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Manic Street Preachers: Interview - VIBE-NET, 11th December 2004

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Title: Manic Street Preachers: Interview
Publication: VIBE-NET
Date: Saturday 11th December 2004
Writer: Yoko Shinitani

Manic Street Preachers, who has been keeping the position of the national band in the UK rock world for 15 years since his debut, released the seventh work Lifeblood. The source of inspiration this time is 80's music that they've known and heard in boyhood. I put a lyric like a bird's-eye view of the band on melancholic New Wave tone sound, completed the most pop and melodic work in band history. I am fairly opening up a new ground. In addition, at the end of the year, the 10th anniversary of the last album "Holy Bible" which Richey (a fourth member who disappeared in '95 and still missing) announced in '94 was participated was released. Including that topic, James and Nicky talked about the upcoming album.

Lifeblood is a new record next to the best board, did you work out with your mind overhauling your career?
James: Ah. In the first place I think it is impossible to completely separate myself from the past. People always try to judge us based on the past. But at the time of the previous work, too many opinions about us were overflowing in the streets and it was necessary to arrange the situation before proceeding any further. So I cleared everything in the best board and tried restarting. Thanks to it I felt freedom when I started a new work and it seems reflected in the work as well. I was extremely honest with my intuition during the production.

And at the same time from the beginning, there seemed to be a concept of 'sadness style pop' with elements of the 1980's.
Nicky: Yeah. The reason why we like the music of the 1980's is that, above all, the band at the time was altruistically making a classic pop record. Both New Order, Echo & The Bunnymen and The Smith seems to be the cure, but they made a wonderful single song and lighted our lives. That's why we wanted to inspire them to create a perfect pop album to the extent established as one artistic assertion, trying to fuse such sources of influence.

As for the lyrics, it is far simpler and abstract expression than the previous work which was very political and talkative.
Nicky: Yup. Alongside Everything Must Go, I think that this is a work that tends the most effort to give the lyrics a sense of transparency and clarity. "Les is much". And I wanted you to rediscover the wonderfulness of James as a singer. So every song is led by melody.

So why did you name it Lifeblood?
Nicky: Anyway this album came here and gave us the feeling of being "alive" again. We spent time together, listened to the same music again, and connected with each other's spirituality again. I was able to reconfirm the importance of becoming a member of the band and I felt that the album is summarizing such a creative process.

10th Anniversary Edition '10th Anniversary Edition' will soon be released (Japanese version will be released on December 29), will be luxurious content containing unreleased mixes and images I agree.
James: There was timing just ten years, I remembered that I felt very proud of this work at that time, I became interested in recurrence. In those days I was never talked about being associated with the disappearance of Richey and it was purely evaluated by the power of music. Yet, that disappearance play and the various things that happened afterward made it difficult to see the essence of the work. And now that I can realize that our unity has become stronger, I once wanted to associate Richey with something to bless rather than tragedy.