“WE always knew it was going to be hard to be away,” says Manic Street Preachers’ frontman James Dean Bradfield, whose band famously played all of their 38 singles during a marathon show at London’s O2 Arena in 2011 before intending to take a well-earned break.
They never did. The Welsh trio returned with 11th studio album Rewind The Film in September – and they’re back already with a 12th longplayer, entitled Futurology.
“The word ‘institutionalised’ carries negative connotations, but we are,” says Bradfield. “We’re institutionalised within the Manics; having something to aim for, being organised, having a schedule, deadlines, being told by the tour manager to be in the hotel lobby for 4.30, we love it.
“We’re very disciplined like that. And if you’ve written songs you love, it’s difficult not to want to play them to people,” he adds.
What would he have done if they’d had more time off? Bradfield shudders at the thought. “I honestly don’t know,” he says, horrified at the idea.
Tomorrow, the band visit the Corn Exchange, where they’ll play from a back catalogue that’s brought them eight Top Ten albums and 15 Top Ten singles – including the No.1s If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next and Masses Against The Classes.
The Manics have consistently railed against consumerism, government and class during their 28-year career – but these days they seem mellower.
“Is that introspection now outweighing any of the traditional angers and passions?” asks Bradfield. “It’s a question we think about. There are lots of questions we ask ourselves, others being ‘Is it ridiculous that we’re still doing this job at the age of 44?’, or, ‘Have we got anything left to say after 11 albums?”
Given the fans’ excitement ahead of their Capital return, it seems like the Manics still have plenty to say.
• Manic Street Preachers, Edinburgh Corn Exchange, New Market Road, tomorrow, £29.50, 0131-477 3500