MANIC STREET PREACHERS - FROM THERE TO HERE.

[Nicky, talking over clips of the Slane castle gig]
Here we are playing in front of 70,000 people. The first time we played in Dublin, 1992 I think it was, there was about 162 people in a tiny little club. Them out there are pretty much out numbered by the people who think we've always been a three-piece, it's quite a strange situation for us sometimes, playing songs that people think were written by the three of us, when there not. Some of them might not even realise Richey was in the group, they might not realise how close we were, how we grew up together all that kind of stuff.

[small clip of 'if you tolerate this then your children will be next' from Slane castle]

[Narrator]
With a number one single and album, the Manic Street Preachers are one of the biggest bands in Britain, but their original leader and lyricist Richey Edwards never got to share their success.

[an old interview with Richey]

[Interviewer]
Do you feel you've been failure ever since then?

[Richey]
I think we've always felt failures all our lives we've never felt much worth. I mean that's the reason we started the band, we just had complete contempt for our own lives because everything in the past always seems much more beautiful than anything you've got now.

[news clip from HTV news, 21st February 1995]

Fears are growing for the safety of Welsh pop star Richey James after his car was found near the Severn Bridge. The 27 year old guitarist from Cardiff disappeared three weeks before his band; the Manic Street Preachers were due to fly to America for a tour.

[Sean]
The week that he went missing, sort of, I just didn't know what to do, he was the front man, he did promote the group's ideas and we didn't know whether the group was going to carry on.

[Nicky]
Richeys always with us when we're on stage, whether he's with them [meaning the fans], I don't really give a shit. The past three years have been the most successful but not necessarily the best.

[cut to a very old clip of the band, circa 1991]

[James]
Welcome to the [can't quite make out this word-sorry] pop studio. I'm James, I play guitar and sing.

[Nicky]
I'm Nicky Wire and I play bass.

[Richey]
I'm Richey and I play guitar.

[Sean]
I'm Sean and I play drums.

[all four of them together in really corny voices]
And we're the Manic Street Preachers.

[clip of slash and burn]

[Patrick Jones, Nicky's brother]
The Manics talked lipstick and they talked Lenin, they talked Marilyn and they talked Marx and they threw it all together and they understood that the combination of politics, rather than just droning about the politics, the combination of the politics with the iconography that made it exciting. They were full of hate and desire.

[old live clip of 'Repeat']

[James Brown, editor of GQ magazine]
The fact that they were from Wales I reckon incited them more, because in the early 90's the Welsh were well on their way to becoming the new Pakistanis or the new Irish. Its quite prevalent, I think it probably started with bashing Neil Kinnock, it'd become very common to just slag the Welsh off and I'm sure that probably built up their sense of alienation. They came from Blackwood, where's Blackwood?

[scenes of Blackwood, played over 'Small Black Flowers That Grow In The Sky']

[narrator]
Blackwood is a former mining town deep in the valleys of south Wales. It was here during the 1970's that four young boys formed a bond that was to endure far beyond the boundaries of this small and close community. James Dean Bradfield and Sean Moore are cousins, from the age of ten they grew up in the same house living with James' parents, they met Richey Edwards and Nicky Wire in primary school.

[Nicky]
I was born in Woodfield side which is about 1/2 a mile from Blackwood on the hill. It's not a rock and roll thing to say but I had a great childhood. It's one of the things I've always found really annoying, the charactiture of working class life, that it's chips and beans, and you know, you're shouted at and not encouraged and all the rest. It's just not like my life at all. My Mum and Dad helped me in everything I did. Richey lived up the road and we always used to play football with him, our street against his street. His nickname was Teddy Edwards because he looked like a little teddy bear, he was a little cuddly sort of fella.

[Patrick]
There was a sense of community, a sense of people had work to go to, they had, you know, some pride in their work. Although there was always a sense of tension growing up too, that working class violent type of culture going on as well. I don't think it was the idealistic community to grow up in, just because of the mines. I think there was a lot of undercurrents going on with stereotypical, masculine behaviour and ideals to live up to by being a male, I think, you know.

