International Blue

Album: Resistance Is Futile (2017)

Songfacts®:

  • Manic Street Preacher bassist and lyricist Nicky Wire told NME the band's Resistance Is Futile album was written as an "optimistic" record in defiance against the troubling nature of the social and political landscape of recent years. This song, for instance, was written about the French artist Yves Klein (1928 –1962), who was a leading member of the Nouveau réalisme movement.

    Wire explained: "On the single and the whole album, there are a lot of mini tributes to things that make your life feel a little bit better. Rather than my internalised misery, I tried to put a sense of optimism into the lyrics by writing about things that we find really inspiring."

    "I wouldn't go as far as to call it 'escapist', but it does feel like we're building our own world," he continued. "It goes back to the idea of when we started the band with us four insulating ourselves and germinating ideas. It's not about purposefully switching yourself off from the world around you, but just trying to find inspiration. Otherwise you just get swamped in a sea of total negativity – which is fine. It's not like we haven't done that before."
  • The song title comes from Yves Klein's January 1957 exhibition, Proposte Monocrome, Epoca Blu (Proposition Monochrome; Blue Epoch) at the Gallery Apollinaire in Milan, which featured eleven identical blue canvases. The color, reminiscent of the expensive pigments used to paint the Madonna's robes in medieval paintings, became known as International Klein Blue (IKB).
  • Wire described this as "a sister song" to the Manic's 1992 track "Motorcycle Emptiness." He said:

    "I think there's a certain naive energy and widescreen melancholia on the song that is reflected through the whole album. It's a good representation of the almost Generation Terrorists energy that we've got. It's a bit like a new 'Motorcycle Emptiness', but set in Nice rather than Japan.

    "There's still a lot of 1970's Bowie, Station To Station kinda stuff, which has been a big influence. But's it's still obsessed with melody."
  • The music visual was directed by the Manic's longtime visual collaborator Kieran Evans. The clip, like the song, is a sequel to "Motorcycle Emptiness."

    "It's like a European 'Motorcycle Emptiness' as a video, rather than being in Japan," Wire told NME. "Yves Klein is from Nice and there's quite a lot of his stuff there. The video is trying to evoke the spirit of 'Motorcycle Emptiness' for the 21st Century."

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