Group reveal secrets behind new album

Welsh rock gods Manic Street Preachers have returned with their celebrated new album 'Journal For Plague Lovers', but the band claim in a new interview that the material was almost never recorded.

Manic Street Preachers occupy a unique position in British rock music. Born in a small Welsh mining town, the band mixed left-wing politics with glamorous rock 'n' roll. A series of provocative statements made the band one of the most talked about groups in the UK, before journalist Steve Lamacq queried the group's guitarist on whether they were, in fact, for real.

Quietly carving the words '4Real' into his arm, Richey Edwards became a cult hero. Giving a voice to those who often felt disenfranchised, the lyricist dominated the intellectual landscape of British music before going missing in 1995.

The band decided to use the guitarist's remaining lyrics last year, but in a new interview Manic Street Preachers claim they almost never came to this decision.

Bassist Nicky Wire told the NME that "I think ‘Send Away The Tigers’ was a huge help. I think if we hadn’t come back and had that success and reaffirmed ourselves as just a glorious rock band… we’re not saying it’s the most inventive, far-reaching album we ever made, but it just made us feel young again and it got us back into the consciousness of whatever it is, the NME, the radio, just all those things."

"If we’d done this album after ‘Lifeblood’, I think people would have said, ‘Oh, they’re just trying to resurrect their career’. But the fact is we’d resurrected our career with ‘Send Away The Tigers’. We were just in the back of a car, and James just said, ‘I think it’s time', you know… kind of side-stepping the treadmill, to do something as an art project rather than putting us under the pressure of coming up with another gigantic hit."

For more on the band's post-Richey Edwards output just click HERE!

Continuing, lead singer James Dean Bradfield admitted that he felt under pressure when using the lyrics. "For me, personally, I suppose it was the fear of having to make music that could live up to the lyrics. There were lots of other factors, but it did start like, that there was a factor of ‘Would it be tactless to even 10 years after…?’. It just needed to feel as if the distance between the event of Richey’s disappearance and us coming to an understanding of the lyrics, it needed just to be a long time, really."

"You just gotta let the dust settle in a very natural way, and you can’t take a guess when that’s gonna happen. But I think the overriding responsibility was actually being able to make music that lived up to the lyrics."

Manic Street Preachers' new album 'Journal For Plague Lovers' is available now.

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