Interview With The Gallows - 19th November 2007
Photo Of Lee From The Gallows © Copyright The GallowsWe caught up with Lee Barratt from the Gallows to see how the band have been enjoying their most successfull year to date, and what they have planned for the future.

Hello and thank you for taking time out to do this interview,

First of all can you give us a brief history of the band for the people who have never heard of you?
Gallows is a five piece Rock ‘n’ Roll band from around the Hertfordshire area in England. We’ve been tagged as many things by the media including punk, hardcore and emo but we’re just Rock ‘n’ Roll at heart. The band was started by Frank and Laurent with the intention of creating music they loved and loved playing it with the passion and intensity that was missing in a lot of bands in the local scene and beyond. Stu and I were then brought in on bass and drums while Steph joined on guitar about a year after as our old guitar player Paulo had to leave the band due to other commitments.

How did you come up with the band name The Gallows?
We took the name from Quentin Blake who often describes his humour as “Gallows Humour”.

What are your influences and whom would you say contributed to your current music style?
We all have different influences in the band ranging from Scandina Vian Hardcore to Grime, Lily Allen and Kiss. We’re a sum of many parts but don’t really sound like anyone in the current music scene.

What was it like writing and recording your debut album 'Orchestra Of Wolves’ and are you happy with the reception it’s had?
The writing and recording process was extremely tough, Frank had quit the band as his work commitments were too much for him to concentrate fully on doing Gallows so the album was recorded by Lags, Stu and I. When Frank heard the tracks we’d put down he came back in to record vocals but was undergoing very harsh dental surgery at the time. Some nights he couldn’t sing due to the anaesthetic numbing his vocal chords and eventually would have the surgery without anaesthetic just so he could finish recording. In the meantime, I had a car crash, we were all working full time jobs and we had a couple of unfortunate incidents where merchandise and money was stolen from us. Despite this, the album has been received incredibly well; we’re all stoked at how far this album has taken us in such a short space of time.

'Orchestra Of Wolves' has just been re-mastered and re-released with a bonus cd featuring some new tracks and some BBC rock session tracks, what made you want to re-release the album?
Originally the album came out on ‘In at the Deep End’ Records but after deliberation we decided to sign to Warner Bros in the UK and it was only sensible to re-release the album with a bigger push that what IATDE could provide. The extra tracks are there as we wanted to give those who had already bought the original cd something special.

Songs on 'Orchestra Of Wolves' deals with real things that has happened in your lives, can you explain some of the songs themes?
Pretty much every track on the album has a story behind it. ‘Come Friendly Bombs’ is about the town of Slough where Frank used to live and we’d practise. ‘Will Someone Shoot That Fucking Snake’ is about date rape. ‘Stay Cold’ was written about the fucks that stole all our shit at a show in Watford while there’s even a song about Frank’s dental surgery, ‘I Promise This Won’t Hurt’

You were up for a couple of awards at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods awards did you attend the awards?
Unfortunately not, we were on tour at the time.

You recently won a Kerrang award for the best British newcomer how did it feel to win?
It was an awesome feeling, we were up against some good bands who had done very well for themselves this year but to know the fans had voted us was brilliant. There are a lot of talented UK bands right now so to win the newcomer award was a special achievement.

How would you describe the music scene in Watford at the moment?
It’s hard to say, it’s definitely gone downhill recently but that isn’t the bands or promoters in Watford’s fault at all. There’s always been a problem trying to find venues that wouldn’t get shut down for whatever reason and there still is. The talent is still there in bands like Cryforsilence, Sikth, Haunts etc but there just aren’t many shows in town anymore.

How would you describe Watford as a place to grow up and live in?
It’s your typical suburban town. A lot of people live for just going out at the weekend and getting pissed but at the same time there are always a bunch of people that try and do something to help the scene too. I didn’t mind growing up and living in Watford, there are definitely worse towns in the UK but it’s easy to get too familiar with your surroundings and living in Watford can easily do your head in too.

I read that you used to tour in a clapped out old Royal Mail van, what made you get rid of it?
It was shit!! On our first proper tour with Bullet for My Valentine in January, we used “Betsy” as we called her and we literally broke down on the way to every show. We thought we’d got rid of Betsy but she’s recently been brought back from the dead and Blackhole were using her on the tour they done with us!

You do a cover of Black Flag's 'Nervous Breakdown' in your live shows how does it go down with your fans?
It always goes down really well. I’ve found that everywhere we go, as soon as we play ‘Nervous Breakdown’ the kids become a lot more involved. We’re all massive Black Flag fans and we hope that fans of Gallows would be too!

You played a free secret show on the 13th May at The Old Blue Last in London where the venue was packed out and sweaty, how hectic was the show?
I was insane!! We pretty much played every song we know and kids were losing their shit for the whole time. It was disgusting hot in there but it was a fucking riot. Having Cancer Bats and I Hate Our Freedom on the show with us made it even better, they started the party.

You played a really hectic energetic show on the Dimebag Darrell Stage at Download festival did you enjoy it?
Totally, we were all fucking nervous but we just gave it our all and we had an amazing time at Download.

You also played a late night DJ set in the Duracell Powerhouse tent at Download festival, what kind of songs did you play and how did it go down with the crowd?
Frank just pulled all the classics out the bag; it was a fucking fun night. I can’t remember too much (for obvious reasons) but he definitely played Minor Threat, The Clash, The Beastie Boys, Metallica etc. The crowd loved it, probably more than they loved most the bands that played Download actually!