[Narrator]
The last slag-heap in Blackwood is now being flattened and landscaped, the final vanishing reminder of the town's mining past. Like much of south Wales; Blackwood is a place that was changed forever by the outcome of the 1984 miner's strike.

[one of the Welsh miners speaking at the time of the strike]
There is no going back! There is no surrender! We win, we fight or we die in the attempt!, thank you.

[clip of 'Repeat']

[James]
At the miner's strike, you know, everything seemed at stake. I just remember me Mam and Dad coming home from work and just watching the news and having very intense conversations, there were a lot of furrowed brows and to a certain degree, when you're that old, you kind of shy away from it, sort of 'I'm just going out for a run' or you went out and played football with your friends. You hoped and tried to pretend that those expressions on your Mother and Father's faces weren't a realistic indication of what was going to happen.

[Nicky]
The Welsh miners were the last to give in so that when they lost, generally, peoples heads dropped a little bit. You know, we were defeated.

[James]
The way the miner's strike ended had a massive affect on us. At that point we hated words like - sincerity, passion, ideology, belief kind of, suddenly, you know, we just wanted to turn all those words into something else, we wanted to try, we didn't want to, we didn't want to believe in those little sayings like 'better to die, than to live on your knees' that kind of glorious, going down in a blaze of glory. We wanted to be so intelligent that we're never going to get beaten, we don't want to just rely on the passion of a true heart, we want to be so intelligent that we'd never get bludgeoned, as out history was bludgeoned and beaten into the ground.

[clip of 'you love us']

[Narrator]
But it wasn't just intelligence that set the four boys apart. They formed a band which adopted the nihilistic pose of punk and, at odds with the male values of the dying, mining culture all around them, they embraced the gender bending of glam-rock.

[Nicky]
We kind of liked the same music, we did our hair the same way [laughs] spraying coke on it to make it stick up, all that kind of stuff. Sean, obviously living with James, both of them very musical, it all started to come together.

[Patrick]
I remember Nick going in to a pub with a dress on, which was quite a wild thing to do then and dyeing his hair peroxide white, so you know, they were different to the ordinary sort of people around.

[Nicky]
I think we felt apart from that culture, we acted against it and when you read a situation, as to the beats, you kind of felt this glamorous outside world and you know there's no doubt, we did feel apart from it.

[James]
We got into a bit of a groove where we'd practice in the front room and then pile up here with fish finger sandwiches and stuff and argue about silly things - Tyson vs. Niche, Camus vs. Sartre, McCartney vs. Guns and Roses, Clash vs. Public Enemy, those kind of arguments.

[An old clip of Richey]
Reading William Burroughs, Ken Kesey [he says a load of other names but I can't make them out] all books were just as exciting to us as records, you know, there wasn't much difference.

[James]
We kind of sucked ourselves into a vacuum, it was strange. I remember feeling worried once or twice, I kept thinking this can't be healthy. Four boys 18 or 19 years old, climbing on the top bunks and arguing about silly things. We'd be there on a Friday night, click-click, the sound of high heals going past your window, people coming home from the pubs, that sort of stuff, I just thought this can't be healthy.

[Cerys Matthews from Catatonia]
I remember the Manics because they were so preposterously full of belief. I just admire their conviction more than anything, in the face of all the ignorance and bad attitude towards the Welsh at the time, they just went full on.

[clip of Motown Junk]

[Terry Hall, wife of Philip Hall]
They were extremely ambitious and they were very, very studious and I do remember over dinner in the evenings, sitting in the living room, they would have their little manifesto out and their notes and particularly Richey; who would write books of notes.

[Sean]
Richey was, for want of a better word, our minister of propaganda. He'd studied modern political history so in a way he was our think tank.

[Another old interview with the band]

[Richey]
If you're told what youth culture is it's not much use, everybody knows what they want to do, then they're told something else and they do it. Youth is just the ultimate product. We just want to mix, like, sex and politics. We're the most the original band in the last 15 years just because we don't want to do anything that's been done before, what we aspire to, isn't what other band aspire to.

