This week Carl Barat sent the internet into rumour overdrive with news of a potential Libertines reunion, which, if true, would mark the first time they have performed together since 2004. Following hints from Pete Doherty that he had been offered a very ‘big gig’ and a mysterious map of Hyde Park appearing on the band’s official Facebook page, Carl added further fuel to the fire by stating that fans should “keep July 5th free”. Whether this announcement is just another attempt to toy with fan’s emotions or the real deal is yet to be seen, but the buzz that a few comments has caused is testament to the band’s enduring appeal.
And with Carl’s further comments that he has finally “patched up his relationship with the guitar” and has a new album, and possibly new band on the horizon also, it seems that 2014 could once again be his year. We catch up with him to find out what’s next and why the music industry has turned into the Wild West.
YOU’VE RECENTLY SAID THAT YOU’VE PATCHED UP YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE GUITAR, WHAT MADE YOU RETURN TO GUITAR-ROCK ORIENTATED MUSIC FOR THE SECOND RECORD?
Exactly that I guess. I wanted to do something very different for my solo record, so now I’m delighted to be in a band again. I’ve got my moment of quiet reflection out of the way for now…
HOW DOES WORKING AS A SOLO ARTIST AFFECT THE EVOLUTION OF YOUR MUSICAL STYLE?
It’s a great thing to do to understand your own identity and exactly what it is that you being to a band. For me, it made me realise I was capable of going in directions I otherwise wouldn’t have.
WOULD YOU SAY IT’S BEEN A CHALLENGE WRITING AND RECORDING WITHOUT A BAND, OR HAS IT BEEN LIBERATING?
It’s been the most liberating of challenges!
AS WELL AS YOUR MUSIC CAREER YOU’RE ALSO AN ACTOR, DJ AND AUTHOR. ARE THERE ANY PLANS TO ADD FURTHER STRINGS TO YOUR BOW?
I’d love to do art but I’m just too crap… Maybe that can be a good thing? No, it can’t… But out of all my creative pursuits I’d have to say music is the most fulfilling. Being in a band is pretty much as immersive as it gets, finding yourself creatively amongst other people and putting your life into your art. That is very interesting.
WHAT HAVE THE MAIN CHANGES IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY BEEN SINCE YOU STARTED?
The internet has changed everything, totally eradicating sub-culture as we knew it. Making everything available at the touch of a button really separated people and created endless niches, it’s like the Wild West again right now from an industry point of view, no one really knows what will happen next.
DO YOU HAVE ANY PREDICTIONS FOR THE FUTURE OF ROCK?
Ah, I’ll have to refer you to my last answer. Of course the need for indie rock ‘n’ roll will never die in my opinion.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR ANY YOUNG HOPEFULS?
If you don’t succeed the first thousand times, try try and try some more.