Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME

Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

Manic Street Preachers are back with a new album. To celebrate, here's a look back at motor-mouthed Nicky Wire's 50 most incisive comments on politics, rock 'n' roll and everything in between. Brace yourself for a bumpy ride...

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Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On still being a firebrand at 41: "I’m almost embarrassed at my age to be as angry as I am.” (NME, September 2010).

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Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On The Libertines: "The last band I believed in, for all there raggedness, was The Libertines. They were more than just a band, they were a lifestyle, a mythology." (NME, September 2010).

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Added: 14 Sep 2010

Photo: Pieter M Van Hattem/NME

Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On being shy: "Every time I go out and there's more than fucking three people, I feel completely ostracised. I don't think anybody likes me really. People think I'm a little arrogant but it's just chronic shyness.” (Q Magazine, 1998).

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Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On cross-dressing: “I still put the odd dress on, I have to say.” (Kerrang!, 1996).

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Photo: Andy Willsher/NME

Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On the power of rock and roll: "What we've always wanted to do, is just ignite sparks in people's minds. We can't offer a manifesto of how to make your life better." (Spiral Scratch fanzine, 1991).

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Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On seizing the day: “Where there's nature, or where there's breathing, there are true moments of joy. And that's what I try to do, have moments of elation in life, however small, five minutes a day, and be able to think, 'Yeah, that'll do me for now." (Vox, October, 1996).

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Added: 14 Sep 2010

Photo: Andy Willsher/NME

Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On Nick Clegg: "He is the David Brent of fucking politics. He’s like a bad motivational speaker." (WalesOnline.co.uk, 2001).

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Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On the band’s early achievements: "We were at Number 94 in the charts, but everyone had an opinion on us. That was the most brilliant thing we achieved." (Melody Maker, 1994).

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Added: 14 Sep 2010

Photo: Andy Willsher/NME

Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On his disdain for America: "The only good thing about America is that you killed John Lennon." (Onstage in New York, 1992).

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Added: 14 Sep 2010

Photo: Drew Farrell/NME

Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On ‘selling out’: "Signing to a major record company is the price of an education. We don't care what they do to us." (NME, May 1991).

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Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On chaotic gigs: "Last night onstage I really thought that we could have made something happen, started a riot. But it was like looking into the abyss and being really scared of what to do about it.” (NME, April 1994).

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Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On shaking up the status quo: “We’re going to set fire to ourselves on Top Of The Pops." (NME, 1992).

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Photo: Pieter M Van Hattem/NME

Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On Glastonbury: "Someone ought to build a bypass over this shithole." (Onstage at the festival, 1994).

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Added: 14 Sep 2010

Photo: Andy Willsher/NME

Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On *that* Glastonbury quote: "It was supposed to be a joke. It was painful but glorious." (NME, June 2007).

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Added: 14 Sep 2010

Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME

Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On US politics: "If you're an American president you're a cunt. It makes no difference. Bill Clinton is a lovely guy. He has cigars with Bono and Kofi Annan. Does anyone remember Rwanda?" (The Guardian, 2004).

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Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On Princess Diana: "If you're going to commit suicide, at least do a decent job of it, don't try five times." (At a gig, June 1992).

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Added: 14 Sep 2010

Photo: Pieter M Van Hattem/NME

Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On himself: "I do consider myself to be something of a pretentious wanker." (1993).

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Photo: Dan Dennison/NME

Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On staying relevant: "These are tough times for guitar bands. We're on our tenth album, a lot of bands get to their tenth album and they don't really mean anything, I think luckily enough, we're still pretty relevant." (MusicRooms, 2010).

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Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On never writing love songs: “We'll be dead before we have to do that, anyway.” (Snub TV, January 1990).

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Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On sexual health: "I've had herpes since I was 15." (NME, 11th May, 1991).

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Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME

Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On his ambition for Manic Street Preachers: “I wanted to be popular, nothing else.” (Spinal Scratch, 1991).

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Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On ugly rock hacks: “Music journalists don't even look good, I saw Andrew `8 out of 10' Collins on television and I nearly threw up.” (NME, May 1991).

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Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On Manics fans: "The bored underclass from shitty little towns, with no sense of worth, attachments or responsibilities." (Melody Maker, 1992).

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Photo: Sam Jones/NME

Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On his Welsh roots: "Where we come from, people spill out of the pub, kick the shit out of each other, smash up their estate, then beat their wife or girlfriend." (Melody Maker, January 1992).

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Photo: Andy Willsher/NME

Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On ex-porn star Traci Lords: “She was probably the most intelligent American we've ever met in our lives.” (Blackwood TV, January, 1992).

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Photo: Sam Jones/NME

Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On the music press: "The journalists want to create their own little working class playthings to build up and destroy. They don't understand that working class people can have sensitivity." (The Guardian, February 1992).

