The Libertines
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The Libertines.

Kicking back at the recent US domination of gtr-land come London’s ex-rent boy wide-stars, The Libertines. They say you carnt be in the music industry in any way without being a cocksucker. They say The Adverts were crap.

If there’s one sure way to get yr. head kicked in around these parts, it’s slagging off TV Smith. It’s a good job the lads recently delivered the "What A Waster" 45 (Rough Trade) & that music speaks louder than words (ask Mick)!

"What a waster, what a fuckin waster – you pissed it all up the wall round the corner where they chased her."

You probably haven’t heard "What A Waster" on the radio – funny that. Fuckin wasters & two-bob cunts tend to get up playlist schedulers arses, for some reason. God knows why. Still, it caused a bit of a stink – raised a few eyebrows – sold a few records – got the band a nice bit of press. Not that we’re cynical bastards or anything.

The Libertines don’t mind courting controversy – thank fuck. It’s been a while since anyone English with a gtr around their neck has bothered to rile anyone other than their gtr tech. The Libertines may know fuck all about r&r history, but they do know how to make a right cockney barrel of noise.

Knees up mother brown, the chancers are in town.

"What A Waster" shimmers with vitriolic abuse. Whether they like it or not, they sound more like The Adverts than The Jam – from the gtr sound to the backing vocals – pissing in the sink of the land of milk & honey. Straight up the back.

"I Get Along", as perceived by this listener, is a fuck off big slice of prime time These Animal Men. You can just about spot the Kinks jones – people will tell me I’m wrong – fuck em.

"Mayday" is the punkest cut here. The boot is being well & truly put in. This must have scared the shit out of The Strokes & The Vines live.

Jean Encoule recently "caught up" with The Libertines during sessions for their debut LP:

trakMARX - The LIBERTINES appear to have plenty of attitude - do you mean it, maaaaaaaaaaaaan?

Gary - Music is based on the perception of the listener, if you think it has attitude then I guess it does...

trakMARX - The UK has been starved of decent gtr bands for a while now – any theories on why that is?

Gary - The UK has always had good guitar bands, whether they have the chance to be heard is down to the industry...

trakMARX - English-ness in R&R has been conspicuous in its absence lately - what English band's inspire The LIBERTINES?

Gary - My inspiration does not come from other bands, but I do dig the Kinks, Paul Weller and the other usual suspects.

John - Super Furry Animals.

Peter - The Left Hand, Specials.

trakMARX - Posing for pictures with the Union Jack is a double edged sword - it ended up falling on Morrissey - any fears that may happen to The LIBERTINES?

Gary - Urghh, are you kidding?

John - Nowt wrong with a bit of patriotism - every other country is allowed to show it - look at the Americans, they've got stars and stripes everywhere.

Peter - No hopes, no jeans - the flag was superimposed anyway.

trakMARX - The LIBERTINES have skored decent mainstream press so far – do you feel any pressure from the "next big thing" tag currently hung around yer necks?

Gary - Don't really read the press so it has no real effect on me, but it is real positive for the band - I think!

Peter - Good question, is it hung there? It used to read 'change please'!

trakMARX - Build em up - knock em down - any worries on that skore?

Gary -If it is gonna happen I can type fast so will be able to get a job at the Islington Council Office...

John - I try to keep my head in the sand on that beach.

Peter - Loads of worries on that score - can't score today...

trakMARX - Certain hacks have been bleating on about The Jam - we hear more of The Adverts - any substance to these observations or is it just lazy journalism?

Gary - You do the math.

John - The Adverts were rubbish and the Jam were amazing - are you trying to insinuate something!

Peter - Mmmmn, better The Jam or the Adverts than Secret Affair...

trakMARX - Considering the NME burnt a gtr on the cover & pronounced R&R dead & buried in the 90's do you perceive any irony in their championing of six string chaos currently?

Gary - They are only human - can't be right about everything.

