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Gallows hang 'em high
Frank Carter has gone to do his own thing with new outfit Pure Love but Gallows are sharpening their spurs with Canadian guitarist and singer Wade MacNeil heading up the posse.
Poised for their October UK tour and with a new album just released the boys are riding high. They have even found time between tour dates in America to shoot some incendiary video footage for new songs Last June , directed by Marshall Darlings, and Outsider Art , directed by Stuart Birchall. Frontman Wade, formerly of Alexisonfire, brings a different kind of glamour to the proceedings but proves equally as charismatic as Frank on camera.
Wade is from Toronto, bassist Stuart lives in California but the rest of the lads remain local – guitarist Laurent ‘Lags’ Barnard lives in Bushey, drummer Lee Barratt is in Bricket Wood and guitarist/vocalist Stephen ‘Steph’ Carter resides in Hemel. The band chose to record their third album in Watford with long-time associates Thomas Mitchener and Steve Sears from Spycatcher.
“We’re all friends from school,” says Lags. “Tom and Steve have their own set up so it made sense to record it there.”
The album, titled simply Gallows, is released through the band’s own label Venn Records.
“We wanted complete independence, complete artistic freedom,” explains Lags. “And we didn’t want to compromise our sound. Gallows has always been about aggressive music.”
So what did Wade make of Watford?
“Watford and Toronto have pretty much the same vibe where you’re living on the edge of a city. We grew up listening to the same bands as teenagers and led the same kind of lifestyle, just on different sides of the world,” says Lags.
The jury may still be out on whether the fans prefer the old or new line-up but what do the band think of their developing sound?
“I feel like our first two records definitely had highlights, there were some stand-out tracks but also some fillers,” explains Lags. “For this album we’ve worked hard to hone the songwriting and make sure every track is a killer one. This is Gallows leaner, meaner and more streamlined to the point the songs have a lot more instant impact.”
Fans see Gallows as a family so is new daddy Wade calling all the shots?
“Wade has some pretty good punk rock credentials and he’s being a bit of a daddy by making us work harder for our music. Being sloppy was always part of our charm but now we’re probably more of a professional outlet.”
“Music isn’t about perfection and precision, the right chords or the right look, it’s the honesty and sweat and soul that’s put into it that’s important,” adds Wade. “From the first time I heard Gallows, I knew this was one such band.”
The Gallows tour kicks off on October 3 in Brighton and concludes in London on October 19, support for all dates will be Feed The Rhino and Brotherhood Of The Lake. Details: www.gallows.co.uk