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Manic Street Preachers: "Raise More Tax" - Nieuwe Revu, 16th May 2001

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Title: Manic Street Preachers: "Raise More Tax"
Publication: Nieuwe Revu
Date: Wednesday 16th May 2001
Writer: Joyce Kuipers

Manic Street Preachers on the barricade: "Raise more tax"

On their sixth album, Know Your Enemy, the Manic Street Preachers fight capitalism more than ever. The three musicians - now multimillionaires - were already fighting alcoholism, drug abuse and anorexia. And now especially against themselves.

Two years ago. "The world is full of refugees / they're just like you," James Dean Bradfield sang in Everlasting, from the previous and best-selling Manic Street Preachers album so far: This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours.

Nicky Wire, lyricist, bassist and after the disappearance of guitarist Richey James in '95 the "epicenter" of the band, grues; According to Wire, "This is my truth ..." was artistically the poorest album and also "rather bloated, very symphonic". Because of the success of the album, the Manics itself became a symbol for everything that the band always had such an end to: money, the media circus and the feeling of having to stick to towering expectations. They became their own biggest enemy. "Frightening!" Wire thought that feeling. "The worst thing we could do was repeat ourselves and we did not do that, so we went back to all those records that made us want to be in a band: Dancing Queen from ABBA, Pet sounds from the Beach Boys. , Iggy Pop ...

February this year. The Manic Street Preachers launch their new album at the Karl Marx Theater in communist Cuba, for an audience consisting of potential refugees. President Fidel Castro attends the concert and even meets backstage with the band members, about which Wire said afterwards that it was "a very momentous moment". "Some bands meet Tony Blair, we Fidel Castro."

The same Castro, who until recently regarded Western music as a negative, decadent invasion and was held responsible for the fact that people with long hair or people who listen to Western music were at least "harassed" by supporters of his regime...But the Manics and Castro have one thing in common: a deep-rooted hatred of capitalism. Read: America.

Before the concert in Cuba, Wire had already said: "See the act as a gesture against the Americans, with their trade embargo against Cuba, and their poems to portray the Cubans as horribly as possible, surrounded by American culture. Great Britain and the rest of Europe and you are doing the terrifying power of America, Cuba is trying to stop that, that is something to be admired."

Expressing your preference for Cuba means the death blow for a breakthrough in America. But Wire is not at all like that. "I think they do not even let us in with a Cuban visa in our passports, but that's okay, we do not have a chance there, we do not even think about it...We're a cynical, critical band. America goes for the looks: as long as you do not wear baggy shorts, beard and loads of earrings, you do not count it, and then all that rap-misery...So violent and aggressive, We're too sensitive, or no: too smart! Ha! Bands like Limp Bizkit or rappers like Eminem look like babies throwing stuff from their prams: it is anger and anger that is not specifically aimed at anything, for example, they never focus on America itself, they never say: "Tie the gangs.

"Know Your Enemy is thinner than the albums after The Holy Bible," continues Wire. "We take the social decay that causes us to overcome, but nobody is happy with it." The song Freedom of speech will not feed my children is written from the perspective of someone who lives in the former Eastern Bloc. the moment the communism was announced, and the only thing he got in its place is McDonald's! There is massive unemployment and the mafia rules in those countries Capitalism is the tyranny of big money! "

The Manics are involved in such anti-capitalist statements. And in the meantime they have only seen the number of zeros on their bank accounts increase. "Yes, we have become champagne socialists The first five years of the band we were just poor 50 pounds a week we had - if we had been lucky, but when Everything needed go and we started earning money, everyone cried out that we were hypocrites That does not make any sense, as if every great personality in the world who did something good was poor. "Bullshit! Muhammed Ali was brilliant, even when he was a millionaire."

Sourcing the problem through charity is not the way according to Wire. No, the solution to get the Manics-millions and all other capital to land well is simple: paying more taxes. "That's the only way to get better service and education, tax the rich!"