July 26, 2020
The Manic Street Preacher on protest music, Wales’s response to Covid-19 and why you party with ballet dancers at your peril
James Dean Bradfield was born in 1969, and brought up in the south Wales valleys. He formed the Manic Street Preachers at school in 1986 with friends Nicky Wire, Sean Moore and Richey Edwards; after Edwards went missing in 1995, the trio carried on, achieving both critical and commercial success. Next month, Bradfield releases his second solo LP, Even in Exile, with lyrics written by the Welsh poet Patrick Jones.
How has lockdown been for you?
I didn’t leave my corner of Cardiff for months, or see my dad every week, as I always do, so that was hard. He’s 77, and still working as a gravedigger. I’ve also got young kids, eight and four, so I’ve been like the headmaster patrolling the corridors at home. I’ve also been running a lot while listening to music: lots of the Bad Plus, Public Enemy, George Benson, Rush, old C86 compilations. Blondie are amazing to exercise to. You imagine yourself being caught between punk and Jane Fonda.