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Manic Street Preachers' Nightmare - Aftonbladet, 25th September 1998

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Title: Manic Street Preachers' Nightmare
Publication: Aftonbladet
Date: Friday 25th September 1998
Writer: Markus Larsson
Photos: Jessica Gow


The singer dreams of nightmares about his lost guitarist

Manic Street Preachers has always struggled in headwinds. During their upbringing, they got stretched because they were different.

"In a masochistic manner, we liked that attention," says singer James Dean Bradfield.

The Manics have always wanted to spread their messages, from the first single "Motown Junk" and the hit "Motorcycle Emptiness", costing what it costs.

The now-missed member and guitarist Richey James even went so far that he cut the words "4 Real" into his arm, in front of the eyes of a photographer from the English magazine New Musical Express. With a razor blade.

In 1995, the ideological, insane leader disappeared from a hotel room in London just before he and James Dean Bradfield left the States to make PR for the "Holy Bible" plate. Nobody knows yet if he is dead or alive.

That event became a breakaway for Manic Street Preachers. The remaining members; Bradfield, Nicky Wire , and Sean Moore called into producer Mike Hedges and let the music replace Richey James bitter self-investigation. Political preaching was also toned down somewhat, as noted in 1996, "Everything must go" and does not burn as fiercely as before on new "This is my truth - Tell Me Yours".

Otherwise, everything is just as usual. The arrangements are still cracking in the seams, and Nicky Wire's texts treat the Spanish Civil War rather than drugs and sex.

And they still want to be seriously received, even if they no longer believe, and have not done so for a long time, to conquer and change the world through social rhetoric, as they established at the beginning of their career.

"Of course I do not think so anymore. At all, music can not change the world, it would be "We are the world" in that case. And we knew that right from the start, "says James Dean Bradfield.

"Our biggest influence is The Clash, and although they now accomplished a lot, they obviously did not create a new world order. But they touched us four really. They changed the attitude of some people, and we can do the same for some of our audience, so we have achieved our goal.

You grew up in a small town in Wales and got to know what it was like to feel outside.

"We were no" outsiders ", but more nerdy and bizarre. Sure, we loved sports like everyone else, but not the culture that followed.

"We went into literature and poetry instead and created a small closed circle for ourselves. It was instructive to grow up in a small city. If I had grown up in London, I would have been a cocaine-cheating head at this time.

You often defended Richey and Nicky when they collided.

"In a way, yes. It happened well. But it is related to growing up; "Hey that's friendship, man".

People used to harass you because you were different.

"When you are younger, it is enough that you have a wrong skin color to make people shin the shit out of you. That's big thing is it not? Well...I mean, if you survive it's another experience. I think we actually liked it. In a masochistic manner, we thought about that attention. We turned it into something good in the end."

Many of these experiences are usually driven by a kind of revolt, type "now we will show the devils".

"It's not for me and hardly for the others either. We still meet those who bothered us and after a while, it appears that all was just a series of mistakes. I have not been around for ten years and thought, "Lord, I got stretched because I had a Clash emblem on the jacket."

"It was easy to handle because we were four about it and not alone."

You have a special role in the band. You make music along with Sean, most viewed on pictures and in your videos, but in interviews you will be in the dark and you have always sung Richey's or Nicky's lyrics.

"It's not as strange as it sounds and is not a dew difficult to handle. We are like a family. I've known Nicky since I was four, Richey I felt since I was six and Sean is my cousin so I've known his whole life. There is no hierarchy or prestige with us, because we have been friends for fifteen years before we even had a thought of starting to make music.

"As I get, Nicky's lyrics in my hand, I feel the experiences he writes about, or something we've talked about, so it's easy to put the words together. We have a common story."

You have written a songtext once. Do not you want to express words again?

"It would just be a joke of it all."

Manic Street Preachers are still associated with Richey James. How does it feel now, three years after he disappeared?

"It feels almost nothing. You have become a little emotionally paralyzed when it comes to him."

"There has been a giant myth formation around Richey in just three years. Imagine how it will be about ten? We try to distance ourselves from all the snack and just move on. But he will always be with us, for living, he does."

Are you still dreaming nasty dreams about him?

"Yes, really terrible. With knives and everything. He usually kills me, I look as tight."

Do not you be afraid?

"Yes, but it usually fits a cup of tea," said James