At home in England, Manic Street Preachers is a rock band of the kind that sells millions of records, filling stadiums and overshooting with prizes and honors. Now is the time to conquer the rest of the world, and as a result, the band invited TJECK's Erik Hansen on tea and coffee. Interview in Amsterdam.
"It's very much about being the world's biggest band. And we will not be...James Dean Bradfield looks into the air and then goes on, But once you've been successful, you'd like more of it. It is a strange feeling, it gives one. We have developed a lot lately - especially in connection with our songwriting. And with the new songs, I actually think we will be more successful."
Nicky Wire turns up on the couch: We want more. More! There are seven kings of English rockland - Oasis, The Verve, Radiohead, Pulp, Blur, Suede and so the band that has had to go the most before it came in possession of crowns and scepters: Manic Street Preachers!
The place in the top of English rock's superlike has since the formation of Manic Street Preachers been the goal of their musical performances. The four members - the singer James Dean Bradfield (vocal, guitar and melody), Richey James (guitar and textwriter), Nicky Wire (bass and textwriter) and Sean Moore (drums and melodies) - even go as far as to the formation of the group to write a manifesto that says, among other things, that the goal of Manic Street Preachers is to become the 90's most important band.
Since then, much has happened to the four wizards, and although the band quickly catches the English audience as critics around the world with their blending of James Dean Bradfield's at times, almost George Michael-like vocals, heavy rock, controversial texts, pop and provocative punk attitude, fate is not on their side. As the growing popularity of the band grows, personal problems for Richey James, who have been hospitalized several times due to unrestrained alcohol abuse and nervous eating habits. Richey James' increasingly flattering nerves contagger at Manic Street Preachers, which, as a group, transform into the concept of instability. Musically, all the foolishness and the accompanying desperation on the band's third album "The Holy Bible" (1994) are mainly composed of heavy dark rock numbers accompanied by a scary, dull, closed and sickly Richey James text universe. The record is followed by one - with the band's own words - "totally fucked up" Europe tour with Suede. Richey James's mental state gets worse and worse and culminates in that he suddenly disappears sporadically to never appear again.
The English newspapers are abounding with stories about Richey James's disappearance. Rumors and theories fluctuate. A journalist claims - without proof - to have seen the missing guitarist in the Indian party paradise Goa, while others interpret "The Holy Bible" as Richey James's resignation letter and thinks he has committed suicide. In Manic Street Preachers, the sorrows and misses are the first to be the group's final, but the members decide to write and play themselves out of their problem hell. And paradoxically, it is the many problems that lead to the fulfillment of the desire in the band's manifesto. For 1996, the album "Everything Must Go" is released, which is not just the main work of the group, but also as one of the most important albums of English rock. In the home country, the album tops the album hit list, selling to triple platinum, while its four singles all become top 10 hits. And success is not just an expression of the acute compassion that recorders have the habit of showing when an artist dies (Freddie Mercury) or disappears (Elvis). Since the year's best album is to be featured in the English media, readers and critics agree to point to "Everything Must Go". And then the English Grammy - the Brit Award awarded the most important prizes for best albums and best bands, including Manic Street Preachers.
On A Conquest
Even the band is not in doubt. With "Everything Must Go" they have made the 90's most important album. Or perhaps the second most important, for September 14th, Manic Street Preachers releases their fifth album - "This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours" - and this time they are even more pleased to expand the borders of their kingdom. Neither Manic Street Preachers nor their manager hide from the fact that the Amsterdam interview invitation to TJECK is part of a conquest that, in principle, encompasses the entire world.
James and Nicky have invited in the hope that I and the Danes will start giving Manic Street Preachers the credit they deserve. They want more, as Nicky says. Want more? " I do not think so," replies James. "I've always been very bad to predict, so I can not do that either. But when you have the ability to speak the musical language, it is always important to develop it, but also to spread it. I think the language deserves ... And so we have made a really good record!
Why is the record so good? "Because it's the first record that has been created while we've been very well and balanced with ourselves - there have been no depressive emotions at all, and I think the outcome reflects. It's an uplifting record. The music gives a form of calm and warmth. There are many textures in the record - a bit like a painting that consists of many layers of paint, yet ends up like a beautiful whole, explains Nicky. He is replaced by James: "It's the beautiful whole we've been following from the start. This time it should not be as complicated as it used to be on our records. It's a very beautiful plate because it's clean and genuine all the way through. We do not fade , and you will listen as well as discovering the album's attention. It is a very involved plate that can withstand a close study. And then it appears at the right time, because it is a real autumn leaf that you should hear while the rain and leaves fall over the ears of one. A rainfall plate that is allergic to sun and summer.
It's on the text page, Manic Street Preachers most distinctly distinguishes itself from its rock colleagues. Since the first single release "Suicide Alley", Richey James and Nicky have consistently circumvented the usual customs in this area and instead united controversial issues such as the class differences in England and the absurdity of the monarchy of our time. According to James, the lyrics of "This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours" Manic Street Preachers are so strongest.
"Our lyrics have always had a tooth extra compared to bands like Oasis, Blur - yes, actually, Pulp and Radiohead. We think of a bit more than other bands - for example, when we discuss or interfere with the band, we sometimes come with some arguments that I think than The Beatles could not have found. There is a lot of thought about the texts, and they now cut into the leg and are more powerful than ever. Nicky is a real poet on the new record! "Thank you," Nicky laughs, and then goes on: "Many of my colleagues avoid certain topics because they are afraid of the consequences. We are not, and we first get into a lot of problems. Occasionally, I also wish that I did not write the texts that I do. But I simply can not write an indifferent "love, love, love" text. On "This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours" I especially try to demythologize the rock star myth. All other bands unequivocally cheer up on where sex, drugs and rock'n'roll are they and their lives. Such is my life, at least not. Everyone thinks that I'm so strange and eccentric, just because I play rock music. But I'm completely normal. I also use Saturday morning to vacuum or hit grass - and not to get over the last night's snatches with a clever actress at a closed stars-only club. But the record contains a song entitled "Born A Girl". We have always been accused of being sexually abnormal, and with that song we breathe a little to the fire. I'm not a transvestite, but sometimes I'm just an inconvenient desire to be a woman - and I'd rather sit at home and put a nice makeup or take a beautiful dress than I want to stand down at the pub and drink beer Nicky makes a short break.
"But that's the fact that I'm now cutting my leg right now. At least, my texts now consist of fewer words. This means that James does not have to rush through the text to get it all along. He can spend time on every word and he does. You sing as an angel on the new album, James. Then it should be there, the world! Amazing lyrics sung by an angel - what more can you demand?"