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Preachers Find New Crowds To Convert - New York Metro, 7th November 2009

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Title: Preachers Find New Crowds To Convert
Publication: New York Metro
Date: Saturday 7th November 2009
Writer: Linda Laban


Manic Street hitting the States for the first time in a decade.
Band talks about revisiting material by their missing co-founder.

The Manic Street Preachers' first American tour in 10 years celebrates a new album of lit-rock, "Journal For Plague Lovers." But really, crossing the pond was a case of now or never.

"If we didn't go with this record, it was like we're never ever touring America again," says singer and guitarist James Dean Bradfield. "As soon as we realized that, that was it."

Working on "Journal For Plague Lovers" returned the Manics to the past, to once again use lyrics by the band's erstwhile co-founder Richey Edwards. The wordsmith and guitarist disappeared in early 1995, Just before the band was headed for a pivotal, career-making U.S. tour. Edwards was never found, but months earlier he gave his friends three Journals packed with lyrics. It took many years, however, before the Manics could face Edwards again.

"The prospect of doing it scared us. We had this responsibility toward Richey, but we had to wait for old feelings and trauma to subside," Bradfield says. "Once we did it, I realized this is the closest I'd get to ever having the band whole again."

Manic Street Preachers Reunited

"Journal For Plague Lovers" offers the opportunity to reassess Richey Edwards' artistic legacy. His slashed arms and starved appearance, not to mention likely suicide, built him into a dysfunctional legend. "Richey's words were always famous for being full of intent and no punctuation," says Bradfield. "Sometimes you have to edit it. That's only a small part of the process. Some songs I used all the lyrics that were on the page."