UK Hardcore punk band – Gallows

Kicking off this small UK tour before a huge world tour Gallows are back doing what they love best – hitting these tiny venues and packing them out.

These days the Herts five-piece pack out everywhere they play but it doesn’t feel the same unless you can see the whites of the eyes according to guitarist Laurent Barnard or Lags to his friends. “Tonight we play this pavilion in Falmouth. A kind of ballroom with a stage and that’s it. It kind of takes us back to the early hardcore shows.” The band given the choice will any day take a slightly smaller venue with a bit of character than the main stage at Reading festival, which they turned down in favour of the Lock-up tent at this summer’s Carling weekend.

“We’re not that type of band. A lot of what Gallows is about would have been lost had we played the main stage,” alongside the likes of Fall Out Boy, Angels and Airwaves and Red Hot Chili Peppers. What is as important as them turning it down is the fact that this is where organisers wanted Gallows to be. The band keep resisting the pull to sell out whilst they are selling out everywhere – The London shows on this tour are 1,300 capacities and sold out a long time ago.

As they embark on this tour with a varied array of support (Poison Well, Blackhole and Lethal Bizzle) they have only had a couple of weeks off (this year!) and haven’t had the chance to rehearse since before the Reading and Leeds weekend. For a band working as hard as Britney Spears did at her peak it’s surprising that things have gone so well for a punk band who are supposed to be derailing, disappearing and mentally breaking down all the time. But Gallows, for all their claims of being unprofessional, disorgansized and failing to give a shit are a slick unit that is continuing to reach more young ears than they would have thought possible two years ago.

These interviews are, according to Lags, an ‘occupational hazard’. The added pressure and stress has caused a lock down and shut out at times on tour as the rock and mainstream press clamour to find out their opinions on the war, the UK hardcore scene and Pete Doherty. Quotes on these types of topics will get you into the daily national press but the band are more than wary of being labelled or mislabelled as giving a shit about anything other than their own music and their ever-growing fanbase. Lags understands only too well its just part of the job now, “We have to do it [interviews] if we want our music to reach more and more people, they are ways of reaching out to people.”

There are signs that maybe the cheques have been cashed and the money is starting to roll in from the extensive touring and live work the band have been doing for the past year, even if the royalties from the sales of Orchestra Of Wolves are still waiting to be cashed. Stuart has a new bass rig tonight and with no practice the band and sound crew are desperately trying to make it work in time for the show. Lags doesn’t care too much, “It's the Gallows way, we’re not too professional and there are very few rules.”

I am curious how they intend to write songs being on the road for so long and, is the bus a place where the second Gallows album is likely to be penned but Lags is not so concerned. “I have millions of riffs, we just haven’t had the chance to all get together and try them out.” The band do have Christmas off and guess what they have planned? Songwriting! was at The Cockpit in Leeds in June when there was a raid on the bootleg merchandise seller outside the venue. The band themselves stole the ‘blag’ t-shirts back. Laurent explains, “I was proud of Stuart, for once! We hope our fans are smart enough to know not to spend £15 on a T-shirt that we haven’t fully endorsed or designed ourselves.” The band are very keen to have input on designing their artwork and work closely with the artist, Daniel Mumford, responsible the Wolves themes on the first album and T-shirts.

Both Lags and Stuart were on the Hertfordshire/Watford scene before their Gallows days. I am keen to find out about the musical history and any previous bands of Lags and Stuart. “I was in a band called ‘My Dad Joe’ which had some play on Radio One. Stuart’s band was the better, ‘Winter in June’, they were playing more hardcore stuff.” This is the scene that was set up by Mikee Goodman of Sikth fame who incidentally played their last show the same night Gallows opened thier UK tour. “Yeah, Sikth are playing their final show tonight in a rugby club where it all began so it's a pretty special ocassion. I really wanted to be there for that.”

The new Gallows single 'In the Belly Of A Shark' features on the interactive computer game Guitar Hero III, on which Lag’s needs to brush up his skills. The irony being the song he wrote with the band he needs to learn to play all over again in the form of a computer game. “They gave us all a copy on the Warp tour because they had an Xbox tent there. I don’t have an Xbox so that’s something I’ll be buying when I get back.”

*Before this article went online the highlight of the tour thus far has been the unfortunate injury to Frank Carter’s skull, (caught on camera) in Stoke-on-Trent, causing the band to cancel the Middlesbrough leg of the tour. It’s a miracle it hasn’t happened before but Gallows have been a lucky band…so far.

We wish Frank a swift recovery and the all the best on the rest of the tour.

New Single – In The Belly Of A Shark – Out Now – Black Envelope/Epitaph

Like Gallows? Check out:

The Plight – link
Ghost of a Thousand – link

Share this!