shoop shoop shoop de lang a lang…
the most erotic moment of the most erotic gig ever
The Libertines reunion, an upcoming album with your newly formed band The Jackals - 2014 seems to be your year, Carl.
Carl Barât: Yes, I even have a baby! My second this year, the first was the first Jackals gig. The real one is due on August 14. It will be a son again.
Oh, congratulations! Your first son Eli is by now three years old.
Carl Barât: Yeah, right. We just make a movie about the founding of the Jackals, which is also present an album. In addition, the Libertines reunion is on, and my driving test I have passed!
Again congratulations. Our first baby is now almost eight months old.
Carl Barât: Oh, cool, so you can slowly relax now, right?
Exactly, it starts to be really fun: He laughs, looks, rolls around himself, you can play with him.
Carl Barât: Yes, it is getting better. The first few months are especially for maternal bonding. It is then more fun and ever and ever better, honestly. Which is so good. The rewards come in and are getting bigger as the child itself. Thus, the evolution has determined provided, so you do not lose interest!
As a father, one can hardly do something at the beginning, it is often only next to helpless.
Carl Barât: I know. You’re just a slave to the mother! (laughs)
What is next to your family currently more important, The Jackals or The Libertines?
Carl Barât: My priority is always what I’m doing next. Now it’s this interview, after that my DJ set. Deejaying is not one of my top skills, but I do my best. If I hadn’t the song “Bang Bang You’re Dead” they would have not asked me for sure!
How often do you do that?
Carl Barât: Last year quite often. I have a baby, I have to earn money, you know! There are worse jobs. 20-30 appearances, there were alright.
The now ten years older, all the Libertines have children, right?
Carl Barât: Yes, each of us has boys. You are not a Libertine without a boy (laughs)! Pete now has a daughter. The first Libertines girl.
You made a casting for the Jackals, even if you did not want to call it that.
Carl Barât: It was a fucking casting. Call it what you will, it was an exciting process. It’s hard to call off people. If you have 1000 applicants and you need three people, you have to cancel 997. A lot of no’s.
Why this way? You know yourself more than enough good musicians.
Carl Barât: I really wanted to start a new band, and that is not with people that you already know. When I started looking I felt like the boss. It’s a band all the way to my vision.
New album with a new band, the reunion with the old. Is that particularly good or bad timing?
Carl Barât: 2010 was similar. I just released my solo album, as the libertines came together again for a gig. The reunion drew all attention to the Libertines. This time it’s different. All parties are open to bringing both things under a hat.
Will you remember 2014 as a Libertines or a Jackals year?
Carl Barât: I think the Libertines have shot themselves in the leg before they experienced their big day at all. But now we are damn proud to play the old songs again. My heart belongs rather to the new, whether this is related to the Jackals or with the Libertines. The Libertines you can not make plans with the Jackals very well.
A reunion of The Libertines appeared less and less more likely than other bands. Especially because of all the fighting.
Carl Barât: Yes, I agree with you. I can not take any predict, that is impossible. The gig might work, but it could also be a disaster. It’s always a gamble.
The last appearance at the Reading Festival 2010 was not a disaster.
Carl Barât: It wasn’t, but it could have been. It was like a walk on a knife blade. Luckily it went well. So it is with the Libertines, if it works, then you feel untouchable. But it is worth the risk. Maybe that is one reason why people like us.
Pete stated that he does it because of the money. What role does money play for you at the reunion?
Carl Barât: Sure man, money helps, and we will have no quarrel. I would have probably done it either way. Even if there were no money I would perceive the chance to play in Hyde Park. And if there is any I take it. This is the same money that the fucking Arctic Monkeys or Kings Of Leon get each time when playing a gig. Since none says: “To those it goes but just about money.” Good bands always play first because of the music, otherwise there would be no bands.
Why does the live reunion happen now, in 2014, again? Just because you were asked?
Carl Barât: Hey, they asked us if we want to headline Hyde Park Festival! Is a pretty nice request, I think!
That was certainly not the first request, to headline a festival.
Carl Barât: It just felt right again to. In the last four years, nothing terrible has happened to us. Nevertheless, this was never a realistic or somehow obvious option for me. But they asked, and we said, “Why not?” It feels good and after a good summer. And apparently the people want it, too.
When exactly came the request for your commitment?
Carl Barât: The rumors talked for some time, we have not ignored. Until we heard that Pete has actually promised. So we phoned and …
Pete didn’t ask you, he simply has promised?
