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"You Germans Have A Perception Problem" - Berliner Zeitung, 4th July 2014

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ames Dean Bradfield, Singer of Manic Street Preachers, has a pretty rosy view of Berlin Export Citation

Berlin newspaper

04th July 2014


Copyright 2014 Berliner Verlag All rights reserved


Section: LOK; S. 22

Length: 972 words

Byline: Katja Schwemmers

Highlight: Berlin

Body James Dean Bradfield, Singer of Manic Street Preachers, who has been successful for over 20 years, about his love for Berlin, what it's like to be friends with Herbert Grönemeyer, duet partner Nina Hoss, Europe, Krautrock and - of course - football!

Mr. Bradfield, you are often in Berlin. Does the city feel like a second home?

She does that in a strange way. I was often on vacation here. I have friends who live in Berlin. The Manic Street Preachers have been working on the new album at Hansa Studios. Whenever our band has a day off in Germany, we try to spend it in Berlin. We've been touring this country since 1992, after all. I've seen how much Germany and especially Berlin has changed in the last 22 years. That's pretty inspiring.

How has the capital changed from the perspective of a British?

Berlin is one of the German cities where you can see past, present and future - everything fits together here casually. Visually anyway. But emotionally, too, Germany is a country that knows itself well and yet is not afraid of change and is heading towards the future! This is not a matter of course for us British.

Are there certain places in Berlin where you like to stay?

I like Prenzlauer Berg. There is a small old Berlin inn nearby, called "Henne". It is located in a residential area and serves only beer, wine, poultry, salad and bread. In addition, I always like to go to the Bauhaus archive. Incidentally, I could tell hours about my favorite places. It's just a great city, this Berlin.

If Manic Street is recording Preachers here, why is not there a duet between you and your buddy Herbert Grönemeyer on the new record?

That would have been nice! I especially like Herbert's early records. He has a very instinctive way of playing the piano - comparable to that of Welsh musician John Cale. Unfortunately, at that time he just started working on his own album and was not tangible. So we hired actress Nina Hoss. Not a bad compromise, I think.

How did the Manic Street Preachers meet Nina Hoss?

By Alex Silva, Herbert's producer. He used to work with us in Wales and mixed our album "The Holy Bible", for example. Through him I know Herbert, and Alex's partner is Nina Hoss. I met her at a New Year's Eve party in Alex's apartment. We were all pretty drunk. The perfect starting point for a collaboration ...

Nina Hoss can be heard in the song "Europe goes through you".

Yes, fortunately! Because my German is bad. The line sums up pretty well how it feels to have traveled the continent of mainland Europe for the past 22 years as a touring musician. One drives bus and train, Europe goes through one. You can feel the different countries as you pass borders.

Allegedly, the song is supposed to be about ailing Europe as well as the discomfort of the British, not to really belong to it.

Well, living in the UK and being in Europe is a pretty painful experience. You listen to the arguments of the left wing, which are vague. You listen to the arguments of the right wing, which are obnoxious. You're fed up with the project Europe, the EU. That's why I say: If you believe in Europe like me, be patient! If some countries do not want to accept the guidelines, let us wait until a new generation has grown up.

In Germany, one sometimes has the impression that the British are malicious about having exchanged the mark for the euro.

You Germans really have a perception problem! Most Britons look full of envy and admiration to Germany. You have developed a lifestyle that allows you to adapt quickly to changing conditions. Yes: we British are jealous of you!

But you are reluctant to admit that!

We like to make fun of you, that's right. But many Britons - like me - spend their vacations in your country and love it. Incidentally, you also have complexes in relation to your music.

How so?

In the 1970's you had Krautrockbands like Neu !, Kraftwerk, Can, Faust and Popol Vuh, which were highly praised by the British music press. Many musicians are inspired to this day. But you still have not got it.

Thank you. I have the feeling that the image of Germany is improving during the World Cup too ...

Moment! Football is another story! The Germans are crazy about me.

Interview: Katja Schwemmers

Manic Street Preachers' Album "Futurology" erscheint heute.

SINGING SOCIALISTS

Marked by punk and postpunk and fans of bands like The Clash or Joy Division, the history of Manic Street Preachers dates back to 1986.

Founded in British Wales, the band has been around singers James Dean Bradfieldher androgynous image from the early days in favor of a more politically oriented and visually male image filed. The "manics", as the band is affectionately called by their fans, are considered to be influenced by socialism.

The Manic Street Preachers were the first western band to give a concert in Cuba after 1959.

A break in band history was the disappearance of member Richey James Edwards on February 1, 1995. He was pronounced "presumably dead".