‘I’d rather stab my f**king eyes out with a pencil than accept an OBE’ says Manics’ Nicky Wire
Manic Street Preachers’ Nicky Wire has taken aim at “supposedly left-leaning” musicians and actors who accept honours from The Queen.
In an interview with music journalist Keith Cameron in this month’s MOJO magazine, the 52-year-old was asked about whether he still abides by his working class values.
“I’m so riddled with doubts and contradictions now, even though I still kept to those principles,” he said. “My kids have been through comprehensive education, I still believe in high taxation and all those kind of things, I stay close to my roots… I haven’t abandoned any of those things at all. But I don’t know if they’re relevant to modern life.”
“You see supposedly left-leaning actors and pop star queuing up to get MBEs and OBEs – and I’d rather f**king stab my eyes out with a pencil than do that. What was it, (Paul) Weller and David Bowie turned down knighthoods? That’s good enough for me.”
It’s not the first time the band have taken a swipe at the Monarchy.
They famously took aim at the Royal Family on ‘Repeat (Stars and Stripes)’ from their debut album Generation Terrorists, with its famous refrain of “Repeat after me, ‘F*** queen and country.”
Back in 1999 the band refused to play a gala concert to celebrate the opening of the Welsh Assembly because of the Queen’s presence.
The Manics had been asked to perform at the concert in Cardiff, which featured the likes of Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey and Sir Harry Secombe performing in front of the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales.
Manics spokeswoman Terri Hall commented at the time: “They would not play in front of the monarchy. It is probably a political thing as well as a personal thing, but they just did not want to play in front of the Royal Family.”
The bass player’s comments come ahead of the release of the band’s 14th studio album ‘The Ultra Vivid Lament’ on September 3.
A departure from their last release, 2018’s ‘Resistance is Futile’, it’s the first Manics’ album initially conceived on piano rather than guitar.
It was recorded over winter 2020/21 in Wales at Rockfield in Monmouth and the band’s Door to the River studio in Newport with longtime collaborator Dave Eringa, before being mixed by David Wrench.
The album features two guest vocalists: Julia Cumming (Sunflower Bean) on ‘The Secret He Had Missed’ and Mark Lanegan on ‘Blank Diary Entry’.
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