James Dean Bradfield's top MP3 tracks
Manic Street Preachers' frontman James Dean Bradfield has made a career out of music, but it wasn't until the band took a break from writing and touring that he realised quite how much it meant to him.
"First I got bored, then I got quite angry," he says. "I began writing songs for a solo album something I hadn't considered since the band first got together in 1986."
"But writing alone was refreshing. I've only ever done it once and it was a relief to find out that what was coming out didn't sound like the Manics. I think [drummer] Sean Moore and [bassist] Nicky Wire have always filtered out some of my guilty influences, whether it be ELO or Motown, and some of that came out on the songs. I was able to give myself over to some other styles, like John Cale's Paris 1919, which was a major inspiration because it sounds so rich and yet playful."
"He's a shoo-in for my desert island list, along with another set of Welshmen, Badfinger. But I'm always listening out for new things, too. I'm as much a music fan as anyone. They don't have to be Welsh either, but it helps."
"The Manics will be back next year, and everyone will hear that the break has been good for us."
"It's almost as if we had to starve ourselves to remind ourselves of what fired the band in the first place. The new album will be a return to basics: rocking, anthemic songs."
James Dean Bradfield's debut solo album, 'The Great Western', is out now on Columbia Records
Visit From The Dead Dog - Ed Harcourt (2006)
The Cardigans - For What It's Worth (2003)
Endless Plain Of Fortune - John Cale (1973)
Sheena Is A Parasite - The Horrors (2006)
On The Radio - The Concretes (2004)
Turn Into - Yeah Yeah Yeahs (2006)
Did You No Wrong - Sex Pistols (1976)
Goodbye Suicide - Nicky Wire (2006)
Country Girl - Primal Scream (2006)
Baby Blue - Badfinger (1972)