As Babyshambles fans were left shocked by the announcement that drummer Adam Ficek had left the band, the man himself was focussing on his own project Roses Kings Castles (RKC). The day after the news was announced Ficek launched his new single 'One Born Every Minute' in the beautiful, opulent surroundings of the Soho private members club. The tiny chapel that housed his intimate gig was perfect for the pretty indie-pop tunes he performed. Contactmusic.com caught up with the man behind RKC to find out the real story behind his departure from Babyshambles and his transformation from drummer to front man.
Amongst rumours of tensions within the band and poor communication, Ficek, ever the gentleman, explains the situation with long pauses and carefully chosen words. 'The official line is that I'm out the band and the guy from Supergrass has replaced me. It was kind of a mutual decision we came to. There was a conflict of lifestyles and maybe a bit of tension, therefore cracks would appear and hence Babyshambles is no longer with me and they've got a new drummer in'.
Ficek was always known as the one stable member of Babyshambles, the band member that kept everything together, so it will be interesting to see how and if the band develops in the future, but the future of Babyshambles was not a talking point today. 'You know what, I've got to be totally honest with you, my head is kind of in my space now' says Ficek. 'I've met so many great people and I've felt intrinsically part of that band, it was part of me.it's really painful, but once the decision is made like that, you have to go and you have to do what you believe in and stick to your morals and just go into something which is positive rather than looking back in a negative way'. Read into that what you will, but despite the talk of moving forward and focussing on his current project, Ficek is only human and recent events are bound to have affected him deeply. He still very much feels that he is a part of Babyshambles and Babyshambles remains a big part of him, as do the fans that the band has bought him. 'The message to the fans is thanks for supporting me within the framework of the band and enjoy what I've got to give now' he says humbly.
Indeed, some people may be unaware that Ficek has been releasing material under the guise of RKC for around three years now, whilst continuing his duties for Babyshambles. 'I was writing loads of songs and some of them were getting used for Babyshambles and some didn't, so it was about me thinking where I could put those songs.I was always doing it solo and grabbing musicians where I could' Ficek explains. Although originally RKC was an outlet for his creativity, his recent split from Babyshambles has seen it become his main focus, and it seems he is enjoying the change. 'It's just really nice to play my songs and have a band behind me. Stepping out from behind the drum kit is really different, but I quite like it' he adds.
The music itself is very different too, a much more chilled out, acoustic pop feel, which will certainly take some of the fans he brings from his Babyshambles days by surprise. 'It's kind of hard because coming from my background, people want to hear 'sweaty young men music' and that's just not me. I prefer melody' says Ficek 'its just melodic indie pop really, I wouldn't go any further than that. It's probably not going to change a life but its just nice song writing'. The full band is a six-piece, although tonight's single launch sees them perform minus their trumpet payer, who has prior engagements with her day job (Blue Peter.no, honestly!). The arrangements are born from Ficek's love of melody and has developed from his first album, which was a lo-fi, essentially bedroom produced number to the full band, studio produced upcoming third album.
RKC new single 'There's One Born Every Minute' is a beautiful acoustic indie number with a bounce along up beat melody, but the lyrics tell a different story. '.there's one born every minute, when you're down on your knees, they'll be there'. 'The lyrics really speak for themselves', says Ficek 'you can attach meanings to any lyrics you want, it's about people I meet and people I come across in life and they just poke their heads out in my songs'. So, the song isn't just about the music industry types that we all try to avoid? 'Not just industry people' explains Ficek, 'I used to be really cynical about the music industry, but everyone's just doing their job you know. There are people that I think 'where's your morals?' but there's milk men like that. Its just the industry is so vicious and as soon as you go down someone's there on your back ready to crawl even higher, that's the danger'
It's evident that his frank and honest views are reflected in the music of RKC, but Ficek also aired them in his very popular blog. However, as news broke of his departure from Babyshambles and fans headed to his blog for the full story, it was shut down. 'I'm trying to deliver an air of mystique about myself!' Ficek laughs. 'No, I'm going to open it up again, I just got really down about it all and I thought a blog might help by airing all those views but it just depressed me when I went back and read it and it just reiterated everything I hated about the music industry, so I thought, you know what, I just want to get rid of this and start again'. That seems to be his view in general; a new start. 'Ultimately, if you're in music because you love music, then you can't go wrong' says Ficek. With a new single out now and another album due to be released in October, the band is going from strength to strength. Ficek can now concentrate fully on the future of RKC; and that can only be a good thing.