Pete Doherty and Frédéric Lo explain how French serenity and drug-freeness shaped their new album


Pete Doherty and his collaborator Frederic Lo have shared the single “You Can’t Keep It From Me Forever” and announced the details of their new album “The Fantasy Life of Poetry & Crime”. Check it out below, along with our interview with the duo.

After sharing the title track, The Libertines/Babyshambles man and the French musician, musical director, composer, arranger, music producer and singer-songwriter present a preview of their next album (slated for release in March) with the summer-ready track ‘You Can’t Keep It From Me Forever’ – which Doherty says was inspired by his now drug-free lifestyle and the couple’s love of classic indie-pop.

“It kinda reminded me of early Morrisseys or some of the early Suede stuff, with an old-school hooky guitar,” Doherty said. NME. “I never get bored singing this song. I’m really going to enjoy singing it live. There’s just something so uplifting about it.

Asked about the lyrical inspiration, Doherty replied, “I guess it’s not even a subconscious desire for things. I’ve been sober since December 2019 so at the time of this writing I was really struggling with drugs and felt like it would only be a matter of time before I got back to it . It didn’t turn out to be that way, but there was this kind of kick to the new way of being clean and feeling like it was temporary. You can apply this to any type of desire, but for me it was specifically about that. Time passed, and I managed to stay on the straight and narrow, if that’s true.

“That’s the honest answer, but it seems silly to give that answer now, though. If it was really such a necessity, I would have just walked out and used it. I guess it’s just kind of a smarmy and self-defeating thing. -sabotage, but just in the role of a narrator.

Lo, best known for his work with Pony Pony Run Run, Stephan Eicher, Maxime Le Forestier, Christophe Honoré and Alex Beaupain, first met Doherty in the summer of 2020 when he asked her to record a cover for a tribute album to his late collaborator, the famous French singer-songwriter Daniel Darc.

From there, Doherty said he naturally found himself writing lyrics for pieces of music that Lo had written. In the space of six months, an entire album had been written during confinement before being recorded at Cateuil in Étretat in Normandy and at Studio Water Music in Paris.

“It felt really natural,” Lo said. NME. “It was the end of summer under a beautiful sun, and we were working in a beautiful house in Normandy. We just kept writing songs until we had a whole album. Peter didn’t want to pay for the guitar, so I played guitar, bass and keyboard and recorded a French drummer with one of the biggest orchestras in Paris. It was really something special.

Along with being clean for two years, Doherty also recently married fellow Puta Madres teammate Katia de Vidas. When asked if marital bliss added to the upbeat tone of the new material, Doherty told us, “Maybe. I wasn’t married when I was writing the record, but I was married! I was monogamous, very much in love and cocooned and in a relationship. It wasn’t about the highs and lows of sprawling adult romances.

He continued, “It’s more inward looking. Much of it was inspired by movies and the few years I spent in Margate before I found myself locked up in Normandy and then completely separated from England and addiction. I was getting clean. I guess there’s been so much recklessness for such a long time and not really caring what other people thought it reverses and all of a sudden you go from no pressure to a hypersensitive awareness of this new expectation.

“I think the creative process is like an addiction in itself. I need to write songs, and I’ve never really gotten to the bottom of it.

Peter Doherty and Frederic Lo. Credit: Nicolas Despis

In addition to the personal nature of the lyrics, Doherty said he was also inspired by local fables and mythology from his new home in Normandy (such as the story of Arsène Lupin, the gentleman thief) to create this which he described as some of his best work to date.

“I think I tried my hardest with the lyrics on this album,” he said. “I really saw it as a challenge and a necessity to get them to write. I feel like the melodies and songs that Frederic had for me to write lyrics were so strong that they took a huge effort on my part.

Lo agreed, “For the first tracks we wrote together, we felt something really huge and really strong. We were like friends forever. It was really strange. I loved Peter’s lyrics and the way he writes. It’s really modern and post-modern. I love Oscar Wilde and The Smiths, and Peter’s work is so expressive. I knew when I offered him some tracks that it was good material, so it was like one plus one equals three.

“We were like a songwriting duo, and we loved that because we talked a lot about the Smiths and the Clash and the Beatles. When Peter shouts on this album, it’s kind of like a John Lennon style, and I play this music like 60s pop tunes.”

The duo plan to play a gig for ARTE Live on French and German TV before a full tour follows in April and May – having already performed a few low-key spontaneous gigs in some local cafes while recording the album. in France.

“It’s absolutely essential to play these songs live,” Doherty said. “That’s what I’ve wanted to do since we wrote them. We just have to think about which musicians to use. Frédéric has done most of the recordings with French musicians during various lockdowns, but it looks like we will now be merging various elements of The Puta Madres and Babyshambles to form a band.

He continued, “It’s really exciting to think about taking these songs on the road. The last Libertines tour was amazing – I don’t think we’ve ever played so well – but we didn’t put any new songs in there. We had played new ideas on the bus and during rehearsals, but we didn’t follow any of them live. Maybe it’s something for the future. For now, that’s what my heart is set on. I need these songs to be heard.

Speaking of The Libertines, NME also asked Doherty about the progress of the long-awaited sequel to their 2015 album “Anthems For Doomed Youth.” When Pete last spoke to NME about the new material in 2019, he said he had an eclectic mix of styles in the same vein as The Clash’s “Sandinista.”

“It’s still the format we’re talking about,” Doherty told NME this week of how it’s going. “At the end of the tour that we did which ended last month, everyone was really optimistic that we were all still alive after the various quarantines and John’s comings and goings. We were all very optimistic about the future, so I don’t know how or when it will happen, but I think it will happen.

“’Sandinista’ always locks it up because there are still a lot of ideas. It’s just a matter of getting everyone together in a room and moving on. »

In addition to upcoming concerts in South America, The Libertines have also planned concerts in the UK to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their debut album “Up The Bracket”. When asked if the new spurt of activity might inspire the band to hit the studio and finish the record, Doherty replied, “I like to think so. There was a song that ended called ‘Mustang’, which was a cracker and certainly among the greatest. I kept saying, “Let’s do it tonight,” but everyone just wanted to hold back. I really hope you can hear it all this year.

Peter Doherty & Frédéric Lo announce the release of their new album 'The Fantasy Life of Poetry & Crime'
Peter Doherty & Frédéric Lo announce the release of their new album ‘The Fantasy Life of Poetry & Crime’

‘The Fantasy Life Of Poetry & Crime’ will be released on March 18 via Doherty’s own Strap Originals label and is available for pre-order here. Check out the full track list below.

“The Fantastic Life of Poetry and Crime”
“The Epidemiologist”
‘The ballad of.’
“You can’t hide it from me forever”
“Yes, I wear a mask”
“The Alchemy of Rock’n’Roll”
‘The monster’
“The Glassblower”
‘Keep me on file’
“Abe Wassenstein”
‘Away from the Madding Crowd’


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