Translated from German
End April 2016 playing the Manic Street Preachers at their two concerts in Cologne and Hamburg their masterpiece "Everything Must Go" in its entirety. We spoke with lead singer James Dean Bradfield on the making of the album, the changing musical culture since the 1990s and his love affair with Germany.
regioactive.de: You're going with the Manic Street Preachers go shortly "Everything Must Go" tour, an album many consider your best work. but I think that your feelings are more complicated and ambivalent regarding the album and not be a pure sense of achievement.
James Dean Bradfield: I'm not sure. It is certainly our "classic" album and in this regard, perhaps timeless than our other works. It is perhaps surprising, but I associate it with any ambivalent feelings or memories, but feel great pleasure in playing the entire album. The reason is that "Everything Must Go" a more open and more musical album is called "The Holy Bible" - was conceived and as such. It feels very simple and straightforward.
regioactive.de: The tragic death of Richey James Edwards thus does not affect your perception of the album? ( Richey James Edwards wrote most of the lyrics on the early Manic Street Preachers Albums. He disappeared on 1 February 1995 near the Severn Bridge on the border of Wales and England without a trace. It is believed that he committed suicide. His body was never found. In 2008 he was declared dead.)
James Dean Bradfield: No. 1996 and 1997 that was something else. When I returned to my hotel room after a big concert in front of ten thousand and more viewers, I have regrets that he could not be on stage here. Prior to "Everything Must Go" However, there were a lot of drama with Richey and we did not know how to deal with it because we were too young. As Richey disappeared, the whole crisis reached its peak, the course had a disastrous effect on us. The then "Everything Must Go" incipient success has really caused very different emotions. Of course we Richey missed and wished that all could experience, but we were also very relieved that things finally developed in a positive direction.
regioactive.de: The album is thus an example of how great art is created under very difficult conditions.
James Dean Bradfield: I think so. It was whether we could exist as a band without Richey on. We have no Richey sold more records than with him, but we have always felt that we would have had this success with him. In retrospect, this time feels much easier. Much time has passed. One can not deny that I still sing Richey's lyrics: "Kevin Carter" and "Small Black Flowers That Grow In The Sky" he wrote.
regioactive.de: The 1990s were characterized by a strange optimism also, especially in the British music. Today, however, I have the impression, that is no longer true. Do you think so too?
James Dean Bradfield: In view of guitar music that was born from an indie aesthetics: definitely. The British charts are dominated by pop and leave little room for indie rock. Moreover, most acts are now collected, created and controlled by record companies and producers. In the 1990s, the situation was completely different. Bands like the Happy Mondays, Stone Roses, Oasis, Blur, Radiohead and we dominated the charts in the UK. It was great, but it feels as it would have been ages ago.
regioactive.de: Whose fault is that? Are the record companies blame?
James Dean Bradfield: You can not point a finger at a culprit. When these pop acts have so much success, then it is probably because people want that. It lies on the change of the Zeitgeist, the change of perceptions and desires of the audience. Of course, record companies will seize every opportunity to make money, but it's not just them. We live in an era of mass consumption, where people consume individual songs, not albums, which became very easy to downloads and streams. Of course there are exceptions like Adele who sold albums in huge numbers.
regioactive.de: Has your operation affected?
James Dean Bradfield: Our way to record music, has not changed. We will never change us. Sometimes shift-band the weights a bit, Nicky then writes some more music and I. More lyrcis or we invite guest singers one because Sean and Nicky can not stand my voice (Laughs). But in principle we do not write music with collaborators, whether they are professional songwriters or members of other bands. We will never make.
regioactive.de: Your greatest successes you have celebrated in Britain, but in Germany you were very successful over the years. What's your opinion?
James Dean Bradfield: In early years I never left the UK and ordered accordingly on little travel or flying experience. That has only changed when I went on tour outside the UK with the band. I first came to Germany in 1991 - and did not understand the country. My parents loved Germany and were often there. They told me what a great country it was, but I was irritated: The audience behaved quite differently, as the journalists - and the food was of course different. I simply not feeling well, also because I was so inexperienced. From 1995 I fell in Germany, without realizing it. I especially love about Germany, it has preserved its identity and yet an undeniably modern country. There is such a variety of regional identities that are very different. Overall, Germany has a balance between tradition and modernity.
regioactive.de: As the audience is different? I imagine that the British public is singing all the time and is very enthusiastic. In Germany, the spectators are probably more reserved.
James Dean Bradfield: There is some truth. In the UK concerts are pretty boozy Affairs, there are a lot of body contact - a pretty unique experience. The Germans take music analytical true - and in concerts they need some time to get going. But if they liked it, they show their enthusiasm at the end. In Germany, the increase shows a bit more.
regioactive.de: We are looking forward to your concerts. Thank you for the interview.