[Nicky, commenting on previous clip]
Richey is really organised, you can tell he's got set things to say and he's going to say them whatever.

[James]
Yeah, it's almost as if he's using the Alexandra technique to calm himself down and he's gone with it, very impressive.

[Nicky]
It's a really weird situation for us as a band because Richey had no musical input what so ever. At the time the lyrics were always 50% mine, 50% his, but to a lot of people he was seen as the leader of the band and it's an incredibly strange situation because, I mean he was a leader in some sense in that he enjoyed doing interviews, he enjoyed looking fantastic. People kind of saw him as a figurehead.

[Another old interview with the Richey]
Basically we just wrote loads and loads of letters away to people and made a single, pressed 300 out, did it all ourselves and just gave them away. We didn't bother playing where we came from, we just got a couple of shows in London and phoned up journalists, got them down, got a couple of reviews, then got a manager, then we got signed by Columbia records put out two singles we're singed to CBS, just easy really. [I'm not sure if this bit about the company signing is right, I think it's what Richey said, but they were still on Columbia when they put out GATS weren't they, ah well, maybe I heard it wrong.]

[Clip of 'Stay Beautiful' with the amps on waaaaaay to load, sounds kinda kewl though :-) ]

[Nicky]
We had an agenda in our head, probably 50% of which came true, I mean selling the 26 million albums and splitting up didn't come true but most of the other stuff did. At the time there was defiantly a gap for an intellectual, working class band, who you know, who made a noisy racket.

[more of 'Stay Beautiful']

[James Brown, editor of GQ magazine]
The most exciting thing in British music at the time I first came across the Manics were The Stone Roses, The Happy Mondays, New Order - the Manchester bands and the bands they influenced like the inspiral carpets and the charlatans which was a collective music scene based around one city specifically, it was like a football crowd going to see bands.

[clip of Happy Mondays, ewwww!]

[Nicky]
Shaun Ryder's great political statement was loose fit about jeans being baggy. It fitted in perfectly and I can see the point in it, the whole baggy ethic. But for us we wanted to take it a bit further. It just didn't have enough depth for us, it was just about music or drugs.

[James]
A lot of out energy came from, well, we did truly despise some of the other bands at the time, we actually hated them.

[Nicky]
We thought we were a million times better than every band.

[Sean]
We had to be more than just a fashion really; especially coming from Wales.

[Nicky]
Yeah.

[clip of 'Love's Sweet Exile']

[Narrator]
The Manic Street Preachers deliberately put themselves out of step with laddish party sound of the early 90's, instead they stuck to their meticulously planned agenda of trying to inspire a generation with their trademark slogans of boredom and despair. Richey in particular connected the bands bleak outlook with the void left by the miners strike.

[Richey]
We've just got nothing to lose because we're secure in the knowledge that we lost it a long time ago.

[Interviewer]
So what will you do if it goes horribly wrong?

[Richey]
Just go back to where we came from, no big thing.

[Interviewer]
What about, say, when you get to the age of 35, would you feel bitter?

[Richey]
I feel bitter and twisted right now, it's not going to change no matter how old I am.

[Narrator]
The Manic Street Preachers knowing combination of punk, sex and politics made them the darlings of the music press and gave them a small, but dedicated cult following. For the restless Richey Edwards it just wasn't enough.

[Richey]
We just find it really sad, we thought being in a band would be so brilliant and yet it just becomes a routine like anything else. You know, whatever you choose to do in life, even if you love it, within a few months of doing it it's just the same thing every day but now it's just - wake up, travel, sound check, gig, wake up, travel, sound check, gig. When we first started that was brilliant and now it's just the same. There's something about human nature that just reduces life down to a routine.

[Clip of 'La Tristesse Durera']

[Nicky]
Culture, alienation, boredom and despair was a tenant of our life. I mean, it was overplayed a little bit because I always loved coming home. I'd got married and all the rest of it and I had a life outside the band. Richey never had that, I think that's why the outsider chic appealed more to Richey. At the start it was all of us, it dissipated with us, but with Richey, it never ever left him, you know, I mean, it just never did. He never had enough outside the band.

