A Re-Design For Life - Q Magazine, March 2001
How does the thinking punk-Marxist agitator deal with money, success and Brit awards? By burning down the past and returning with a gutful of fresh bile. "This is the record we should have made when we first came out," The Manic Street Preachers inform Dorian Lynskey.
Manic Street Preachers celebrated the end of the 20th century in front of a sold out Cardiff Millennium Stadium. It was a grand gesture and a testament to their stature that 60,000 people chose to spend the most hyped night out in history in their company. But if it was a triumph for the three men on stage, then it was an ambivalent one. Bassist and lyricist Nicky Wire has one abiding memory of that night.
"We played The Everlasting and I though, Fucking brilliant, we'll never have to play this again," he grins. "Maybe in Germany, because it's a bit like Wind Of Change by the Scorpions. Y'know, The Everlasting was just a giant mistake in our career but you get a lot of lighters in Denmark, which you need sometimes."
In that song's weary chorus - "In the beginning, when we were winning, when our smiles were genuine" - lay the admission that somewhere along the line Manic Street Preachers had lost their way. The album it opened, 1998's This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours, was simultaneously their most commercially fruitful and their most artistically barren. While dismayed hardcore fans surmised that success and money had neutered the most abrasively iconic band of the 90's, many recent converts found the tone of dejection and self-pity hard to love. Some suggested that they could never again be as excited as they were before the 1995 disappearance of their uncompromised fourth member Richey Edwards. (more...)