The Manics' Guide To The Modern World - Smash Hits, 22nd August 1998
Confused? Upset? Let Manic Street Preachers fella Nicky guide you through the traumas of life today...
1. Live in Britain Britain's the only place where you can totally take the mickey out of anything you want, be it the Royal Family, the Prime Minister... I don't think there's a freer society anywhere in the world.
2. Get a decent job I think the main way of getting dignity for ordinary people is through a job that they have a reasonable amount of pride in. You can't get any pride in working on a production line or in a factory, and I think that's the main reason why people don't seem to care for one another. You're never going to have a perfect world, but when people had jobs they enjoyed, they have might been a little bit sexist or a little bit violent, but they weren't becoming serial killers or abusing their kids.
3. Sleep 16 hours a day When I was in university, I perfected the art of sleeping 14-16 hours a day. I'd sleep for two hours in the afternoon, have a nap around tea time and then sleep from midnight 'til ten the next day. I don't sleep so well anymore - I've got too much on my mind. I'm always thinking about the band, or about the other side of my life - trying to get the garden cut and stuff like that. I'm endlessly making lists which I very rarely complete.
4. Read very few newspapers The only newspaper I read is the Western Mail, the Welsh paper. I find them so depressing otherwise. It's because I've been there myself now, especially with Richey and stuff (Richey, the Manics' guitarist, disappeared in 1995 and still hasn't been found). Getting people at your door trying to take photos... it's not nice. A photographer stole a pile of our pictures - like one of me when I was five, holding a cricket bat and stuff. Those kind of people exist in our world and I find it really depressing.
5. Respect your parents I live two miles from my parents, so I go home most Sundays for tea. My mum came down the other day to do some ironing and my dad did some decorating. I really appreciate everything my parents ever did for me. When I was at university, I'd be walking round with all my clothes ripped apart, stuck together with safety pins and they'd still let me carry on. I always knew what I was doing, and also what not to do.