2007 has been a crazy year for Watford punks Gallows. In January they graced the cover of Kerrang! Magazine and were given the title of Best British Newcomer from the same mag. Gigs have been selling out all over the country and they recently traveled the world only to return home to find out that Frank had been nominated as number 1 on the NME Cool List!
The roller coaster of chaos continues to this very interview. 10 minutes after these words went down, Zac and Frank were confronted by a maniac threatening to stab them both in Portobello road. Interview off the cuff and all photo’s by Zac Slack.
So, come on then, tell us where have you been of late?
I’ve been er..I’ve been all over the world actually. I’ve been to 100 states in the US that were not worth visiting
(There is only 50….) haha!
Only 50 is there?! Ha! I don’t care. Well, I’ve been to half the States that were worth visiting and a ton that weren’t. I’ve been to Australia, New Zealand, i’ve been to Japan, most of main land Europe. All over the UK – again. So we’ve been busy man, we’ve been covering as much ground as we can.
You’re not on tour right now, usually you’re on tour 24/7. Why have you split from the Taste Of Chaos tour in Europe?
Technically we are supposed to be on tour right now. It got to a point where everyone was getting really sick and my Brother managed to contract bronchitis and he has asthma really really bad so it’s the kinda thing that for most people is just a bad cough, but for him it can land him in the hospital with really serious repercussions. We asked everyone and everyone else was fucked as well. Everyone’s ill, everyones sick, everyone wanted to go home.
Craig (manager) came out to see us in Cologne, took one look at us and said “You’re going home“. He actually sent us home that night. Turns out when we get back, Lags has got flu and Lee has fractured a rib!
So you were in pretty bad shape then?
Well yeah, usually me and Stuart get it, but Stuart’s blood is made of JD anyway. Nothing can survive inside of him! So yeah, I am the only one that is healthy.
You’ve had your fair share of accidents as a band, can you give us the top 5?
Ok, I will start with number 5 which was the weakest but probably the most deadly. We were playing with The Explosion in Metros and while playing the first song I was head banging and I managed to tear a muscle behind my ear, over my right shoulder, effectively giving myself whip lash. It was killing me and I was was trying to man up but I was in agony and as soon as the gig finished I was just sitting like Robo-cop against the wall thinking i’ve got to go home, I can’t move and the next day I woke up and I couldn’t move! When I got home that night, I thought, I’m going to bed, I’m not good and I walked straight in my bathroom and looked in the mirror, my head was at an actual angle. I was flipping out, I thought I had broken my neck or something. It’s pretty scary to look in the mirror and see your head un-hinged. I went straight into my mums rooms and said “Do I look weird to you?” and she was like “Why are you wonky?“, so she drove me to casualty and they told me I had whip lash. The muscle had torn and contracted and then frozen!
They didn’t believe that you had done it at a gig did they? They thought it was a car accident?
This is the thing right, the next day I wake up and I couldn’t move, so I went to the doctors. The nurse at the hospital the night before just said take it easy and take some Ibruprofen . I can’t take them, they fuck my stomach up. So I went to the doctors to try and get some gel or something. I walk in and sit down and he basically didn’t want to know.
He was convinced that I had been in a car accident and then wanted to see my drivers license. So I told him, I don’t have one because I wasn’t in a car accident. At one point he was going to call the police, because he was so dead cert that I had nicked a car, gone joy riding, crashed it, given myself whip lash and here I am coming in two days later complaining. I was like dude, call my mum, she’ll tell you! He still wasn’t convinced and kept asking what I had done to do this….I told him, I was head banging! He was asking what head banging was and I told him I can’t fucking show you, I can’t move my fucking neck!
Mike from The Bled wanted to do a song with us on the last night they were on tour with us so he jumped on half way through “In The Belly Of a Shark“. Well, one minute Lee was there and the next thing, I just see him Super Man into the crowd! We didn’t actually find out until we got home. So he was drumming with a fractured rib for about a week and a half.
Number 3 would probably be me again. I broke my own nose. We were on stage at the Hammersmith Apollo with Bullet For My Valentine tour and the kids just weren’t getting it. So I was head banging again and put my foot up on a monitor and managed to break my own nose on my knee. It was really bad, I looked up and could feel it swelling and my eyes were streaming, but there was no blood? I popped it back in later that night.
