Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

We sat Johnny Borrell down and asked him to explain himself

It's fair to say that no one has experienced the 'build 'em up to knock 'em down' mentality of the British press quite as forcefully as Johnny Borrell.

Having been involved with the formation of the Libertines, he rose to worldwide fame as the rent-a-quote, unabashed rock star frontman of Razorlight, who rode the crest of the early naughties indie wave to sell bucketloads of their debut album Up All Night and then, armed with a genuine mainstream crossover hit in the form of America, even more of their second, self-titled, album.

However, the critics turned on third album Slipway Fires, the rest of the band departed, before being replaced (and unveiled via a much-mocked photograph) while Borrell moved on to a completely new venture.

Borrell 1, a record made by Borrell and his backing group Zazou, was released in 2013 to predominantly negative reviews and famously sold just 594 copies during its first week on sale, quite a comedown for a man who played Wembley Stadium (as part of Live Earth in 2007) and sold more than 2.5m albums in the UK alone.

This 'failure', complete with a mocking press release from his own label, saw open season for the critics to gain their revenge.

Now, he's back with a second album with Zazou, entitled The Atlantic Culture, and once again, it looks unlikely to be bothering the charts.

But does he care?

And does he stand by what he did in the past, or does he have regrets?

What about those famous quotes?

We spoke to Johnny in Paris to discover the truth. And no, we weren't walking down the street with a guitar at the time.

Related

rockalbumshero.jpg

The 50 Greatest Rock Albums Ever

glasto.jpg

The 10 acts you need to see at Glastonbury this year

Bruce.jpg

10 Style lessons from iconic album sleeves

Comments

More

The music world has united in response to the Manchester attack

Here are the reactions from musicians on social media

by Dave Fawbert
23 May 2017

11 forgotten indie bands that shaped your '00s teenage years

And what are they up to now?

by Tayler Willson
22 May 2017

This Harvard student dropped a rap album as his final dissertation

Now I feel like a mug for writing a 20,000-word essay

by Gary Ogden
22 May 2017

UK music festivals are going to start testing your drugs for purity

It has the potential to save lives

by Gary Ogden
22 May 2017

The 7 most important UK festival sets of the millennium

The musical moments in a field that changed everything

by David Hillier
19 May 2017

These modern albums redesigned with retro covers are glorious

We wish these were the real thing

by Dave Fawbert
19 May 2017

Chris Cornell's isolated vocals to 'Black Hole Sun' are amazing

A reminder of the sheer talent of the Soundgarden frontman

by Dave Fawbert
19 May 2017

Check out the exclusive new Nothing But Thieves video

'Amsterdam' was filmed in a Ukranian industrial warehouse

by Dave Fawbert
18 May 2017

Paying tribute to Chris Cornell, one of the greatest voices in music

And here are six songs from him that you need to listen to immediately

by Dave Fawbert
18 May 2017

There's going to be a secret #Grime4Corbyn party, and you can go

JME and co. are fully behind Labour for this election

by Gary Ogden
15 May 2017