It's 3pm on a Tuesday afternoon in London and most people are at work. Not Carl Barat. Rock'n'roll is still asleep. LAUNCH woke up half of The Libertines' revered songwriting partnership to find out what's happening in one of the UK's biggest bands and if there is any future for the group without their drug-ravaged, damaged genius and Barat's partner-in-crime, Peter Doherty...
LAUNCH: The album was originally going to be produced by Bernard Butler. What happened?
CARL BARAT: "We didn't use any of the stuff we did with Bernard. We did a couple of things with Bernard but it wasn't happening. He didn't get on with Peter. "
You didn't have similar problems with Mick Jones (who produced the record)?
"No, Mick gets on well with everyone. Bernard and Peter are both a bit highly strung."
What sort of vibe do you get from Mick?
"A lot of a vibe, basically. That's all you get from him, he's one of the boys, a natural. He fits in and has a lot of love for what we do and he really understands. He's like Albert from "Only Fools And Horses" with his stories…"
When did you start on the record?
"I can't remember man. We did ten days altogether in June I guess. We have no conception of time or punctuality."
Was it hard work?
"It was murder. I can't believe it got made to be honest with you."
Where there day to day problems?
"It took two months to get ten live days done. It was all over the place, Two days here and three days there. Every time we went in wondering if everyone was going to turn up."
Was much of the record written before you went into the studio?
"Not really. Nothing was decided. It was all pretty hodgepodge. We had a few ideas. A couple of the tracks were already written."
How significant was Peter's involvement in the songwriting?
"As significant as on the first album…"
What is "The Man Who Would Be King" about?
"Have you seen the film of the same name - Sean Connery and Michael Caine are in it? It's about friendship, you know. It's set in the colonial Empire. You should see it, man."
What is it that Katie did?
"You don't even want to know..."
Is the Katie suggested in the press the right subject?