Nicky Wire talks about new limited edition single as we preview it

Manic Street Preachers release new single ‘Masses Against The Classes’ on January 10 through Epic. The single, premiered at last year’s V99 festival, is backed with two new songs, ‘Close My Eyes’ and ‘Rock And Roll Music’, and will be a limited-edition release of 10,000.

Bassist Nicky Wire said: “We started the ’90s with ‘Motown Junk’ and we wanted to start a new decade with ‘Masses Against The Classes’. It’s a separate entity, a complete one-off, and has nothing to do with the next album.”

The start of the single sounds very similar to David Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’, before the guitars kick in with a sound that harks back to the band’s ‘Gold Against The Soul’ days and owes more to up tempo, punkier songs like ‘You Love Us’ and ‘Motown Junk’ than the lusher, orchestral sounds ‘Tsunami’ or ‘If You Tolerate This…’.

Quoting Noam Chomsky and Albert Camus as inspiration, Wire’s lyrics start with what can be seen as a homage to their fans: “Hello it’s us again/We’re still so in love with you“.

In the verses, James Dean Bradfield’s vocals are heavily distorted. Later, he appears to criticise the band’s detractors with, “You thought you were our friends/Success is an ugly word/Especially in your tiny world“.

The chorus runs: “The masses against the classes/I’m tired of giving a reason/ When the future is what we believe in/We love the winter/ It brings us closer together“.

Despite the release being limited-edition, it is still expected to chart. Meanwhile, an exhibition inspired by the interests of the Manics is being held at Cardiff Centre For Visual Arts, including works by artists, war photographers, poets, musicians and political and social organisations.

Art works by Picasso, Edvard Munch, Jackson Pollock, Francis Bacon and Andy Warhol have been loaned by major galleries. The show also includes photographs by Robert Capa, Kevin Carter, work by the Situationists, posters from the Spanish Civil War, and contrasting views of Vietnam by Don McCullin and from the official US army collection. The exhibition runs until January 16, 2000.