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Ten Minutes In The Mind Of Richey James - The Face, August 1992

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Title: Ten Minutes In The Mind Of Richey James
Publication: The Face
Date: August 1992
Writer: Lee Harpin

The Face 0892.jpg

Was Elvis Presley the king of rock 'n' roll?

I don't really know, I've never heard much of his stuff. He’s never been of any influence to me.

In your opinion, who is the greatest living rock 'n' roll star?

Bono. I just think his really cool on stage

I hear you've been besieged lately with that age-old problem of the female groupie.

Yeah it happened in Japan. It wasn't a problem - in fact it was a nice problem. Eight girls flew over from Tokyo for our last London show and interrogated our hotel staff to find out where we lived. They followed us back home and camped outside our houses for a couple of days. But in the end I think they just flew back home and that was that.

You recorded a track with former porn star Traci Lords. Why?

We thought she'd be a really good person for the song. We sent her a pile of records and explained what we wanted to do. She actually phoned up the studio where we were recording and I ended up speaking to her for about 20 minutes. She explained that she'd never sung before but that she was quite interested in doing the track so she flew over to London for the day. She was so keen that we ended up recording the vocals the next day.

And did her enthusiasm for the band go any further than the music?

What you mean sexually? The answer’s definitely no. She's married, and the Manic Street Preachers respect marriage.

It seems to me that there are quite a lot of people out there who don't really take the Manic Street Preachers very seriously. Is this a problem?

I don't know really. In Britain in general I don’t think people take music very seriously. You've only got to look at the charts, that's why there’s so much dance music in them at the moment. It’s faceless music with no lyrics and that always annoys me.

So don't you ever go to clubs?

No, I never go to clubs. I’m just interested in people getting off their heads. That’s of absolutely no interest to me whatsoever.

But hasn't rock 'n’ roll always been about people getting off their heads, even dying just because of the music they love?

I don't think so. All the greatest rock 'n' roll bands have always tried to say something. They’ve shown that they’re pissed off, you can hear the frustration, and it’s a sign of every great rock 'n' roll band that they articulate this point very well.

What gives you the biggest hit - Pepsi or Coke?

Ummmm, definitely Coke.

Slicing arms for NME interviews - now that hardly sent the walls tumbling down. Did this really have the effect that the band desired?

Well, none of us like scars really but in the end that was all that was left, a scar. As for getting the point across, I can't see what harm it can do.

Tom Jones; he’s been doing very well lately. Do you feel any affinity with q fellow Welsh compatriot?

I never judge people on their nationality. It’s just another thing that annoys me. He's just another old man .

So would you react to the argument that suggests the Labour Party lost the lost general election because Neil Kinnock was Welsh?

Yeah, probably. But at the same time I think the vast majority of young people voted for the Tory Party because basically they’re just grubby little capitalist pigs who only care about themselves. Their reasons for voting that way were based on all the wrong things, and if you look at our generation they've deserved what they got.

Was Shakin’ Stevens ever an influence on you in your younger days?

What? No

What relevance have the Manic Street Preachers got to Nineties youth?

Well, we're relevant to our fans. It’s the same with any group really, if you like them then they are relevant to you. If you’ve got a point to get across it reaches your fanbase, but as for everyone else, they don't buy our records so obviously they don't really care that much about us.

How would you like the Manic Street Preachers to be remembered in a decade’s time?

I don’t really know and I don't really care. What we're doing is something for now. Looking at things from a historical perspective is really bad I think.

Do you have a greatest fantasy?

Yeah, I do actually. It's to meet Kate Moss. Well, it’s not actually that I want to meet her, I just want to see her in the flesh.

What soap powder washes your clothes the whitest?

The woman at my local laundrette. I'm particularly fond of the service wash that she uses

In your opinion what has been the greatest veer rock 'n' roll television programme ever made?

Top Of The Pops

Define rock 'n'roll

Top Of The Pops!