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 major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean"

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PostSubject: major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean"   major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean" Icon_minitimeFri Dec 06, 2013 6:27 am

[there is an earlier, but more tentative thread on this at https://thegaslightanthem.forumotion.com/t5355-red-bulletin-my-game-my-rules#173212]


from http://www.redbull.com/en/music/stories/1331623102235/the-gaslight-anthem-s-brian-fallon-comes-clean


The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean

By Jon Coen on 6 December 2013 in Features

Frontman Fallon talks intimately about early struggles, Springsteen and nearly breaking up.

“No one knows this story. We were stuck. I had nothing left to say. We were like, ‘Why are we doing this?’ We almost shut it down,” says The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon about their near break-up after a gig at The Troxy in London on March 30, 2013.

No one said the words out loud but it was discussed in a roundabout way. There was no irate screaming, no beer cans thrown at the wall, no tossed microphones or storming off stage. Just a civil discourse to possibly end it.

Fallon comes clean at Artichoke Pizza in New York. The July heatwave just broke but the late-night temperature is still 88, with a jungle-like humidity New Yorkers accept like the icy north-west winds howling between the buildings in February.

“It’s been hot everywhere. Europe was hot. Not as hot as this, though. We just got back, two weeks ago today. It’s brutal… 100?” Fallon asks rhetorically.

The AC unit keeps the room bearable, but not cool. Despite playing venues like Wembley Stadium, Fallon thrives in downhome joints. He mentions pizzerias in New Jersey he loves and explains he downloads movies through iTunes because they’re cheaper than his cable provider.

Fallon grew up near the beach. Locals don’t call it “Jersey Shore.” After he, guitarist Alex Rosamilia, drummer Benny Horowitz, and bassist Alex Levine had kicked around in local punk outfits, they formed The Gaslight Anthem in New Brunswick, a college town with a history of fostering underground bands in the shadows of Philly and New York. They put out Sink or Swim in 2007 and toured to audiences of around 150 people. Fallon was already in his mid-20s.

“You gotta remember, Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain were dead by 27. Everything they did… dead,” he states emphatically. “We weren’t 17. It was like, How long is it before this is just not a viable path? We had to play the show to get to the next show or we couldn’t even get home. Your parents are supportive, but they’re saying, ‘Maybe you want to think of a backup plan?’ We had to get our act in gear.”

In the summer of 2008, they released a brilliant mix of punk-tempo Americana in The ’59 Sound, selling out two shows at Stone Pony in Asbury Park.

If this all rings a bit like a Bruce Springsteen song about making good
 in New Jersey, that’s understandable. Springsteen wrote the biography of The Gaslight Anthem before they were born – four Chuck Taylor-wearing kids from blue-collar families dreaming of making a living in rock ’n’ roll. Bruce is to New Jersey what JFK was to Boston.

The Boss, The Replacements, and The Clash had a massive influence – and every blurb about them made reference to Jersey and Springsteen. At the 2009 Glastonbury Festival, Bruce cemented the relationship by coming out to play The ’59 Sound with them.

The appearance bolstered their growth but Fallon’s been struggling with the Springsteen shadow since 2010’s American Slang. He took Gaslight to Nashville in 2012 to record Handwritten and although the album hit the charts, they wondered how much success was still Bruce juice.

“I don’t want to be Springsteen,” says Fallon. “That was for The ’59 Sound and that was all… I’ve digested Springsteen and The Clash for 20 years. There is no blood to be sucked out of those veins anymore."

Check out the rest of this feature in the December 2013 issue of The Red Bulletin, the global monthly magazine. For access to the international issue, download the free app for iOS or Android now.


the full version can be found on pages 74-77 of the NZ e-edition at http://issuu.com/redbulletin.com/docs/1213_nz_lowres
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PostSubject: Re: major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean"   major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean" Icon_minitimeFri Dec 06, 2013 12:31 pm

The breaking up part explains quite a lot to me... I saw them play a day after (on March 31st) and it was one of the most terrible shows (in general) I've ever seen. Brian just looked pissed of, no interaction to the crowd at all... But now I know what was going on in that time I can imagine where all of that came from.

