The Manic Street Preachers were forced to cancel last week's Birmingham Barrel Organ gig following a bizarre incident the previous night when guitarist Richie Edwards needed 17 stitches in horrific, self-inflicted wounds to his arm.
Towards the end of an interview with NME' s Steve Lamacq (much of it concerned with the Manics' credibility, or lack of it, as a rock 'n' roll force) Edwards produced a razor blade and carved the legend '4 REAL' into his lett forearm. A shaken Lamacq then helped organise an ambulance which took the guitarist to Norwich General Hospital where he was treated and later discharged.
Next day, Edwards rang NME apologising to Lamacq for any anguish he may have caused him and to answer a few questions:
Why did you do it? "I tried talking to Steve for an hour to explain ourselves. He saw us as four hero-worshipping kids trying to replicate our favourite bands. There was no way I could change his mind. I didn't abuse him or insult him. I just cut myself. To show that we are no gimmick, that we are pissed off, that we're for real."
Do you regret it? "No, because at least now people might believe that we're not in this for personal entertainment. We aren't wallowing in any musical nostalgia like the music papers' Clash: Dylan freaks. We might sound like the last 30 years of rock 'n' roll, but our lyrics address the same issues as Public Enemy."
Now, in the cold, painful, light of day, don't you feel like a bit of a dickhead? "No, I feel just like the rest of this country - banging my head against the f**ing wall."