a lack of interest in political songs, by young people, in the fact that the internet has fundamentally changed this as well. Even I myself were almost bored with politics by now, even though I never thought I would ever say that. And that's it. I have no idea who I am going to vote for next time in Britain because I fucking hate the political activities of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. And this is serious from a man whose whole family and he himself has voted for the Labor Party in world life. But I would be unable to vote for them if the election were tomorrow. You feel that ideological boundaries are blurring today. Plus, to see so much corruption in British political life over the last five years that you haven’t blamed anyone for being cynical about it. I am absolutely certain that all this has radically transformed what young people think of politics today. They think they can already achieve something by pressing a button on an online petition. Yes No. I don't want to be cynical. They may even be able to achieve something. But surely no one is going to write a song about “I pressed yes to an online petition”. But of course I'm sure I'm an old dick already! That's it! I am absolutely certain that all this has radically transformed what young people think of politics today. They think they can already achieve something by pressing a button on an online petition. Yes No. I don't want to be cynical. They may even be able to achieve something. But surely no one is going to write a song about “I pressed yes to an online petition”. But of course I'm sure I'm an old dick already! That's it! I am absolutely certain that all this has radically transformed what young people think of politics today. They think they can already achieve something by pressing a button on an online petition. Yes No. I don't want to be cynical. They may even be able to achieve something. But surely no one is going to write a song about “I pressed yes to an online petition”. But of course I'm sure I'm an old dick already! That's it! that I'm already an old dick! That's it! that I'm already an old dick! That's it!


“ The Holy Bible , referred to as the work of many in the eyes of many, will be twenty years old this month. It was about playing the entire album live, but you can also read that you are unsure about it. Obviously, the record was made during a very difficult period, especially heavy memories are attached to it…

- (interrupts) I don't think we're reluctant to play the record one at a time for personal and personal emotional reasons. We are simply old to him. Nick has two kids, Sean has three, I’m a kid too, and so it’s pretty hard to force ourselves into the militant nihilism (smiles) that characterized us then. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of those texts are also constructive, and they have outward attention, not just turning around. But still it is quite difficult to reach the state of consciousness we were in at the time. So we just aren't that arrogant to say, "Okay, let's go into the studio, learn the songs again, and then you can go, we'll be fine!"We really need to go into the studio and pick up songs that we last played specifically twenty years ago and find out if we can still perform them convincingly. We’ll always be the Manic Street Preachers, so we need to be able to live with the decisions, and now we have to decide soon enough, in two weeks, whether we want to perform the record or not. But we know how important this is for everyone.


interview: Endre Dömötör photos: Tamás Lékó