Carl Barât receives over a thousand applications for band auditions

Singer’s indie X Factor begins its final stages, with the former Libertines frontman judging three drummers and eight guitarists during the final wave of auditions

After more than 1,000 applications and three days of auditions at London’s Amersham Arms pub, Carl Barât is almost ready to assemble a new band. Without the Libertines or Dirty Pretty Things to back him up, Barât is conducting callbacks with musicians who emailed in their applications, hoping to become “part of something that’s bigger than its individual parts”.

Three drummers and eight guitarists are among Barât’s final wave of auditions: the 35-year-old first read applicants’ emails, then invited some of them in to record a video. “If I’m here in person it confuses everything,” Barât told NME. Working from those videos, the best players have been invited in “to meet [Barât] properly”. “To ask the audience to join the band – [it’s] the last hurdle really,” he added. That being said, “there have been some people who’ve liked the idea more than [actually] being good at music”.

Meanwhile, time is ticking. “I’ve got to get all this done really soon because I’ve got a rather pressing gig abroad that I have to get a band together for,” Barât admitted. He is also trying to wrap up his new album, which he already began recording in Los Angeles. “I don’t want a supergroup, and to be artistically bumping heads with people all the time, similarly I don’t just want the first person I meet with a bass guitar,” he explained last month. And “session musicians are all into jogging and cricket”.

With this new band project, Barât is hoping for “a good thing, a beautiful thing and a really honest thing from the get-go”. The record is “a return to guttural guitar hitting” and the concept is a “sort of post apocalyptic 1984 kind of thing”, but he wants this new group to be a gang of true “allies”. “I want everyone to be together,” he said. “You know, I am hoping for something more.”

Though he had three top 50 albums with the Libertines, and two with Dirty Pretty Things, Barât’s first solo album, released in 2010, peaked at No 52.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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