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Photo: Andy Willsher/NME

Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On his writing partnership with Richey Edwards: "He was black and I was white. I'm not pretending to be the same kind of lyricist as Richey. I don't reach the depths of madness and self-hatred that he did". (Q, February 1996).

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Photo: Andy Willsher/NME

Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On the band's early preoccupations: “Depression, suicide, alcohol, that's what we all found interesting". (February 1996).

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Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On fearing death: “I'd rather live in total misery until I'm 150 than die.” (February 1996).

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Added: 14 Sep 2010

Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME

Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On his love of sport: "I like to think if I'd stuck with cricket I could have been a Welsh Ian Botham." (The Guardian, August 2007).

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Photo: Andy Willsher/NME

Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On milk: "Full cream milk, I'm addicted to that. Skimmed milk is the lowest of the low." (Vox, October 1996).

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Photo: Andy Willsher/NME

Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On Robbie Williams: "Covering George Michael's 'Freedom'? That makes me sick. He said, 'Right, that's it, new attitude. I'm back' - and does a fucking cover version to show he can't write a song and never could in the fucking first place.” (Vox, October 1996).

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Added: 14 Sep 2010

Photo: Andy Willsher/NME

Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On losing his virginity: "I was 18. It was a reasonably pleasurable experience, actually. It was one of those slipped-in-by-accident things. And I ended up marrying her.” (Vox, October 1996).

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Added: 14 Sep 2010

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Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On earning his place in rock history: “One thing we always said we wanted to be was the most important rock band of the decade – and I think that’s the one thing we probably have achieved." (NME, August 1998).

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Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On saying the wrong thing: "I used to look forward to interviews, use them as an opportunity to make a point, but now they're an opportunity to fuck up.” (NME, August 1998).

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Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME

Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On not being recognised for 'Everything Must Go': “I was absolutely gutted we didn't win NME (writers') album of the year. And they gave it to fucking 'Odelay' by Beck. I was really saddened." (NME, August 1998).

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Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On being unpopular: "We've made no friends since we've been in a band. Apart from Martin (Hall, ex-manager) and Psycho, my old mate from college, that's it. And I'm quite happy with that!" (NME, August 1998).

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Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On grizzled music veterans: "If Dr John was playing across the road from me I would not go and see him. If I wanted to hear the blues, I'd listen to Liam Gallagher singing." (NME, August 1998).

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Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME

Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On London: "In a lot of ways I think London is a complete parasite. It doesn't produce any bands." (The Face, September 1998).

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Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On Welsh history: “The Irish all went of to North America and became folk heroes. The Welsh went to Patagonia, this bleak, barren place - and half of them died in the first year.” (Q, October 2008).

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Added: 14 Sep 2010

Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME

Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On fan clubs: "They're shit." (Q, October 2008).

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Added: 14 Sep 2010

Photo: PA

Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On class: "Class is something you can't get rid of no matter how you try. When Damon Albarn tried his best to become working class, he couldn't do it. The classless society is a myth." (Q, October 2008).

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Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On the Manics' arrogance: "We thought we were a million times better than every band." (TV documentary, 1998).

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Added: 14 Sep 2010

Photo: Pieter M Van Hattem/NME

Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On obsessive fans: "There's a famous incident where Richey got sent knives, you know: "Cut yourself for me". I felt something was going out of control.” (TV documentary, 1998).

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Added: 14 Sep 2010

Photo: Pieter M Van Hattem/NME

Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On band bust-ups: "I said to James one night, 'I'm going to leave', and he went out, got wazzed out of his brain, and couldn’t even fucking remember what I'd said to him." (Select, November 1998).

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Added: 14 Sep 2010

Photo: Andy Willsher/NME

Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On hypocritical music stars: "I get incredibly annoyed by The Beastie Boys, and that Tibet thing they do every year. Why don’t they do a concert about the way their own people wiped out a whole race in America?" (Select, November 1998).

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Added: 14 Sep 2010

Photo: Sam Jones/NME

Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On political apathy: "The only thing people seem to be arsed about these days is legalising cannabis. That's what we've reached - and what a sad fucking state of affairs." (Select, November 1998).

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Added: 14 Sep 2010

Photo: Andy Willsher/NME

Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On fairweather fans: "Sometimes it's just as good to see a bunch of lads wrecked out of their heads, jumping up and down, as it is to see hardcore fans down the front, mouthing every single word." (Classic Rock, November 1998).

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Nicky Wire's 50 Most Sharp-Tongued Quotes

On The Drums: "When I see bands being fawned over, it makes me feel ill. There is literally no soul in that band." (NME, September, 2010).

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Added: 14 Sep 2010

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