Manic Street Preachers’ Nicky Wire has been talking to The Maker this week about the bond's new album, set for release in June.
The band have also just announced an appearance at this year's Phoenix Festival. They join The Black Crowes, Dinosaur Jr and The Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy on the main stage on July 18.
Prior to this, they release a new single in May and tour the UK in June to promote the new LP.
They have launched this latest burst of activity with a series proclamations:
“The cycle of music moves from a period of constraint to indulgence. More than when we started, groups are looking better and thinking better. But there is still very little Renaissance art in a world of Page Three. “
"Honesty is selfish. It's what kept the Tories in power into the Nineties. we are all bourgeois now.
"Seattle was the sound of Desert Strike. Robert Smith is as wealthy as Phil Collins. Kurt Cobain is as wealthy as Peter Gabriel. That is the nature of rock 'n' roll."
The Manics are currently in the West Country, putting the finishing touches to the album - the follow-up to their double LP, "Generation Terrorists" -with Dave Eringa, who worked on their Heavenly singles, "Motown Junk" and "You Love Us”.
Nicky Wire told The Maker: "The album's in the tradition of English rock groups lace the Stones, The Clash and Zeppelin. We've got a few hard, strong songs, but generally Ws a lot sadder, a lot more melancholic, than what we've done before, both in the lyrics and the music. Everything about it seems so much more complete. We've just grown up very quickly.”
“With the last album, we just wanted to put on everything we'd written, even songs we didn't particularly like, just to dear everything away." Asked what specific "sadness" was reflected in the album, Wire replied: “Loss of innocence. Just that when you're a child, no matter what kind of background you come from, your pleasures are pretty simple. “
“You go to bed and you fall asleep straight away. Nothing keeps you up, worrying. It's a purer world. When you're old enough to do or experience what you want and have access to all the things you thought about, it doesn't make you any more happy.”
"You can drive a car, or go and buy lots of CDs, or go to Spain once a year, but it doesn't actually increase your happiness quotient. Now I could afford a drug habit if I wanted one, or I could buy a good car, but I just can't be bothered to do any of it.”
Wire is making no ambitious claims for the potential of the album.
He said: "However revolutionary or important a record is, it's still just played as a backdrop to the events of the day. However much bands like to think they're doing something different, at the end of the day, it's just a record on the radio. if you actually do want to do anything to society, being in a band’s not a very way of doing it.”