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PostSubject: Re: major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean"   major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean" Icon_minitimeFri Dec 06, 2013 5:08 pm

Man, it's going to be interesting to hear this fifth record. Brian sounds so motivated, so driven right now.
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PostSubject: Re: major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean"   major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean" Icon_minitimeFri Dec 06, 2013 7:35 pm

I can't wait to hear their fifth album!! it's so exciting
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PostSubject: Re: major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean"   major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean" Icon_minitimeFri Dec 06, 2013 7:37 pm

I didn't see the possible "break-up" coming, but yeah this next CD will be interesting
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PostSubject: Re: major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean"   major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean" Icon_minitimeSat Dec 07, 2013 1:11 pm

Jack wrote:
Man, it's going to be interesting to hear this fifth record. Brian sounds so motivated, so driven right now.
I think it will be their best yet.
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PostSubject: Re: major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean"   major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean" Icon_minitimeSat Dec 07, 2013 1:22 pm

capnrad wrote:
Jack wrote:
Man, it's going to be interesting to hear this fifth record. Brian sounds so motivated, so driven right now.
I think it will be their best yet.
i hope so Very Happy

but i thought the same before Handwritten came out - all those band comparisons brian gave us and all those 9-10/10 reviews made me think this would be their BIG thing. And now its my least favorite album Smile
But yeah this whole "starting again" thing and Blue Dahlie/ Halloween DO make me VERY excited for the new album bounce
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PostSubject: Re: major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean"   major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean" Icon_minitimeSat Dec 07, 2013 3:10 pm

Hanswurst wrote:
capnrad wrote:
Jack wrote:
Man, it's going to be interesting to hear this fifth record. Brian sounds so motivated, so driven right now.
I think it will be their best yet.
i hope so Very Happy

but i thought the same before Handwritten came out - all those band comparisons brian gave us and all those 9-10/10 reviews made me think this would be their BIG thing. And now its my least favorite album Smile
But yeah this whole "starting again" thing and Blue Dahlie/ Halloween DO make me VERY excited for the new album bounce
I feel like Handwritten was The Gaslight Anthem trying to be The Gaslight Anthem. It sounds great but it's missing that fire, that urgency that their other albums had. It's like they plateaued and became a caricature of themselves. I still love it though. Now that everything's on the table and the band has hit some serious lows, I think this album is going to be like their Darkness on the Edge of Town - this is the album we've been waiting for.
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PostSubject: Re: major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean"   major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean" Icon_minitimeSat Dec 07, 2013 3:14 pm

capnrad wrote:
Hanswurst wrote:
capnrad wrote:
Jack wrote:
Man, it's going to be interesting to hear this fifth record. Brian sounds so motivated, so driven right now.
I think it will be their best yet.
i hope so Very Happy

but i thought the same before Handwritten came out - all those band comparisons brian gave us and all those 9-10/10 reviews made me think this would be their BIG thing. And now its my least favorite album Smile
But yeah this whole "starting again" thing and Blue Dahlie/ Halloween DO make me VERY excited for the new album bounce
I feel like Handwritten was The Gaslight Anthem trying to be The Gaslight Anthem. It sounds great but it's missing that fire, that urgency that their other albums had. It's like they plateaued and became a caricature of themselves. I still love it though. Now that everything's on the table and the band has hit some serious lows, I think this album is going to be like their Darkness on the Edge of Town - this is the album we've been waiting for.
Smile i like this image of handwritten being a caricature of gaslight!
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PostSubject: Re: major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean"   major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean" Icon_minitimeSat Dec 07, 2013 4:07 pm

I loved Handwritten and don't feel that way at all. *shrug*
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PostSubject: Re: major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean"   major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean" Icon_minitimeSat Dec 07, 2013 4:35 pm

Ughhh Brian... If you're as talented as Bruce, Eddie, Strummer, Petty, etc. then you will get there on your own merits.  The comparisons to these artists aren't holding either you or the band back.  What is though is two pretty generic records after T59s.  Stop with the drama,  you've been given the spotlight and the resources to write the next great rock album for the world to hear, it's time to put up or shut up. All these legends that Brian emulates aren't defined by one album, and I think Brian's problem is he thinks everyone wants the 59 sound part 2.
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PostSubject: Re: major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean"   major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean" Icon_minitimeSat Dec 07, 2013 7:51 pm

NeverTrustAJunkie wrote:
I loved Handwritten and don't feel that way at all. *shrug*
Agree with you, NTAJ. It's a more produced or "polished" record (not a musician so can't get into technical specifics) but lyrically I love Handwritten, especially the deluxe version with Blue Dahlia and Teenage Rebellion on it.
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PostSubject: Re: major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean"   major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean" Icon_minitimeSat Dec 07, 2013 8:43 pm

