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Q & A with Adam Ficek

From Metro:

That’s an interesting surname. What are its origins?
My heritage is from Poland, second generation. They came over and brought all the food with them.

What’s your favourite dish?
I can’t remember what it’s called now. We used to eat so much Polish food but that all stopped a long time ago when my grandma passed away.

Milton Keynes has a lot of roundabouts. What was it like growing up in a new town?
It’s a lovely place but it was quite suburban and difficult growing up there. Musically, there wasn’t much going on. As with most satellite towns, you have to go somewhere a bit more on the ball, so London always drew my attention.

You used to teach drum lessons in schools – what’s the hardest thing for an aspiring drummer to get to grips with?
You’ve got to look good. You’ve got to have a straight back, good posture. None of this American leaning forward business, you’ve got to be upright. And wear a good suit.

You play guitar in Roses Kings Castles and can also play the piano, flute, trumpet… how did you get so musical?
There was always a keyboard and a guitar in the house, it was just a case of picking them up and knocking out a little melody, which I suppose started all my composition stuff.

So you’ve been writing music for a long time?
I’ve always written ideas, for Babyshambles as well, but generally that gets overlooked in the media. It has only recently come to fruition. I listened to a lot of pop music growing up – it helps when I’m trying to write songs now.

Was it nerve-racking playing without Babyshambles?
It was, yeah. I invented the name Roses Kings Castles as something to hide behind. I didn’t want to come out all guns blazing and say: ‘Look, here I am.’ I started a MySpace page when we were doing the arena tour and the NME picked up on it.

Are the other Babyshambles members supportive?
Yeah. Everyone does their own thing – Pete [Doherty] has just released a solo album. We’re just starting to reconvene and after that I’ll do more solo stuff.

Now you’ve got a taste for it…
Yeah, it’s nice to keep creative. We’ve got a Babyshambles tour this month, a new album out in February and I’m supporting Pete on a European tour. It’s great for me to play to that many people, 2,000 to 3,000 capacity.

Obviously people associate the band with Pete and his wicked ways – is it easy to get caught up in the rock’n’roll lifestyle?
You buy into this whole myth about what it must be like but the harsh reality is it’s probably the most extreme difference you can imagine. It can get to those self-destructive ways but it depends what you’re in it for. I’m in it for the music.

How do you unwind?
I don’t have much spare time and whatever time I’ve got I’m putting it into music. I need to find something completely disconnected from music.

What style is your music?
I don’t know, that’s part of the problem. Indie-pop. I’d like to get a band behind me but it’s just been me with my guitar and I need more punch. So I use a semi-acoustic guitar now with a few pedals to make it more than one-dimensional.

What’s your best advice for young people wanting to make it in the music industry?
Practise hard. Without a doubt. There’s so many people I know out in Camden that party hard and they’re so partied out they haven’t released one record. Let your hair down every now and then but it’s not about that.

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