The band are releasing debut 'Generation Terrorists' again, with the benefit of hindsight.
Manic Street Preachers have come out of hiding to reveal that they predicted the economic crisis. Sort of. The experience of trawling through the archives for the 20th anniversary reissue of 'Generation Terrorists' has made Nicky Wire realise how far ahead of their time they really were. Reflecting on album track 'Natwest-Barclays-Midlands-Lloyds', Wire told NME: "People laughed at those lyrics in 1992, but they're so deeply accurate: "Black horse apocalypse, death sanitised through credit". Those were the most prophetic lyrics we ever wrote. Other bands never really got to the centre of it."
Wire might be forgiven for a moment of self-congratulation. Out on November 5, the collection gives fans a chance to remember a period of the band's history not defined by grimness. "The album and demos sound young, our ambitions sound ludicrous, and considering the polemic portrayed, we were actually really fucking funny. A lot of people are attached to the darkness of 'The Holy Bible' or the bigness of 'Everything Must Go' and '...Tolerate...', but for some, that initial colourful burst of the glamorous punk band meant more than any other version. People wanted a rock album. They were drenched in fucking shoegaze and US bands and a lot of people really wanted something like that?."
Spanning three CDs and a DVD, the reissue is a veritable fangasm documenting the band's early gestation.
"There's amazing versions of 'Born To End' and 'Natwest...' and 'Methadone Pretty', because they all became a little slower and more 'stadium rockufied'. These are much more in the vein of 'Motown Junk, really. After 20 years, it deserves its place as an over-the-top LP."
The band are keeping to their word about their sweet exile as far as gigs go. But they are planning a newfangled live-stream performance. "There are songs we've barely ever played, like 'Methadone Pretty, 'Born To End' and 'Spectators Of Suicide. We might even have a go at 'Condemned To Rock'N'Roll', which we have never played. It's a total studio creation, it has no demo - the recorded version is it. But there won't be any gigs. We've had some good offers to play the album in its entirety, but it's not the right time"
A live stream? Really? From the man who would shut the internet down given half a chance and once got so frustrated with his laptop he threw it out the window? "I'll leave that all to Sean," laughs Wire, "he can fucking do it"