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 Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang

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PostSubject: Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang   Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang Icon_minitimeWed Mar 03, 2010 1:16 am

http://www.exploremusic.com/interview/2010-03-02/The-Gaslight-Anthems-Brian-Fallon-Tells-ExploreMusic-About-American-Slang

Pretty good interview with Brian talking about the new album (including being misquoted about the songs about a doctor and a baseball player). He also mentions working on songs with Chuck Ragan for an album due "next year".
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang   Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang Icon_minitimeWed Mar 03, 2010 3:00 am

Excellent interview. Hearing Brian talk about how it it's never just business and humility makes me love the band even more. Gaslight might be the blueprint for how to run a band someday.

Can't wait to see the album cover. Sounds excellent.

Wonder what was meant by the "gaslight take some time off" line? Figure that would come after their fall US tour. Makes a good deal of sense, don't want to burn yourselves out. Seems like it could turn into a nice pattern of "Spend summer doing festivals and touring Europe, spend the fall touring US, spend winter/spring either pursing personal projects or writing an album"
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang   Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang Icon_minitimeWed Mar 03, 2010 8:16 am

Just in case someone wants this, here is the mp3 of the interview:
http://rapidshare.com/files/358304123/Explore_Music_Interview-The_Gaslight_Anthem_s_Brian_Fallon_Tells_ExploreMusic_About_American_Slang.m
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang   Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang Icon_minitimeWed Mar 03, 2010 4:09 pm

For those who can't listen at work, anyone have a text version of the interview?
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang   Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang Icon_minitimeWed Mar 03, 2010 5:22 pm

Great interview. And thanks for also posting the audio. I'd love someone to transcribe this ...
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang   Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang Icon_minitimeWed Mar 03, 2010 11:48 pm

I might try to transcribe in a bit. I'll see how fast he's talking. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang   Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang Icon_minitimeThu Mar 04, 2010 1:35 am

Wow, so I did it. I started and was like, "This is way too long." But then I was too far in and didn't want to stop after all that work.

So here it is. It's not word for word, but it's close.


----
I've got Brian Fallon from The Gaslight Anthem on the phone. He's in a very busy New York City. How ya doing, dude?

I'm doing well. It's New York City, and [???] so are the trucks apparently.

Sounds like you're in the middle of a truck parade.

Yeah, it's not normally like that. Matter of fact, just right now, as soon as I picked up the phone...the truck ensemble came through.

Billions of trucks drove by at one time?

It's really strange, it's like an elephant run. They all run at once in the jungle.

Okay dude, so I got a bit of time with you and...my first question before we get into the "American Slang" album is: What's it like being in Gaslight Anthem post-59 sound? Must be crazy.

It was crazy. It was a little weird. Cause you gotta kinda figure out...what do you do with that? All that's happened. Where do you put that in your life? I think we just kind of put it nowhere. It's very cool and we were very appreciative of it. But we didn't let it get in the rooms of our life and let it affect how we view ourselves or how we view the people around us. We're grateful. Almost as if you had done a painting and someone was like "That's a really great painting." You're just like "thank you very much", but that doesn't really get into your head in a bad way.

This is kinda the standard question that you ask bands but do you guys feel the pressure coming off this record?

We did at the beginning, and then we kinda just cut it loose, which was a difficult thing to do and took some time. But in the beginning it was a lot of pressure and it was really scary pressure cause we have never dealt with that before. It took a lotta searching and a lotta patience to let that go. It took a lot of not knowing what to do with all that praise or acceptance. You don't really know where to put it, and that kinda came with the pressure.

I would imagine that your working class values and your punk ethic probably would have came in handy dealing with that pressure.

Yeah, I think that we're the most punk rock and roll band that there is right now. The way we run our business and they we do our thing is as if we were a really stringent punk band. We're not but we grew up in that and we took that with us. And that does help. It makes you feel like your part of something bigger than you, like a community.

I just imagine it would help keep you grounded. You know what I mean?

Yeah we're not waving the DIY flag or anything like that, but it does help to feel that common thing of like, hey, you stick with your friends. Like you don't leave your label just because some other label gives you more money. That's just not the right thing to do as a person. Cause it's never jsut business. Like in "The Godfather"...when you're business is over and you're 60 years old, you're still gonna be you. And the things you've done wrong and the way you've treated people...they're gonna live on when your business is over. It's never just business.

We're talking about these working class values that come so strongly with The Gaslight Anthem. They've been there since day one. Not just on "The '59 Sound." Is that still present on the new record?

Yeah absolutely. You can still tell. That's the thing that we try to keep. That was more important to us than our influences or what were the things we liked on record to record and what they sounded like. The real consistent thing with us is that we're still trying to stay the same guys. It would cool if we were the biggest band in the world...that people were like, "You know what? Those guys are still cool. I remember them when they were playing in a basement and they are the same guys playing in whatever big arena." That would be the coolest thing for me. That they hadn't changed.

Why did you guys call it "American Slang"?

