Carl gave this nice interview to Swedish journalist Rosanna Rundlöf for the site Musiclandet. The translation was made by me with the help of the usual google translator. If you have any corrections to make, please speak up!
He left his band to follow his own path. At least for now. And one day he left England to play at Peace & Love Festival in Borlänge. In an exclusive interview, Carl talked about the band's separation, his future plans and how it feels to be playing as a solo artist for the first time.
Shortly after the end of the show, we sit down with him on the grass, with a bottle of Heineken. The sun shines and the wind is weak. Carl thinks we should do a toast. The whole thing is pleasant until the next band starts moving on the stage. Soon the noise gets too high and the situation becomes somewhat comical. Carl laughs a little and leans forward to hear me better. He says he comes straight from a few hour flight from England and today he’s not at his best.
“I’m recovering from a cold” Carl says, running is hand on his neck.
That did not interfere with his performance. He treated the audience with songs of the Libertines and Dirty Pretty Things and now he says: “I love to be back to Sweden. The show was good, it was hot, but the audience was good anyway and really helpful”.
Do you like to play festivals?
“Yes, of course! But I prefer smaller shows. Glastonbury, however, is always amazing! Whether you play or you’re just in the crowd”.
Luckily the sound stops and Carl does not need to lean forward anymore to listen. He takes off the jacket and tie he wore during his set and although he sounds relaxed, he hints that recent times have not been easy. Last autumn, his band officially disbanded. For the second time in his life Carl was splitting a band.
“I have a lot more space, it’s good. More freedom to do what I want and when I want. But on the stage I feel more vulnerable. Naked”.
Does it worry you being alone at the centre of the stage?
“Yes, I get a little nervous. But I try not to let it affect my concentration. I like the feeling of being free”.
Do you miss the security of being in a band?
“Yes, for a few moments. But it works anyway. Despite the fact that I’m not able to share the spotlight anymore” says Carl and confesses that he’s nervous before the show “But I have improved over the years ” he says with a smile.
Just because he’s now following his own way, that doesn't mean he stopped writing, it’s exactly the opposite. He said that he has already plans for a solo album which is expected at the end of year or as soon as possible.
“I have some songs that were already almost ready when I was still busy with Dirty Pretty Things, then I recently worked on them”.
How do they sound, will they be different from what you made in the past?
“Yes, they will be more melodic. They will rotate more around the music, will be more pleasant to hear. They will be different, but we will see”.
Where do you get inspiration?
“It can be anything. Everything! Anything that makes me feel something”.
You don’t have plans to start a new band.
“Ha ha, no, not at this point. I have, or I had, two bands, and I can always return to them”.
And the Chavs …
“Yes, exactly, I have three bands! Let me see, Libertines, the Chavs, Dirty Pretty Things … then yes. I can do something with any of them at any time”.
When the news of the separation of DPT were disclosed, it came to many as a shock and disappointment. The reason has never been clear, but Carl wanted to say that the friendship came first. The CD “Romance at short notice” was the last one on which they worked.
“It was a difficult process, competitively complicated”.
But that was all so well for you!
“Ha ha thank you! But everyone wanted to move forward in musical terms. We’re still good friends”.
Was it a difficult decision?
“Yes and no” he says after a pause “it was a great relief, but also quite sad”.
How were the last gigs?
“The last in London was exciting. Some of the gigs were the best we’d ever made but the latter might not. There was too much expectation in the air and so many sound problems” …
He says a reunion is not impossible. Nor for the Libertines. He had a small meeting with Doherty and Gary Powell in London recently.
“It was a memorial to a friend. But it was fun”.
He’s not really prepared for a proper reunion yet.
“You never know. It depends on our mental health. I am rather reluctant, partly because there would be a lot of expectations and it may not be what people expect ” Carl says sipping his beer.
What music you have heard recently ?
“Something by the Doors… as I did when a was a kid. Then something by this hip hop band named Immortal Technique, have you heard about them?
No, I don’t think so, where are they from?
“United States” he replies with enthusiasm “I think they will play at this festival too”
You'll see other bands at his festival?
Of course, everyone wants to see Motley Crue. And after a small survey, I discovered that Carl is right about the Immortal Technique. However, they’re on two days later and he must go back to England the next day. Back home to keep writing for his solo project and God knows what else. Carl really seems to have many doors open. Whatever happens, it will be interesting to see and hear the new material, although he has every right to be proud of the songs which he’s made over the years.
“Death on the stairs.”