Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sharp as a knife | An interview with Lee Barratt from Gallows

What does Gallows mean to you?

 It sounds cliche but the band means everything to me. For the last 6 years, it's been an all encompassing part of my life and there isn't a day that goes by when something Gallows related isn't happening. Playing live is a release for me while the band has given me the platform to travel to places I could only have dreamed of years ago when working in an office.

How has Gallows changed you and how has your experience changed from the early years to now 2012?

 I think I've stayed pretty grounded throughout the whole time thanks to having good family and friends around me. In terms of the band, there's been lots of ups and downs in that time but I think finally now we can say the whole band has a clear focus and direction for the future knowing that we all want to be a part of the band. Being in Gallows is a lot more fun now than it's ever been and I'm really thankful for that.

What has been your fondest memory in the story of Gallows? 

 There's too many! Every time we've played Reading festival in England I've looked back and thought how incredible that was. We just played there again this weekend and it was one of the best sets we've ever played. I think being a scummy punk band from Hertfordshire and getting a 1 million pound record deal from a major label also takes some beating! 

How has the song writing process and live experience changed for the band post-Frank?

 I think as soon as Frank left and Wade entered the fray, the song writing process became a lot more enjoyable for everyone. There was always a problem where the 4 instrument players in the band would work together in a studio for hours on end to create new material and Frank would either say "yes" or "no" despite not being in the studio working with us. Towards the end, there were a lot more no's than yes's and it definitely brought the morale and motivation of the rest of us down to a low point. Wade is always there and it feels like a band collaboration more than ever. The live experience is still intense, Wade's come in and does his own thing plus vocally he's so strong live. There's still a massive chance you'll get a size 9 to the face too...

How would you best describe the new album and sub direction of Gallows?

 To put it simply, I think the new record is the best thing we've ever done. To me, it combines all the elements of our previous releases but refines them and it's sharp as a knife. There's absolutely no filler on this record and it's quite instant too compared to Orchestra Of Wolves which was a bit out there while Grey Britain was a bit too bleak for some people. Despite the short amount of time we had to write and record the write, it's the most focused we'd ever been in the studio and a really dynamic set of songs that fans of Gallows new and old will love.

What led to the decision of Wade MacNeil taking over on vocals from Frank? 

 We knew what Wade could do vocally and live after playing with Alexisonfire and his other band Black Lungs a few times. We'd heard that Alexis were pretty much done and got in the phone to Wade very quickly. Less than a week later, he was on the plane over and working on the songs that ended up on the Death Is Birth EP. I think that showed his dedication and love for Gallows very quickly.

What do you think Wade brings to Gallows? musically and personally? 

 Musically, he brings an old school punk rock edge that, in my eyes, we've never really had. We may have been labelled as a punk band before but I wouldn't say any of ever really lived and breathed the genre where as Wade is so passionate about it. So far he's only written one track with us musically but I think further down the line, he'll get more involved with playing guitar too and obviously that just adds another weapon to our arsenal. Personally, he has a level of discipline that the band were lacking in the past. We've practiced more times since Wade joined than we had in the previous 5 years of our career! He's a really easy going guy and just wants what's best for the band because he was a massive fan before even taking over the vocalist role. It's nice to have someone on board who wants to push Gallows as far as it can go.

What remains your favourite Gallows song to play?

 I'm really enjoying playing the new single 'Outsider Art' at the moment. It's just a really anthemic and powerful song to play. Out of the old songs, I enjoy playing 'The Riverbed' and 'Leeches' a lot.

What bands are you listening to right now? 

 I've been listening to a lot of Dubstep actually which I probably shouldn't be admitting. I haven't listened to a lot of new heavy music lately but I do love the last Trap Them and Kvelertak records a lot.

We will be seeing you here in Australia for the Soundwave 2013 Music Festival in March. Are you excited to head down under again and how do Aussie audiences and Gallows fans differ from the rest of the world if at all? 

 I can't wait to play Soundwave again! It's by far the best festival out there and last time we had an amazing time. The bands get really taken of, Australia is a beautiful country and the fans are always so up for it. It's hard to get to Australia a lot as it's so far away so I feel like the fans there really appreciate it when smaller bands from overseas get over to play.

When you are not touring or recording what are you most likely doing? 

 Watching movies or The X-Files! I'm a big football and basketball fan too while I try to keep myself feeling a little creative by writing.

What has been your proudest personal achievement with Gallows?

 Playing with Rage Against The Machine in London for their celebration show a couple of years ago always stands out as they'd been my favourite band growing up in my teenage years. To share a stage with them and be personally asked to play that show felt like an achievement! I think my drumming has become more disciplined and focused over the years too, I always want to keep getting better at my instrument and not rest on any laurels.

What can we expect from Gallows in the future? 

The album is released in Australia on September 14th and after that we'll be touring all over the world until after Soundwave ends. I know we have some plans to maybe record a few special covers EP's and possibly write more new material in the new year. We've never been a productive band when it comes to writing on the road but i think there will be a lot more of that going on now with everyone feeling so positive and rejuvenated.

Lana Del Rey X H&M

The H&M Lana Del Ray Autumn campaign will be accompanied by a film called “Blue Velvet” film, featuring a performance by del Ray, which will premiere September 19th.


Thursday September 13th. 6-9pm. 

In conjunction with Semi-Permanent Melbourne, Just Another Agency brings you the third instalment of their annual “Just Another Group Show” - an exhibition celebrating the diversity and eclectic nature of t
he agency’s stable of artists. Each artist involved has been asked to create a single piece of work showcasing their unique style, formatted to a square. Tattoo artist & Melbourne local Bugsy takes over the entire top room at 1000 Pound Bend with a collection of some of his paintings & photos.

Lawson Rhys Taylor X Hysteria Magazine

Photographer: Hayley Louisa Brown
Model: Lawson Rhys Taylor

Gwen Stefani X Terry Richardson