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Scum On Feel The Noise - NME, 4th August 1990

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Title: Scum On Feel The Noise
Publication: NME
Date: Saturday 4th August 1990
Writer: Steven Wells
Photos: Jayne Houghton


"We are the scum factor of the Monday meets the guitar overload of Five Thirty/Ride while killing Birdland with politics."


Manic Street Preachers have blitzed the record industry and the music press with brilliant ranting letters that hack quotes from Greil Marcus, Marx and William Burroughs. They preach riot, socialism, hatred, self-loathing, bloody revolution and complete contempt for compromise. They are in their early 20s. They have more energy and anger and intelligence than any other band I have ever interviewed.

They have only done a handful of gigs, refusing to get on the "anarcho/squat/shit" treadmill. They have a four track EP called 'New Art Riot' out on Damaged Goods. They still sound too much like The Clash but in the end of the year they will be releasing songs that match the beautiful, stark, gibbering genius of their prose. Then they will the most important rock band in the world. That's all you need to know for now.

"We wanna be the biggest rock 'n' roll nightmare ever and we wanna take the monarchy and the House of Lords with us. We'll do whatever is required and give you the biggest ever posthumous sales."

Do you have any tips on "pop style" for our readers?

"We've spray painted our school shirts to wipe out the brainwash and the boredom."

Tres chic! Who's the best - Paula Abdul or Kylie?

"We are the scum that remind people of misery. When we jump on stage it is not rock 'n' roll cliche but the geometry of contempt."

Are you enjoying The Summer Of Love?

"We've seen so much energy at raves but also too much love."

It's so nice to see young people enjoying themselves and keeping out of trouble...

"We don't display our wounds, we shove them in people's faces. We are the decaying flowers in the playgrounds of the rich. We are young, beautiful scum pissed off with the world."

Quite. Do you read comics?

"All we've ever wanted is the reality of oblivion, to get jackplugged to hell. There is more self hate in this band than you or anyone can realise. We hate ourselves totally."

Do your parents approve of your rock star careers?

"Everybody in the provinces is turned on by the Happy Mondays because of the lifestyle and we have the songs and the ideas to back it up. We are the most original group in the UK. By denying ourselves a past we are trying to find a worthwhile present out of this junky wreckage of life. We are the guitar edge of '90s youth enfranchisement but for us life is still repetition, humiliation, boredom...."

Are you doing your bit to save the dolphins?

"You can't dance if you allow reality to eat in at your thoughts. Just the same as you can't stage dive. We kick them away. You listen or you fuck off."

Isn't it great that Mike Oldfield and Gary Numan have achieved a new credibility with today's young 'ravers'?

"Hospital closures kill more than car bombs ever kill..."

Have you had any 'E' yet?

"Everybody's taking drugs because it makes governing easier."

Do you 'Just Say No' to drugs then?

"Wipe out aristocracy now kill kill kill. Queen and country dumb flag scum. We are drowning in manufactured ego fuck. Boredom bred the thoughts of throwing bricks."