Barat says time not right for Libertines reunion
PARIS (Reuters) - British singer and guitarist Carl Barat plans to release a debut solo album next year and take his first theatrical steps on stage in January.
That leaves very little time to think about reforming his old band the Libertines.
"It's not too late, it's just not the right time. I am not ruling it out completely but next year I am doing my album and maybe acting in two plays in London in January," Barat told Reuters.
Speculation has been rife that the cult British rock act would reform, reuniting Barat, 31, with fellow frontman Peter Doherty, years after they fell out in a blaze of drugs and bruised egos.
Recently Doherty, 30, who currently fronts Babyshambles, seemed to be on a mission to reform the Libertines, telling the New Musical Express magazine that he wanted to reunite the band to play British festival slots next summer.
Barat spoke to Reuters while relaxing backstage after playing at the Paris Pompidou Center museum with ex-Moldy Peaches frontman and U.S. anti-folk singer Adam Green Friday.
One of the evening's highlights was the pair's cover of old Libertines favorite "What a Waster." The raucous performance ended with Green tying up some members of the audience with heavy tape and smashing a guitar.
Barat, looking dapper in a white shirt, black tuxedo and matching hat, and accompanied by a fiddle and cello, played a couple of new songs he has been working on.
Of the future album, he said: "It's the first time I'm being on my own and doing without guitars fighting each other. It's a bit more about the voice. A bit more naked."
He has no record deal yet, but there are discussions with labels, he said.
Barat, whose influences range from the Kinks, the Velvet Underground to jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, said he had been writing solo songs since Dirty Pretty Things, the band he formed in 2005 after the Libertines demise, split up last year.
"I'd like to release the album as soon as possible. I'm working every day. I want the songs to be completely new. I want to do something fresh," he said.
Asked how he felt about being on his own for the first time in years, he said: "It's absolutely terrifying but it has to be done. It's very hard but at the same time it's very rewarding."
"Everyone has to do what they think is right. Even if it's shit, people respect you for being brave enough."
Barat released two albums with Dirty Pretty Things: "Waterloo to Anywhere" and "Romance at Short Notice."
LIBERTINES NO SIDE PROJECT
In recent months speculation grew of a Libertines reformation particularly as Doherty and Barat were often seen at each other gigs or even performed together.
This summer Doherty told the NME that he had already convinced former Libertines bandmates John Hassall, bass, and Gary Powell, drums, to reunite for gigs, and that as soon as Barat agreed, dates would be finalized.
Doherty went on to joke he would even consider hiring a Barat lookalike to stand in if the real one would not sign up.
"Good luck to him !" said Barat.
In March 2009, Doherty released a debut solo album "Peter Doherty: Grace/Wastelands" to critical acclaim.
In interviews Doherty insists he can juggle a solo career, his role as Babyshambles frontman and a Libertines reformation.
But for Barat The Libertines are no side-project.
"If I do the Libertines, it will be just the Libertines. If we do the Libertines, let's give them everything and be the Libertines again. Let's live that life again. It's a life and it's for a reason, for a good purpose," he said.
In July, former Clash guitarist and punk legend Mick Jones, who produced the Libertines' two albums "Up the Bracket" and "The Libertines" was quoted by music website The Quietus as saying he would be keen to see the pair get back in studio.
"I'm sure we'd have a lot more fun...We love Mick of course," Barat said, adding he had not seen Jones for a while.
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon, editing by Paul Casciato)
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