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'Our Fans Are Getting Older Too' - NRC Handelsblad, 22nd September 1998

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ARTICLES:1998



Title: 'Our Fans Are Getting Older Too'
Publication: NRC Handelsblad
Date: Tuesday 22nd September 1998
Writer: Hester Carvalho


The Manic Street Preachers want to get rid of their noisy image. On their new CD, no guitar sounds but friendly violins. "As a popgroup you will develop, if it's right, more and more towards refinement," says bassist/writer Nicky Wire.

The new single of The Manic Street Preachers, If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next, recently entered the first place of the English hit parade. But where The Manic Street Preachers are tumult. For example, the old punk group The Stranglers immediately accused the group of imitation; The song would be a translucent feature of their seventies-hit Duchess. According to the Street Preachers, that similarity lies in coincidence, and if they shy away from ideas, they would not immediately copy The Stanglers.

With their new CD This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours, they just wanted to finalize the noisy image from their start days. Bassist/songwriter Nicky Wire (singer James Dean Bradfield thinks the melodies) are just in Amsterdam to give interviews, and describes the difference as follows: "The Clash first made a song like White Riot before Rock The Kashbah later think, and The Beatles started I Wanna Hold Your Hand while writing A Day In The Life towards the end of their career. As a popgroup you will develop more and more refinement if it's right."

Wire and Bradfield know each other from primary school in Wales. They formed their group in 1989 with Richey Edwards (guitar/writer) and Sean Moore (drum). The group was immediately controversial. Due to their pedantic statements - that they were the best group of all time and selling at least 10 million copies of their debut - and by the dramatic behavior of Richey Edwards who once in an interview to prove his integrity with a knife '4 REAL "in his arm carved. Generally, a debut album, Generation Terrorists, sold a modest number.

As writers, Wire and Edwards were opposed to each other. Wire turned out to be socially involved, Edwards personally and unqualified; Wire was McCartney, Edwards was Lennon. In February 1995, the Edwards suffering from anorexia, alcohol and drug addictions disappeared. Until today it is unclear whether he jumped from a bridge in the river or left the country.

The next CD, which now incorporates the group as a trio, Everything Must Go (1996) finally became a major commercial success in its own country. For this CD, a few remaining Edwards texts were used. The new CD is the first to be made without its contribution, and Nicky Wire says it's a miss: "I want and can not sink to such desperate depths as Richey. He had a much darker imagination than me, so we do not have that kind of input within the band. We now miss that variety. I do write personal texts, but usually they have less private strings than those of him."

This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours Gets Careful. Like on previous albums, Bradfield sings as a calling in the desert: complaining and with his last powers. But his voice is even clearer the center, surrounded by transparent vibrant guitar chords and long violin lines. Because the emphasis is now on Bradfield's voice and there is no counterbalance of raw guitars, the mood of melancholy dominates. 'Friendly' and 'comfortable', that was the atmosphere where the musicians searched for the recordings. "We used to strive for confrontation and aggression. Now that we were in the studio again, we noticed that we did not want to hurry. James plays almost no electric guitar, but melotron and acoustic guitar. Our intention has changed. And there our fans will be grateful to us, I suspect.

The comforting sound became the envelope for shattering subjects. The last song, SYMM ('South Yorkshire Mass Murderer'), is about the Hillsborough drama, with 96 football fans being killed. Wire calls 'Hillsborough' a national trauma with which the victims can only reconcile themselves if the authorities officially apologize. If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next is about the Spanish Civil War. Wire, a former history student, reminds me of the time when volunteers from all over Europe went to Spain to fight fascism.

"That is unthinkable today. People are just full of their new gym shoes and the right vacation destination, as you saw when Yugoslavia collapsed. That involvement that grew in the 1930s is very important to me. Not that I myself would go to a war hero, it's more a powerful romantic image. With such a number, I try to keep the memory of self-sacrifice alive. And the chorus is addressed to the listener as soon as possible. It would be nice if there is someone who is attracting something. "

Already dominated by the CD - where fourteen months worked - the beautiful form and the textual content, live show The Manic Street Preachers still like their primitive sides. In November, the group will perform in Paradiso, Amsterdam, just as a trio, without the fuss of violins or additional musicians. "Very different from the plate: faster, aggressive. We want to encourage the public and ourselves. A concert is the only time I feel really fit. I do not want an orchestra or a sitar player. Then I would have to concentrate too much on the right interaction."