Gallows guitarist offers insight into the creation of the band’s self-titled third record.
Earlier this morning we exclusively announced that Gallows will be releasing their new album on September 10 this year (click here for all the info on their self-titled beast).
As the post went online we got on the phone with guitarist Steph Carter to hear more about album three. Scroll down to see the conversation in full...
It's taken a while to get a new record announced eh.
"Telling me, we first started writing 'Grey Britain' in March 2008 so it's been over four years for us."
That's a long time to demo?
"I guess so, but we went in with nothing for this record. We all knew that we had to come up with something fantastic, and I'm not going to lie, I was absolutely shitting myself that we weren't going to come out of the studio with anything. We've been technically writing this record for four years but we went in with no songs and we wrote the entire record in a week, we starting tracking drums the day after. There was a massive burst of creativity and songwriting in such a short space of time, it was incredible. We were our own worst critics when we were making it and if something didn't work we went straight on to the next idea. If the song flowed we kept going, if it did not we recorded what we had and then immediately moved on. I'm really happy with what we've done, it's great."
Obviously you had songs left from the time that your brother Frank was in the band, what happened to them? Did nothing from that era feel right anymore?
"I asked Wade [MacNeil, Gallows vocalist] to join the band myself and I sent him twenty songs that we'd written with my brother while we were talking about the band. Those songs were working towards what we thought would be album three, five of the tracks had vocals and lyrics and we had another fifteen or so ideas that we were going to hash out. I sent Wade all those tracks and we ended up re-writing three of them to go on the EP we released last September. After that we pretty much scrapped everything else, one track called 'Outsider Art' made the record, we sped it up a lot and changed the structure but the rest of the album is brand new material."
Is that just what needed to happen for the band?
"More than anything me and the boys were just aware that we had been sitting on those songs for a while. We asked ourselves if any of these songs really stood out, when we got Wade in the band we spent two days rehearsing as we were going out on tour, as we were playing people started to throw out ideas and the stuff we were creating was so new and so fresh that it captured our attention straight away. We thought why bother going back and reworking songs that never made it, let's focus on what we've got here and make something special and relevant to right now."
That time that has elapsed, while agony for you, it seems a necessary amount of time for people to hear a new Gallows record with neutral ears.
Is this a bittersweet point for you or are you just relieved to be moving on?
"I still feel slightly lost in the whole thing to be honest. I still can't quite get my head around the fact that I'm not on tour with my best friend anymore. My brother has been my best friend for a very long time and I've never seen him this happy before, and that's all I've ever wanted for him so I'm really glad that he's in a place where he loves what he is doing so much. This new Gallows record terrified me. I was scared that it was not going to happen or that we were going to write something that we'd never finish. I also worried that we would write something that wasn't great or fantastic that would ruin our career and the legacy we'd built with the band.
But when I got in the studio with the boys I remembered why I was in this band in the first place. I was, and I'm once more in a band with four people who are incredible musicians, incredibly passionate about what they do and completely uncompromising. Soon as we got in the studio and started working on things all my fears went away, I got confident in the fact that we are not going to release anything terrible because it's not in our nature to do so. We're going to set the curve once again and watch countless number of terrible UK bands try and copy us!"
Uncompromising is a good word.
"We made the EP in three days last year. We went for it and made a statement to show people that we're here, we're not going anywhere and we're not changing our sound, that we still wanted to write uncompromisingly heavy music and shove it down throats. When we started the album we knew we'd done the really heavy thing so we wondered what would happen next, in my opinion we've come away with the perfect culmination of our last two albums 'Orchestra Of Wolves' and 'Grey Britain'. We have the sporadic, visceral nature of our debut and we've taken the big anthemic choruses from 'Grey Britain' and made them even bigger.
There are some tracks on the record that have massive choruses. We needed to make an album that would propel Gallows to the next level of performance, and this next record is going to take us to places never thought we'd be able to go."
Do you feel a good run is overdue? Personally and musically it's not been the simplest of times
"It's been really fucking difficult to be honest, but deserved is the wrong word, I don't think anyone deserves anything, you have to work hard. With this record I definitely think we've given ourselves the best opportunity to move forward. I wouldn't necessarily say that we deserve it as it's been a hard year so come on help us out everyone, that's rubbish, I guess I just now think that everything is heading in the right direction. A new record label is great for us, we've got a lot more control, the labels we've signed with all over the world are really impressed with what we've done and committed to moving the band forward. Basically we've got a great opportunity, now we just need to release the album and hope that the kids that liked Gallows before love us even more and the kids who didn't like Gallows in the past give us another chance"