A Quick Chat With Gary Powell (The Libertines)

A few weeks back, The Libertines drummer Gary Powell dropped by Southeast Asia for a couple of DJ sets as part of Fred Perry’s Subculture Live events in Singapore and KL. We had a quick chat with him and here’s what he had to say:

First off, how was playing at Fred Perry Subculture Live in Southeast Asia?
It was an absolute honour and a pleasure to DJ for Fred Perry Subculture Live in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.  Admittedly, I was a bit nervous about DJ-ing in front of a new audience, as my style of DJ-ing is some what unorthodox to say the least, but is full of musical twists and turns that hopefully keep people guessing and interested as to what is going to happen next.

What do you think of the style that you saw the locals rocking and how would you say each country differed in terms of style?
The sartorial style on show was strong!  It’s always good to see people take on new things and making them seem part and parcel of their own DNA.  That’s what it looked like in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.  Everybody looked at ease with their style, which makes it less of a statement and more of a lifestyle choice.

You described your style as “Art Comes First” on the Fred Perry Subculture.com page, could you explain more about that? Like is it how you feel or is it a tip of the hat to the ACF guys you worked with for Fred Perry earlier this year?
I love the designers, Shaka and Sam at Art Comes First, because their designs reflect their lifestyle and they are less concerned with how they are seen in the public eye and more interested in being comfortable in their own sartorial skin.  Everything we do and say is a reflection on who we are, and if that is the case you may as well comfortable being you. That is very much how Sam and Shaka create their designs and pretty much how live my life.

You currently reside in LA, and in your interview on Subculture you said “So, for now, LA is my home – but soon it will be somewhere else. As long as I have a hat to lay down.” Would you ever see yourself living in Southeast Asia? Is there anything you liked particularly during your recent trip here?
Well I am now back in London for a while but looking forward to my next adventure.  As far as living in South East Asia goes, I’d move there in a heartbeat if I could!  Although I was only there for a short period of time, the people that I met were so cool and easy going, we struck up pretty good relationships.  For me, each place that I go to is more of a reflection of the people than it is the infrastructure.  You could live in the coolest place in the world, but if there is no emotional dynamic between the people you meet – you may as well be living in the South Pole by yourself.

We need to get some style tips from you, could you give us 3 wardrobe / style essentials?
1. KEEP YOUR SHOES CLEAN!  No matter how good you think you look if your shoes ain’t cuttin’ in – then nothing else matters.
2. Guys, time to bag your skinny jeans and give those swimmers a chance to breath!
3. There ain’t nothing wrong with looking smart!

Have you committed any fashion mistakes in your life that you would not want anybody else to do?
Believe it or not I made some bad hair choices in my youth that I can now look back on and say “Jeez Gary, what in the heck were you thinking?”. Generally speaking I think every fashion mistake made is a journey that needed to be made to get you to feel comfortable.  The biggest fashion mistake made is walking around thinking that you look AMAZING! Sure you can feel great – but you should feel great about life in general and have it all wrapped up in an outfit of your own choice!

Thanks to Gary Powell for the time and Fred Perry for the interview opportunity!

Photo: Fred Perry