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Wire 'Perturbed' By Modern Rock Bands' Lack Of Cultural Nous - Wales On Sunday, 4th November 2012

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Title: Wire 'Perturbed' By Modern Rock Bands' Lack Of Cultural Nous
Publication: Wales On Sunday
Date: Sunday 4th November 2012

Manic Street Preachers bassist Nicky Wire says there is a cultural shortfall in modern bands that "perturbs" him - as the band get ready to release a 20th anniversary edition of their debut album tomorrow.

Wire, pictured, from Blackwood, and his bandmates' own inspiration for the 1992 classic album Generation Terrorists ranged from Confucius, Rimbaud, Larkin, Plath, Nietsche and the Futurists.

And he said that the album showed the band's devotion to the things they were interested in culturally. He said: "It was part of a plan, but we were absolute musical and cultural obsessives.

"I don't think people understood just how engaged we were with everything, they couldn't understand how four oiks from the Valleys could be so literate.

"Generation Terrorists was really an album about all the love and devotion for things that inspired us.

"Like most Manics things, it can be quite nihilistic at times, but it's an album of devotion, really."

Back then, Wire says the band "liked the idea of antagonism" - a complete contrast to today's imageconscious, heavily promoted and managed popstars.

"We p***** everyone off," he said.

"I don't think anyone actively likes being hated today. It's this morass where everyone has to feel really popular all the time. It's deeply unhealthy.

"To get on radio now, all they look at is your Twitter and Facebook feedback - how big's your Twitter following, how many Facebook friends have you got, what's your YouTube numbers?" And he told the Independent the lack of cultural nous and reverence of literary reference points by today's pop and rock vintage was cause for disheartenment.

"Yes it does perturb me," he added. "I have kids of my own now and you don't want to come across like some boring old git all the time, but it's a worry.

"We did try to condense our world-view, politics, emotions, everything, into three-minute pop songs - we saw that as a true art form.

"I think that's gone in today's culture.

"I'd love to see a band a bit like us, that's prepared to fall on their sword. We did mean it, I know it sounds like a cliché, but we were living on our wits, we had nothing to fall back on but our education.

"And we put everything we had into it: this wasn't a band on their gap year!"