Nicky Wire: The way I see it
Published 28 May 2009 in The New Statesman
The Manic Street Preachers bassist on art and politics
Does art make a difference?
Definitely. For me, just watching a South Bank Show special on Francis Bacon when I was young or hearing Morrissey talk about Oscar Wilde signalled that theres a great universe out there that you have to explore.
Its the hardest thing to do, but when you get it right, its fantastic Picassos Guernica, the Specials music. My band, Manic Street Preachers, got closest with If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next. We had a song about the Spanish Civil War top the charts.
You go through a period where it does. We were the quintessential educated, working-class band. When you get money, it does stifle your ambition initially.
At the moment, there are two: Jenny Saville, whos done two of our album covers, and the poet RS Thomas. He unpicks the fragile Welsh psyche.
Id definitely write a song for an anti-litter campaign.
A cleaner. I applied to work at the Foreign Office when I left uni, but I know I could never have done it.
Id follow the Scandinavian thing and say kids dont have to go to school until theyre seven or eight.
The royal family. They should be privatised put them through the fucking misery that weve all gone through.
The idea of legacy post-Tony Blair is deeply unsettling and somehow sickening.
I have an odd sense of patriotism. I cant stand it when someone says, for example: I like Brazil because they play the best football.
I think we are. I have thought this since I was 12 years old. I think it was after the night I saw Threads. We are always one step away from utter destruction.