Manic Street Preachers release a new album this week and are back in Newcastle later this month at the Metro Radio Arena
Thirteen is often seen by many as an unlucky number.
But for the Manic Street Preachers, it’s a figure they are hoping will help put them back at the top of the charts again.
Resistance Is Futile is the Welsh rockers’ 13th studio album and its release date just happens to be Friday the 13th – April 13 in fact.
I’ve been lucky enough to hear a preview of the album, and it’s the Manics at their very best (as already-released singles International Blue, Distant Colours and Dylan and Caitlin surely testify).
It harks back to that classic Manics sound of their early years, I suggest to the group’s drummer Sean Moore. "To be honest with you, it wasn’t something we consciously set out to do, and that is probably why it does sound like that," he replies.
Manic Street Preachers (Image: Publicity Picture)
"We didn’t have a lot of time, we were pretty much up against it. I came back from South America in September and we wanted to get it all done and dusted by Christmas."
"It naturally took shape and then we led it through to its conclusion really. There was a lot less thought and more of the natural processes."
"Some of the albums were conceptualised – you could say over-stylised in some certain degrees – but this is a totally different experience. Those sorts of things give us that added enthusiasm to be creative."
Manic Street Preaches are back in Newcastle , at the Metro Radio Arena , on April 23, less than a year since performing at Live From Times Square in the city , which Sean remembers fondly.
"It seemed we had spent such a long time away from Newcastle and then last year we played that great Times Square festival. That was brilliant, so we thought we would return."
"The crowd was up for it, the weather was pretty good. It was just a very pleasant and enjoyable return. I definitely think the audience much prefer an outdoor event like that than possibly an indoor. Apart from the arena, City Hall and Riverside, Newcastle is lacking in venues.
"So Times Square was a nice change and a nice little natural amphitheatre – the way the buildings book-ended, it was lovely and it sounded great. It adds to the atmosphere for us on stage and for the audience too."
"You forget it is open air, which is nice."
"Being on the road is the flipside to the studio. It’s good to get out there and stretch our limbs. I always find travelling inspirational, we always find something new when we go to a city."
"With this forthcoming tour there will be old stuff, there will be stuff we haven’t played for a while. Obviously, about five or six songs from the new album."
"But we’ll kind of feel our way through the first couple of gigs to see where the dust settles really. You get to know what people want. We always try to please!"