Oh, cause that's kind of our life. That's like the banner over our life story. Like the backhanded American thing. It's a funny thing and I think that people, especially in the last administration, or the current one in our country...things got a little twisted around and people perceive Americans as insensitive and the wealthy populace that made all the decisions in the world. And that's not true. America is built on the backs of the dudes I'm watching across the street tearing down a building. That's what America is. The American dream is kind of a weird thing cause it's like a funny thing that you're presented with. There's all these possibilities that you could do, but none of those really happen...not very often. It doesn't really happen like that. You kinda live the American life and there's the American dream, but what the reality is is kinda the American slang.

That happens up in Canada, too man. It's a North American type of ideal there. That's a pretty social statement. Are you plugged in politically and socially?

Not so much plugged in with the politics, as far as the actual administrations and the topics that they're talking about. I'm more plugged in with the people that I see every day. The people that I'm still in touch with that I used to work with when I would work construction. All my friends and that kind of thing. The street level people. (laughs)

Worst job you've ever had?

Gas station attendant. By far. People are so rude. Terrible.

*interviewer tells story about working at gas station at Canada that I'm a little too lazy to type, but the moral of the story is they both agree you should tip gas station attendants*

I think that part of what I was talking about with the American thing. I think that that resonates with everybody. If you're from Germany or Russia or Hawaii, it kinda resonates with you. It's just our specific story so that's why we called it "American Slang" rather than anything else.

What was the recording process like? I read something on Myspace...apparently you guys had lots and lots of coffee.

Yeah, we're almost done. We're still in here but we're kinda laying down the last things. It was really cool because this time we practiced. We've had time to practice. We got off tour, had a couple months to write and practice really a lot. And then we went in the studio fully prepared whereas normally our records were done in the middle of tours. Like we would take breaks on tour, and then continue on tour.

What does that do for you as a musician? Does it give you a bit more breathing room?

Yeah it does and it really lets you get what you're trying to do across, so you don't look back on things and go, "Man, you know, if I had time I could've figured out this part." This guitar part that maybe I couldn't have played at the time, but given an extra week or something, I would've had time with that. And the cool thing is that with the guys at SideOneDummy, they're very cool. They said that stuff without us having to ask for it. It was like, "Listen man, we got you all this time now. You can go sit back and record and it'll be cool. You can take as much time as you need." And we were like, wow, that's awesome. I didn't even ask you for that. And they were like, "No, no, it's totally cool man. Just do it."

I gotta say SideOneDummy, out of all the labels out there. They treat their artists really well. Like Anti-Flag their new album was great. Flogging Molly, they're really pushing that record. They like to give artists time. You can tell.

They're a good label. There's a few good labels. I think Epitaph's a good label. I think Vagrant seems to be doing well with their bands. I don't really know that guys at Vagrant but I know the guys at Epitaph and I know the guys at Fat. I really think that they're great and they do it. I'm partial to side one. I kinda think that they're the best label in the world. That's why we stick with them.

I've read things about a doctor who discovers a cure for cancer, I've read stuff about baseball players...

What I said in that interview particularly was...I was kinda describing the American dream. How you don't grow up to be the world's greatest baseball player, or you don't grow up to be the doctor who cures cancer. You grow up to be you. And whatever it is that you do, a lot of times you fall short of these dreams that you have when you're a kid. The songs are about the dream, not baseball players and doctors. Maybe the phone line was funny that day. It was kinda what I said, but there's no songs about that. But that happens. It's a phone conversation. People get things confused sometimes. It's alright. That lady is a nice lady. She didn't do that on purpose.

I have to ask you. You're talking a lot about the American dream and people striving to reach and attain their goals and at least dealing with life when they don't make those goals...you're in a really good spot. You're bands done really well, your solo stuff is amazing. Do you feel like you've accomplished your goals and reached your dreams?

I feel like I've done moreso. I feel like I've really been able to achieve more than I ever kinda thought I would. It's a privilege. I feel like I'm talking about this thing out of responsibility. There's a portion of it that I'm talking about cause I didn't just get here overnight. It took me forever and it took a lot of struggles. And I really believe that, under the circumstances, if you put your mind to do it, you can pretty much do anything. Obviously it takes some extra help. Cause I don't think that people do things on their own. I kinda think that things are given to you and opportunities are presented to you. It's not really anything you can control but if you stay positive and do your part and are showing up and working hard, then that can happen for you. And I think that's partially what it is. And that's what it's about. That's kinda the contrast of it.

That's a great message. This is kinda weird but it reminds me of what Conan said on his last show. He literally said if you work hard and are nice to people, good things will happen.

Yeah exactly man. I saw that too. I thought that was a great thing. That's exactly what it's about. And stay humble, too. I was given this life that I have now and I was given this opportunity to be able to go into a recording studio as a job. And it was given to me by the people who like us. So it's not something I earned. No matter what work I did in it, I never say to anyone, "I earned this. I belong here." Cause there's a thousand people that you've never heard of that are better than me.

Yeah and they're playing basement shows in Jersey still.

Yep, they're playing same places we played. It's never an earned thing. Bands are crazy if they think that they did it on their own.

