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Rock 'N' Roll Dilemmas - Kerrang, 13th November 1993

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Title: Rock 'N' Roll Dilemmas
Publication: Kerrang
Date: Saturday 13th November 1993
Writer: Jason Arnopp
Photos: Ray Palmer


He's all for more bitchin' in Rock, he's a self-confessed "pretentious wanker" and he wants to bring back the guillotine - but, thank God, he's never gonna get his kit off! Get yer best frock on, it's NICKY WIRE of MANIC STREET PREACHERS!

Krokus come back for a reunion tour. They want you to play bass for them, thus delaying the Manics' plans. Do you do it?

Nicky: "Not a fucking hope in hell! Krokus has given me some of my worst childhood memories, so that's the last thing I'd do! "Actually, I'd probably consider Krokus over Accept, cos Accept are slightly worse. What the fuck was 'Fast As A Shark' supposed to mean? A shark isn't very fast!"

You discover that Manics frontman James Dean Bradfield is writing material for a solo album. Do you protest?

Nicky: "I wouldn't like it if James ever did a solo album. But we always thought that when the Chili Peppers got rid of John Frusciante, James would have been the perfect replacement. His skinhead, his muscles, his guitaring... so we'd have been more than happy to let him play with them for a year. "It'd give us time off, wouldn't it? Time off to do fucking nothing."

McDonalds begin a new promo campaign, with in-restaurant performances from Rock bands. They ask the Manics to do it. Do you?

Nicky: "I don't see why not, actually, although I don't really like McDonalds' food. Apart from the fries. And the apple pies... "I'd rather do McDonalds than fucking Tower Records! Our first album might have had ideals about reversing the tidal wave of American culture, but it hasn't really succeeded. Just look at the covers of Kerrang!!"

A magazine lists you in their Top 10 of pretentious wankers. Do you take legal action?

Nicky: "I'd treat it as a compliment, because I do consider myself to be something of a pretentious wanker. Not as much as Perry Farrell, but..."

Would you pose in a Playgirl centrefold for 5,000 quid?

Nicky: "No, I don't like nudity. I'm a very bony person in structure, and I've never found nudity that attractive. I'm not a fan, even if you're talking about women or whatever. I prefer to see them nicely dressed!"

Faith No More's Jim Martin turns up at a Manics gig, wanting to jam on a song. Do you let him?

Nicky: "Yeah, I like Big Jim, and I think he's getting a really hard time from the rest of the band at the moment. His guitar sound made Faith No More, in my opinion. It's so original, and he totally lives the myth of the '70s Rock star. Everyone makes him out to be such a cunt, and he probably is, but I don't think he pretends to be anything else! I'd want him to play on 'You Love Us', definitely, to hear that grindy Sabbath overdrive sound he gets..."

Would you donate your bone marrow to save the life of REM's Michael Stipe?

Nicky: "That's cheeky! But of course I would; I've got nothing against Michael at all. I'm just all for bitchin' in music - there's not enough of it, as far as I'm concerned. Americans never bitch! But if anyone needed my bone marrow, I'd be only too willing to donate. I don't think it'd be very good bone marrow, though, somehow..."

Would you kill your worst enemy, if it was guaranteed you'd escape without a conviction?

Nicky: "As far as enemies are concerned, I see them in terms of the establishment, more than any particular person. So we're talking about mass executions, with guillotines, a la France! I don't think I'd have any remorse. I admire the French Revolution, actually, for destroying every person in the Royal Family. France hasn't missed them in any way whatsoever!"

At a Tesco check-out counter, Lemmy starts chatting up your wife. Do you intervene?

Nicky: "I think I've got just about enough faith in my boil-less face not to worry about Lemmy, really!"

The Happy Mondays appear in the press, saying that your cover of 'Wrote For Luck' is "a bag of toss". Do you respond?

Nicky: "I'd be quite insulted, because I do genuinely like some Happy Mondays songs. I think we did a good version, although it might be too rocky for them. I don't know if Shaun Ryder could listen to anything any more... unless it's extremely loud! It's hard to tell. Good old Shaun..."