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Feeling Instead Of Analysis - Subway Magazin, April 2001

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Title: Feeling Instead Of Analysis
Publication: Subway Magazin
Date: April 2001
Writer: Christian Göttner

There are no more strings and orchestral sounds, rather a healthy dose of punk instead of cocky pathos "Know Your Enemy" ruled the new, grandiose album of the Manic Street Preachers, cementing once again their position as one of the best guitar bands in the world. Intelligence, innovation and irony as well as power, passion and feeling characterize this work, which has been running heavy rotation in our editorial offices for weeks. SUBWAY talked to songwriter and bassist Nicky Wire about changes and enemy images.

"Know Your Enemy" sounds more impulsive, energetic and youthful than your previous albums. Why is it?

We realized that we just need another change. In Cardiff, for example, we played a gig in front of 60,000 people, but we wanted to go back to what made us band when we were young. We feel free now, have turned on our guitar amplifiers and just started. Now we sound more punk, a bit more experimental and try to work with different styles.

You're not as intellectually overcharged as on your award-winning "This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours" album.

Yes, there are more songs that people can identify with. The whole thing is much more offensive, more angry, rougher and not so self-analytical. You can really feel it instead of just examining it.

Although you are a successful pop band, you have maintained your working class spirit and political attitude. Do you think that you can change anything at all?

Yes, even if I sound a little naive. When I was young, bands like the Sex Pistols or The Clash influenced my thinking, so I just saw things differently. And that's exactly what Manic Street Preachers can do. While we can not change the world, we can inspire some people with our ideas.

Why are there so few politically engaged bands today?

There is a lot of indifference in the world right now. Especially with many young people. Most of them are simply more interested in the new Playstation than politics.

Inwieweit bezieht sich darauf auch der Albumtitel 'Know Your Enemy'?

Das ist zum einen politisch, zum anderen auch persönlich gemeint. Wir sind selbst unser eigener Feind, weil wir über die Jahre fauler geworden sind und ein wenig unsere Wurzeln vergessen haben. Ein weiterer Faktor ist auch das Konsumverhalten der Leute. Wir sind gefangen ständig etwas neues zu kaufen, anstatt über wirklich wichtige Dinge nachzudenken. Apathie ist der Feind. Und die Gesellschaft im Allgemeinen.

Inwieweit spielen bei dieser Entwicklung auch neue Medien eine wichtige Rolle?

Das Internet und andere technische Entwicklungen haben zur Folge, dass die Menschen einfach vergessen über grundlegende Dinge nachzudenken. Bildung basiert heutzutage viel mehr auf Technologie anstatt auf Geschichte. Manchmal höre ich mich wie ein jammernder, alter Mann an – aber so sehe ich die Dinge eben.