Nicky Wire on The Royle Family, Cuban boxers and reclaiming The Beatles
When did you write *Masses Against The Classes'?
"April or May this year. Before Crappergate [laughs]. I remember someone described 'You Love Us' as a sarcastic Valentine - we were aiming at that. It's about the fact that ten years on, we feel the same way. We still find it impossible to control our hatred No-one at the record company wants us to release it. It'll stiff."
It contains the line "We're the only thing left to believe in"...
"Yeah [laughs]. My messiah complex. I just think that since Nirvana and one or two other crucial bands - including us - there's been nothing. There's an exhibition in Cardiff at the moment that Jeremy Deller's put together, which is all referenced to us: there's the Jenny Savile painting
from 'The Holy Bible',- stuff on the Spanish Civil War...it was probably the proudest I've ever been. Along with getting mentioned on The Royle Family, it's been my high point of the year."
Is the lift from 'Twist And Shout' meant to make a point? Should it be taken in tandem with the cover of 'Rock 'N' Roll Music'?
"It's about trying to...feel young again [laughs]. With The Beatles, before 'Revolver' and 'Rubber Soul', they're not seen as anything. Their later albums have been taken over by the intelligentsia. And the reason why they were so huge in the first place was that primal, visceral music. Bands today think that only dance music can do that. Actually, it shouldn't be us who has to make that point..."
So does it feel strange doing at at 30 years old?
"Making a right old racket! [laughs] It does, yeah."
What's with the Cuban flag on the cover?
"I think it's amazing the way Cuba has stuck to its guns in the face of economic isolation. I love it when the Olympics come around and the Cuban boxers absolutely paste the Americans. You go to their training facilities and it's literally a backwater, but they produce loads of good
sportsmen. And they don't let them turn professional [laughs]. It's a place I've always wanted to go. James is going in January."