Ex-Libertine talks exclusively to NME.COM about his ‘self-reflective’ new album, Pete and playing secret gigs soon…

CARL BARAT has spoken exclusively to NME.COM about life after Libertines and his debut solo album – and said he’s planning to make a secret live return soon.

The singer, who signed a new record deal in February with Razorlight and Rapture’s label Vertigo, has been busy writing songs, although he explained that in order to make progress he has been forced to quit London on several occasions.

He said: “I’ve been going back and forth to Wales and various outposts in the country getting my head out of London, away from the various distractions and re-establishing what it is I’m writing about.”


Carl explained that although he’s signed a solo deal in name, he’s still looking to make some of his new material a band effort.

He continued: “I’ve been writing on my own and with other people, hopefully I’ll start doing a few impromptu gigs at some point. But that’s once I’m confident with what I’m playing – I’ve got a thousand ideas flying around.”

Having been half of the creative powerhouse behind Libertines, Carl might be currently overshadowed by the former-bandmate Pete Doherty’s prolific output with Babyshambles. However Barat insists he isn’t worried by living up to other people’s expectations.

“I get worried by things like my milkman getting paid on time!” he declared, “I can only do what I do and I always do my best – so it’s kind of pointless worrying. But there’s a lot of freedom just writing for yourself. I can write about beautiful things or I can get out some of that angst that I’ve always wanted to hide in the past. There’s a lot of honest self reflection going on.”

Having worked so close in a band set-up before Carl, admits that working alone has been strange.

“I’ve had to retune myself, the past three years has been whirlwind, a real battle,” he explained. “I found it hard to write on the road and balancing out so much politics, so many worries about what Pete’s doing and I’ve spent the last three years tearing my hair out. What I did in Wales was get back in tune with myself. I was writing because I wanted to write rather than because people were asking me if I’ve got any good new songs yet.”


At present Carl explained that he’s yet to reach the demo stage, but is still hopeful of releasing an album and touring this year.

“It’s possible that the album might be out by the end of the year, it’s important for me to not to brood for too long,” he explained.

The guitarist also admitted that’s he’s keen to road test his new songs as soon as possible, and taking a leaf out of Pete’s book he is hoping to do some impromptu shows soon.

“Inevitably I’m going to start playing what I’ve got at some little secret gigs here and there,” he revealed. “I want to meet lots of musicians. I want to be around people and play for the sake of playing.”

For the full interview with Carl Barat, pick up this week’s edition of NME, out nationwide today (April 13).