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- Posted on Oct 3rd 2010 12:09PM by Chris Cope
But this summer Barat went full circle and reunited briefly with the Libertines for a series of shows, including spots at the Reading and Leeds festivals. "It was beyond words" he tells Spinner, but Barat has also been busy on a more introspective level. On Sept. 30 he released his biography, 'Threepenny Memoir,' and he brought out his self-titled debut solo album on Oct. 4. We threw a few questions Barat's way as he geared up for his solo UK tour.
Speaking about your solo album -- has it been a long time coming?
Yeah I think so -- about ten years.
Did you have a lot of fun recording it?
Yeah, I had most fun.
Is it fair to say that it's an extension of your previous band Dirty Pretty Things or is that not true at all?
It's not really an extension, it's a progression.
Has writing the solo album given you a sort of creative outlet that you've been hankering after for years?
It's the first time I've been brave enough to step out from behind the guitar. I'm on a learning curve but enjoying exploring it greatly.
It's being released on your own label. Do you feel a lot more liberated doing it your own way?
Yeah I guess so...I can put out more of what I want to put out.
I see you're touring with a five piece band -- are they going to be hired guns or will they be more important than that?
They are going to important -- my band is always important to me. Yeah, they're going to be a good bunch.
Will there be any Libertines or Dirty Pretty Things covers?
Covers? Ooft. Emm but yeah, I think I'll play some of the old stuff.
So you're going to play the hits?
Maybe, I dunno. I'll gauge it and see how it goes. I'll probably want to give the audience what they want.
So you're moving on, but still having one foot in the past.
Yeah, you could say that.
What are the main themes behind the lyrics on your solo album?
The album is about falling in love, being burned and finding hope and love again. It's the most personable I've ever written.
You've also released a memoir, entitled 'Threepenny Memoir: The Lives of a Libertine'. Do you feel a better person after writing your memoir and writing the solo album too?
I feel lighter, and the album reflects my optimism.
What was the toughest section of the memoir to write?
It's hard to write anything concerning Peter. As much as it's been painful to talk about, I want to tell my story as much as anybody else.
Is the solo album the purest form of Carl Barat we've seen yet?
It's probably the most accurate reflection of the time, so I would say generally yes.
How have the last ten years affected your songwriting and your state of mind?
I'm a slow learner at the best of times, but I'm starting to see the arc of a journey.
Why did you feel the time was right to reunite the Libertines this summer?
People have wanted it for so long. There was so much belief and possibility around it. It was good to give people what they wanted and of course I missed the boys. We've all grown up a bit.
Did it feel like coming home, playing with Pete [Doherty] and the band?
Well on stage it felt as natural as it could be. It was like no time had passed at all when we were on stage...it just felt right.
Was life in the Libertines a liability or an inspiration?
Do you think there's a future for the Libertines?
Ask me this time next year.