Gallows On Progressive Punk

January 1, 2010

0.000gp1309_riffs_Gall_nrTHE SCENE IS LIKE SOME CRAZED Istanbul marketplace circa 1930, packed with colorful stalls, frantic vendors, and the hum and bustle of a human swarm. It’s summer at the Van’s Warped Tour on Pier 30 in San Francisco, and the young crowd is being bombarded by music from just about every angle, as myriad bands try to catch an ear or an eye and win new fans. One of those acts was U.K. punk band Gallows, who were in the States to promote Grey Britain [Reprise], and will support AFI this fall. “Frank [Carter, vocalist] and I played the whole show in the crowd today,” says guitarist Steph Carter, who wields an ESP Eclipse loaded with Seymour Duncans through a ’74 Marshall JMP. “If you’ve got some idiot running around in the crowd waving a guitar in your face, you’re going to stop and pay attention for a little bit.”

“Of course, a lot of bands give it their all on stage,” adds co-guitarist Laurent “Lags” Barnard, who plugs a Gibson Les Paul Studio with EMG pickups into an Orange Rocker 30. “But they’ve got to have the music to back up all the running about and jumping around. Some of these bands tune to a chord and play one note over and over again.” Far from a one-note grind themselves, Gallows incorporates orchestral and ambient styles into its punk roar. “I grew up listening to my dad’s music—Madness and Phil Collins— and then got into the Deftones and Rage Against the Machine,” explains Carter. “But it’s difficult to be a kid and sound like Tom Morello straight off, so I had to make my own way, and that opened my ears to everything under the sun. In fact, the latest albums I bought weren’t even heavy albums—they were Sigur Ros and Beethoven. Trust me, our next album will be prog.”


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