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"We Are Not Advocating The Communism Of Your Past" - Novinky.cz, 23rd April 2012

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Title: "We Are Not Advocating The Communism Of Your Past"
Publication: Novinky.cz
Date: Monday 23rd April 2012
Writer: Šárka Hellerová & Jaroslav Špulák

On Wednesday, the famous Welsh rock band Manic Street Preachers will perform in Lucerne, Prague. Singer and guitarist James Dean Bradfield gave the interview before the concert.

Last year you announced a two-year break, but now you're on tour again. What made you change your plans?
The statement concerned only Great Britain , but the press failed to mention it. After releasing the National Treasures - The Complete Singles, we announced that the concert held last December in London will last for two years on the islands. We are touring Europe and going to Japan in May , so we will not be home for a long time. We would also like to record another album. Such is the plan until 2014. We want to stick to that.

So are you already working on new songs?
We have already started preparing them. We've got about eight demons and there's a lot of work ahead. We want to release an album with at least thirty songs, so we have a lot of effort and composing before we go to the studio.

Why do you want the album to be so long?
We feel it's time to make things a little different. At the time we released our latest album, Postcards From A Young Man, our songs were churned around as socially critical, economic and cultural themes of a slick rock anthem. It is an art form with which we have been joining for years. But in the future, we would like to try something different. I think the songs from the next album will not play in the radio, maybe we'll try to get a more conceptual approach. We want to communicate this time, not in four-minute pop songs.

Why does not that suit you?
It is perhaps the result of the time we live in. Guitar bands are no longer in the top 40 in the UK and do not have the best-selling albums. We do not want to hurry for something that can not be reached for us, so we are changing direction. We'll see what's going to happen. Anyway, it's very nice to decide to enjoy the band for so long.

What topics do they deserve attention at present?
You need to be careful when you are writing about the world around you. It is possible to criticize it, but it is necessary to write about what you know well. That is why I think it is best to focus on our own country. Sure, we also wrote about Cuba , America, and perhaps the rest of the world, but it should lie in the country from where you came from. In today's UK I see a big problem in the absence of constructive solutions. We know that the opposition laborers have no answers to our questions. As for the conservative party in power, it is even worse. Its politicians are utterly destructive, they are enemies. So we know who our enemies are, but we do not know about any friends. It's a weird feeling that will pass in the future.

Last summer you performed at the Trutnov festival...
Unfortunately, I was cold at the time, so it was difficult for me to perform. I had voice problems. However, I know about the anti-communist history of that festival and your country. The misunderstanding between us obviously comes from what socialism meant for the country. In the former Czechoslovakia, it was a monster that destroyed the country. This still has a big impact on the Czech Republic and I understand your attitude. In Britain, the situation was quite different. It was then the public ownership of coal, electricity and water, and the trade union. Socialism meant complete freedom of speech for us, not as with you. If people think that we are advocating communism, in the form it has with you, it is mistaken and unfamiliar.

Is the same misunderstanding happening in another country?
To be honest, we have to defend ourselves in one country all the time. In Poland . But even there it is much easier than in the Czech Republic.

You are now on the European National Treasures tour. Do your European concert stops have anything in common?
The tour in Europe is exceptional and exciting that every country is truly unique. Whether you are in Austria , Germany or anywhere else, the audience is unique in every country. Atmosphere varies every night, so our concerts do not really have much in common.

In 2001, in the Czech Republic, you participated in the Veletržní Palace in Prague in the ceremony of the Andel Music Awards. Have you earned a lot of prizes during your career?
Yes, we have gotten a lot and we have a lot to do with them. I would be really a miserable person if I did not even get to get awards. We do not do music to get awards, but if we get it, it is a very lucky coincidence and a pleasant surprise. The biggest reward is for us to interact with the audience. The feeling that he understands what we want to tell him is invaluable for the band.

Is some of Manic Street Preachers' albums your favorite?
I do not think about it like that, but for every album I have a lot of memories for each song. I'm in a band with people I've known since my childhood. Drummer Sean is my cousin, but he's almost like my brother. Bassist Nicky I've known since I was five years old, Richey (a band guitarist who has been missing since 1995) has also known me since childhood. Having a childhood friends' band is something special.

What would you like if you saw a shooting star?
But that must not be said, then it would not be fulfilled...I prefer to formulate more generally. I wish people have such an interesting and valuable life as they can. In order to also feel the joy that I draw from my work. And to have the same happiness. I have the best work with my closest friends in the world.