Number 2 would be my brother. Stuart hit him with his bass guitar in Brighton. We were playing an NME gig. It was the first song – again! He got a tuning peg behind his ear and got a 1 inch deep gash behind his head and he got concussion. He was saying ” I’m cool man i’m cool”. Then he turns around and he has got pretty much a fanny on his head! We were telling him he needed to go to hospital and get some stiches, but he wouldn’t, so he put one of those little blue kitchen plasters on and off he went. 30 seconds into the second song he was in the crowd with blood pissing out of his head. It was funny man, all these indie kids were leaning back so they didn’t get blood on them! He finished the entire set.
Number 1…I ripped my finger nail off in Bristol and for a long long time I had a video of it on my phone, maybe I still have it, I will try and blue tooth it to you later!
I wrapped it up and carried on with the show, when I get back to the hotel I take a look and I had lobbed a chunk of my finger off and I could see the base of the nail. I went to the hospital, they injected my finger 6 times because it was so swollen. They pulled the nail off and then put it back on and wrapped it up. 2 days later i’m in agony, I haven’t slept….They used to torture people by putting bamboo shoots up your nails, you’d be suprised how bad it is. Anyway, I go to the doctors and he undresses it and my whole finger is pretty much black, it just looks like a cherry. He squeezed my hand at the first knuckle and from under my nail just runs yellow and fills something the size of an egg cup with puss. It felt so good, he pricked it with a pin.
It’s not emo, fuck off!
So, whats the deal with Bizzle?
He is really down to earth, he knows where he is coming from so he is really appreciative of what he has got and what he has going on. We just recorded a video with him and we are off to the studio to record a session with Zane Lowe next week.
Are there more collaborations with Bizzle to come?
Erm, we are just putting this out for the time being, having some fun. Playing Rudeboi’s live is my favourite because he goes mad, he loses his shit and stage dives. He is a big boy, so all the people in the front row are like “Please!..” But he doens’t give a fuck. As for collaborations, I don’t know, we need to write a new record first.
Whats the deal with that then, have you written anything on the road?
Is it all secret?
No, not at all, no secrets, there is fuck all. There is talk of us going into the studio to write the next single. It’s a bit fucking daunting going in to write your next single. No pressure! It’s alot of fucking pressure, just to go in and knock out your next singIe. We know it will be a fucking great song though. We’ve all been waiting so long and are so excited about writing again. Last time we went in we wrote Black Heart Queen and I love that song. A really good new direction, so I am looking forward to seeing where its going.
Ok, there is an obvious question thats happened recently, obviously we’ve been a bit closer than most to it…but Frank is the coolest person in the UK, is this true?
I didn’t even know it was going to happen. I went to the photo shoot with James. I was told it would be worth my while, so I went along…but as everyone knows i’m not a big fan of the NME. It was a big fucking deal for me to go down there and I was supposed to steal the Dior suit that I wore and I didn’t.
You didn’t take it?
I know, I was fucking gutted. Usually there is loads of people rushing around but at this shoot there was only about 4. I didn’t even bring a fucking bag. I was really pissed with myself y’know, but whatever, I did the shoot and the photos looked good.
They’ve been waiting a while for the picture with you with your tattoos out and your top off….
Yeah, they dropped 4 features on us because I wouldn’t do it.
What made you decide to do the photo in the end?
Just for James. I personally couldn’t give a fuck about being anywhere in the ‘Cool List‘, but without him and you, our band wouldn’t be where it is today and I whole heartedly believe that.
People don’t appreciate how much goes into press and promo. James would never make us do anything we didn’t want to do, but he said it could be big for us. Big for Punk. Even if I was in the top 5, it would be big for us. So I did it and we fucking won it.
Looking back, how do you think you guys have made a difference to hardcore?
I don’t think we have made a difference to be honest. Although saying that hardcore had kind of collapsed in on itself and that was part of the reason we weren’t excepted as a hardcore band and that is exactly why I think we have got where we are now, because no one wanted us and we said you’re going to listen whether you fucking like it or not. I would like to think that is had brought attention to the fact that you can still play 3 chords and it can still be good and interesting.
Look out for Gallows album ‘Orchestra Of Wolves‘ out now, see more at www.gallows.co.uk