Carl Barat – Does Rock’n’Roll Kill Brain Cells?

Testing musicians’ memories after a lifetime of abuse


Why did you have to throw away one of your favourite pairs of shoes during The Libertines’ 2002 Albion Tour?
“They probably got stolen.”
Wrong. One of your support bands, Left Hand, urinated in them
“Oh yeah, that’s true. It was a pair of Green Flash. I think it was more of a Grange Hill-style prank – they stuffed them full of vegetables as a thank you for letting them support us.”

What were you wearing as you took to the Lost Vagueness stage at Glastonbury 2007 with your supergroup The Chavs?
“Wigs and things. We had a rummage around, see what we could find. That’s what Lost Vagueness is all about, right?”
Correct. Any more Chavs gigs on the horizon?
“I’m sure it’s something we’ll do again
one day. Yeah. I mean, why not? When the cold winter blows in the heart and life becomes a breeze, I’m sure we can re-think Chav things.”
How many times did Pete Doherty come and see you play a Dirty Pretty Things gig?
Correct. Erm, are you disappointed he didn’t come more?
“Not really. It kind of raised the stress levels.”
You once tried to chat up one of The Sugababes at the NME Awards by telling her you were in which former pop band?
“Er… damn it. I do remember. Hold on. Can you give me a clue,
or is that not allowed?”
No. It’s a quiz, Carl
“Oh, go on.”
They were a reality TV pop band
Wrong. Liberty X
“Oh, bugger.”
Which Sugababe were you chatting up?
“The Scouse one with the blonde hair.”
How did it go?
“About as well as expected!”

You modelled for Swedish clothing brand J Lindeberg in 2005 along with which two other rock stars?
“Juliette Lewis. And…”
Half a point. Also Depeche Mode frontman Dave Gahan
You’re a distant relative of 1940s actor and star of the original Sherlock Holmes films, Basil Rathbone.
“Um… tentatively.”
Who played Sherlock in the BBC’s 2010 adaptation?
“Erm, it was, the guy from The Office. Martin Freeman.”
Wrong. Freeman played Watson. Benedict Cumberbatch played Sherlock Holmes

Who did Noel Gallagher compare you to on Soccer AM in May 2006 after you and Dirty Pretty Things bassist Didz Hammond were visibly still drunk from the night before?
“Liam Gallagher. Because I was like him but without violence.”
Where was the photo that features on the front cover of your second album ‘The Libertines’ taken?
“At the Tap’n’Tin club in Chatham, Kent. It was a Freedom gig and I bust my chin open. There were definitely a lot of different things that happened that night.”
Where does the new Libertines documentary premier?
“At London’s East End Film Festival (April 27-May 2). I watched it last night for the first time, actually, and then it carried on playing in my head for the whole night so I didn’t really get much sleep. It charts the intricacies and vicissitudes of the two months around The Libertines playing the Reading Festival.”
Correct. Did you always want to make a film when the Reading date got booked?
“Well, I did notice there was a camera. Ha!
I wasn’t quite sure what was to become of
it. It’s quite honest, which is a little bit nerve-wracking for me, because and obviously
like everything with The Libertines, I’m
never that comfortable about exposing myself. It’s quite exposing. But it’s been done quite beautifully.”
When Pete burgled your flat in 2003, he stole your NME Award that you’d been awarded for what?
“Best British Band.”
Correct. Out of all the things that Pete nicked, was that the thing you were most annoyed about?
“Um… probably not! I think I was slightly more worried about the overall act, to be honest.”

Total Score 6.5/10

“My memory is worse than I thought. I’m a bit worried now. Maybe I should do something about it? I’ll put that on my to-do list!”