[More of 'La Tristesse Durera']

[Terry Hall]
Richey didn't know how to live, how to be happy. I remember him saying he was going to be married by the end of the year, and it was like, well have you got a girlfriend Richey?. I think he felt that because me and Philip were happy or because his parents were happy, then happiness would follow lets get married. There was no girlfriend, it was a bizarre kind of, if I have that then I'll be OK, it was one of the abstract things he saw.

[Narrator]
Richey's frustration increased and began to manifest itself in binge drinking, bulimia and, most dramatically, in public self-mutilation.

[Sean]
He started drinking heavily and smoking a lot more. He used to put out his cigarettes on his arm, but the actual cutting didn't really start until we played in Norwich. We did a gig in Norwich, Steve Lamacq came along and we toured with him. At the end of the gig Richey sort of ran up to him and started discussing various things and Steve Lamacq, sort of brought up the integrity of the band.

[Steve Lamacq, ex journalist (I don't think he does it anymore), Radio 1 presenter and all round tosser]
I said, you know, don't you think that sometimes the what you portray yourselves, the way you look and some of the slogans and the actions, erm, don't show off your real depth [Sorry, I have to interrupt here to say this is a complete crock and his story has changed A LOT over the last few years] and they may mislead people and people may not actually think you're 'for real'. We went backstage, just behind this sort of barrier, out of sight of everyone else and he started out on this en-passioned, erm, kind of statement of what he thought the Manic Street Preachers were about. While he did it, from somewhere he'd got a razor blade and while he was talking he started to cut down his arm. The first cut looked like it must have hurt, at the time I'm sort of looking down at him but he's carrying on. He had this really, one thing I have remembered, he had this really spellbinding face, erm, you can see why people were attracted to Richey. I'm looking at him and glancing down and we're still having this conversation about where the Manics stood and how they were perceived as a rock and roll band and as a force. Anyway he gets to the end and we're still talking. People say to me, 'why didn't you stop him?', it happened like that and it was like, I don't know going into shock a little bit. It was his presence and the tone of his voice - mesmeric I think probably, so I didn't stop him. We carried on talking until I said 'look this has got to stop' and almost made light of it by saying 'because you're making a mess of the carpet' [see what I mean, does anyone with the slightest amount of brain power say that to someone who is holding a razor blade in their hand and has just cut there arm open, I know I wouldn't]

[a couple of pictures of Richey's arm after above incident]

[Interviewer]
Did you do that for publicity?

[Richey]
No I was just talking to a journalist afterwards, I was talking to him for about an hour and at the end of it he just basically didn't believe what we were saying, he just thought it was hype generated by a press officer or whatever and I just cut myself to show him that we mean it.

[Nicky]
I didn't see him doing it but when I saw him coming out, I thought it was such an amazing, fantastic statement. I just thought I wish I had the guts to do that, I just thought it was brilliant.

[James]
That wasn't planned that night. I think he knew he was going to do it, but hadn't told the rest of us. For a second you think, to go though that must take something, different. There must be a different ingredient inside him because he's way different from me if he can do that. I remember thinking that, then reverting to the 'god, he's a fool' [laughs], you know.

[Stuart Ballie-Writer]
It was the ultimate answer to the people who doubted them and straight away you had those ghoulish people, who, they wore the eye makeup, they wore the kind of silks and the kind of, almost glammed up, but quietly sad at the same time. They all started appearing at the gigs and they all obviously related to Richey very much and Nicky, I think backed off from that, quite slowly, but he certainly got away from that and it became the Richey cult.

[Clip from 'Archives Of Pain']

[Narrator]
During the making of their third album, 'The Holy Bible', their manager, Philip Hall died of cancer. The band were badly shaken and the tragedy deepened Richey's on going depression. For the first time he took complete control of the lyrics and the imagery of a Manic Street Preachers album. Drawing on the horror of the Holocaust, the holy bible is regarded as one of the darkest albums in rock and roll. By this stage the rest of the band were finding it difficult to share Richey's vision.

