Manic Street Preachers’ Nicky Wire on Russell Brand’s politics: ‘Voting should be compulsory’

But the bass player says he admires the comedian's 'contrary' ideas

Nicky Wire of Manic Street Preachers has said that he admires Russell Brand’s “contrary” ideas about abstaining from voting but that ultimately he feels “reality” won in the comedian’s quest for a revolution.

Wire speaks alongside his bandmates in the cover feature of this week’s NME, which is available on newsstands from today (July 23) or available digitally now

In the interview, Wire discusses the political themes of the band’s new album ‘Futurology’, including the rise of UKIP in Britain and the prospect of an independent Scotland.


On the subject of Nigel Farrage and his party, Wire remains philosophical, saying that their success lies in the failure of both the coalition government and Labour party. “When you strip it down, they’re not anti-establishment,” he says. “They’ve just found themselves to be an alternative to the eternal status quo of the three main political parties. In my dreams I’d like to think an extreme-left wing political party fronted by me could do similar, but they just fucking got in there!”

Meanwhile, Wire speaks of Brand and his highly publicised idea of political abstinence but feels his ideology was ultimately flawed.

“There’s a bit of me that just loves people being dickheads and being absolutely contrary,” he says. “But then I spent most of my life thinking that democracy is one of the greatest things about living in this country. So there’s the ying and the yang of the great Situationist spectacle, and reality. I think reality won in the end. I think voting should be compulsory under law, anyway. The bottom line was he didn’t seem to have any policy apart from ‘drug rehabilitation for all’!”

See below to watch a new video of Wire and frontman James Dean Bradfield discussing UKIP.


General Election 2019: Conservatives declared winners after disastrous night for Labour

Jeremy Corbyn and Jo Swinson will both stand down as party leaders.

Edward Norton: “If you take your work seriously, it’s all-consuming”

The 'Fight Club' star on working with Thom Yorke, new film 'Motherless Brooklyn' and building a Hollywood legacy