Everyone is sure to ask you about it, so I will ask...What were the motives of the February promotional concert of the group Manic Street Preachers in the theater of Karl Marx in Havana? Among the audience there was Fidel Castro...
We did not go to Havana to say "Hi Fidel" or to be treated as a model of socialist revolutionaries. Simply, after finishing work on the album "Know Your Enemy", we discovered that as many as three songs in their texts deal with matters related to Cuba. Nicky (Wire, guitarist of "Manics" - author's note) said: "Would not it be great to play the first promotional concert in Havana?!" It was a challenge for us, because the Sony Music label does not have a representation there and we did not even know if anyone in Cuba knows our band.
Let's stay with "Know Your Enemy". Nicky Wire once said that the music contained on the discs of the Ministry of the Treasury is not anything innovative, and always while working in the studio, "you find" several performers who influence your sound. What was the issue when creating the latest material?
In 2000, after the millennium show at the stadium in Cardiff, we took a two-month break. During this time, I went to visit my father in Wales and I came across a family house where I was raised. There were many albums with punk music from the 70s. Certainly they had a big impact on the sound of "Know Your Enemy".
And why this longplay has such a "kick"?
It's possible, although I really realized it when we finished work. It was not my intention to create music similar to the content of the punk "classics" mentioned above. The lyrics inspired by Nicky brought me more inspiration as a composer. They contained much more anger and anger than before. I could not compose to them such smoothed music as on "Everything Must Go" or "This is My Truth Tell Me Yours". The new work is more spontaneous, the "pieces" on it were created quickly and sometimes instinctively.
I've heard that the books you read have a big influence on the lyrics of Manic Street Preachers songs. Tell me which book do you think is the most important in your life and in general you still have time to read?
One of the novels I liked when I was young was Albert Camus' Alien. However, the most important book for me is "Lipstick's Traces" by Dwelf Markers. It used to be like a Bible for us, I still have it today. And as for the number, I still manage to read one book a week.
In March 2001, your formation became a negative hero of the scandal related to blocking accounts of people using Napster services. How did this happen?
The beginning of the whole event gave the theft of files with our new songs from computers Sony Music. It was an obvious mistake of our publisher, because he did not ensure proper protection of the composition on his computer network. Thanks to this, the files got to Napster. Someone realized people who had them in their computers and blocked those people from accessing Napster. Everything took place without our knowledge. Nobody asked us how to proceed. As soon as we learned what solution was chosen, we separated ourselves from the activities of our record company.
In Great Britain, you are perceived as one of the more politicized bands. The elections will take place on June 7. Who will you vote for? Is it like probably the majority of Britons, or the Labor Party?
Of course, I'm going to the election, but I will give my vote to the Tories, although I think that there is no perfect party in the British Isles. I am for free health service and public schools, and nobody guarantees us. In my opinion, socialism in the British version, different from the one you know from experience in Poland, would be the best.
If we are already at my country... I heard that you will come to play a concert in Poland in October. Is this certain?
I know that our manager has recently given details of this performance, so I think we will meet again some time ago.