All Back To Mine - Melody Maker, 9th August 2000
THE MANICS SINGER INVITES TV VIEWERS INTO HIS LONDON BACHELOR PAD
JAMES Dean Bradfield is one of the guests on the new series of Channel 4's "All Back To Mine", the programme where Sean Rowley visits the stars at home and rifles through their record collections. So here's a sneak preview of James' appearance, where he talked to Sean about his childhood, Richey Edwards and his obsession with Guns n' Roses ....
JAMES' FIRST EVER RECORD "Everybody was into metal and Whitesnake, but I was into the Nolan Sisters and ELO. I just remember buying that single [Diana Ross' "My old Piano"] and I remember walking to Blackwood, which is about a mile away, and I saw this bloke walking towards me called Didds, and he was a really cruel bastard. As he got closer he seemed to get bigger and bigger. I knew as soon as I got this close to him and he just ripped the bag out of my hand and was like, "What have you bought? Ahh, you poof!"
EARLY YEARS "I didn't really go out until I was 17. I just played sport and hung around with Nick, Richey and Sean. We were all in the same school. Nick was kind of always in the same class as me and I think he picked on me as a little side project. I looked like an even more nerdy version of Woody Allen when I was young."
JOINING THE ARMY "I just remember thinking I would like to be in the army, just imagining James Bradfield of the Royal Fusiliers. But as soon as I became a fan of The Clash and bought the first Billy Bragg album, I was like "War is evil!" You get these impure thoughts and then realise you got it wrong."
THE SMITHS "For me it was more for Johnny Marr's guitar playing. I had "This Charming Man" and I learned to play it and everyone was like, "He's the best guitar player in Pontllanfraith."
JOY DIVISION "Nick and Rich got into them before I did. I remember Nick saying he was listening to "Unknown Pleasures" and saying "Ian Curtis has got control of my mind. I can't listen to records any more, they are scaring me, I've got to become myself again."
RICHEY'S DISAPPEARANCE "With Joy Division, it was a clear-cut thing - Ian Curtis killed himself, he was dead, gone. We couldn't ever go and wipe the slate clean (like New Order). The first album after he [Richey] went missing still had his lyrics on."
RICHEY: FIVE YEARS ON "It wasn't immediate pain. Because when you know someone has just died it's different, but when they go missing it's more confusion. If we ever did come to know that he was dead, I think we are more ready for it now, than we were, obviously, because time has gone on. You just think about his parents and sister and just realise, no matter how bad it is for uy, it's still two-fold for them or even more. But he's still immensely cool, just a cool fucker. Which is really important in Manics circles, to be a cool fucker.
OTHER BAND'S REACTIONS " I just think that most bands thought we were tossers basically, just thought we were complete tossers and just really clinical about everything. I enjoyed not being liked by people that I didn't like myself."
KYLIE MINOGUE "She kind of dropped after working with me, which I'm eternally sorry for."
MOTOWN "Shaun and Nick bought me this Motown singles box-set for Christmas. The thing I like about Motown is the singers, basically. For me, usually a good singer is someone who opens their mouth and you just like their voice straight away."
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN "I do love Bruce Springsteen. I never had a problem liking Bruce Springsteen. He always looked like an American Joe Strummer to me. Or vice versa, because I know Bruce Springsteen came first."
GUNS N' ROSES " I remember having an argument with Richey - [Eighties indie nonentities] Mc Carthy versus Guns n' Roses ... It was a useless argument. Axl looks cool as fuck, Slash looks amazing. All right, the drummer looks a bit dodgy. But they are the perfect metal punk band."
HEROIN "I've got to admit, for some reason, even though I've never taken heroin and I would hate any of my friends who took heroin ... But whenever I see a heroin band and an E band, I always go for the heroin band. And I don't think it's a good drug, it's just what I was reading when I was young."
DRINK NOT DRUGS "I think it's cowardice to a degree. I'd worry about my heart packing up if I took drug, and I would rather do it on an slower level and drink, I think. I prefer thinking you come up with a pearl of wisdom at the bar, rather than coming up with a pearl of wisdom in the middle of a field in Somerset."