[Nicky]
Richey wrote this song called 'Die In The Summertime'. The lyric, well I just though, 'I don't want to write any lyrics to that!'. Sometimes on the holy bible, I did lines or titles or little bits and pieces but this certain song. There's a song on there called 'Yes' about basically how he felt he had become a prostitute and comparing himself to a prostitute - the way he lived his life. 'Archives Of Pain' which is about revenge and death. It's just that at the time we didn't realise it but then when cracks started appearing it did seem like that album was, - fulfilling a prophecy.

[Narrator]
The Holy Bible tour began in Thailand where the cult of Richey as self destructive rock and roll icon was becoming dangerously out of control.

[More from 'Archives Of Pain']

[James]
It does seems like we pick up a bug as soon as we leave Thailand. To me it's almost like as soon as we left Thailand it was something we just couldn't shake off. Richey's status as kind of a nihilistic icon or whatever you want to call it, it felt like it crystallised at that point.

[Nicky]
There was a psycho element there, I mean there's a famous incident where Richey got sent knives, you know these little funny knives by a fan and they said 'cut yourself for me'. I felt something was going out of control.

[Terry Hall]
He certainly didn't like touring particularly. I think for him, you know the idea of just doing it again and doing it for a fourth or fifth time was probably too much really, although he would never admit it because his life was the Manics, you know to suddenly drop out and become an ex-member of the Manic Street Preachers living in Cardiff bay was not glamorous so his alternative was to stay and to stay was obviously making him ill and making him unhappy.

[Nicky]
He was in a terribly bad way, he really was. When he went to the NHS mental home that was probably, well when I saw him there, it was pretty hard; he was drugged out of his skull and just wandering around in his pyjamas, sort of a total cuckoo's nest.

[Sean]
The biggest thing that really, really disturbed me was the 1st time I visited him in Cardiff at the clinic he was in. He was there in his arm chair, smoking a cigarette. At the time he was very shaken, he was on medication and he still managed to get up out of his chair and give a little smile and was all 'Oh, hello Sean, thanks for coming and visiting me' I just thought, 'this isn't the place, you're not going to get it, there isn't going to be any real improvement here, you can't stay here'.

[Nicky]
He was very thin, the humanity had kind of gone out of him. We went straight from there to this long tour of France, this horrendous tour. One morning I came downstairs and he was just banging his cheek against the wall of the hotel in his pyjamas and stuff. One night I went into his bedroom, it was in Amsterdam and I realised he'd cut himself again and I was like really annoyed so I sat there for hours chatting to him and he said 'it makes me feel so good' and it was like, well what do you do? Then we did the Astoria's, for three nights we all had nosebleeds, the last night was a joy, we just trashed everything. I really felt like 'something's finished here' and it turned out to be the last gig we ever did with Richey.

[clips of the band smashing up equipment at the above gigs]

[James]
I still find it very hard to actually, kind of, deduct what was happening at that point. I'm not quite sure because our lyrics and what we wanted to do as a band had become so much a part of our everyday lives and I don't quite know what's symptomatic of what really. I find it very confusing, I do, because, obviously I've tried to break it down a million times and explain to myself and failed, miserably. So I've given trying to explain it.

[Nicky]
We went and rehearsed for the last time in a place in Surrey. We went and rehearsed for 5 days and those were the best 5 days we'd had all that year. He was on top form, he was really lovely and cuddly and we really got on well again, all 4 of us. It was brilliant, Richey bought us a couple of presents, it just seemed that everything was fine or he was thinking 'this is my last, this is my last goodbye'. I didn't think that at the time, it just seemed, I thought 'this is really nice' and that was the last time I saw him.

[Narrator]
After the rehearsals in the 'house in the woods' studio, Richey and James were due to fly out to promote the album in America.

[Sean]
We didn't want to go out to America and fly, but him being the front man and James being the singer they had to go out and do the promotion. We went to the Embassy hotel with James and they booked in as normal and James had called in later in the evening to say 'see you in the morning', I forget what time it was, probably about 9 o'clock and that was it really. I remember James ringing up Martin and telling him Richey had gone, taken the car and everything. We didn't think something serious would happen but we thought he was under a little bit of pressure. I think his parents went down and let themselves into his flat and on the side was his passport and credit cards, he hadn't taken anything with him. There was no bags there, he'd basically left all his belongings at the flat. Whatever he was wearing at the time he just took off in.

