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The Aftershow: Nicky Wire - Music Week, 16th April 2018

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Title: The Aftershow: Nicky Wire
Publication: Music Week
Date: Monday 16th April 2018
Writer: James Hanley
Photos: Alex Lake


Manic Street Preachers' 13th album Resistance Is Futile dropped on Friday, the latest chapter in the Welsh legends' remarkable career. Here, the band's iconic bassist and lyricist Nicky Wire rewinds the film to reflect on how they got from despair to here...

The most important lesson I’ve learnt during my career is...
“Dedication is equal to talent. The two have to be together, otherwise both of them end in failure.”

The way I see touring has changed because...
“When you first start, it is amazing - it’s new and it’s you against the world - those first two or three years are so special. Then it becomes a bit of a drag and you feel physically and mentally different, but later on you come to appreciate it again. We find going to places we love a total inspiration for writing. Wherever you are, there’s always something that can start off a lyric - it’s the one thing that’s sustained us through 25 to 30 years of being in a band.”

Calling our third album The Holy Bible was brave in retrospect but...
“When Richey [Edwards, missing bandmate] suggested it, I didn’t even think about it, it just seemed totally natural. I remember there was one territory in Europe that wouldn’t release The Holy Bible because of the title - perhaps a Catholic country, I don’t know - and that was the first time I thought, ‘Fuck me, it is a funny old title.’ But at the time, it wasn’t a debate at all. Fair play to Sony/Epic, they never said a word. It was a much freer time in terms of artistic licence.”

We’re pretty loyal to the people we work with...
“Scott Thomas [X-ray Touring] has been our agent since around ‘95; Martin Hall [Hall Or Nothing] has been our manager since ‘91 with Philip Hall, who sadly passed away; Simon Moran [SJM Concerts] has been our promoter and we’ve been on the same record label [Sony] all that time as well.”

We were desperate to play Robert Smith’s Meltown Festival because...
“He was one of the pictures on our wall growing up. The Cure influenced us big time - The Head On The Door, in particular, was such a huge album for us. James [Dean Bradfield] loves Robert Smith as a guitarist and their lyrics - quoting Albert Camus from an early age - led you down a different path. It has given me a bit of cred with my daughter as well because she loves The Cure, so I’ve finally got some after being an embarrassing dad.”

One of the most important factors in our success has been...
“Our ambition. In the early days there was this kind of indie snobbery: You weren’t supposed to play arenas or stadiums, and go on Top Of The Pops and actually enjoy it. But we had a desire to communicate to as many people as possible. We obviously know that there are limits as you get older, but that still drives us and there’s a certain magic about that.”