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"It's Easy To Get Megalomania" - Aftonbladet, 18th June 1999

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Title: "It's Easy To Get Megalomania"
Publication: Aftonbladet
Date: Friday 18th June 1999
Writer: Andreas Hermansson

James Dean Bradfield talks about the greatest kicks of life and about the festival-hate. But Hultsfred is OK and quite cosy, thinks the whole Manic Street Preachers.

Once upon a time it was a guitarist. He was a member of a young, angry, Welsh rock band. He was so angry, and so misunderstood that he under an interview with the English paper NME carved the message 4 REAL into his forearm. A big commotion arised of course, because everyone within music-media thought it was so cool. Some time later the guitarist disappeared, and is still missing without a trace.

Some people thinks he's dead, others that he's got a bakery toghether with Elvis in Huddersfield. The band he was in does however still exist. Not as young and angry as they were, and without any scandal in several years. Besides, some of the members has got stable family-lifes. That's the way it gets when you get old.

"Sure, we've grown older and become a bit more calm. You can't go through a whole life without changing. That if anything would be pathetic."


"I haven't however got to the point we're I feel I can relax and use the time and energy that's necessarily to get a family. But at least I've changed that much that I can see myself in that situation without feeling strange, says the lead singer of the band, James Dean Bradfield.

And sure, things have change. A part of the aggressiveness may have disappeared, but their popularity increased for every year. Today they're bigger than ever and one of the most reserved band on the festival. But James Dean Bradfield isn't any festival-fanatic.

"I think my grudge against festivals comes from when I and Nicky where at the Womad festival outside Bristol when we were 15. A lot of peddlers waked us in the middle of the night and wanted to sell drugs. It was a lot of clay everywhere, even on the sandwiches. After a couple of hours we were full of hatred and told everyone that spoke to us to just fuck off. It didn't get better with all these New Age-guys that answered "You've got to much hate inside yourself". Furthermore I got a proper food poisoning of the clay-sandwiches, tells Bradfield.

After Womad, Bradfield and Wire decided that they were never going to place there foots in a festival-area again, if they weren't going to play there themselves. This is one of those cases, and the memories from Womad has faded over the years.

James Dean Bradfield doesn't hate festivals as much as he used to. In other words: the Hultsfreds-organizers can relax.


"Hultsfred is good, it's a small and comfortable festival. It's easier to make contact with the crowd here. I'm more against this gigantic rows. Glastonbury, for an example, it's a quite repulsive festival, says Bradfield and adds:But I definitely prefer concert halls, we had our reasons to start to build houses. The problem festivals is that you're so dependent on the weather. If it's a bad weather the koncert use to be bad and the public unenthusiastic."

After this convincing interpretation about the bad sides of festivals, Bradfield suddenly turn it around and starts to talk just as passionate and convincing about the fantastic experience of a real good live-concert.

"It's easy to get megalomania. Imagine, you stand on the stage and ten thousand people worships you. It's the greatest kick you can have. When you get of the stage that kick disappears and you want the same kick, straight away. I think that's the reason why so many rock stars gets drug-problems.

Are you speaking about yourself too?

"No. I use to get so drunk I don't remember my name instead.

Enough about that.

James Dean Bradfield think that the band has come to a point where different kinds of sound experiments has to take more place. He weaves himself into a complicated discussion about complex harmony between different kinds of instruments that I don't get a bit of.


"Presumably other musicians don't like the changes we do on stage. I suppose they use to think it's lousy musicality, but it's important for us to move on. When I've written songs in recent times I've noticed that I've got stuck in certain formulas that I always use. It's time to break these courses and do something else, more peeled of, says Bradfield and ends; "I want to do a record as good as Clash "London Calling" and then withdrew. When you've reached all your goals you better stop, because nothing moves you forward."