Manic Street Preachers have two albums in the works: one of them is influenced by krautrock, while the other is - gulp! - acoustic
Despite announcing a two-year hiatus from playing in Britain following December 2011's show at The O2 Arena, Manic Street Preachers have been keeping themselves very busy. Immediately launching into writing a new album following that mammoth gig (where the setlist comprised all 38 of the band's singles) they found they were creating songs that fit two distinctly different moulds. Or as singer James Dean Bradfield puts it: "You sit one track next to another and it's a fucking car crash." By 35 tracks in, it was clear the trio had the makings of two albums on their hands. Whether these songs will form Manics albums numbers 11 and 12 or not remains up in the air: one album looks certain to be released this year, the other might, as Bradfield puts it, "end up in the vaults". But what's the difference between them?
ALBUM ONE: THE ACOUSTIC RECORD
James Dean Bradfield: 'We've just nearly finished mixing this one. It's much more acoustic-based - I think there's one electric guitar on the entire record. But its not Campfire Street Preachers, were not banging boxes or anything. The band are still driving it, but it's me on acoustic guitar and there's a lot more brass and horns on it. We kept that direction going for about a year and a half. The lead track sounds like a mix between 'Rocks Off-era Stones and Vegas-era Elvis. Perhaps were on our way to completely fucking ourselves up finally..."
ALBUM TWO: THE 'SPIKY' EUROPEAN ALBUM
James Dean Bradfield: "It's a lot spikier and shinier. It's much more band-based, a tiny bit of a krautrock influence. It's not like 'The Holy Bible', but there's a bit of the same intent and threat. Lyrically, it's got a European discourse on it, a European fascination. The landscape of Europe, the malaise of Europe, the malaise of us Brits not feeling part of it. We're not talking like the Tories, don't worry - there's not a song about whether we opt out of Europe. The lead track is me singing half in English and half in German."