The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website


GALLERY: Kevin Cummins' Manics Shots
Danny Riley , November 13th, 2014 15:45

Before tQ editor John Doran interviews him at Manchester's Louder Than Words festival this weekend, Kevin Cummins talks us through some of his best shots of the Manic Street Preachers from his upcoming book, Assassinated Beauty


James Dean Bradfield alone on stairwell
That was taken when I went to L.A. with them as a three-piece, we rented a room in a cheap motel to do the shots. That was my idea for the NME cover - I wanted him sat alone, looking quite introspective. The piece was going to be about Richey and the rebirth of the Manics and so on, and I thought the picture was very representative of that. I thought it would be a great cover but NME ended up going with a cover shot of the three of them, but I felt this one told more of a story. I felt the group shots looked slightly awkward because they didn't have Richey in them. Three people in a band photograph is better than four, but they stood awkwardly, they didn't feel right somehow, which is why I felt the shot of James would have made a stronger cover.

The band have been misunderstood quite a lot, I think sometimes people take them too seriously when they're taking the piss. Richey would come out with outrageous quotes in interviews, so would Nicky Wire. It was almost like they were trying to outdo each other. They just wanted to wind people up and shake things up a little bit. If people already dislike you then you are giving them the ammunition to dislike you even more, but you're never gonna get the whole world liking your music. Unless you're, I dunno, Sting.