Manic Street Preachers have just released their eighth album 'Send Away The Tigers' and are now preparing for a trio of shows in the capital at the Forum (Tuesday), the Astoria (May 30) and Shepherd's Bush Empire (May 31).
1. They're don't care that they inspire hatred in at least half of the Time Out Music section.
Nicky Wire: '"Time Out's always been slightly - shall we say - problematic for us. Have I got a message for the haters? I'd just say you'll be convinced by the end of the year, but if not it's no big deal."
James Dean Bradfield: "I'm not getting involved in all that ..."
Nicky Wire: "I just love discourse, you know? I love anger, I love argument. And anyway, half the point of the Manics is pissing people off. You need that sometimes, otherwise we'd all just be left with the fucking Maccabees."
2. Speaking of whom ...
Nicky: "Their album's called 'Colour It In', for fuck's sake. My daughter's four and even she doesn't say that. She'd say, 'I don't wanna colour it in, I wanna do my own!' And they're in their twenties!"
3. In fact, bands' niceness in general bothers the Manics' bassist.
Nicky: "There's just such a love-in with all these bands on fucking tour together all the time - the endless NME branded love-in. It's fucking insane! This idea that musicians should get on - I fucking hate musicians, I've got nothing in common with them and I never have done!"
4. But it's not as though they hate everyone.
James: "I have this almost...teenage liking for My Chemical Romance. There'll be three mornings a week when I get up and before I've even had a cup of coffee, I'll put that album on. I just love it! There's a few tracks by Gallows, too..."
Nicky: "I do like Gallows, actually, just because I'm always partial to a bit of tuneless hardcore. There's a lack of aggression I think in music at the moment, so I quite like that about them."
5. There's a bit of a band divide going on over Arcade Fire.
Nicky: "They just remind me of buskers. Those buskers you get in Covent Garden - all you need is a fucking juggler on stage and you got the whole lot."
James: "I like them, I think they're the only band who have updated that Bruce Springsteen E-Street Band ethic. And look, I was a bit of a Waterboys fan when I was young, so y'know..."
6. James can remember 12 nicknames he had when he was young.
James: "'Crossfire'; 'Beaker', as in The Muppet Show - it was (drummer) Sean who called me that, the wanker!; 'Jim Bob McCann'; 'Boffy'; 'Trough'; 'Radar'; 'He-Man'; 'Moya', after the Southern Death Cult song; 'Bradders' was always one. I fucking hated that. There's another one that is unmentionable, and two others I can't remember. Will that do?"
7. Like you, they're not fans of London's freesheets.
Nicky: "Arrgh! They're hideous, they're despicable...it's just fucking cheapening to real journalism. Everything about them is just vile. We got a request from one of the cunts, like, 'Can Nicky Wire choose his favourite things?' or whatever. No. I. Fucking. Can't!"
8. They like Johnny Borrell. And yes, you read that right.
James: "Regardless of what you think of him, he's just so naturally talented."
Nicky: "I just love his vanity. It's partly because he's become such a figure of hate that I like him, but I think he makes brilliant radio records. They give me energy."
9. Drummer Sean was the first person in Britain to get Sky Digital.
Nicky: "Sean's a total techno-geek. Whenever we're on tour he shows up with a big Dixons bag or an Apple Mac bag. I never know what he's doing, beavering away. Building a fucking nuclear reactor or something."
10. They don't like all their songs.
James: "I detest 'Love's Sweet Exile' off the first album; 'She Is Suffering' I think, is the only song that stops 'The Holy Bible' being a 10/10 album."
Nicky: "'She is Suffering' is appalling - it's the only bad Richey lyric on the album. And 'Dead Martyrs' off 'Know Your Enemy', that's one of my worst ever lyrics - fucking shocking. There's been a few!"