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Manics On Their Future - Planet Sound, 25th December 2007

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Title: Manics On Their Future
Publication: Planet Sound
Date: Tuesday 25th December 2007
Writer: John Earls

Manic Street Preachers rounded off their triumphant year with a tour - only to end up with bad colds.

"I had a bottle of champagne with two sugarlumps in it every night to get rid of my cold," says Nicky Wire.

"I said all kinds of stuff on the tour, and it's all probably on YouTube. On the last night in Brighton, James went 'Well, you f***ing sing, then!' and I don't know what I said to upset him."

The trio recently gave an online-only release to their first Christmas song, the Sladetastic The Ghost Of Christmas.

"I wanted to give it a proper release, but I got outvoted," tuts Nicky.

"It was James's idea to do a Christmas song, he wrote the tune. But after Q gave us Single Of The Year, James felt that if we were going to ruin the new credibility we'd got again, a Christmas song was exactly the way to do it."

Nicky believes 2007 has reminded people how good a guitarist James is.

"He's amazing to watch," Nicky says. "He runs around singing millions of words, and he's still holding it all together playing his Zep riffs.

"Sometimes, it'd be good if he just strapped on a white Gibson and made a big f***ing noise, more rudimentary. We definitely want to make the next album guitar-based."

The band are talking about decamping to Chicago to enlist Steve Albini as the producer for their next album.

"There's a few ideas flying around," says Nicky. "We're into Quadrophenia recently and I might be writing lyrics in a different way.

"People have had so much of my opinions lately, it'd be good to write in the third person for a change, not necessarily a concept album."

However, the next album might take a fair while to get made.

"We've reigned ourselves in from writing new songs," says Nicky. "With Tigers, we thought about it a lot. It's important to do that as you get older, otherwise you just end up making a big rambling mess.

"I know we want a direction again next time, and to keep it concise like Tigers. Keep it rock."

But why not maintain the euphoria of Tigers and hammer out a raw, quick LP?

"I like the idea of that," Nicky admits. "But we're at our best when we direct some thought to it first.

"With The Holy Bible, there was a lot of thought from the music we listened to at the time and James had a lot of Everything Must Go in his head. I like the idea of a theory, even if the others just humour me with it."