Manic Street Preachers discuss new ‘rock’ album and the state of UK politics

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'There’s no way you can make the right and left discernible from each other'

Manic Street PreachersJames Dean Bradfield has given an update on the band’s new ‘rock-influenced’ album – inspired by the divisive nature of politics in the wake of the recent general election.

The band are currently gearing up for a huge gig in Bristol before a run of European festival shows, having recently built their own studio as they continue work on their 13th album.

Renowned as one of the more outspoken and politicised bands of their generation, Bradfield has revealed in a new interview with Louder Than War that while he keeps he voting habits private, he feels no alliance towards any particular UK party.

“I will admit that I’m finding it very hard to choose at the moment because the echo chamber on either side is filled with irrationality and fake news on both sides,” he told LTW, just before the election. “And there’s no way you can make the right and left discernible from each other, they’re both indulged in the most vulgar echo chambers imaginable. And I hold them both accountable and, as someone who comes from a staunch Labour family, it’s becoming harder for me to make my choice at the ballot box.

He continued: “I’m absolutely fucked off with people like Labour not actually listening to people who live out of cities, people who live in towns. I’m absolutely fucked off with the Tories pretending that they listen to people who live in towns not cities. I’m sick of both of them. The older you get the more you release that you can’t just be honour-bound by the party whose position you agree with. You’ve got to listen to different opinions, otherwise you have situations like the fucking referendum, if you don’t listen to other people.”

Bradfield added: “It’s not angst, it’s just reality. I’ve watched places like the valleys just have so little investment for quite a while now and sometimes when you thought you were having investment from the EU, sometimes it would amount to some fucking street art.

“Safe to say I’m never going to vote Tory, never going to go UKIP and you know, you take your pick from the rest. I think I’m like a lot of people, I want people to work for my vote, I want people to actually be held accountable for my vote and I know a lot of people like me who really feel that they want their vote to count for something for the first time in 12 years.”

Speaking of progress on their new album and how it ‘wears its rock influences on its sleeve’, Bradfield revealed: “Nick[y Wire, bassist and lyricist] has given me some amazing lyrics that absolutely sum up the political situation that we’ve been talking about, and I’ve fallen back in love with the middle 8. I’m writing a lot of middle 8s.”

Manic Street Preachers

Manic Street Preachers

Speaking to NME earlier this year about what to expect from their next album, Bradfield said: “I would like to kick against the oblique, delineated, opaque groove that everybody is into. I’d like to rock again.

“I can’t help but just love the new Ryan Adams album at the moment. I think it’s just fucking brilliant. You read a review that says ‘oh it’s full of bluster’, and you’re like ‘fuck off – if you think that’s full of bluster, then your idea of dirt is very clean’. It’s just a really good heartbreak album.”

Bradfield added: “I was watching him on the Jimmy Fallon show the other night and he was playing a Flying V guitar. I was just thinking ‘fuck me, I want to do that again’. That’s my mood.”

Manic Street Preachers will be performing at Bristol Sounds held at Canons Marsh Ampiteatre on Thursday June 22 – where they’ll be joined by past touring mates British Sea Power And The Anchoress. Tickets are available here.