Nicky Wire is the nom-de-guerre of Nicholas Allen Jones, bassist and lyricist for the Manic Street Preachers.

He was born on the 20th of January, 1969 in Tredegar in the south of wales. He gained the nickname Wire at an early age, due to his tall, skinny build, and not, as I used to think, because of the band. He was also known as Shirley, due to his tendency to wear dresses and make-up, something he still does today. He was fairly athletic, too; at one stage he was captain of the welsh under-16s football team, and also had trials for Arsenal football club.

As a kid, he was quite studious, getting 10 O-levels and 3 A-levels. Along with his best friends, James Dean Bradfield, Richey Edwards and Sean Moore, he was very interested in literature (particularly George Orwell and Albert Camus, as well as books like One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, American Psycho and A Clockwork Orange) and music (especially the Clash, Guns 'N' Roses, Public Enemy and any indie bands that got praised by the NME). The four used to spend ages listening to records, reading, and talking about the ideas behind the books and music they enjoyed.

Nicky and Richey both went to the same college, the University of Wales, Swansea. Nicky was never too enthusiastic about his Politics course, but managed to graduate anyway. He spent most of his time in college reading, although he developed an addiction to slot machines, spending most of his grant money on one-armed bandits. After he graduated, he and Richey returned to Blackwood, and eventually formed the Manics.

Nicky now lives with his wife, childhood sweetheart Rachel, in Wattsville, in his home town of Blackwood, a place he wrote about in the song Wattsville Blues.

Nicky Wire Interview

What was the first single you bought?
Knights - Black Sabbath

Which album was most influential on you?
The Clash - The Clash

Favourite films?
1984, Medusa Touch & Zulu

Have you ever walked out of a film?

Favourite books?
1984 & The Plague

Which authors have you found most inspirational?
Orwell & Camus

Which football team do you support?

The greatest goal of all time?
Any by Glenn Hoddle

Most abiding hatred?
The aristocracy

The supreme Manics gig?
Oxford Venue, supporting The Levellers

Best gig you have ever seen?
Shop Assistants - WOMAD

Favourite live venue?
Cardiff CIA & Sheffield Leadmill

Which Manics album are you most proud of?
The next one.

Which Manics single are you most proud of?
Motown Junk

How do you spend your time away from the band

What type of pupil were you?
Very good

Who was the first celebrity you had a crush on?
Debbie Harry & Jenny Agutter

What is the best pub you've ever been in?
None, I don't like them.

What's your favourite drink?

Taken from

Other Facts
  • Nicky loves hoovering, and owns 3 Dysons.
  • He is a big armchair sports fan, especially cricket, golf and darts, and also loves TV documentaries; many of his songs (Interiors, Tsunami) were inspired by documentaries.
  • Onstage, he likes skipping, as well as bouncing around quite a lot.
  • In the early days (circa 1990 - 1994), Nicky was almost always making controversial statements, such as wishing AIDS on Michael Stipe, or saying that Glastonbury should be paved over. Since Richey James' disappearance, though, he seems to have calmed down somewhat.
  • Nicky Wire is very afraid of flying. In the song Australia, from Everything Must Go, their first album as a three-piece band, Nicky writes about wanting to "fly and run til it hurts/Sleep for a while and speak no words/In Australia", but, as he said himself in an interview, he "only made it as far as Bournemouth".
  • While on tour in Australia, Nicky apparently befriended Brian Warner (AKA Marilyn Manson). Since then, he's mentioned Brian in The Convalescent, off Know Your Enemy: "Brian Warner has a tasty little ass".
  • Most recently, Nicky has written a contribution to "When Pele Broke Our Hearts", a book about the first and (to date) only time Wales qualified for the World Cup finals, in 1958. Nicky jumped at the chance when Cardiff journalist Mario Risoli asked him to contribute.
  • Nicky has also been working on a track listing for a Manics "Best Of", due for release some time in 2002. Tracks that I've heard slated for inclusion are a remix of Revol that was a US-only release (which James Dean Bradfield apparently loves), and a re-recording of Little Baby Nothing, with Kylie Minogue singing the female part originally sung by Traci Lords.

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