NeverTrustAJunkie wrote:
I loved Handwritten and don't feel that way at all. *shrug*
I also like Handwritten, the lyrics are really amazing.
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PostSubject: Re: major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean"   major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean" Icon_minitimeSat Dec 07, 2013 9:36 pm

woooaah sry,
didn't want to start the "Handwritten worst record yes-or-no?"-thing all over again Embarassed
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PostSubject: Re: major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean"   major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean" Icon_minitimeSun Dec 08, 2013 3:55 am

rumham wrote:
Ughhh Brian... If you're as talented as Bruce, Eddie, Strummer, Petty, etc. then you will get there on your own merits.  The comparisons to these artists aren't holding either you or the band back.  What is though is two pretty generic records after T59s.  Stop with the drama,  you've been given the spotlight and the resources to write the next great rock album for the world to hear, it's time to put up or shut up.  All these legends that Brian emulates aren't defined by one album, and I think Brian's problem is he thinks everyone wants the 59 sound part 2.  
I disagree about AS or HW being generic. Okay. you could make an argument with parts of HW although I think it's still a great album, but AS isn't generic.

Idk, call him dramatic if you want, but I think it's not unreasonable to be annoyed, frustrated, worried about the future of the band, etc. when the media and part of your fandom seems to be stuck in 2009 wishing for another 59 sound (which many are) and acting like they played with Bruce yesterday not 4 years ago.
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PostSubject: Re: major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean"   major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean" Icon_minitimeSun Dec 08, 2013 10:49 am

It's interesting that they really don't get into why the band came close to breaking up in March. I wonder what really happened.

But for me the most exciting part is this:

Quote :
As each member mentioned how he could bring a new element, suddenly there was a new inspiration. Horowitz talked John Bonham grooves. Rosamilia expressed a desire to play piano. Perkins mentioned slide guitar.
I'm glad Brian didn't make a "this album will sound like" comparison. I'd rather let those three musical possibilities roll around in my head for a bit.
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PostSubject: Re: major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean"   major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean" Icon_minitimeSun Dec 08, 2013 1:01 pm

It's not really relevant but I love Brian's latest Instagram pic quoting John Steinbeck....
"And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good."

I feel that at the time Brian in particular was having trouble dealing with personal issues and the band as a whole were perhaps struggling with the pressure of being 'the next big thing' that everyone said they were going to be. Now that there isn't that pressure as much, I feel that the next step will be "good"....really good.
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PostSubject: Re: major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean"   major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean" Icon_minitimeSun Dec 08, 2013 3:43 pm

The Last Jukebox Romeo wrote:
It's not really relevant but I love Brian's latest Instagram pic quoting John Steinbeck....
"And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good."

I feel that at the time Brian in particular was having trouble dealing with personal issues and the band as a whole were perhaps struggling with the pressure of being 'the next big thing' that everyone said they were going to be. Now that there isn't that pressure as much, I feel that the next step will be "good"....really good.
it's a really good quote, I like it
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PostSubject: Re: major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean"   major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean" Icon_minitimeSun Dec 08, 2013 8:45 pm

good. well the great news to come out of this article is that they didn't let the pressure of being perfect destroy the band. and now they'll be good. if we're lucky, this might just be the beginning of what this band can do Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean"   major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean" Icon_minitimeSun Dec 08, 2013 8:47 pm

i have a feeling the new album will be a mix of dark, brooding tunes and hard hitting bluesy rockers
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PostSubject: Re: major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean"   major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean" Icon_minitimeMon Dec 09, 2013 4:45 pm

thanks for posting!

i think part of the identity struggle is due to the fact that in the past he would always pivot away from talking about one influence by talking about another. the interviewer would say "hey, you're a huge Springsteen fan" and Brian would respond by saying "actually the Clash is the big common denominator for our band." then if interviewers start bringing up the Clash, he says "without the Replacements there would be no Gaslight Anthem." and then he feels the need to tell everyone about how his favorite band is actually Pearl Jam. then he ends up having to make a blog post or do an interview like this where he says "I'M NOT BRUCE OR JOE OR PAUL OR EDDIE."

this is all just my recollection, and i'm not going to do the research to back it up.

also he used to say stuff like "you have to know your audience." so i don't think the criticism of the fanbase is entirely deserved.

i also agree that if the next Gaslight record is amazing, it will go a long way towards changing the narrative.


but this has all been rehashed again and again... when it comes down to it i'm just looking forward to the next record. and that Steinbeck quote is outstanding!
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PostSubject: Re: major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean"   major interview: "The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon comes clean" Icon_minitimeThu Dec 19, 2013 11:04 am

rumham wrote:
I think Brian's problem is he thinks everyone wants the 59 sound part 2.  

I think it's the opposite. His blatant attempt to write anything BUT the 59 sound has taken them waaay off the right track. Time to get back to what you do best boys, melodic punk rock with interesting references in the lyrics.

Some of you die hard fans will probably take offense but understand that for me, Handwritten was a BIG let down.
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