The raging inferno that is FRANK CARTER & THE RATTLESNAKES will be returning to Australia. FRANK CARTER has solidified himself as one of the most exciting and mesmerising front men in the punk rock scene today. On the back of his completely sold out previous tour of Australia FRANK CARTER & THE RATTLESNAKES are back and in more ferocious form than ever! Their new album Modern Ruin has heralded in an even larger chorus of fans and Frank Carter speaks to Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles about the tour.
I hope the year’s going really well for you?
Yeah, it is. So far, so good. Today’s going to be crazy, but I’ll be fine.
Counting down now to the Australian tour it’s gone from kind of almost months down to weeks, and it’s going to be almost days. It must be exciting for you?
This is really exciting. I cannot wait for this tour. I’ve been waiting for this tour since we were there last year, so yeah I’m very excited, very, very excited indeed. It’s going to be a good one.
Is this tour mostly focused on the new album or is it a combination of both albums and the EP?
No, it’ll be both albums and the EP always. We’re always trying to push what we do and making us as balanced as we can. We love the music that we make, so yeah, we’re just really excited to gather and be playing all of the music that we’ve got. The last tour that we did, we had a really good split of music, so I’m looking forward to playing a bit more like that.
Is 2018 filled with touring, touring and more touring for the band?
Yeah, pretty much. We’re just going to be grasping as much as we can, so it’s pretty exciting.
During the holiday break did you have a chance to work on any new material?
No, we’ve really just taken some time off. We took as much time off as we could and decided to just relax and try and get our heads back together. It’s been pretty intense couple of years. Last year specifically was pretty full on, and we needed just to down our tools for a bit and get our heads straight, and then figure out where we were going to go from there. It’s been really good for us and think we’re all feeling very fortunate. We’re all in a position where we’re beginning to feel very strong about everything that’s going on. Now it’s just a case of getting back there and playing, and showing everybody that we’re still a force to be reckoned.
I guess when things are going so well is hard to come to that decision to push the stop button and like you said get your head straight, refocus, and spend time where it’s important, family and things like that?
It’s the most difficult thing to do. I think a lot of us in music you’re only as good as your momentum and that is specific to rock music. In rock music if you don’t have momentum you’ve got nothing. For us it was always a case of trying to keep that momentum, and the only way we knew how was by just constantly punching, keep fighting, keep pushing through.
Well, it’s been really, really good for us. It also meant that we exhausted ourselves within a matter of years. That also meant that any of the problems we had in our personal lives weren’t really getting addressed. We needed to take that time off towards the end of last year just to acknowledge some of those moments and try and find some resolution in them. I think we’ve done that now, a lot of it anyway.
Do you worry that you might not get that momentum back?
Yeah, totally. It’s not easy especially when you’re self-employed, you need to be pushing always, but it’s also really important to make sure that you remind yourself that I’m a human being and without me there is no band. So you constantly have to be trying to put yourself first above that and that’s the hard part I find. I find that really difficult.
I’ve read a lot of your interviews where you talk about mental health and the dangers of social media, they’re really important messages. Do you think we’re making a lot of progress in that space to make it safer or being able to reach out to those who are struggling and need help?
I don’t really know. I have no idea about social media. I’m trying to do my part and trying to raise awareness and at least get people talking about it because I think that’s always the first problem.
So I’m trying to raise awareness for it and I’m trying to make sure that people at least it’s part of a conversation, a broader conversation, that’s happening. Some people really like get on board with that, and others don’t really mention it and I don’t know why. It’s in everyone’s life, and I think we’re already seeing the effects of it. We’re really seeing the effects of that and the effects of Twitter and those open channel forums. The damage that those things do to your mental health, I think I’ve seen that already, so the only thing is just keep up the awareness.
Last year was a big year particularly with the release of Modern Ruin. Were you really happy with how fans and music industry embraced the album?
I was completely overwhelmed by it all, to be honest. I did not expect it to go like it did in the slightest, it’s amazing. Mostly how the fans sort of received it because I couldn’t give a fuck about the industry really, I don’t really care about critics, everyone is a fucking critic. What I care about is fans and I never want to alienate them. I never want to make them feel like they don’t know who the band is all of a sudden, because you want to grow with the band, you want to feel like the band is maturing and learning at the same pace as you or maybe just ahead of you, so the band still has some stuff to teach you.
I think we’ve struck that balance really, really well, that people really got excited about what we’re doing, and they are enjoying what we’re doing, and they are also happy to let us grow. They want to see how far we can push it, how far we can take it. It’s been really exciting. It’s been overwhelmingly positive.
Does that give you a lot of energy and confidence in terms of thinking about the next album and where you might take it?
Definitely. It has given us probably a bit too much confidence, so we decided to not do anything right now. We’ve decided to just put everything on ice and wait until March to start writing again and then we’ll see, then we’ll have a look maybe and see where we’re at. Right now it will so easy for us to just do too much and so we’re just trying to sort of take our time. I don’t want to rush anything. We wrote these songs so fast, everyone was like why is there such a change from Blossom to Modern Ruin but the reality is we wrote both of those songs in the same year, within eight months of each other. It was always intended to be our first output. We were supposed to just put everything out there and then we’ll see kind of what everyone thought of those two records.
It just happened that there was a year between them, so everyone was seeing that in that year we’d probably lost our minds and we’d gone so far away from hardcore, but the reality is we wrote them really quickly together. That was always intended to be our first output.
Touring with the Cancer Bats makes for a really awesome double bill?
Yeah, it does. I can’t wait. I’ve loved that band for well decades now, you know that I toured with them in Dallas in 2007 and 2008, so we go way back. We are old friends, so it’s going to be a pretty exciting tour. We’re going to play as many songs as we’re allowed to. The last tour we finished up we were playing twenty-three songs. That’s every song we’ve written. I don’t know if we’re going play every song we’ve written but we might. I don’t know why we wouldn’t. In fact, on the UK tour we played some of those songs twice because we had such a good time. For us it’s a case that we love music, we love playing, and we are really selfish, because we want to spend as much time on stage as possible. Come and see us play because it’ll blow your fucking mind.
Interview by Rob Lyon
Catch Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes on the following dates with The Cancer Bats
Photo Credit: Bella Howard