Carbon/Silicon “The News”

Alistair Donald
Add Date:
November 2, 2007


Greetings friends of the music video world! It’s Andy Gesner and the staff of HIP Video Promo, here to share a new clip from a band’s worth of indie rock legends. Mick Jones (The Clash, Big Audio Dynamite) and Tony James (Generation X, Sisters Of Mercy, Sigue Sigue Sputnik) have never been strangers: even before “punk” was a meaningful musical strategy, they were making concise, brutal music together in the seminal London SS. After SS broke up, the pair split off to change the face of the musical underground – and quite a bit of the mainstream, too. But they’ve always maintained mutual respect, and, in 2003, they reunited to form Carbon/Silicon, the latest chapter in a reliably fascinating rock and roll story.

Jones and James have made their names by being provocateurs and by remaining on the cutting-edge, and that hasn’t stopped here. Carbon/Silicon embraces new technologies, musical approaches, and distribution channels, they’ve encouraged concert-taping and re-broadcasting, and they’ve maintained a fan-friendly web presence; their first single bore the title “MPFree”. (Another early Carbon/Silicon release was called Sample This – Peace.) The Crackup Suite, a recent mini-album, was made available for free download through the band’s website. But their enthusiasm for electronic media has not prevented the duo from attaining more conventional mainstream success in the U.K. The News EP placed on the British charts, and The Last Post, their upcoming full-length, will be available in brick-and-mortar stores as well as on the Internet.

Alan McGee of Creation Records fame once likened Carbon/Silicon to “The Stones jamming with a laptop”, and on The Last Post, Jones and James cleverly integrates samples and electronics into their direct and bracing rock songwriting. But demand for public appearances – the duo performed at the Isle of Wight Festival this year – has prompted the two veteran punks to fill out the lineup with two other well-known indie musicians. Leo “E-zee-kill” Williams, who held down the low-end for Big Audio Dynamite, rejoins Mick Jones here, and Dominick Greensmith of Reef provides the backbeat. This live version of Carbon/Silicon is flexible, warm, ingenious, and exciting, and they’re well-captured on the vibrant Last Post.

Lead track “The News” shares much with the best of B.A.D., and demonstrates exactly how much heat the group can generate. Both Jones and James are well-known for their dissidence and advocacy on behalf of social justice, and the Last Post single is without a doubt a political song. But it’s not hectoring or strident at all; on the contrary, it outlines Jones’s utopian vision of a world where the news (and the weather) is good. “People started calling those in power to account”, reports the long-time musical agitator, “and people started saying, ‘I want my voice to count’”. The clip for “The News” is similarly plainspoken and hopeful: it catches Carbon/Silicon in action in a modest practice space. Mick Jones approaches the microphone wryly, without a shred of bitterness, and delivers his optimistic message with conviction. Clocks on the wall, set to different time-zones, demonstrate the band’s awareness of the world around them. And look a little closer at the British flag hanging on the wall behind Greensmith – that’s no Union Jack, that’s a Sex Pistols poster. Classic punks through and through, these guys are.

We have had many opportunities to work with the good folks at Caroline Records and are thankful for each and every one of them. We want to thank Lawrence Lui for bringing us on board to be a part of the Carbon/Silicon promotional team. They are hooking us up with plenty of copies of The Last Post, which we would love for you to use for on-air giveaway needs. The band will also be in select US markets this fall so please be in touch if you’d like to catch up for a video interview with these rock and roll legends If you need more info, call Andy Gesner at 732-613-1779 or e-mail us at [email protected] You can also visit, or to find out more about Carbon/Silicon.

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