1. 2007 was one of the Manic Street Preachers' most successful
years to date, and you've just received the NME's Godlike Genius Award
- how are you feeling?
"Certainly not Godlike, but optimistic for the future of the Manic
Street Preachers and another chapter in that story."
2. For you personally, what have been the biggest changes that you've
seen take place in the band and in each other, since you first emerged?
"Nothing has changed in the band apart from the obvious, still
the same people
although Nick does eat tomatoes now."
3. In the group's early days, you successfully merged art and culture
- both high and low - often courting controversy with a mix of antagonistic
actions and confrontational statements in the process. But ultimately,
which of these do you think, were the most effective in helping to get
your music and message across at that time?
"Alienation, Boredom and Despair - in any order."
4. When discussing the quotes from literature used on Manics' record
sleeves, you once stated, "We used to totally believe in everything
that was written in print, it was like gospel to us. We just used it
as reference and took from the past and tried to turn it into the future."
One journalist even declared that you've "perhaps done more for
the literary world, than any other band ever has," with many of
your fans - old and new - also expanding their reading lists. Is this
gratifying for you?
"Gratifying in being one of a few that try to blend all of these
cultural expressions. The Internet on the other hand, leaves a lot to
5. Do you think the best bands are a product of their environment,
and are there any who you feel share, or have shared, the same spirit
as the Manic Street Preachers?
"Usually, all the greats have shown this."
6. James recently said, that the Manics sometimes feels like both a
Welsh band and a British band - that there's "a duality going on."
But if you hadn't all grown up in Wales, do you think you may have had
a different outlook on life, been a completely different band, or even
"Who knows? Identity is always an issue when you're young."
7. You're now very much considered to be an Iconic group, but what
has been the best thing that someone has ever said about the band?
"NME Godlike Geniuses."
8. Musically and lyrically, which Manics songs are you most proud
of, and in order, what are your Top 3 MSP Albums?
A Design For Life
Everything Must Go, The Holy Bible, Send Away The Tigers
9. Nicky has spoken of how he would like to one day work with Steve
Albini, but to date, which producers do you feel have best 'captured'
the Manic Street Preachers on tape?
"Dave Eringa, Greg Haver and Mike Hedges."
10. What do you think are the most overlooked qualities in Drummers?
11. Do the three of you have, or has anyone in the band ever had
any pre-stage rituals + what's the ultimate Manics' song to open a live
"Nothing to speak of. You Love Us."
12. Over the years, James has had some increasingly elaborate and
entertaining stage introductions for you and Nicky. But do you have
a favourite for each other, and if you ever had to, how would you introduce
James on stage?
The Greatest Guitarist and Vocalist since Page
& Plant in one."
13. Will the professionally shot live footage from the final shows
with Richey at the Astoria in 1994 - as used in the alternate promo
video for A Design For Life - ever be officially released on DVD, either
as a complete set of 3 gigs, or as 1 show?
14. You love shopping, and continually keep up-to-date with the latest
high-tech gadgets and inventions. But what have been some of your favourite
purchases, and is there anything that you think the world would still
benefit from having?
"Technology isn't moving fast enough - too many Marketing Strategies
going on, drip-feeding us all."
15. Similarly, you adore video games, but in your opinion, what's
the greatest video game of all-time?
Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare - any platform,
Sonic The Hedgehog - Sega Mega Drive
16. For most musicians and fans, the sequencing of songs on an album,
is a very important factor in the listening experience of a record as
a whole. As a group, how do you decide on the final running order of
your LPs + has there been any alternative album titles that were nearly
"The final running order of our LPs is down to compromise."
17. Of all the countries that you've ever been to / played in, which
have been the most satisfying to visit?
"Japan, Canada, Italy, Spain and Portugal."
18. With the Internet rapidly changing the way in which people consume
music, it's highly likely that fewer artists and bands will enjoy longevity
/ have storied careers. Are you glad that MSP were able to grow and
develop in the traditional way, as opposed to how The Music Industry
is now beginning to operate?
19. And what are your memories of the day that you signed with Sony
Music in 1991?
"Playing Coventry Stoker to about 40 people."
20. Do you have a favourite Manics era / any favourite artwork, looks,
photographs and videos?
"The Holy Bible."
21. What have been some of your personal highlights over the years?
"The Brits, Ivor Novellos, Cuba, Millennium Stadium and the NME
22. And has there been anything that the band didn't do, but now
wished you had / anything that you did do but now wished you hadn't?
"Wished we had toured America, China and South America."
23. How would you like the Manic Street Preachers to be remembered,
and musically, where do you think you're going to go next?
"A Great Rock 'n' Roll Band. Don't know yet?"
24. The Music Press only ever seem to write about the sadness surrounding
Richey, and solely portray him as a Tortured Genius / Icon. But do you
have a particular fond memory, or warm story about Richey, that you
may be willing to share with us?
"He was only tortured during his time after Generation Terrorists."
25. Lastly, chips or cream buns?
"Chips and cream buns together. Why not?"
A very special thanks to Sean, to Claire + Terri
@ Hall or Nothing, and to the Manics' Manager Martin, for all of their
time and help. Stay Beautiful.
Big Gig Set List
The Masses Against The Classes
You Love Us (w/ Tom Enemy on 2nd guitar)
If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
Everything Must Go
Send Away The Tigers
She Sells Sanctuary into Motown Junk
Your Love Alone Is Not Enough (w/ Cerys Matthews)
You Stole The Sun From My Heart
A Design For Life
"The creation continues incessantly through the media of man. But
man does not create
he discovers. Those who look for the laws of nature as a support for
their new works collaborate with the creator. Copiers do not collaborate.
Because of this, originality consists in returning to the origin."
- Antoni Gaudi