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Preacher's Solo Album - Birmingham Mail, 7th July 2006

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Title: Preacher's Solo Album
Publication: Birmingham Mail
Date: Friday 7th July 2006
Writer: Russ Morris

The Manic Street Preachers have had an amazing career with over 30 chart singles and nine massive albums, not to mention countless sold out tours.

But something strange happened this week - I was joined by Manics frontman James Dean Bradfield. No Nicky Wire. No Sean Moore. Is this the end of one of the UK's most successful bands?

"Absolutely not!" asserts James, who is embarking on a solo project.

"We gave ourselves a two year break from the Manics but without music I was totally bored and, quite frankly, miserable.

"So I felt it was a good time to do some solo stuff and it isn't just me feeling like that. Nicky is also doing a solo thing as well."

So will the Manics definitely be getting back together?

"Definitely. It's good for me doing my own thing but it can be lonely. I'm not too bothered though as I know we'll be back together soon. In fact, we've already talked about some new material."

After nearly 20 years it must be strange for James to be getting on stage by himself.

"It's very weird," he agrees. "Performing is fine, but it's all about the material. When the Manics are on stage and we play a song that doesn't really work, we know we can play a classic which will get the crowd going again. But with my untried solo stuff it makes it harder. Could I play some Manics songs in my set? No chance!"

The Manic Street Preachers have had a successful but turbulent career. In the mid-Nineties guitarist Richey Edwards disappeared without a trace. He has never been found.

"It has been a crazy 20 years and, yes, we've seen a lot of changes but you don't have to go as far back as 20 years. Even since Richey's disappearance times have changed. Mobiles, downloads, all have changed the industry, and life. Saying that though, I've never downloaded a song."

The first single off James' solo album, The Great Western, is a song called That's No Way To Tell A Lie.

"Seeing 'Words and Music by James Dean Bradfield' made me feel happy. For once I've lost a bit of my insecurity."