Interview With Manic Street Preachers Drummer Sean Moore, Pt. 1

Anglophenia music contributor Lindsay Davis conducted this exclusive interview with Manic Street Preachers drummer Sean Moore.

It was 1992 when the Welsh band Manic Street Preachers released their first album Generation Terrorists with punk, alt rock, and some might say prophetic gusto. Comprised of guitarist/frontman James Dean Bradfield, bassist Nicky Wire, and drummer Sean Moore, Manic Street Preachers are veterans on the British scene. With nine albums (This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours went to #1 on the UK charts), fifteen top 10 singles (including two #1s, also on the UK charts), and an array of collaborations and covers (including Rihanna‘s “Umbrella”), the Manics are one of the most prolific and inspired groups yet to make a big dent on this side of the pond. With Postcards From A Young Man, their 10th album which drops September 20th on Columbia in the UK, the Manics are ready to take it to the mainstream and crack the US market. (Hey, if Green Day can mount a successful Broadway musical…) I spoke to drummer/vocalist Sean Moore in a 3-part interview exclusively for Anglophenia:    

Where did you get the title for the new album?

Nick. It’s one of his titles that he just plucked out of the air. It was all about looking back when we were young. We used to send postcards to each other. It just had a nice feeling – postcards – you wake up in the morning and somebody’s given you a tiny little portal into their world. You can touch it. You almost felt you were with them even when you weren’t.

What did you guys do on this record that you haven’t done before?

 We’re comfortable with ourselves now. The album’s not a reaction to Journal for Plague Lovers, but it’s just to show people that we can go from one extreme to the other – it’s the schizophrenic nature of our musical taste. Postcards is a bit more commercially acceptable. It’s our last chance to take it to the masses. We’re using radio, TV, and the Internet to promote and get across the idea of the album as a work of art in itself.

It’s commercially acceptable but still musically progressive?

It is, yeah. The album as an art form is slowly diminishing. This is our way to collect all our ideas in a body of work and still reach many people as possible. When you sort of fracture the album down to its tiniest components, with all the track downloads, you lose certain elements of a band’s identity.

Tell me about the first track off the album “(It’s Not War) Just the End of Love.”

James didn’t know the verse would turn out like that but with mine and Nick’s influence it turns into a Manics song. We never have real moments of just ourselves. We’re not only collaborating with fellows but we’re collaborating with history and former artists. That’s the whole thing about evolving and moving on – to have a completely clear thought untouched by human history is impossible.

Go to Part 2 for more about the new album, why Sean feels a hot Manic concert experience is a necessary answer to all our virtual connecting, and which Guns ‘N’ Roses member he considers “a gracious gentleman”…

by Lindsay Davis

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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