After what was truly an incredible performance which saw him in the middle of a crowd with a huge circle pit raging around him, we caught up with the legend that is Frank Carter. Fresh off the main stage with his new band, The Rattlesnakes, we spoke to Frank about life, relationships and his highly anticipated new album.
Soundsphere: That was pretty intense, how does it feel to be back at Leeds and no less, on the main stage?
Frank: It feels incredible, it really does. I love this festival, it means a lot to me, it always has. Leeds and Reading festival are two of my favourite festivals in the world. This is my ninth year playing and to play on the main stage is just mind blowing.
SS: So, you have been in a few different bands now with The Gallows, Pure Love, how is the buzz different now you are with The Rattlesnakes?
F: It’s always different. In every band it changes. With The Rattlesnakes, I think people are surprised at just how quickly it’s built. I mean, we only started this band eighteen months ago. For us it just feels like it’s going from strength to strength and I can’t really understand why. I just imagine that the songs are connecting with people and they just like the music.
SS: Judging from today, the intensity of the show was definitely something special and something that everyone is going to remember.
F: Live, we are a formidable force. Live we’re actually a little bit, well, we play the songs softer. I do more singing live than I do on the record. With the record, I scream a lot of it. It was an emotional out pouring. Were as live, we’re a bit more refined, a bit more classy and I just hope that people can sort of appreciate both sides of it. We’re moving into a different territory with our new record, you know, it’s going to be a lot more rock based rather than just hardcore and it’s something that we love and feel really good about because we grew up listening to rock music so it’s an exciting time for us.
SS: What sort of things inspire you outside of music?
F: I write about life. I write about my life and all the things I experience personally. But, I also love art, I love music, I love film but mostly I just write about what I know. So, I write about all of the crazy shit in the world that’s going on that I think shouldn’t be happening. Our new record is all about human relationships. It’s about relation with our partners, our friends, our children, our parents, family and also strangers. You know, people we don’t know and their experiences in life and what they are going through. I think there is something on there for everyone to relate to.
SS: I think especially with everything that’s going on in the world at the moment, the times we are in and how terrible things are, relationships is something we can all connect to.
F: Yeah, I think so. It’s a turbulent time we live in so we will see what happens.
SS: Your music always seems to provide a release for yourself and for your fans. Was it always intended to be that way or is it something that has just happened through the live shows?
F: It just happened very naturally. I always want to write music that makes me feel something and hardcore punk has just got that edge to it. For me, the performance was always more important in Gallows than the songs ‘cuz I thought it was the performance that was really driving the band. Now, I understand that the songs are the most important thing. Without good songs it doesn’t matter how passionately you play, you still need that song to connect to. So, that’s why, on our new record, we’ve really tried to be much more considered and we are trying to approach it in a different way. We’re really thinking about the songs and it’s very exciting for us.
SS: Earlier we spoke about the live show and how intense it actually is. What drives you to go on stage every night and give that kind of performance? Really give it your all?
F: I was born to do this, I really was. Without this I am nothing. It’s not just my identity, I live and breathe music, specifically performance. I was born to perform so that thirty minutes to an hour every day completely resets me. I feel like a better person when I’m playing and I just wish that everybody can have that in their life. It’s so important to me. It’s an incredible feeling to watch your music connecting with people and to hear people singing your songs back to you is a big thing. It’s exciting.
SS: On stage today, you mentioned you were doing a tour, apart from that, do you have any other plans post festival?
F: October we are going to Europe, November we are doing U.K, December we are going to Australia I think and after that, there is the new album in January and hopefully some time off at some point. It would be good, but I don’t know when it’s coming.
Images by Benjamin E. Gladstone Photography