Nicky Wire and James Dean Bradfield tell us what to expect
Manic Street Preachers have revealed that they’re working on some ‘surprises’ for their headline show as part of their “hero” Robert Smith’s Meltdown Festival.
The Cure frontman handpicked the band for this year’s event at London’s Southbank Centre – where they’ll be supported by The Anchoress and headlining alongside the likes of Deftones, The Libertines, Mogwai, Placebo and the newly-announced Death Cab For Cutie, Frightened Rabbit, Yonaka and many more.
Speaking to NME, bassist Nicky Wire and frontman James Dean Bradfield said that the show would be a highlight of the tour in support for their acclaimed new album, ‘Resistance Is Futile‘.
“We’ve been really lucky this year to have two personal invites from real heroes – Duff from Guns N’ Roses invited us on tour in Europe, and then Robert Smith sent a really lovely email about email,” Wire told NME. “We obviously jumped at the chance. James is trying to figure out a couple of Cure songs to do with one or two collaborations. There will be surprises. Plus Catherine [Anne Davies, The Anchoress] is supporting us as well. It’s going to be a pretty special night.”
Asked about what he felt the Manics had in common with the rest of Smith’s chosen bands, Wire replied: “The one thread I’d agree with is that we all exist in our own worlds. We’ve never been part of anything else, even Deftones who are so original from what they started with. Our longevity is that we’ve always avoided being bracketed with any movement.
“Same for The Cure, listen to their early records and they’re like no one else. Sometimes they were caricatured as ‘classic goth’, but they weren’t and they were phenomenal. By the time you get to the euphoric pop of ‘In Between Days’ and ‘Just Like Heaven’ – it’s a startling career.”
Bradfield meanwhile, spoke of his admiration for Smith as a musician and an enigma.
“We were watching some old footage of him the other day,” Bradfield told NME. “There were a lot of French TV performances and there was some amazing stuff that he was playing. He’s a real ‘in the pocket’ guitarist. Siouxsie and the Banshees always said that they wanted to keep him because he was so brilliant, but he was always quite wary to let loose and express himself too much because he didn’t want to indulge in guitar onanism as I frequently do. He wanted to keep his taste filter in check – but he’s always been a brilliant guitarist. He’s nifty. He knows his way around and he knows how to express himself.”
“I’m really looking forward to seeing old Bobby playing again because ‘Head On The Door’ is a fucking amazing record. Look at ‘Push’ – two minutes and no vocals and it’s fucking amazing.”
He added: “It’s weird, Robert Smith occupies this territory where he’s kind of reclusive. You never see pictures of him, you never hear rumours of him, he just comes out on a tour to do something then he just slips back away. He’s almost like a kind of secret agent. It’s almost like he’s in the witness protection scheme. I love how he seems reclusive but without any of the drama that you would traditionally attach to that.”