Before Manics singer Richey Edwards vanished without a trace 14 years ago, he handed out some textbooks to his bandmates. Now the group feel ready to set the estate to music - and "Journal For Plague Lovers" doesn't sound outdated.
James Dean Bradfield says it quite frankly: "I think Richey's disappearance was planned, as well as everything he had done just before." A thought that one can not easily get used to, that leaves new questions. Edwards' parents still refuse to have their son declared dead, and the Manic Street Preachers are similar. "I do not imagine how Richey would feel that we wrote songs to his lyrics afterwards. But maybe he would like them - they are our fastest songs in a long time."
Bradfield says that" some of our audience is still interested in Richey's soul budget" and that "since 1995 this publication has been virtually inevitable". Nicky Wire adds that the recordings were indeed "a challenge", but "emotionally no longer exhausting. It does not hurt anymore."
The band was surprised at most by the timeliness of the written down. "The album feels a bit like a time capsule. Richey never had a cell phone or internet access until he disappeared. On the other hand, it is the lyrics of one who came to certain conclusions, who was disappointed by humanity and expresses that. It is the work of a young man at the height of his intellectual capacity. Only we have changed. We are now 40, he is still 27. "A nice contrast, because with 40 have relativized some things for the rest of the band. The claim to rock music, for example. "I do not think music has to improve every aspect of my life," says Bradfield.
"Sometimes I just listen to music like that. That would have been unimaginable in the past. "In their political views, the band has largely remained true to it, even though Bradfield admits that it is now increasingly difficult to position themselves there clearly. "At the time of Margaret Thatcher, there was at least something like a working class with its own goals and ideas, now there is only one big morass."
Nicky Wire says he is "not jealous of the bands of today", if it is It is about raising political issues "that go beyond wearing George Bush masks made of rubber." On the other hand, it also certifies to the offspring a certain uninformed disinterest, which, moreover, is often accompanied by old-fashioned cynicism. "Distrusting all politicians is also a dangerous attitude. Just think of the peace process in Northern Ireland - that was above all a success of politicians. The biggest misunderstanding today is the idea that you have a qualified opinion on everything, as soon as you know what irony is. I still like to be enlightened by experts once again. And I think that's just out. " " Bradfield agrees: "The Clash may have been ridiculing trying to sing about the Sandinists, but at least they tried. Today, many young bands invoke The Clash, but they have nothing in common with them."
So, can James Bradfield imagine a political career, later, after the Manic Street Preachers? "Oh god, do not! It would end right away if people looked at our past."