Carl Barât: Sure. That’s Pete, I would have expected nothing less from him. And compared to what we otherwise communicated last for years, resembled that now an olive branch, a peace offering. It flattered us, when we heard that Pete apparently likes a reunion. So we said immediately yes.
What happened then? First band meeting, even rehearsals?
Carl Barât: No, of course not. Libertines and practice? Come on! Pete and I met in Barcelona, spent some time together, ran through the city and played a few songs. That was the first time since 2012 that I met him again. At the time I met him in Paris.
In another interview, you said that you want to write new songs and play in July.
Carl Barât: Well, we do just as plans for how we make plans. Pete and I started in Barcelona again, to play together, that’s the first step. We spend time together and if you do that, you write sooner or later together. As a logical consequence, so we actually write new songs sooner or later, but it is well known that it always depends. We also have a few old songs that we have not yet received. “Music When The Lights Go Out” from our second album was already an old song that already existed before we even had a record deal. The funny thing with us is that whenever we come together again, it does not feels as already ten years had passed. We play the songs easily again, which we no longer played for ten years.
What happens now until July 5? From the rehearsal room or equal to the stage?
Carl Barât: That would be great, yes. We have at least not planned to practice a bit. I just shoot a movie and have therefore not much time. Yes, but we should start practicing when I think about it. We also play a warm-up gig in Glasgow. End of June.
Are there further preliminary shows planned?
Carl Barât: Nah not really. Last time we have Scotland left out, we played Reading and left. There, however, we have many fans.
In Germany, too.
Carl Barât: Yeah, okay, give us a little time (laughs)! We’ll see how it starts. There are no concrete plans. But of course we would love to come to Germany. Pete has a strong connection to Germany.
The Hyde Park show will therefore not be the only one?
Carl Barât: We hope so. If things go well, we’ll carry on, yes.
With further concerts or even with new music?
Carl Barât: We can not ever only play more shows, if you know what I mean.
Can we therefore still have to call a proper reunion, no longer merely live reunion?
Carl Barât: We do not have a record deal or anything, but if time and space should open up for it in style … It is, as I said, “plans” and the Libertines, this is such a thing!
What did the Libertines mean to you in 2004, what now? Has the band changed a lot?
The Libertines? Not really. Despite all the drama there is always immediately the old chemistry when we meet again. It’s as if you grow up with six brothers, you all go your way, you meet again after years at Christmas and remember all the same stories immediately
Pete makes many fans still worried. Sometimes he is in a good shape, sometimes in a bad one. Are you worried?
Carl Barât: I let him be who he is, and do what he wants. As long as he grabs what we do together. Of course I worry about him as a friend. But he can take care of himself, he’s a big boy. He knows that I love him. I will not ask him to change.
Since your separation 10 years have passed. Do you never think about whether it might not be as good as it was then?
Carl Barât: That’s what I’ve never had a doubt! Until now! (laughs) Well, the old songs were written from an inner despair that still runs very deep. In all of us. These songs do not work without the feelings we had when we wrote it. But if we put all our heart and energy into the performances, nothing can go wrong. Us is as important as ever.
Your old fans will be excited, but what about the kids of today?
Carl Barât: I’ll see by their reactions. There are so many people out there who spread our music, even after 2010. I think young people are more excited than ever before. And frenetic when it comes to live concerts.
Let’s talk about today’s bands. Do you see any of which you think they could be the leaders for their generation, what were the Libertines ten years ago?
Carl Barât: Not really, no. Since I’m being honest. Bands come with very different ideologies around the corner and the need but it has to go hand in hand with the music. Also, their reaction and perception. What we are witnessing with all the technology today is so, that even the most obscure song is available anywhere, anytime. All suddenly everyone knows it. Everyone knows about The Vaselines and The Raincoats. The subculture disappears and we are suddenly under a hail of bombs. That’s like a tsunami of images and sound snippets. Sure, you can cobble it all together to form a patchwork. But is there enough energy to bring a new movement in transition? I do not see anyone who could take this throne of the Libertines. If you can call it a throne - I mean rather the filthy seat in the last row in the bus! Maybe we play in Hyde Park on a park bench in a few years. Who knows.
Carl -Threepenny Memoir.
This is what You’re My Waterloo, means to me. People say it refers to Waterloo as someone’s greatest defeat, referring to the battle of Waterloo and they may have a point. But for me it means the place. I think it’s saying that everything Waterloo means to Carl is what Carl means to Peter 'you're the centre of my world, you're the most important place for me, you made me who I am, you're the reason I'm here, you're the reason I'm still standing.' Just as Waterloo was Carl’s entry to London, Carl was Peter’s.
Carl in 2008 :)