John - Everyone murders and revives R&R at least twice a year - it's farcical rather than ironic.

Peter - From my brief experience of the NME nothing would surprise me. They are a twisted bunch of addicts and poseurs.

trakMARX - What do you make of this "no name" malarky - desperate bands or desperate press?

Gary - I have no clue.

Peter - ???

trakMARX - Do The Libertines wanna be a part of a scene per se - or stand alone in glorious isolation?

Gary - Scenes come and go. Isolation can be a lonely place...

Peter - The scene is obscene.

trakMARX - What music publications do The LIBERTINES rate?

John - The NME Cartel.

Peter - 'All Quiet on the Western Avenue' fanzine and, of course, trakMARX!

trakMARX - How did you end up on Rough Trade & how long do you envisage staying with them?

Gary - Rough Trade are cool, as long as they want us, or as long as we don't suck.

Peter - Perfect name for a can't be in the music industry (in any sense) without being a cocksucker (apart from strangely, Rough Trade).

trakMARX - Are they capable of delivering the kind of support you need?

Peter - Yes! Probably not, who knows?

Gary - I have yet to receive my free sports car, but everything else has been real cool.

trakMARX - What constitutes selling out to The LIBERTINES?

Gary - Playing back up to Westlife.

John - As soon as Carl starts wearing 'Ernie Ball' bandannas on stage.

Peter - Sleeping through it all.

trakMARX - What constitutes success to The LIBERTINES?

Gary - Playing back up to Westlife - just kidding!!!

John - Leather balaclavas and new socks everyday.

Peter - Revol, love, riots, harmony, disorder...disturbing their sad dreams "is he alright", "no mate, he's a fuck up."

trakMARX - Will you ever end up wanting to play footie stadiums?

Peter - Only Loftus Road...

John - I'm not very good at football.

trakMARX - You weren't looking for mainstream airplay with "What A Waster" - its lyrical content is contentious to say the least - can we expect more of the same no compromise approach in future material?

Gary - Why the hell not.

John - YES!

trakMARX - Have chosen the next 45 yet?

Gary - That would be telling...

John - It's called 'Up The Bracket'.

trakMARX - Have you begun work on the LP yet & is Bernie The Butler @ the controls for that too?

Gary - That too would be telling.

John - We started on Monday 11th July and the Admiral Mick Jones (Clash) is at the helm instead - they have completely different ways of going about things. Mick is a legend.

trakMARX - The LIBERTINES come across as four fiercely individual entities - does this promote harmony or friction or both & is it an essential aspect of yer sound?

Gary - A bit of harmony and friction can bring about a harmonious, angry, loving environment...

Peter - The boys! Very peculiar affair on the whole. Always hysterics, laughter or tears.

trakMARX - Brevity is a refreshing aspect of everything we've heard by you so far - can we rest assured we're gonna get a 16 trak LP @ under 40 minutes?

Gary - Hey!! It will be as long as it takes OK?

Peter - Rest is assured.

trakMARX - How've the recent live dates been going - have you been feeling a street level reaction to the press you been getting?

Gary - We have been having a great time and met some cool people from all over the country...

Peter - The kids are fucked up - got head-butted in Wolverhampton, cigarettes stubbed out in the face, love everywhere though!

trakMARX - The 7" of "Waster" was allegedly ltd edit - any idea how many copies went out?

Gary - Sorry, no idea!

Peter - 3000 at a guess.

trakMARX - All great bands have an awareness of the collectors market – are The Libertines that kinda band?

Gary – Errr..

Peter – Kinda.

trakMARX - Who else do The Libertines rate in 2002?

Gary - Jack Black to rule the world...

John - Super Furry Animals, The Strokes.

Peter - The Left Hand.

trakMARX - What doe the rest of 2002 hold in store for The Libertines?

Gary - Lots of fun and good music, hope to see you all soon!!!

ean Encoule – trakMARX – July 2002
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