since it's my first post here on this forum, I'd like to share last week's interview I made with Brian for my online magazine, called Backpack Rock. It was published in Croatian (cause the site is Croatian, too), but I will publish his original answers in ENglish here. Hope you enjoy it - and I've also published a link to the Croatian version of the interview, just for you to see how it looks like. So, here it goes:
THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM � interview questions for Backpackrock webzine from Croatia
1) Seems like The Gaslight Anthem is getting more and more attention each new day. Did you expect that when you were first starting the band? How do you look at this popularity now? What are your feeling towards it?
BF - We didn't expect much when we started, we figured we'd be where we are at now in about ten years. you can't really go into anything with too many expectations, it's setting you up for a let down, but everyone always does. But as for the band, we're just happy to be where we are. I also do not think too much about how well we do or don't do because it could all be gone tomorrow, I'm just glad we can do it today.
2) Coming from New Jersey, I would say you can hear that �local proudness� in your music (even though I think you go beyond punk rock sound by the likes of The Bouncing Souls). Would you agree? Or � in other words � how does the fact you're coming from New Jersey reflects on your music?
BF - I think where a band comes from defines their sound, English bands sound English, German bands sound German, with the US, it's so big that every region sounds different, the South, the Midwest, the East Coast, it's not that New Jersey is a mecca, it's just our mecca.
3) It seems like this is the unavoidable one, but � the influence of Bruce Springsteen music on you guys is huge, obviously. What can you tell me about it? In your opinion � what's the most important thing Bruce did for the rock'n'roll music scene, looking globally?
BF - There's not too much to say, he's an influence, one of many, we're from the same place, same towns, we saw a lot of the same things growing up, he's like a musical big brother you look up to.
4) No doubt � your upcoming live performance as a support for Bruce Springsteen at his great concert in Hyde Park is the mark of your short, but already great career. Do you agree? How did you get invited? What do you expect from it?
BF - I heard he just asked for us to be a part of it, and of course we said yes. I think we're fortunate to be where we are, the people have been very kind to us all over the world with their support of our music. I don't expect anything from the show, I'm just gonna have a good time.
5) Seems like one of your heros (may I say so?) is also the great Joe Strummer. On your first album �Sink Or Swim� you have a song dedicated to him (�I'd Call You Woody, Joe�). What can you say about Joe's legacy he left to (punk) rock world?
BF - I think Joe was hero, like Bob Marley, he stood up for the people, had a real genuine heart for the under class, and the oppressed, Joe was an innovator, nobody can touch Joe, he's one of a kind. Joe Strummer showed us all how it should be done.
6) On your second album � which got some real great reviews worldwide (such as the one at our site!) � there are guest appearances by Chris Wollard of Hot Wat er Music and Dicky Barrett of Mighty Mighty Bosstones. How did that idea come to life? How do you like their effort?
BF - Those two guys are friends and heroes of mine, if it weren't for Chris's singing and Dicky's lyrics, I wouldn't be here doing what I'm doing the way I'm doing it, they were HUGE in shaping my early days.
7) You've also performed at David Latterman Show. Were you personally invited by the producers, or was it arranged by your management?
BF - We sold a bunch of our internal organs to get the gig, it was tough to pull of without a liver, but we did ok.
8 Even though it may be hard for you, can you tell me a bit behind the story of the song �59 Sound�?
BF - I don't want to tell what the songs are about for me, because then people can't decide for themselves, which is why I write, it's for you to find your own meaning in. For me it's my story, for someone else it's theirs, if I tell exactly what it means, then it's only my story.
9) Can you give me a bit of history on you, guys? Did you play in some bands before The Gaslight Anthem? Anything interesting to mention in that era?
BF - We all played in some minor bands around New Jersey, but most of that time was spent learning how to tour, what being in a band is all about, those were the rough days. We didn't have too much success in those days. We learned how to survive in those days.
10) What's your musical education? Are you guys �self-taught� musicians, did any one of you go to some musical school? In your opinion � is it better to have some foraml musical education, or to learn to play by yourself, when playing such passionate music as yours?
BF - We're all self taught except for me, I took lessons from Tim Forgarty in New Jersey, he's one of the best guitar players I've ever seen alive. He taught me the chords and I ran with that. He's an amazing person, I wouldn't be here today without his teaching.
11) Could you say you're spiritual person? How much does spirituality and/or faith means to you guys?
BF - The rest of the guys aren't too religious, I'm not a "spiritual" person, as in I don't believe in mysticism and things like that, I'm an old school church type, the Good Lord, Jesus, the Good Book, searching for redemption, that's my case. To me, it's what I'm about, my heroes are preachers, they tell it how it is. It's a big world out there, I need to know somebody's out there keeping the ship straight.
12) Where do you see your the world as we know it in � like � 10-15 years from now? Do you think the world will change, and if so � in which way?
BF - The world will always change, I can't say, that's a tough question, I think we need to learn to take care of each other better, I think people have lost human kindness. We're all is this together really. Nobody's better than anyone else, Tom Waits said "We're All Gonna be just dirt in the ground," I love the thought of how important a man can think his life is and that he' s so much more important than his neighbor, but in the end, we're all dust and bone. So be good.