Tue, 02 Jun 2009 11:28:37
Gallows guitarist Steph Carter is getting ready for sound check before a show in his band’s native England when he called in for our little chat.
Overseas, Gallows are pretty much gods, thanks to their frenetic, sweat-soaked live shows, which have seen the band rack up more bloodied noses and bruised knuckles than a pub brawl. The band, which released one album, Orchestra of Wolves, on Epitaph, before signing to the major label Warner Bros. They’ve just released Grey Britain and have generated a bit of a frenzy, thanks to their no-frills, in-your-face brand of punk fuckin’ rock and old school hardcore, the likes of which we haven’t seen in many, many years.
Gallows spew their passionately politically rock n' roll and batter their instruments and most punk rock of all, they don’t care who likes or it not! They’re still going to keep doing what they do so well in spite of all the critics and fans. Carter sounded off about the band’s major label deal, about other “punk bands” and how everyone in the world can relate to what Gallows are pumping on record. Oh, and he also revealed a little secret about his musical tastes.
How does Gallows fit on a major label roster? Is Warner Bros. a good place for Gallows?
To be brutally honest, I don’t where is a good place for us. I don’t know if we fit on a major or an indie. We’re not like any other band out at the minute. We’re not a punk bank. We’re not hardcore or rock n' roll. I don’t know any other band that put themselves through what we do other than Dillinger Escape Plan. We’re not friendly ‘unit shifters.’ We’re not an album-selling band. We’re a band that is meant to be seen in the live environment. If anything, being on a major, we get shit from the fans who were into us from the beginning. You know how it goes, "Oh, they are on a major label. They must have sold out." I don’t give a fuck about any of that. We still write music like we have written it from the beginning. Someone gave us a million pounds to do it. I’d be a fucking idiot to say "no" to that. That has nothing to do with selling out. It’s about, "Here’s the money and now we’ll keep doing exactly what we’ve always done!" What would you do? Who would say ‘no’ to the money just to keep it underground? I don’t know if we fit anywhere. I guess time will tell.
You said you don’t consider Gallows a "punk rock" band. What, then, do you consider your band, since Gallows sure seems to embody all the elements of disenfranchised punk rock designed for the youth!
Some people think Green Day is punk rock. They sell millions of albums a year. Maybe they are. All I can say is that we write passionate music that doesn’t sell albums, but if you come to our show, I guarantee you will remember it.
Is Grey Britain a reference to the gloomy economic and state of your home turf today? Is that something that greases Gallows’ gears?
There state of our country and the world has gone to shit. We’re now forced into a massive recession. Europe has the highest unemployment rate out there. The album was written around the problems from where we are from. But despite that, anyone on the planet can associate with this, though, because we’re not the only ones with this problem. The whole world is facing it.
Tell us something about Steph Carter that’s not really common knowledge!
I am a massive fan of classical music. I have been trying to play the "Moonlight Sonata," and I was a pianist first, before I played guitar, but I cannot play it to save my life like I can guitar.
— Amy Sciarretto