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Richey Edwards (Manic Street Preachers) Interview, 6 February 1994

This interview, which has been uploaded to YouTube today, was probably one of the last that Manic Street Preachers lyricist & rhythm guitarist Richey Edwards gave before his disappearance, nearly a year later. Most of the interview focuses on the bands late manager, Philip Hall, who’d lost his battle with cancer in 1993, & a special award he was being issued posthumously for services to music. There are, however, strong hints of the depression which drove Edwards to maybe take his own life.

Anyway, this afternoon I transcribed this video, which is why I am sharing it. The reason? Because I have never transcribed anything & wanted to know if I could do it. It’s something I feel the need to practice. I have to say, you really notice all of the utterances & dysfluencies in everyday speech, which we normally don’t pick up on, when you’re transcribing informal interviews like this.

Transcript

Paul King: In fact, first time I’ve ever spoken to you, surprisingly over the years.

Richey Edwards: I recognise you from your dubious past.

PK: But we have, 120 in particular, we’re very supportive of the Manics, from early days. I think it was probably the first people who played those vids

RE: I think so, yeah

PK: But you don’t need that kind of support anymore, you’re… I think you’re one of these, termed as established bands now. Is that what you think you are, would you say?

RE: I don’t think any band is established. Most bands have got a career of, maybe, three or four years, then they fade into oblivion and end up checking out dole checks at the DSS, maybe.

PK: Or you go the other way and end up checking in those tax accountants and making millions, that’s… that’s the other alternative, isn’t it?

RE: Yeah maybe, but that’s for the very lucky, the very few. I don’t think that’ll be us, actually.

PK: Well I’ll always remember, the Manics, that you swore that after the first album, you’d break up then anyway, which you obviously didn’t do.

RE: No, I mean, that was a big… ultimately, we wanted to be the perfect band that could make a record that sold globally, you know, millions, and that there would be no need to make another record. All we’ve ever been interested in doing is making a record which encapsulates a mood and a time and then, it can be a full stop, you know, bye bye. You know? No need. Go and live with my dogs on the coast, wherever.

PK: Well the last records anyway, well the last record, was very well received for the group and was seen very much as a mature progression for yourselves. As songwriters and also as musicians.

RE: Yeah, I mean, it was called mature, which is something I find difficult to live with, but I guess it was. I mean… I think the older you get the more life becomes more… miserable. Definitely. I mean, you just…. All the people you grew up with die. You know, your parents die, grandparents die, your dog dies. Your energy diminishes. There’s less books to read. There’s no more groups to discover, you know. You end up a barren wasteland, just trying to find something new which never really occurs. You end up finding worth in groups which, maybe two or three years ago, you would have just spat on. Which is depressing. Which I do all the time. I mean, I’m getting into Buffalo Springfield, which to me, I mean it’s a nightmare…

PK: For what it’s worth, as the song said (haha)

RE: For What It’s Worth is their best song, but you know…

PK: Well on that positive note then, what are the Manics up to at this moment in time? Getting depressed or actually getting positive.

RE: Well, since Philip died, we cancelled everything and just went into a crappy little studio about a quarter of this room’s size and just been writing new songs, just like we did at the start. Just tried to, you know, maybe….

PK: And Philip Hall was obviously the special award this evening.

RE: Yeah, Philip was a very special person to us. It’s pretty well documented, but we spent, maybe, a year, year and a half writing letters, phoning journalists up, you know, people like MTV. Any address or phone number we got, we would write to or phone up. And there was, like, never any response because, like, an unknown band, you know, who cares, or whatever. And Philip was one of the first people who ever called us back, erm, and he said he was interested in coming to see us play in London, erm, and we obviously couldn’t get any concerts here at all, because it’s impossible. So, he drove down to see us practice in, you know, a crappy little schoolroom in South Wales.

PK: Yes, I mean, it’s well documented the guy…he was a very big supporter of new music, that’s why he’s represented tonight at the awards.

RE: He drove down, he saw us play, he liked what we did, he got us some gigs in the Bull and Gate, you know? the Falcon, wherever. And then, just sort of looked after us. And even then, when we started to get some press, he just said, oh, come and live with us. He’d been married, maybe, like a year. So, we slept on his, like, lounge, his kitchen, wherever was available.

PK: So, I appreciate that for you, this evening, here, with him being represented it’s a more of a… a kind of a reflective mood you find yourselves in tonight.

RE: I mean, the only reason we are here tonight is because of Philip. I mean, we’ve never been to one of these things before in our lives. It was just [for] the memory of Philip that we came here. We’re not the sort of band that is seen en masse, in these sort of public occasions. We’re a very private band. We didn’t like these, kind of, showbiz awards.

PK: Well, on from that, can I get a video from you? Would you like to see anybody?

RE: Ermm.

PK: No (haha).

RE: No (haha), yeah, erm, I’d quite like Roxanne by The Police.

PK: Okay, we can go back in time.

RE: Thanks very much. A long time ago.

PK: The Police.

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