Backstage at Leeds – Gallows Interview

Posted on August 27, 2012

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written by Robert Pollard for Festival Republic

Gallows have had an interesting career trajectory thus far. Initially signed to Warner Brothers, they were subsequently dropped by the label mid-deal. They’ve also undergone the biggest possible change to a line-up, with Wade MacNeil replacing Frank Carter as lead singer of the band. All this appears to have made them stronger, with a new album set for release soon, and a long list of big tour dates showing they are still very much in demand. We met up with Wade, Laurent and Stuart backstage to get their thoughts on Gallows and the future of the band.

How’s life in the band at the band at the moment guys?

Laurent – Great. Exciting. Got a new album. The album’s fucking….

…Better than anything you’ve done?

Laurent – Yeah, I reckon. Every time I’ve ever done anything musical, I’ve always been like ‘ahh I should have done this or changed that’, but with this there’s nothing I’d change.

So you’ve nailed it?

Laurent – Yeah, we nailed it!

Wade, you once said that you wanted to make an album that you could still be proud of in 2030. Has the next Gallows album achieved that?

Wade – Yeah, it’s the record I’ve always wanted to make. I think all the elements are correct

So, there’s been a bit of a Twitter feud with Gaslight Anthem. Can I ask you about that?

Wade – Yeah, it was just a misunderstanding.

Are you excited to be playing Reading and Leeds?

Wade – Yeah, very much so. My old band played plenty of times and it’s probably like the 6th time for all of us. I’m looking forward to it all.

Did you guys attend Reading and Leeds when you were younger?

Laurent – Yeah, I used to go to Reading all the time. I remember driving down the day I got my G.C.S.E results. But yeah, I’ve been going a long time so for me it’s probably my favourite festival.

What do you make of the line up this year?

Laurent – It’s cool. I struggle to, like, check out who’s playing all the time. People will be like ‘oh so and so’s playing’ and I’ll be like ‘shit!’ But no it’s really good.

You guys are seasoned festival goers now. Do you have any funny festival stories?

Stuart – When we played Download way, way back in the day, I nearly didn’t make it on stage in time! We got there a day early and I’d been out drinking the night before and I ended up staying in some hotel miles away and got up late. So I get in to a taxi, panicking, and I’m like ‘I’ll pay you double, I just have to get there in 10 minutes time’, even though we were like half an hour away. The cab driver was this lady and she broke all the rules, driving on the hard shoulder the whole way. When I get there, the band are teaching matey from another band how to play my bass parts because they couldn’t get hold of me because my phone had died. And I get there and, literally, I run straight on stage and played the set. That was the most nervous I’d ever been before a festival.

If you hadn’t have made it, would you have been sacked?

Stuart – Probably. I would have kicked anyone else out for missing a big show like that.

What makes Leeds special?

Stuart – It’s a great warm up for Reading! No, it’s like a home from home for us. We couldn’t ask for anymore, Reading and Leeds are the best about.

Do you guys tend to listen to what critics say about your work?

Stuart – No.

Wade – You usually end up remembering the scathing ones.

Stuart – It’s not something you think about when you’re writing your next record or when you’re doing shows. If we were making music and doing gigs that everyone liked, we’d be doing something wrong. If you get it – great. If you don’t, we kinda couldn’t give less of a fuck.

Wade – I guess every once in a while you read something that hits pretty close to home.

What are the main influences on Gallows’ sound?

Wade – I don’t know, I guess we’re all different. If we all tried to write the same songs, I don’t think we’d come up with anything interesting.

Stuart – I think there are a couple of bands we could all agree on, like Black Flag and Misfits.

Wade, you’re not the original vocalist of this band. Changing vocalists seems like a drastic change to make. How did that work for you guys?

Wade – For us, it wasn’t a drastic change. I think for everyone else it was a big change but for us, the four guys, it wasn’t. The other guys felt very much like they wanted to carry on and for me to be able to come on and be a part of it was great. Internally, within the band, it’s fine. Obviously, when you switch up a big part of the band people are gonna wanna see how that works but people have been pretty cool open minded about it.

How did you pick Wade?

Laurent – We already knew him and Wade, like, knows everything about punk and he’s a great front man.

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Posted in: Interviews, Music