Spotlight: Carbon/Silicon

11:30pm, Friends

Spotlight: Carbon/Silicon

"The present is the future gone wrong," says a whispery Mick Jones. It's hard to argue with that logic, especially when it issues from one-half of the Only Band That Matters, still. When the former Clash guitarist and emotional counterpoint to Joe Strummer's righteous rasp found himself unhappily searching for "guaranteed personality," he had no idea how prescient his melancholic political forecast would be.

"We've come full circle in lots of ways," says Jones. "You lose yourself, don't you, in all of it? One does."

Hence the formation – post-Clash, post-Big Audio Dynamite, post-Pete Doherty & the Libertines (whom he lent his production talents to) – of Carbon/Silicon, the chiming, shining, and altogether exhilarating end result of 30 years in the punk-to-pop-to-rock trenches.

"As far as the Clash," Jones argues, "that anger and that sense of negativity was part of the musical scope more than anything. We were like, 'Yeah, we're punks, but that means punk can be anything you want.' So I've always tried to adhere to that: 'We can do anything!'

"But we're still searching for meaning."

Back with his pre-Clash, London SS bandmate Tony James, Carbon/Silicon hardens B.A.D. at their most approachable, all ringing melodies and sheering guitars. The band's debut, The Last Post, sounds of a soldier sick of endless culture warfare, ready to plug a barbed-wire-stemmed rose in the gun barrel of the present. Last Poet is less a trouser-pressed summation of Jones' iconic punk past than a grimly optimistic, no-longer-bleary eyeballing of the present: Radio Clash sent Sputniking skyward on "Love Missile F1-11."

"There's so much bad stuff going on," laments Jones. "I don't want to be any part of it. We outgrew that, and now we want part of what's good no matter how small it may be. We're just happy to not be a negative influence.

"We've gone through it all, and we've found ourselves a bit. In England we expect the worst, and so if anything happens, well, there you go. If it's the worst, it's to be expected. England isn't positive, and so [with Carbon/Silicon] I think we've finally discovered a very good way of looking at things."

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
Thursday Showcases
Thursday Showcases
International hip-hop, or domestic, Modern Outsider sounds?

March 20, 2015

Thursday Interview
Thursday Interview

Nina Hernandez, March 20, 2015

More by Marc Savlov
The Marksman
Liam Neeson is the action man again in this border thriller

Jan. 15, 2021

Beautiful Something Left Behind
The hard path to healing when kids suffer a death in the family

Jan. 8, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Carbon / Silicon, Mick Jones, the Clash

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle