Interview With Manic Street Preachers Drummer Sean Moore, Pt. 2

Anglophenia music contributor Lindsay Davis conducted this exclusive interview with Manic Street Preachers drummer Sean Moore. Click here to view Part 1.

Manic Street Preachers‘ 10th album, Postcards From A Young Man, has released in the UK. In Part 1 of Anglophenia’s exclusive interview with Manics drummer Sean Moore, you read about the new album and its first track, the catchy and radio friendly “(It’s Not War) Just the End of Love.” My conversation with Sean continues with his thoughts on bassist Nicky Wire‘s mash-up-inspired description of the new album, the rather rosy experience Sean had working with famed Guns N’ Roses rocker Duff McKagen, and how Sean really feels about living in a virtual world. Check it out:

In July 2009, Nicky said Postcards From A Young Man would be “heavy metal Tam Motown Van Halen playing The Supremes.” Has it lived up to his promise?

(Laughter) I think so. There are elements of Welsh gospel, too, if you could call it that! Our tastes have gone all over from AC/DC to Queen, and from L.A. rock bands to dance music like Chemical Brothers. We have such a breadth of musical influences, even classical, like Claude Debussy. We’ve always drawn on the best of human culture throughout history and try it make it our own like the way Picasso or any artist would.

Speaking of L.A. rock bands, you brought in Ex-Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan on the track “A Billion Balconies Facing The Sun.” What was that like?

He dug out an Appetite for Destruction bassline and we were all sorta smiley and so pleased by it. He was such a gracious guy. He offered to come to us [in Cardiff], but we didn’t want to put him out so we went to L.A. to record. It’s good to see there are still people like that in music.

Writer and BBC Radio 2 host Stuart Maconi writes that “A Billion Balconies Facing The Sun” depicts the Internet as a place “where self-obsession and narcissism, crudity and hatred have taken the place of real human contact and feeling.” Do you agree?

Well, that’s the whole thing – it’s like we’re all celebrities now and the virtual world has taken over from the real world. It’s almost like you’re sending out a robot version of yourself, sort of an unreal image of yourself, while your real broken up, aging crippling self is locked in a room for nobody else to see. We think we’re quite happy connecting with our little webcams.

Is the concert experience an answer to all this virtual connecting?

Yes, it’s the most tangible bit of realism and contact that any band has left. You can smell and feel the heat…the noise of the gig – and you can feel what a band is all about. It’s very difficult to convey that through the Internet. Live, you have the power to change a moment, almost instinctively, in a split second. I know it’s posted on the internet for eternity but for that split moment in person, that’s probably the truest moment that can be had for a band.

More to come in the final installment of my interview with Sean Moore, including his musical influences and inspirations, which up-and-coming British bands he wants you to know about, and the Manics’ plans to tour the States early next year.

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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