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"Our Ego Was Bigger Than The Band" - Motor.de, 17th September 2010

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Title: "Our Ego Was Bigger Than The Band"
Publication: Motor.de
Date: Friday 17th September 2010
Writer: Marcus Willfroth

Although it has taken a long time, the Manic Street Preachers are back on top with their new album, "Postcards From A Young Man", explaining what levers needed to be reversed and why the band barely escaped the breakup.

For more than 20 years, this trio already exists and yet the Manic Street Preachers regularly surprise fans and critics alike. Like in the spring of 2009, when she released her ninth album "Journal For Plague Lovers "and many were astonished that the Welsh song sketches of their lost and long-dead guitarist Richey James Edwards used for it. The demos of the renegade had rebuilt and rebuilt with a similar intensity, as at the time when Edwards next to singer James Dean Bradfield, bassist Nicky Wire and drummer Sean Moore was still part of the band.

Fourth, Manic Street Preachers made their commercial breakthrough in the early nineties with albums such as "Generation Terrorist" (1992), "Gold Against The Soul" (1993), and the last joint studio album "The Holy Bible" (1994) . In February of the following year, Edwards disappeared without a trace, was never seen again and built a myth around him - while the left behind went on alone and musically processed the unusual situation on one of their best longplayer "Everything Must Go".

Disappeared was the boisterous Britrock of the early days, more surfaces, strings and opulent arrangements suddenly determined the sound. Until the trio got bogged down at the beginning of the new millennium, found no common ground and almost failed in itself. Only the last two albums provided the much needed change of mood and maybe their new work "Postcards From A Young Man" with all that massive rock passages is the definitive proof that we have to have the Manic Street Preachers back fat and fat on the bill.

How it came about that Bradfield & Co. have broken their mood, why they give interviews together again and why the second spring of Manics comes so booming, they explain in the motor.de interview.

motor.de: Once again, the Potsdamer Platz in the center of Berlin is the place for your interviews - is there a certain magic of which the residents do not know anything?
Nicky Wire: (laughs) I do not care where we sit and talk about our albums. However, I like the fact that we know the place quite well.
James Dean Bradfield: I really like it here. We've already shot parts of our music videos on Potsdamer Platz and even if the Berliners do not like to hear it, I think the area within the city is very nice - new or old buildings.

motor.de: Since when do you give the interviews together again and not separated from each other?
James Dean Bradfield: The times around Know Your Enemy and Lifeblood were tough on the band. Our individual egos were bigger than the joint project and after "Lifeblood" things got a bit on the hook - Nicky thought hard about what the manics are still giving him.
Nicky Wire: (interrupts him) I did not think more than anyone else. Sean is unlike us the quiet pool, James and I are more of the livelier types and there are always certain currents as nearly ten years ago, when everyone wanted to play the boss and that brought no one.

motor.de: Have you released solo albums before 2007 with "Send Away The Tigers" the Manics were again the focus of your work?
James Dean Bradfield: My solo album showed me that I can handle it on my own and what I appreciate about the band: The interplay, the discussions and above all the mutual exchange suddenly came to my head. Even Nicky missed all that.

motor.de: Last year you released "Journal For Plague Lovers" based solely on song sketches by Richey Edwards.
James Dean Bradfield: No one should understand the publication as an act of coming to terms with the past. (thinks) Richey then left us his notebook and we leafed around in mid-2008 and played in the studio a few things.
Nicky Wire: It's nothing more than a tribute. Nevertheless, it was fun to rearrange the things and that's why the longplayer was a real hit - but the subsequent tour through England was difficult because the songs did not work live.

motor.de: Many now see in "Postcards From A Young Man" an appendix to the 95 album "Everything Must Go". Are you going there?
Nicky Wire: As for the instrumentation, yes. After the rough "Journal For Plague Lovers" we wanted to open again a big barrel and apply nice thick. (laughs)
James Dean Bradfield: The songs were meant to open spaces and sometimes I felt like going back to 1995 - also in the mood of the studio: a quick nod and everyone knew what to do right away.

motor.de: How did you manage to win former Guns N 'Roses bassist Duff McKegan for the song "A Billion Balconies Facing The Sun" and why Ian McCulloch from Echo & The Bunnymen appears in "Some Kind Of Nothing"?
Nicky Wire: Duff McKegan is a great role model for me. He revolutionized the bass playing with Guns N 'Roses at the beginning of the nineties and thought he liked our stuff very much. I finally met him personally a few years ago and his guest appearance is a great honor for me.
James Dean Bradfield: One of my first concerts was Echo & The Bunnymen and after I got to know Ian and invited us to the studio, his collaboration on "Some Kind Of Nothing" came about as if by chance. Amazingly, he held himself back very much, just wanted to take over only the refrain and no further line.

motor.de: On the other hand, was the third cooperation with John Cale like a university degree? He is considered very complicated.
Nicky Wire: (both grin) Complicated is the wrong word, rather opaque. When you talk to him, you do not know what's going on in him. Sometimes you feel that John does not like your idea at all and then he says: Great, that's how we do it!

motor.de: Would you say that "Postcards From A Young Man" after the Richey tribute represents a return to your roots as a trio?
James Dean Bradfield: No way. We have never been away and therefore there is no comeback. After twenty years, you either separate or you go on forever. In the case of the Mancis, we have opted for goal "two".