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We Want To Be Ourselves, And Not Hostage To Our Own Audience - Onet Muzyka, 26th August 2010

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Title: We Want To Be Ourselves, And Not Hostage To Our Own Audience
Publication: Onet Muzyka
Date: Thursday 26th August 2010
Writer: Paul Petrovich

Their latest album is a collection of only hits. The musicians do not hide this and they hope to conquer the charts. Fans are divided. I wonder where it will end.

The first single "(It's Not War) - Just The End Of Love" has been haunting European radio stations for some time, meeting with contradictory fans. - Horrible! - writes one. - I like it - the other one replies. Opinions are extreme, but how can it be different if Manic Street Preachers never record two equally sounding albums. This latest, the tenth, "Postcards form a Young Man", in addition to evidently pop grip, which would not have despised Robbie Williams himself, is a tribute to British rock music of the 70s, especially Queen and David Bowie.

The quarterly history of Manic Street Preachers, which has been going on for nearly a quarter of a century, is marked by a huge tragedy and one of the greatest rock mysteries - on 1 February 1995, the guitarist and co-author of the lyrics, Richey Edwards, was lost. That morning, the musician checked out of the Embassy Hotel at Bayswater Road in London, and no one has seen him since. Other musicians continue as a trio. Until Richey was officially declared dead two years ago, he paid a 25 percent royalty on his account for the use and sale of the recordings he participated in.

In an interview with Muzyka.onet.pl, Sean Moore talks about recording a new album, commercials, working with one of the former members of Guns N 'Roses, meeting with Fidel Castro, covering Rihanna and hope, which never left the band.

You stuffed the album with pop-rock hits and you're still saying that you did it deliberately. Old fans will be massacring you!
SEAN MOORE: They have massacred us many times, so it's not a problem [laughs]. With each disc we lose a few fans, but at the same time, new ones jump into their place. We always do what we feel. We are following a natural progression. We want to be ourselves and not hostages of our own audience.

But it is rare for a band with such achievements to openly admit that they have recorded an album for singles and radio stations.
You're right. Please note, however, how few groups can boast of what we do. For two decades, we've released ten albums, never even changing the record label. At a time when popular bands are falling apart after a few albums, it's a big achievement. Therefore, it seems to me that we have the right to be as insolent as possible in our declarations [laughter]. "All We Make Is Entertainment"! [Sean quotes the title of one of the new songs - Onet.pl]

James, when asked about "Postcards From a Young Man", made it clear that this is your last bow to the mass audience. So that means that in the future you intend to turn to more ambitious music?
Everything is possible. Three years ago, I would not have anticipated that we would record something like "Journal For Plague Lovers". And yet at some point we just felt the need. Our main goal was never to plan, but to create the best music we can afford.

Some new songs are associated either with Queen, like "(It's Not War) - Just The End Of Love", or with David Bow - "The Descent (Pages 1 & 2)" reminiscent of the times of Ziggy Stardust.
Of course. The classic British rock music, this extraordinary spirit of the 1960s and 1970s, have a great influence on us. Queen, Bowie, Stonesi or The Clash is something that we love, even if in the moments of their greatest splendor we were too young to fully appreciate such music. We miss her today.

How did you get to work with Duff McKagan in "A Billion Balconies Facing The Sun"?
Last year James made a guest appearance in London at one concert of the Duff Loaded band [they made a cover of Guns N 'Roses "It's So Easy" - Onet.pl]. After the concert, Duff asked how he could repay. James replied that there really was no need, but Duff insisted. He said that if we just came up with some interesting idea, we should let him know. Well, we came up. We sent him a song over the Internet, he recorded the bass parts and quickly sent them back to us. It went great.

From the cover, a photo of actor Tim Roth is looking at us. Who came up with this idea?
James. Somewhere he found them, but he did not know where he came from. He liked it so much that he asked me to find the source. The moment of research was enough to know that it appeared in the Arena warehouse in 1993 and was performed by Glen Luchford. It captures the atmosphere of the record well, and is made of a forgotten polaroid. A pinch of nostalgia will not hurt.

Nostalgia also seems to be beating the title of "Postcards From a Young Man".
Of course! It is worth relying on something permanent in life, to stick to something that you can really touch and feel. Especially now, when everything is digital. Who sends postcards today? Who writes normal letters? I'm afraid that soon no one will buy ordinary CDs, and then nobody will want to go out and meet a friend, because he can do it remotely.

And is not it just that you just get involved in network issues and modern technologies at Manic Street Preachers?
Sure, I'm taking over. I am passionate about all technical innovations. However, the world does not end on them.

Why did you decide to record the cover of Rihanna "Umbrella" two years ago?
We like to take on challenges, and the transformation of genre-type artists that we do not know for sure is. Once, we also did "Last Christmass" Wham !, and our first hit in the UK was "Suicide is Painless", meaning the theme from the TV series "M * A * S * H". "Umbrella" was offered to us by people from New Musical Express, preparing a special charity compilation. We were in the studio, so we said, "Why not?"

It was equally spontaneous to decide on your famous concert before Fidel Castro in Cuba in 2001 and a meeting with a dictator?
Here the motivation was a bit different. We knew that some people would get pissed off at something like that, especially since they still have us for socialists and even communists [laughter]. So how could we pass such an opportunity?

Two years ago, thirteen after his disappearance, Richey was officially declared dead. What does this mean for you?
For us, this has not changed much, but we understand his family, who could no longer live in such a suspension, also from a purely legal point of view. Richey will always live in our hearts. His lyrics were so powerful that when we worked on "Journal For Plague Lovers", we felt as if he were with us in the studio.

But did you finally give up hope for finding it?
We will never give up. Hope always dies last.

Thank you for the conversation.