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God Like Genius Award: All-Star Q&A - NME, 8th March 2008

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Title: God Like Genius Award: All-Star Q&A
Publication: NME
Date: Saturday 8th March 2008


The Welsh trio were the undisputed stars of the night. It seemed everyone in the audience had a question they wanted to put to Nicky Wire...

Matt Bowman, The Pigeon Detectives
Where do you get your make-up from?

Nicky: "Urban Decay. It's slightly on the expensive side. But it's the best. And that's a plug!"

Patrick Wolf
Did it change the way you wrote, knowing that you were speaking so intimately to a constituency of very vulnerable teens?

Nicky: "There was a kinetic telepathy between us and a certain kind of teenager. We knew who we were addressing. People who were really intelligent and really tucked up just 'got' it. But I think Richey zoned in on that psyche far more than me - I was more into the sort of Socialist Worker, politically conscious people. "Libraries gave us power and all that. For a year when 'The Holy Bible' came out, we were just the biggest cult band in Britain. So many people like Patrick seemed to come to those gigs knowing every single word."

Noel Fielding, The Mighty Boosh
How do you cope with having the same liver condition that I've got?

Nicky: "Gilbert's Syndrome! He's got that? Wow. I discovered it to my deep regret at the end of university when I started turning yellow. It's actually horrible. It's an enzyme that's missing, so can't break certain compounds down. The two things that set it off are saturated fats and alcohol, and of course my favourite things back then were booze and fish'n'chips. I basically live on rice and baked potatoes. The drink I haven't managed to give up... Tomorrow morning I'll wake up looking like a smoked haddock."

Morgan, DIOYY?
At 13 I was in a covers band who did 'Motorcycle Emptiness' at a school disco. I told myself if I learnt that solo I would be content not to play anything else again. What was the last piece of music you learnt, or felt like learning, and why?

Nicky: "Well done him! It's bloody hard, that. There aren't many indie kids who can do it at all. Personally, though, I'm really more interested in the make-up - the reaction of the crowd and all of that over sitting down learning things."

Lethal Bizzle
Are you aware of Lethal Bizzle?

Nicky: "Of course I am. Public Enemy and NWA were our Clash and Sex Pistols back in the day. The Gallows collaboration was wicked. And he can really rap too."

Dev Hynes, Lightspeed Champion
I know artists always say their most recent album is the best, but in 100 per cent truthfulness, which are you most proud of?

Nicky: "I love 'Send Away The Tigers' and we've had a brilliant year, but really, either 'The Holy Bible' or 'Everything Must Go'. I suppose I'd go for 'Everything...'. Richey's lyrics are on there even if he wasn't. James vision of strings is Spectorish. I wrote the lyrics to 'A Design For Life. Sean added a great trumpet part to 'Kevin Carter'. There was a real sense of renaissance in making it, of fighting back and expanding our horizons."

Richard Archer, Hard-Fi
When are you going to retire?

Nicky: "What a charming question. Are they even here tonight? Probably after they've changed their band name and given it a go under a different guise. Fucking awful band. Poor man's Joe Strummer. It was embarrassing that they were joined by Mick Jones at their last gig."

Murph, The Wombats
What was it like to be the first major Western band to play in Cuba? Did Fidel Castro have any comments on your performance?

Nicky: "Fidel said 'the drums were louder than war'. He was remarkably well-briefed on us. He knew the songs. It nearly bankrupted us doing it. I think we ended up chartering a jet to get all our stuff over."

Tom Clarke, The Enemy
What's the mini-skirt about?

Nicky: "I love Tom. I draped him in a boa for the NME Glastonbury cover, and he said 'I can never go back to Coventry again.' Gotta show off your legs. They're the only part of my body that's actually in shape right now."

Jamie Reynolds, Klaxons
Did any of you ever get beaten up as youths?

Nicky: "Walking up the high street of a small Welsh town dressed as New York Dolls was never easy, but I managed to escape the worst of it - I was good at football and cricket. But the others sometimes weren't so lucky."

Bobby Gillespie, Primal Scream
Do you remember meeting me after a gig at Newport TJ's in 1989 and chatting for ages in the street. You gave me your first single.

Nicky: "Yes, I do. Vividly! We gave him 'Suicide Alley'. Really brilliant gig they played. It was back when they were a really jangly indie-pop band. We remembered him from the Mary Chain as the coolest fucking drummer there had ever been. For us, to follow in his footsteps as a Godlike Genius: New Order, Primal Scream, The Clash and the Manics is amazing."