Five tracks from the forthcoming 'Know Your Enemy' found their way on to the web - but the band insist they don't care...

MANIC STREET PREACHERS dismissed the leaking of songs from their new album from their label SONY’s website as “just incompetence” during a webchat with fans.

The band were questioned by fans over the recent incident, when five songs – ‘So Why So Sad’, the full version of ‘Found That Soul’, which had been available as a 30-second clip on [url=], ‘Freedom of Speech Won’t Feed My Children’, ‘Miss Europa Disco Dancer’ and ‘Ocean Spray’ – were found by net-savvy fans who guessed at the URL and traced them on Sony’s website. The songs were then converted to MP3 files and posted on several fan websites, and swapped via the Internet.

Bassist Nicky Wire said: “I guess it’s just Sony’s incompetence. We don’t care at all, because to be honest it just shows that these multinational companies are very fallible.”

Frontman James Dean Bradfield added: “When we were young we wanted to see the artwork, read the lyrics. We think it should be part of the whole experience.”

Wire – who was critical of Napster in an interview with NME.COM last week, describing it as a money-making corporation “as evil as Coca Cola” – admitted that he doesn’t look at fan websites and the band have little time for the Internet. Bradfield said he had visited a few websites, but added: “To be honest I’m such a luddite I haven’t had much experience in it.”

During the webchat, which you can read by [a][/a], Bradfield likened Eminem’s lyrics to Shaun Ryder’s.

“To a certain degree he’s like Shaun Ryder was ten years ago. Lyrically, they are similar. Both very adept at actually not letting themselves be censored by what they think is wrong or right. I am not surprised so many people take him seriously.”

Speaking about their forthcoming return to the live arena this weekend in Havana, Cuba – which NME.COM will be covering in full – Bradfield said there was no grand gesture behind the decision to unveil their new album there, adding: “Everybody assumes we’re going to Cuba as a grand gesture, but one of us just said it would be great to do our first gig in Cuba. It’s our sixth album, and we think we should be able to do what we want. People say it’s so obvious, but why didn’t we do it before? Why are people so surprised?”

And Wire added that, while there will still be old Manics tracks included in the set during their forthcoming sold-out UK tour, there would be an emphasis on new material.

The tour calls at:

Manchester Apollo (March 27, 28)

London Brixton Academy (30, 31)

Glasgow Barrowland (April 2, 3)

The double-barrelled singles ‘So Why So Sad’ and ‘Found That Soul’ will be released simultaneously on March 5, while the album ‘Know Your Enemy’ follows on March 19.