As not everyone may read the Levi's thread, here is Brian's interview with ViceStyle.com.
My favourite quote:
"When bands are like, 'I'm such a deep artist, all my songs are DEEP', it’s like, 'come on, you are not'. You think about boobies just like everyone else!"http://vicestyle.com/en/news/today/post/levis-presents-gaslight-anthem
Levi's Presents Gaslight Anthem
A lot of The Gaslight Anthem's fans call the band's music "honest rock and roll", whatever that means. As part of our Backstage Heroes project we interviewed the band (they're fronting the Levi's 519 campaign) to try and work it out.Vice: Since we’re here because of Levi’s, lets talk image: how important is it to Gaslight Anthem?
Brian Fallon: People come to us with endorsements all the time but why would we care about a product we don't use? Since we were practically born in jeans, the Levi’s thing made sense; if you want to sponsor our tour for doing something we do everyday, then cool! When Levi's wanted to do a shoot we thought it might be a problem if they were going to dress us up, but the whole point was that they capture how we look, not how they want us to look. We're hard to deal with in that way. If people tell us to do something, our attitude is, "OK, well, we're going to do the complete opposite." How about that? It's the snotty punk rock attitude that we grew up with.Has the move from New Jersey to Brooklyn made you more fashion conscious?
When the British press talk about Brooklyn, they usually mean Williamsburg, but I live in quieter part of town. I moved there to get away from everybody, hide out and figure myself out. I'm actually looking for a house back in New Jersey because I miss it now. Moving to the city was exciting, but I never hung out with celebrities or anything. This one time, I saw Maggie Gyllenhaal walking down the street, I got so scared I couldn't talk. I was just carrying my laundry and she was just there with her kids, looking so
pretty!Your dad’s from Manchester, and you even had a band named after The Smith’s track "This Charming Man". Is British music still important?
Yeah. We went back further than that, we were also listening to all the old English blues-rock records. We listened to the old Eric Clapton albums. We always had American music, and when you have it, the next best place to look music is England.Humdrum real life into great rock songs.
The trick is that it is everybody's life. It speaks louder because everybody can relate to it. It's not a big concept that people can't understand. It's silly writing about partying and running with celebrities because people going to work every day don't understand that. Regular people and regular life is what we live and that's why it relates on such a grand scale. That's so important.Your gigs attract people from right across the generations, dedicated punks and casual rock fans, did you ever expect to be playing these giant arenas?
It's still a shock, everyday. I was the most misunderstood kid in the world, so it's really weird for me for be understood by young people and older people, because when I was younger I could never be understood by anyone. But then, the most misunderstood people can become the most related to. In high school, no one knew my name, now I feel kind of validated.That must be awesome?
Yeah! There's a proverb about restoring the years that the locust have eaten, and that's what this is. It was hard, really hard. I had a couple of friends in high school and that was it. I was the kid everyone ignored, and now it's the opposite. It's exciting but I don't know how to deal with it. You have this international career now and you've become an accidental fashion figure just for being yourself. Is it easy for you?
No, it's really unnatural. But at the same time, I don't think about my life in the band when I'm not working. I don't go home and walk down the street thinking, "hey, it's Brian Fallon, superstar". I'm thinking, "I'll buy shoes and get a haircut today". It's like being Batman. For the two hours we play, I am Batman, the rest of the day I'm a regular guy. You've been touring non-stop for the last two years. That’s a big achievement.
If we play a bad show, I really beat myself up about it. But as a musician, not a person. I don't think I should be anyone's role model. Kids shouldn't look up to me. I don't know anything, I didn't even go to college. I know less than them.You're the most inked-up member of the Gaslight Anthem. Which is your favourite tattoo?
My first tattoo was a Bouncing Souls tattoo, which someone did with a sewing needle.I have all the dumb punk rock tattoos. Oh, and I have really stupid tattoos on my leg. When I was 18 my friend owned a shop, and I let him practice drawing trees and wolves, or whatever, on my leg.What did Mother Fallon think?
She asked why I did it, and I was like, "Mom, it was free."You laugh a lot, is humour an important part of music too?
Of course! When bands are like, “I'm such a deep artist, all my songs are DEEP”, it’s like, "come on, you are not". You think about boobies just like everyone else!
TEXT: KELLY MURRAY