The other two... (photo by Anjali)
We are, and all NME readers. A huge thank you to Phillikesbeer from the Yeti Gonzales forum for typing this interview, published on the NME's last issue.
Former Libertines bassist John Hassall has revealed why he chose to record 2 'lost' Libs songs with his new band Yeti and why Pete Doherty used to call him "Jesus" on tour.
The recently released "The Legend of Yeti Gonzales" features 2 songs,'Sister Sister' and 'Merry Go Round' that Hassall wrote while he was still in the Libertines. The former was oringinally recorded during the band's 'Legs 11' demo sessions in September 2000, with Hassall on vocals. The latter was never played or recorded by Doherty and co (although Babyshambles have a song of the same title), but was written while Hassall was touring with the band in 2004. The Singer/guitarist told NME that the downbeat 'Merry go Round' was his attempt to capture the melanchonic nature of being on the road, feeling lonely despite being surrounded by people all the time.
"It was a wonderful thing, being on tour," he explained. "You feel incredibly happy but at the same time it's quite a melanchonic experience, just passing through places and never stopping. There is a sadness there."
Hassall joked that touring with Yeti is "a lot more civilised" than being on the road with his former band, and revealed that Pete Doherty and Carl Barat used to call him "Jesus" because, being a practising Buddhist, he would undertake religious chanting on the tourbus while his bandmates enjoyed raucous rock antics.
"They were very understanding about me doing it on the bus," he recalled. "They did call me 'Jesus' but it was in a funny good-natured way."
Talking about the break-up of the Libertines in 2004, after they played thier final gig in Paris without Pete Doherty, Hassall said it was a difficult time for him, but he believed that dissolving the band was the right thing to do.
"It was a sad place for us," he said, " but I think it was the end of the cycle."
He said he is on good terms with his former bandmates. "I went to see Carl and Gary play the other day" he explained "I haven't seen Peter for ages but I do communicate with him sometimes. I think of them all as really good mates."
Hassall was cagey about a possible reunion, but refuesd to rule it out. "Most importantly, we have a good friendship," he said "after that it kind of depends really....".
Where have Yeti been? Despite forming in 2004, Yeti -Hassall on bass, Mark Underwood on acoustic guitar, Andrew Deian cannes on electric guitar and Graham Blacow on drums - have only just released their debut album. What took them so long ?
"Um... I guess we came up against resistance, internally and externally," Hassall mumbled, refusing to be drawn on details - suggesting that life in Yeti could be as turbulent as it was in the Libs. "But we've grown through that - that band has changed a lot. And the second album is written already!".