[Nicky]
I rushed straight down to his flat when I found out he'd gone missing and sort of, waited around. But it turned out I'd missed him, because I'd left in the morning and I didn't find out until 1 o'clock he'd gone missing or 12 o'clock, but when I actually got in his flat and found out, I forget what [pauses], the ticket from the Severn crossing or whatever had the time on it, you know, I'd missed him by a few hours.

[James]
I wouldn't say I was blasť about it, but I thought there might be a happy outcome, I thought he'd turn up. It took 2 weeks for it to hit me it'd got very serious, you know. After two week and he hadn't turned up I thought 'he's taking this very seriously, I mean VERY seriously'. It took a while for it to sink in for me, it's a certain numbness after that I suppose.

[Nicky]
The longer it went on, the more I thought, 'well, he's not coming back'. It was a terrible two or three months really. The two or three months where you just thought every knock at the door, every phone call, every single thing was related to his disappearance. If you missed the phone and you pressed 1471 [in the UK dialling 1471 will get 'digital Dorothy' to tell you the last number that called] and it's a phone number you didn't recognise or something, you start to think, was that him. His parents, he was in constant contact with his parents, you could see the effect it was having on them. Some Japanese promoter was trying to sue us because we cancelled the tour, we were like 'how do you expect us to come when he's still missing?' and he was like 'ah, but I lose honour', you know, 'I don't fucking care about your honour', I mean, how bad would it have seemed if we'd gone to do a tour of Japan when your best mates gone missing?

[clip of BBC news report]
Young men between the ages of 15 and 24 now account for 3/4 of all those who take their lives every year. The charity [the Samaritans] wants young people who are depressed to phone for help before they become suicidal, our social affairs correspondent Andrew Burrows reports. Pop groups like the Manic Street Preachers have tapped into the depressive mood with songs of loneliness and despair. [clip of 'Motorcycle Emptiness'] Their guitarist Richey James disappeared last month leaving his car near a well known suicide spot and the current malaise can be measured by the mountain of letters sent to Melody Maker [for anyone that doesn't know Melody Maker is a music paper, like the NME - only worse :-) ] by young people who identified with his songs.

[excerpt from one of the letters]
'...oh Richey why?, I don't understand, I though you were getting better...'

[James, commenting on previous clip]
I find it hard that it was reported as a suicide, because I think that's grossly irresponsible.

[Nicky]
It's just like when a "normal person" who disappears, not necessarily suicide, they just disappear. Some people have moved from Middlesborough to Newcastle and have never been seen for 25 years, then they get re-united. You can't avoid the sensationalism of Richey's story, it's impossible not to isn't it? It's a rock and roll mystery, isn't it? I think what people miss is the kind of, just the fact that he was in a Vauxhall Cavalier; it's much more Reginald Perin than Lord Lucan, you know? It's real, he was genuinely doing what he had to do.

[Narrator]
With Richey Edwards, the prime figurehead of the Manic Street Preachers missing, the future looked bleak for his three friends. Even those closest to them, felt the band was probably finished.

[Terry Hall]
I don't think in the first few months of Richey's disappearance we even thought about the Manic Street Preachers and what they should do. I didn't think Nicky Wire would want to continue, I think Nick was the closest to Richey.

[Nicky]
I started to write 'Design For Life' more than anything. It was like a two page poem really and I just gave it to James, it must have been about three months after Richey went missing. It wasn't a conscious decision to start writing again, but I just thought, 'well it's got loads of content' and he just took the bare bones of it and phoned me up and told me he thought he'd written this fantastic song and described it on the phone and all the rest of it. Then we decided perhaps we should just have a practice because, no disrespect to Richey, but musically it didn't make any difference practising anyway. As soon as we played 'Design For Life' together we thought, 'well you know, at least this deserves to be heard so lets practice for a few months.' There was no big dramatic hold hands meeting, 'oh we miss Richey' and all the rest of it, we're just not that sort of group.

