A new Manic Street Preachers album is underway, to be released in spring next year, X-Ray can exclusively reveal.
Speaking from his management offices, bassist Nicky Wire revealed the band had already demoed six tracks and were heading over to the US to begin recording shortly.
The news finally quells persistent rumours the band were on the verge of splitting following the release of Forever Delayed, and imminent releases of Lipstick Traces (A Secret History Of Manic Street Preachers.)
Nicky explained: "We just really want to make an elegiac pop album, with 10 tracks, really short, really direct and really melodic. Just to make every track a killer! That's the theory anyway. I think we're just trying to push ourselves, to reinvent oursleves sonically. Every band goes through it if you've been around as long as we have, and we've been around almost 15 years. You've got to really. It's exciting at the moment though, I'm writing loads of words and James is writing loads of tunes and everything's ok!"
He also revealed that releasing Lipstick Traces, due on July 14 and containing unreleased tracks, including the last ever recorded with Richey Edwards, covers, b-sides and rarities, was his idea, and defended the band against accusations from fans that Forever Delayed hadn't been a well-thought out collection.
Nicky explained the latest release was because they wanted to keep busy and not disappear totally between studio albums.
He continued: "We've come to the realisation that we just don't want to disappear for years at a time and come back with a big album. We want to keep ourselves busy. It's quite a low-key thing, it's just something I've been wanting to do for a while. I just like trawling the vaults, I'm the archiver of the band. To be honest, it's harder to get Sean and James to do anything than it is Sony," he laughed.
As for Forever Delayed, he said: "We just wanted to do it within the parameters of a greatest hits record. We didn't want to dilute it in terms of picking our favourite album tracks and various things. The greatest hits was meant to be the big corporate greatest hits, we're quite honest about that. Lipstick Traces is meant to be another way of looking at it. It's a 'secret history'. You could do a greatest hits like Bjork did where the fans choose their greatest hits, but then again that only sold 10 copies so what's the point?"