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To Cuba With Love, Classic Rock Magazine, March 2001

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Title: To Cuba With Love
Publication: Classic Rock Magazine
Date: March 2001
Photos: PG Brunelli


Manic Street Preachers declare war on their enemies

Manic Street Preachers return this month with an album, a tour, two different singles and a groundbreaking visit to Cuba. The album - the Welsh hand's sixth - is called 'Know Your Enemy' and the trio have taken the somewhat unusual Step Of issuing 'So Why So Sad' and 'Found That Soul' as singles on the same day, February 26.

Bassist Nicky Wire told Classic Rock that the twin singles idea was "just a bit of fun", before explaining that 'Know Your Enemy' is "a lot more" relaxed" than its predecessor, 'This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours'. "We wanted a different sound," he explained. "James [Dean Bradield, vocals/ guitar] uses a lot of feedback, some of it similar to the Jesus And Mary Chain."

"The album can be divided in two halves," he continued. "The first is very back to basic, the other experimental. We left behind the big orchestral sections, that was a phase in our lives we're not interested anymore, It's all dead."

The trip to Cuba establishes them as the first Western act to visit the country, where they were due to play the 5,000-capacity Karl Marx Theatre. "Visiting the only country that stands up to the American domination of the world is a political statement," Wire told us before flying out. "It was my idea to go and I'll enjoy it no matter what goes wrong. There was a lot of political wrangling. There were layers and layers of bureaucracy, the local Mafia also had a hand in the organisation."

The album includes the following tracks; 'Intravenous Agnostic', 'Let Robeson Sing', 'The Year Of Purification', 'His Last Painting', 'My Guernica', 'Baby Elian', 'Royal Correspondent', and 'Freedom Of Speech Won't Feed My Children.'

The Manics play Manchester Apollo March 27/28, Brixton Academy 30/31, Glasgow Barrowlands April 2/3.