['Design For Life' from the 'Everything Live' video]

[Stuart Ballie (I think :-) ]
'Design For Life' was an astonishing song to come back with. It didn't milk the situation, there were no refernces to Richey, it was a song about working class pride and regional pride and the traditional welfare state; which is an amazing thing to write a song about anyway.

[Sean]
It encapsulates, I think, everything that we think, it sort of portrays the idealistic sort of view of the lifestyle of the working class. The 'libraries gave us power' thing, though education you can improve yourself and for me it's just a great sense of working class pride; that this country is supposedly built on. People actaully felt some sort of apathy with the lyrics and some sense of belonging or whatever. Where as with the holy bible we had sort of isolated and alienated ourselves from everyone, it was the first time we really felt we'd been embraced by people.

[James]
We had to take control to a certain degree, we had to stop cramming our lyrics for clues, we wanted to sink back into music, we wanted to put out some music we could sink back into for once.

[clip from the brit awards]

[Nicky]
It's the first time we've ever been recognised publically or whatever. It was exciting after everything we'd been though, it was glamourous.

[Narrator]
The award winning album 'Everything Must Go' gave the Manic Street Preachers the success they'd always dreamed of, although it featured some songs with lyrics left by Richey, the new found emotional scope of the music came only in the wake of his dissappearance.

[Stuart Ballie]
There certainly wasn't a given that they'd be sucessful in the future or that they'd make a record that was compartivly easy to listen to or that was very emotional. But they came up with 'Design For Life, 'Australia' and 'No Surface, All Feeling' they were the beautiful songs. They'd found a kind of beauty again which I don't think they would necessarily have with Richey there.

[Clip of 'Small Black Flowers That Grow In The Sky']

[Sean]
It wouldn't have been the same if Richey had still been with us, it wouldn't have brought out the emotions that it did.

[James]
I don't think we could have done the last album without going though what we went though, you know. It sounds torn and melancholy, musically and lyrically it's an achievement, it's like catch 22 really, you can't get there from here, here from there.

[Nicky]
For the first time I'm comfortable and at ease with where I grew up and what it means and how it formed me. I'm 29 now and I think I've reached a bit of maturity, because when you're young you kind of react against it. Richey's famous quote was 'if Blackwood was a museum it'd be full of rubble and shit.' Which is just teenage angst, loads of the traits of our environment were with us with us realising it, the work ethic, a sort of general politeness and decency; which didn't come across to the press, but whenever people met us they'd couldn't get over how clean and lovely we were and all that sort of stuff. It is the first time we feel more comfortable with what we are.

[James]
The mood that purveys the new album, it's almost homestead lyricism or homestead wisdom which Nick has got. It's the first time Nick has had to write all the lyrics on an album, he's very happy with them and sounds, just very sure of himself really, very at ease with ourselves. Not at ease with our audience, just with ourselves so there's still a sense of confrontation there [can't make the next few words out because someone at the beeb fucks up and speaks over the top of it] but also we can't help being melancholic, it's always in our music and we just can't get rid of it.

['Black Dog', BTW this is a live performance of the song, some of the lyrics are slightly different to the album version]

[James]
I'd say it came from the hills, it always feels as if something's coming up from the ground and clawing you into it.

[Nicky]
I still think about him every single day, sometimes I think about what he's doing or what he could be doing or is he happy. The only kind of thing I stick to is he's done what he wanted to do, whatever the outcome and that's the only thing that gives me any comfort, is that he took his decision. If I thought he was mentally unstable or something like that then I'd feel awful about it. To think that he controlled what he wanted to do then it just gives me some grain of comfort really and I really don't know, he could turn up on my doorstep tomorrow.

[More of 'Black Dog']

The End.

Transcribed by Michael Withington
Withington@dial.pipex.com

Well that's it; 7 days, 15 sheets of A4 paper, 6276 words later it's finished. I don't mind you putting this up on your own site or forwarding it or whatever as long as all this garbage is kept at the bottom.