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Speed Dial: Nicky Wire - NME, 31st July 2010

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Title: Speed Dial: Nicky Wire
Publication: NME
Date: Saturday 31st July 2010
Writer: Dan Martin


The Manic Street Preacher tells us about the band's new Queen-style album - and his assessment of the Labour leadership contest.

You've described your new album as "One last shot at mass communication." Do you realise how that sounds?
Nicky: "That it's the last album? Yeah, I didn't mean it to sound that loaded. There are two options: you turn into a museum band where you just play 'The Holy Bible' or 'Everything Must Go' for loads of money, or you split up and reform for loads of money. Or you actually try and make a record that you think has a shot at mass communication. If we can't do it with a record that we think sounds this melodic and upbeat then we'll probably never scale those heights again. It will either hit the mark or be a complete stiff."

Your new single sounds like Queen.
"It does! I'm very of proud of us at 40 to still feel that energy and passion for it. We were lucky with 'Journal For Plague Lovers', we loved being the band that we can only be when we use Richey's words. The worst thing we could do is try and do another one of them, because my words are not like that."

Was there a point after Richey went away when you tried to mimic what he did?
"There was a difficult period before 'A Design For Life' of stuff that no-one will ever see. It was a pretty traumatised place and there were a lot of lyrics that were confused and not very good that were trying to be like The Holy Bible', and then '...Design...' gave me a chance to write in a different voice."

With the whole 'Postcards...' theme it sounds like you're in a nostalgic place.
"We're not afraid of nostalgia. I could lie and say we're thinking of the future and everything's great, but it's not. Musically it's a mediocre couple of years, guitar-wise especially. When you listen to 'Everything Must Go', it's coming from a place of deep sadness and despair, but it's so uplifting. We wondered how we could recreate that. There's no point me trying to say there's dubstep in there."

Are the lyrics topical?
"One's called 'All We Make Is Entertainment; after Labour there's nothing left we actually manufacture. The selling off of Cadbury was the last straw, the best chocolate in the world and we get rid of it. The fact that the only subsidised industry we've got in the UK is the banks... how surreal and awful is that? We could have nationalised the utilities and kept people employed but no, we subsidise the profiteering, evil banks."

Who are you backing for the Labour leadership?
"I'd love to see Diane Abbott win. Ed Miliband is probably the most deep-rooted old-school Labour. In terms of intellect he's up there, but whoever it is they've got a lot of work to do."

One song is 'Don't Be Evil' - the corporate motto for Google. Is that what it's about?
"Kind of. It's a sarcastic kiss-off, it's meant to have a sense of humour, it's about the universality and smugness of technology. The idea that you're missing out if you're not 'getting involved' and making friends you never see."

You have, however, joined Twitter (@ manicspostcards).
"The band has! I do the speaking, Sean does the technology. Some of it's lyrics - I like the idea of drip-feeding them to fans."

Who are you 'following'?
"Sean wrote them down but I have no idea who they are. There is a lot of Formula One on there though."