The Libertines star, 39, on kids taking over his phone, hooky speakers and restocking his records
What music kit do you use?
Logic and ProTools for recording, which is what everyone uses. With guitars and amps I don’t deviate much from what I started with — a decent old Gibson or Fender and maybe some pedals. I used a Lovepedal BBB for my last album.
Did any gadgets make an impression on you when you were a kid?
I used to love the Innovations catalogue, which featured everything from beanbag seats and TV dinner trays to metal detectors. I really wanted a metal detector. I bought one at a car boot sale for my son recently but stopped using it pretty quickly. I’ve obviously lost my metal-detecting zeal. We found a few old nails in the garden and that was it.
What music-related tech did you have growing up?
An all-in-one Pioneer stereo unit with turntable, radio, equaliser and double tape deck so you could record stuff off the radio. Before that I had a Sanyo Walkman. I had two tapes — Jackie Wilson’s Greatest Hits and With The Beatles. That was enough.
What do you listen to music on at home?
I’ve got a lovely Cambridge Audio amp and a Marantz record player. I had a hiatus from listening to things digitally, it’s a different world listening to it as it’s intended on a stereo with the speakers split on different sides of the room. It’s so much different to listening to it off a soundbar. I used to have a load of vinyl but it was all stolen in a burglary and I didn’t want to go back and buy Bowie, The Beatles and all the records I used to own again but I’ve started restocking. I’ve got all the Hendrix and Doors albums replaced.
Are you a fan of streaming?
It doesn’t pay bands enough to keep making their music but if bands don’t go on there it’s impossible for them to share their music, so it’s sink or swim. It doesn’t pay you enough to make a record but it gives you exposure to people, so maybe it’s the new radio.
Do your kids use any annoying gadgets?
They use my phone so I get woken up in the night by Clash Of Clans telling me to buy more axes. And then there’s the talking frog toy saying it needs its batteries changing in the middle of the night and I spend ages looking through piles of crap trying to find it.
You lost some hearing after having an operation to remove a tumour. Do you use any gadgets to help with that?
It hasn’t got to the stage where I’d need an ear trumpet. You get used to it but I’m no stranger to an endoscope.
What gadget you’ve bought has been most disappointing?
I bought speakers from a man selling them from a truck when I was at college. I got them home and pulled the front panel off and there was note inside saying ‘twat’.
What’s on your wish list?
A sturdy drone with a decent navigation system. My friend had one and it ended up stuck in a tree. It’d be a fun way to chase the cat around.
If you could invent any gadget what would it do?
Something that stops time. That would be good way to have a little break. But then you’d suddenly end up getting older in increments.
The Libertines headline Tramlines Festival, Jul 21. tramlines.org.uk