Frank got interviewed by Corey Taylor for Scuzz TV, what was it like to be interviewed by another famous musician and how was Corey Taylor?
I think Frank said he was kind of short and a nice guy!

Your shows are full of energy and passion do you play every show like its your last?
Of course because with Gallows every show could be our last. We’ve played the same show every night since we started the band and I don’t think that will ever change.

How was it like touring with The Ghost Of A Thousand and the Cancer Bats?
So so good! That tour was probably the best we’ve ever done, every show was sold out and we got to watch two fucking amazing bands every night. It was seriously a pleasure.

You recently went to America and played the Warped tour for nearly two months, what was it like being part of a massive tour that stopped off at so many states and how did you go down with the crowds?
Warped tour was hard work but a lot of fun. The extreme heat was a bit too much some days but we’d play through it and now we’re extremely proud to say we conquered Warped Tour. The whole thing was like a travelling summer camp and we made a lot of great friends. The turnouts weren’t always great to see us but the kids who would come to see us would totally get the band and that’s what is most important. A tour like Warped is the best kind of thing we could have done at this stage in our career to get the name out in the states.

Did you manage to check out many bands at the Warped tour?
Haha! Well the rest of Gallows said I definitely got my moneys worth out of the tour because I’d literally watch 4 or 5 bands a day! I liked watching Bad Religion, Killswitch Engage, Maylene and The Songs of Disaster and erm…Paramore…

Do you have any good stories from the road?
Quite a few but we’ll save them for our version of Motley Crue’s “The Dirt”.

You have played the Lock Up Stage at the Reading and Leeds festivals, was it an honour to be playing such a long running festival?
It was a massive honour to be asked and Reading and Leeds were probably the two best shows we’ve ever played. Mike Davies has been very very good to us so to play his Lock Up Stage was like a dream come true.

At Reading Festival Chad Gilbert from New Found Glory tattooed Frank live on stage, when did he come up with the idea and was it a good result?
Frank literally came up with the idea of getting tattooed about 20 minutes before we went on stage. He’s just finished tattooing Jordan from NFG and wanted to get something to remember the day by so asked Chad to do the tattoo on stage. I think the end result was a bit sketchy!

You headed off back to America in October to play with Bad Religion, how did this tour come about?
Well, we’re signed to Epitaph in America and obviously Mr Brett being in Bad Religion asked us to be on the tour. The Bad Religion guys are legends; we’re very lucky to be on the tour.

Towards the end of October 07’, you went to Australia to play on the Taste Of Chaos tour, had you played in Australia before then?
No we hadn’t but we were looking forward to it a lot!

You have pretty much been on the road touring all year, how do you cope being away from home for so long?
It’s hard being away from family, friends, girlfriends but we all get along and are pretty busy so don’t get much time to miss home anyway. If one of the band is down then there’s always someone around to pick them up, playing a good show is always a perfect cure too.

Were you looking forward to finally getting a break at Christmas time or would you rather tour, tour, tour?
I think we deserved the break, we’ve been on tour solidly since January but I think after a couple of weeks we were all itching to get out on the road again!

You have shared the stage with many great bands but who have been the best band you have played with so far?
That’s too tough to answer! I think New Found Glory would be my favourite band to play with so far; they treated us really well right from the start.

What is the most memorable gig you have played and why?
Reading Festival. The atmosphere was incredible with 5000 kids packed into the tent screaming along to every word. We had all our families there watching us and it just felt really good to be back home again after two months in America.

Where do you see The Gallows in 5 years time?
5 years older!

Okay, one final random question; if you had a choice, what animal would you be out of a Zebra and a Giraffe?
Sticking my neck out on this one but I’d be a giraffe!

Thanks for your time, is there a message you would like to give to your fans reading this?
Don’t listen to shit music!

Interview by Trigger
 Band Members

Frank Carter (vocals)
Laurent Barnard (guitars, keys, vocals)
Steph Carter (guitars/vocals)
Stu Gili-Ross (bass)
Lee Barratt (drums)
 Latest Releases
Gallows - Orchestra Of Wolves
Release Date - 28th June 2007
Disc: 1
1. Kill the Rhythm
2. Come Friendly Bombs
3. Abandon Ship
4. In the Belly of a Shark
5. Six Years
6. Rolling with the Punches
7. Last Fight for the Living Dead
8. Just Because You Sleep Next to Me Doesn't Mean You're Safe
9. Will Someone Shoot That Fucking Snake
10. Stay Cold
11. I Promise This Won't Hurt
12. Orchestra of Wolves

Disc: 2
1. Abandon Ship (BBC Punk Session)
2. Rolling with the Punches (BBC Punk Session)
3. Will Someone Shoot That Fucking Snake (BBC Punk Session)
4. Six Years (BBC Punk Session)
5. Just Because You Sleep Next to Me Doesn't Mean You're Safe (BBC Rock
6. In the Belly of a Shark (BBC Rock Session)
7. Sick of Feeling Sick (New track)
8. Black Heart Queen (New track)
9. Nervous Breakdown (Black Flag Cover)
 Band Related Links
Gallows Myspace
Gallows Official Site