Is their album art ready for this album?

We're working on it. Now it's starting to become a mix between us and the guy who does our posters...a guy named El Jefe. Not from NOFX. This is a guy from DC. He does a lot of artwork for us and he's kinda putting it together. Right now we're shooting him photos of things that means something to us or anything local, that's like local to the four of us. We're snapping photos every day. And we're gonna get some photos and make kind of a little collage. Not a collage in the sense of where it's like all jambled up together. It's gonna be squares. Like little tiny squares I think. That's the idea right now, and we'll see if that pans out. It's through our eyes and I think that's the cool thing about it is that the pictures you're gonna see on the record cover...that's pictures we took. We didn't hire some fancy-schmansy photographer.

Are you okay putting yourself out there and being that honest? I know this record is a lot about your experiences. Are you okay putting that out there to the public?

Yeah I think so because if you ever met me on the street and you asked me like some personal questions, I may be a little standoffish. I'm pretty reserved as far as that goes. But you gotta tell people the truth and the truth is in the detail. You can't really get to the point with getting to the point. I'm not opposed to it, but if someone was like, "Where is your wife right now? Can I see a picture of your wife?" I'd be like that's kinda weird, don't you think? But you've always gotta remember that nobody's asking you anything in an odd way. They're asking you because they know your music.

Yeah and once your music's out there, it goes through that process where it sort of becomes somebody else's, right?

Yeah and becomes part of their lives. You're at a disadvantage because they do know you to some level and you don't know them. You have to be careful with that and respect the fact that they do hold a part of you, and that's kinda like, you maybe put yourself out there a little more than you'd like to.

Okay last question, actually two questions. I recently spoke with Chuck Ragan and he mentioned he's doing a split with you...can you tell us about that project?

Yeah me and Chuck are passing songs back and forth over the internet and he'll write some music and I'll write words over it, and then I'll write music and he'll write words or whatever. And we're gonna put a little record together.

That's very "Postal Service" of you guys.

Yeah it's kinda like that. It's very cool. But we're gonna record it together. It'll be cool. Chuck's a very good friend of mine. I like him a lot. I respect him greatly.

Yeah he was a great interview. Very nice to talk to. Coming back to those working-class values.

Very sincere man. He's a very sincere guy.

Tim Barry as well. He was just on the tour.

I was just gonna say that. Tim Barry is very cool. Honest dudes, you know?

That song "Prosser's Gabriel." What a tune.

They've both got some great tunes. They're starting a new thing. They're holding it down. Like in the old days. Like Bob Dylan telling it on the street. And that's cool.

Okay so we know that the Gaslight album is coming out June 15. The Chuck Ragan split...any idea roughly?

I'm not sure. It's really hard to say. I'd probably say next year in the winter. I want it to have enough chance to breathe. I don't want it to get bombarded over by the Gaslight record. I know that SideOne is gonna be firing on all cylinders for that one. I don't want it to get overlooked, so we're gonna give it a little bit of time to breathe. And when me and Chuck are like, "Yup that's cool." And then when Gaslight takes a break, cause I'd like to get on the revival tour a little with him too.

Dude, thank you so much.

Sure, no sweat.

I'm kinda pissed off at your country right now for beating us in hockey.

Ah sorry about that man. We're doing the best we can.

We play Russia tonight. It's gonna be hectic.

Look out!

Hey Brian, thanks for your time man.

Yeah no sweat. I appreciate doing it.

Yeah man, hopefully when you get up here with the new record, we can do an interview in person. That'd be rad.

Sounds good man.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang   Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang Icon_minitimeThu Mar 04, 2010 5:35 am

simo wrote:
Wow, so I did it. I started and was like, "This is way too long." But then I was too far in and didn't want to stop after all that work.

So here it is. It's not word for word, but it's close.

That's dedication. Thanks so much. Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang Icon_cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang   Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang Icon_minitimeThu Mar 04, 2010 11:20 am

Holy crap! Shocked

Can't believe u did ALL that O.o
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang   Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang Icon_minitimeThu Mar 04, 2010 12:52 pm

Dude you are nuts, thanks.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang   Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang Icon_minitimeThu Mar 04, 2010 3:41 pm

I already listened but I need to give props because that's just so darn impressive.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang   Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang Icon_minitimeThu Mar 04, 2010 4:40 pm

Damn dude. Thanks for transcribing all that.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang   Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang Icon_minitimeThu Mar 04, 2010 8:14 pm

It's easy to spend lots of time on something like that, especially when you have something better to be doing.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang   Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang Icon_minitimeThu Mar 11, 2010 2:15 pm

Thanks much for transcribing it. Great interview. Anyone else get motivated to go work hard on something, anything, after reading / hearing the interview. I love the working class values...Roll up the shirt sleeves and get some dirt under the finger nails, let's make it happen.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang   Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang Icon_minitimeThu Mar 11, 2010 2:50 pm

This interview does get me pumped to work hard on something
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang   Brian Fallon Tells ExploreMusic About American Slang Icon_minitime

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