CR AWARDS: The Manics
Nicky Wire celebrates the Manics winning the Classic Songwriter award.
Classic Songwriter (sponsored by Fender)
Winner: Manic Street Preachers
Congratulations on being this year’s Classic Songwriters. How do you feel?
Nicky Wire (bass): Just very special. There’s such a back story with the Manics that people often forget we wouldn’t be here if we hadn’t written some good tunes. Having said that, it was a pretty weird set-up. Me and Richey [Edwards, who went missing in 1995] wrote the lyrics and James [Dean Bradfield] and Sean [Moore] did the music. It was very unconventional, but somehow we managed to make a career out of it.
Can you shed any light on the secret of what makes a classic song?
It’s quite simple, you have to be in love with the art form. For us, we still think we can write something that will communicate with a load of people. It’s not just about internalising everything, more about looking out to the wider world.
Are you able to pinpoint a time when you thought: ‘Yeah, okay, we’re pretty good at this?’
For me personally, it would be around the time of Send Away The Tigers [the band’s eighth album, issued in 2007] because I started writing more tunes then. Lyrically speaking, it would be circa The Holy Bible . Richey’s lyrics were just on another planet and I thought I’d found my own feet.
Are you enjoying the evening?
There are so many of my childhood heroes here, it’s almost got to the point where I’m not enjoying it because I’m so nervous. It’s just staggering.
Anyone in particular?
[Lost for words]: Oh… Roger Daltrey. Deep Purple, they’re so underrated. And Ian Paice, what a fucking amazing drummer.
How’s the preparation going for the O2 Arena show on December 17?
[Winces]: It’s not as easy as we thought. There are a lot of words, a lot of notes to learn. But we’re getting there.
And after that the Manics are going to “disappear for quite a long time”? Are you able to quantify that in any way?
Not really. Winning this award and the O2 gig, it’s just a good time to draw a line in the sand. We’ll go away and do something that excites us. If we don’t get goosebumps then you can’t expect the public to do so.
(Interview: Dave Ling)
The awards issue of Classic Rock is on sale now.
Buy the digital edition here http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/id451398560?mt=8&affId=1621074&ign-mpt=uo%3D6 or here http://bit.ly/sQiaRB
Zinio editions are available here http://bit.ly/ukyn52 or here http://bit.ly/rAwV8P