The Gaslight Anthem

Craig Broad 20/07/2009

Since their latest album The '59 Sound hit the shelves, The Gaslight Anthem have been picking up fans in all the right places notching up great reviews along with slots at the most publicised festivals(and performances alongside their idol Bruce Springsteen). I caught up with Brian Fallon, The Gaslight Anthem's guitarist and vocalist to try and tap into why the band have been so successful and their plans for the future.

Firstly, why are you called The Gaslight Anthem?

Brian: Well, The Clash was taken so next best guess.

You've been pretty prolific in releasing albums/ep's, how do you craft songs and why do you think that you get your music released quicker than others may do?

Brian: I try to write always. I've been very fortunate to have songs come quickly to me, I can't really take credit, they just come, I hope that never stops.

Did you ever expect to be as successful as you have been?

Brian: I had hoped that that would be the case, you never really know though, it's up to the people.

How has the latest album conveyed live, are the fan favourites from The '59 Sound or from Sink or Swim and what are your favourite songs to play live?

Brian: The songs are more punk live, we tend to play faster live than we do on a record. High Lonesome is a fun one for me live.

What do you prefer to play, a headlining gig or a festival and what would you say the main difference is?

Brian: I like the festivals because you get to see all these other great bands and it's not all about us.

Are there any bands you are particularly looking forward to seeing at one of the many festivals you are playing?
Brian: I really want to see Social Distortion again, they're the best live band right now I think.

You have some pretty great support bands scheduled to play with you on tour including Frank Turner and Murder By Death, do you pick the bands and if so, what sort of criteria do you use in picking the bands?

Brian: We always pick the bands, usually we pick the bands we like and we think our audiences will like. We also try to pick bands that don't sound like us, and we also pick great live bands, if a band is no good live we won't take them out.

What was the difference in the preparation and recording of both of your albums, did your influences change between releases and what did you want to achieve with each release and do you think you achieved that?

Brian: Sink or Swim we did in about a week, with the new record we drew influence from all over the place and we took our time getting the sound right.

It was very important that it felt right to me this time, and I think we did it well.

What lies in the future for the Gaslight Anthem? Do you think there's a major label move on the cards and if you were offered would you go?

Brian: We could have gone to a major on our first record, but the industry is at a stand still at the majors, they can't offer anything to bands anymore. What records went platinum in the United States last year? Did any? Did The Killers? There's nothing for a band like us on a major label at this time. Maybe if we hit a wall at Side One Dummy and they say to us "we've done all we can do" then we'd leave, but for us, Side One has a plan that works - put out good records, work hard, and see what happens, and that's how we do it. They are innovators over there, they have the best working plan for every band on the label, and they're on top in my book. I don't work with people because they are the biggest, I work with people who are the best for us, and they believe in what we are doing and they have the drive to do it, plus they have really funny stories and know where the good Mexican food is so we stay put.

You can check out The Gaslight Anthem on their current tour, details can be found via