Here’s an excerpt from the Babyshambles feature that appears in Sentimentalist Magazine issue 24. For the full text, check out the back issue. Enjoy!

Babyshambles’ management may have woken drummer Adam Ficek out of a sound, flu-induced sleep at eleven a.m. London time to talk, but perhaps I deserved just as much sympathy for having gotten up before six a.m. to be ready for his groggy call. Knowing how difficult it is to pin down any of the members of Babyshambles for an overseas chat, waking up a few hours early was the least I could do. Though the notorious, yet dazzling Pete Doherty was unavailable for comment at the time, Adam was quite insightful about the band, even when bogged down with a nasty cold.

When I mentioned the cold, wee New York hour to Adam, he says, “Wow. You got up early for this interview!” Indeed. It’s not every day you get to hear from one of the world’s most infamous bands about their latest EP, The Blinding, which reveals a new era for Babyshambles, reintroducing them as a band revelling in their newfound focus, influences and optimism. Their new album is planned for release in early fall.

Your EP The Blinding was released on Capitol Records in the US. Will you make it over here to tour?
Hopefully one day, but right now Peter can’t get out of the country because of his criminal record…

How is it to be a band playing under those uncertain circumstances day to day?
You never know what’ll happen. Last year, we were supposed to go to the States for SXSW. It was all organized and they were trying to get us over there, but Pete was arrested so they couldn’t get us in…

Are you and the rest of the band a supportive group of friends who try to keep him away from the bad elements?
Yeah. It’s difficult sometimes. There’s a lot of negativity… he attracts sort of the wrong kinds of people when he goes around. But he’s his own man, isn’t he?

Do you all work together as a band to write the songs these days?
It has been that way for a while now. We’ve all worked on the songs for the new album. Lyrically, Pete’s still the main force…

The new EP’s songs seem much stronger than those on the first album?
Yeah, it’s very differently styled this time, isn’t it? That seems to be the direction things are going now. I think the new lead guitarist, Mick [Whitnall] brought a lot of new things with him. It’s very much a 60’s garage background, and ska-influenced as well. I think the new stuff is less rock than what the band was previously. Peter’s like a chameleon and can obviously soak in and work with any kind of sound.

Is it irritating to sometimes be called “Pete’s backing band” in the press?
Yeah, it’s really infuriating. We’ve played gigs where we’ve been billed as “Pete Doherty and Babyshambles” which I don’t think is fair, since we all write. Though we’ve been seeing a bit of change as far as how we’ve been viewed in the press lately.

Since your band happens to be Babyshambles, it seems you could play gibberish to your London audiences and they’d still be thrilled.
[laughs, then coughs] They’re going down really well, the shows and the new songs. We’re just preparing for the new album and we’ll be excited to hear when we can …get into the studio and start recording…

http://www.babyshambles.net

–Madeline Virbasius-Walsh