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A Large Compromise -, 21st October 2002

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September 2001. After the impacts from 11 September the Manic Street Preachers called off their tour. They wanted to concentrate on the Studioarbeit [studio work] and their Greatest Hits album. When one heard nothing more about the band for a long time, already the first separation rumors made themselves known.

[We now know Sean was about to be a Dad, that's all the explanation we needed]

September 2002. The Manics announced their Best Of "Forever Delayed" for 28 October. To this cause drummer Sean Moore gives telephone interviews.

Last year in September you should actually also tour in Germany, then you called off the journey however - also with the reason, to tackle a Best Of album. Many people thought at that time that the album would then come still in the same year.

Sean: Strictly speaking we wanted to actually make a break, which we had not gegoennt [given?] ourselves between "This Is My Truth" and "Know Your Enemy". We wanted to be with our families... After all which in the past year had occurred we could not even find a company, which wanted to insure our tour. For us the correct moment seemed to thus withdraw around us.

A "Best Of" works is untypisch [is untypical?] for a band like the Manic Street Preachers.

Sean: That is something, which we already planned for a long time. We always liked the concept that one has all the hits on CD... We wanted to actually take up [record?] two new pieces - and had at the end 14 new songs... We liked the conception that we make a record for the people, which normally buy no whole albums.

After 25 hits in England we regarded the project as a good idea. Additionally we wanted to concern that [?] before the record company arrives with the idea and publishes a 4 or 5 CD-Box. Also our contract designates such a "Best Of"... As an artist one has only limited influence on such stories. Finally the whole is thus a large compromise. We believe however that the "Best Of" is with the two new songs a good package.

Normally such projects do not go without differences between label and artists [the interviewer asks about the selection of the songs involved]

Sean: We had asked our fans on our web page to co-ordinate for their favourite track listing. In addition we have then selected two new songs which we thought that they fit.

The interviewer asks about their contract with Sony running out now they've had a "Best Of".

Sean: No, not at all. In the opposite, I believe [there are] still three Studioalben [studio albums] intended.

When did you actually write the new songs? I have read that one of the two was already developed at the time of "Know Your Enemy"?

Sean: That is correct. In addition, Door to The River however does not really fit [with] the other songs from that time, it was on the other hand too good, in order to be simply forgotten. We had also not completely finished processed [writing?] it at that time. We liked it however so we wanted to have it on the "Greatest Hits". Parallel to it we tried also the other songs to find exact, which would fit. We hope anyhow that we have now also enough for a new album.

That means that the other pieces of which you spoke at a later point in time will be published?

Sean: With "Know Your Enemy" for example we had 26 or 27 songs. The point, where we cannot do physically no more, comes sometime a conclusion line and start to select the best pieces [he means they'll draw a conclusion and choose the best songs from what they've recorded to go on the new album]

[the interviewer mentions that the fans also had a say on the set lists for the tour] How was the reaction? And there at the end were songs thereby which surprised you?

Sean: A few things actually surprised us. A good exercise is to be found out, what the fans want really... Which however really surprised us, was that many people [chose] "Stay Beautiful". We regarded that actually more as three and a half minutes of punk rock. The people seem to estimate the piece however much.

The interviewer asks about listening to the songs again in order to compile the Greatest Hits and what the experience was like.

Sean: On the whole that was fun. We heard the songs and exchanged anecdotes. With reflection one comes to beautiful moments and also to sad moments. And one thinks: those are some great singles [he's not short of confidence!!]

Are there already concrete plans for the time after the tour?

Sean: We will in any case go back into the studio and write further songs... one could count at the beginning of 2004 in such a way on a further record. Whereby also an amusing thing to plan so far ahead.

Then I think the interviewer asks if there'll be another single from the Greatest Hits.

Sean: We consider whether we should take "Motorcycle Emptiness". That was at that time not so large hit in Europe, which we would retrieve gladly.

[Nicky has already mentioned a "tweaked" Motorcycle Emptiness may be released but nothing's confirmed yet]

Sean then mentions Forever Delayed... "which is not on the album. A consideration is to publish as independent single"

You already had Singles, which were not on albums. That were at the respective points in time conscious decisions not to have on LPs. How does it feel then to have songs like "Masses Against The Classes" or "Theme From M*A*S*H" on an album?

Sean: Such a "Greatest Hits" album is in certain way a historical document [the next bit hasn't translated well] Around the fact we thought that it was good for the flow of the album to take these thereby drauf [to have them on the album?]

How will the Artwork look for the "Greatest Hits" album?

Sean: It will follow the style of "Everything Must Go". Very minimum, very much stylish. The idea with the whole thing is that we do not want people to pay out a lot of cash and receive little for it. Therefore it will also have a bonus remix album... A DVD will also be available containing all the videos. The videos were not available beforehand in this form and now it seems the correct point in time for it.

What was the last "Greatest Hit" album, which you bought?

Sean: I do not know any longer exactly. I think it was... Crowded House.

Are you sure that I may publish that?

Sean: [laughs] you can calmly. I find, Neil Finn is a mad songwriter.