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Manics Havana It Large In 2001 - NME, 23rd December 2000

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Title: Manics Havana It Large In 2001
Publication: NME
Date: Saturday 23rd December 2000


Manic Street Preachers are to premiere their new album, so far entitled 'Know Your Enemy', at a ground-breaking in Cuba on February 17.

The band are to debut what Will be their sixth album at the 5000-capacity Karl Marx Theatre in the island's capital, Havana, because they want to make their return "a lot more interesting and stimulating", after feeling jaded with the whole process of releasing records.

Speaking exclusively to NME from his home in Wales, bassist Nicky Wire explained, "I'm rejuvenated in terms of songwriting, it's just the other stuff that goes with it...That's the big realisation we've had. This is how it's going to be next year, it's going to be about us. It's just something very exciting."

He added: "It could be a disaster. There might not be a PA or whatever, but it's the idea that it's a bit of an adventure. So many bands these days just come back in the usual way, and that's one thing that we're not gonna do this time. There's gonna be lots of stuff like that which we're gonna do."

It's thought that the Manics are the first Western rock band to play the communist Caribbean state of Cuba. They are charging locals just 25 cents entrance to the event.

Wire said the band are putting together the project themselves with manager Martin Hall, who traveled to Cuba to meet the country's minister Of culture and set up the gig.

He continued, "It's not like a student Che Guevara sort Of thing, it's just Cuba for me is the last symbol that really fights against the Americanisation Of the world.

Everything else has gone. That's my interest in it more than anything else. It stands on its own. It hasn't given up yet. It'll be like Wham! in China. I've never been to Cuba before, either. I wanted to go, but when I had the idea in the summer, I thought 'let's save it till we go so we have no preconceptions at all'. I just wanna go there and see. They've been really helpful about it, the Cuban authorities. I just can't wait to get out there!"

Of the new album, which will be released in "late March", he said, "It's just totally different from 'This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours', that's the best way of describing it... I think that for a year perhaps we suppressed our natural instincts a bit too much. And our natural instincts are back. I am really excited about it but until everything's in front Of me with a cover, and everything else, then I'll be able to talk about it a lot more."

The band have recorded some 27 tracks for the album, With 16 or 17 likely to make the final cut. Nicky said that his favourite track was one called 'Freedom Of Speech Won't Feed My Children', produced by David Holmes, and featuring Kevin Shields - "It's just a lovely bit Of guitar, very melodic". Another track is 'Miss Europa Disco Dancer' which he described as "a full-on '70s disco number'".

Nicky also decried rumours that they were to call the album 'Give 'Em Enough Rope' in homage to The Clash as "bizarre". He added, "Surely no-one thinks we're that thick! But that's the Internet for you, I think." On being asked if the title was 'Know Your NME', he said, "That would make a good headline, wouldn't it? I can picture it now."