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Preachers Ease The Pressure - Dagsavisen, 23rd March 2001

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Title: Preachers Ease The Pressure
Publication: Dagsavisen
Date: Friday 23rd March 2001
Writer: Geir Rakvaag

"We have been under great pressure for many years. Now we are ready for some distorted fun, says Manic Street Preachers. That's why they've made their most political album so far with "Know Your Enemy".

"Our songs are characterized by everything that has shaped us. We grew up in a working class area in Wales, with mining giants right in front of our eyes. On this album, we return to topics used to rewrite at the beginning, says singer and guitarist James Dean Bradfield, admitting that the previous album was adversely affected by the group's success.

"We became a little lazy and indifferent. To satisfy ourselves, he says, "This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours," but makes an exception to the more ambitious single "If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next".

"There is no denying that it influenced us to make concerts for over 10,000 people. I do not know how other bands have it, but I feel we've been under big pressure in recent years.


Manic Street Preacher's new album "Know Your Enemy" contains a number of songs with clear political references. In addition, they have recently returned from a much-featured trip to Cuba, the very self-made Fiedel Castro came to their concert.

"The trip to Cuba was not meant to be a statement. If we play in Texas, it's not to be against the death penalty, or in Lyon as a reaction to the leprechauns and Le Pen. When Wham was playing in China, first of all, was notable. But some mentioned that there were a couple of three references to Cuba on the new album, and we got this idea, more like a whim than a plan. We realized we would be accused of being naive and hypocritical, but we were there just to entertain, not to approve a political system. Having said that, it should be said that it was interesting to play for an audience who could not hear our songs, who do not know anything about the luggage we are going around.

The "Luggage" of Manic Street Preachers is almost ten years as one of the most famous British rock bands, with a near-rock mythological shear after the guitarist Richie Edwards disappeared sporadically six years ago, and has not appeared again.

"With Everything Must Go," we proved we could go on, but with "This Is My Truth" we had used up the sympathy after Richie disappeared, Bradfield said.


James Dean Bradfield finds that Manic Street Preachers as one of very few politically interested rock bands always has much more to answer than all the others.

"People always ask questions about our motives," he says. We also wonder why the few who make explicit political music today often spend a lot of energy shattering each other in good radical tradition. It was activist Billy Bragg who discovered the restrooms at the Glastonbury Festival, "just for Manic Street Preachers", and made a large number of this afterwards. On their side, they have made the song "Freedom Of Speech Will not Feed My Children", which is a settlement with American complacency in general, and Beastie Boys in particular.

"Now the left side is well-behaved with debates and criticisms, and we have been able to challenge each other. The Beastie Boys - now we're going again - are a little hypocritical when they have settled up like a vulgar boy's boy, and then start telling others how to behave. I respond that they are so keen on Tibet, but never say anything about the conditions in the United States, which is their homeland. In any case, we have been consistent in our opinions.


James Dean Bradfield rejects the dissatisfaction with the United States in many of their songs, which is a reaction to the lack of penetration of the US record market. The group has had trouble releasing their latest albums by Sony in the United States.

"We realized it was over when we came with "If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next". In Europe everyone was very enthusiastic, but in the United States they told us that there was no point in giving it out because the title was too long. It says most of the time ...

After a seven-minute pause, the new album with a self-evident twist in the song, "We Are All Bourgois Now", is released by the obscure 80-year-old McCarthy.

"We thought it was an appropriate song, Bradfield cheered. Manic Street Preachers have not only found back to any of their political foundations on the new album. They have gone away from magnificent productions, and retrieved the early impact of punk rock.

"I found some of the albums I had at my father's home, with The Saints, Wire, Magazine, The Pistols and The Clash. They sound so good and good, and it turned out that Nicky Wire had done the same thing at home, "said James Dean Bradfield.

Much indicates that Manic Street Preachers come to the Quart Festival in Kristiansand this summer, and will be back for concerts on their own until autumn. Next play on the record will definitely be a collection album. And maybe that's all, according to rumors?

"We'll see!"