I'm quite proud we're 38 and already on our eighth album. Franz Ferdinand are 38 and they're only on their second."
Manic Street Preachers don't really bother with time off. In the three years since Lifeblood, Nicky Wire and James Dean Bradfield have released solo LPs.
But, in the first of a two-part interview, Nicky tell us it could have been all over this time...
Not long after Lifeblood was released the trio were at James' home when The Love Of Richard Nixon was on the radio.
"There was a significant pause while we looked at each other," says Nicky. "It was a moment of 'How did we end up making a song like that and thinking it was a single?'"
"We're not po-faced people when you meet us, but I can see why people would think that from out last record."
Ironically, part of the problem for the band was they're life-long friends.
"We don't argue," explains Nicky, "But by the time of Lifeblood, we made the record separately, didn't see each other in the studio that much."
"We wanted to make a cold rock record and I maintain we basically succeeded. But it's hard to play Lifeblood live, the songs are so sedate. We were in danger of fizzling away into nothing."