23 February 2018 by Daniel Davis Goff
Frank Carter – Rock, The Platform For Change!
“We do that at every gig. It’s been part of our show for years now because its important man.” Said Frank Carter as we spoke about the 2016 Australian tour where Frank made headlines with talking onstage about Gender Equality and calling for an all-female stage dive. At a time where more and more A-listers are finally being exposed for their putrid behaviour, Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes are fighting for positive changes.
“As a singer, as a band, we have a responsibility to use our platform for good, for the right sort of change.” Said Carter, as he continues “And, in my mind, the right sort of change is to talk about moments that we are seeing that are fucking unjust or unfair. In my mind, there is nothing that is as pressing as sexual assault or gender discrimination in rock music. Because rock music is always supposed to be, hardcore punk specifically, is always supposed to be about equality, about family, about community and friendship and providing a safe place for the underdog. You know what I mean, for the people that didn’t fit in anywhere. So, for me, seeing people at our shows, and for them to be experiencing discrimination or experiencing some sort of misogyny, there is no place for it man, it needs to stop now. The best thing I can do is raise awareness about it by talking about it and try my best to provide a safe place for everyone at our gigs. Specifically for women, because they’re the people that don’t feel safe so I want to make sure they feel safe first and foremost.”
Aside from promoting gender equality, being a father and holding down a job as a professional tattoo artist, Frank Carter is a man that has been breathing new life into Britain’s punk rock and hardcore scene for over a decade. First with epic Watford band Gallows and then British-American crossover Pure Love, and now as the heart of Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes, Frank is hailed as one of the most dynamic and exiting modern punk rock performers of a generation.
With years of experience, destroying stages the world over tucked into their pants, Frank Cater and the Rattlesnakes are set to return to Australia in the New Year. With support from Canadian hardcore punk titans Cancer Bats, who haven’t been in Australia since their last tour back in 2015, this tour is set to be one of the most explosive shows of 2018. To top it all off, The Rattlesnakes now have double the material to pull from, with epic new album Modern Ruin along with the fresh single, Spray Paint Love.
“Basically, the new song is like we’re kinda paying homage to everything we have written already, but also like what we have learned playing those songs. We already play songs off both of our albums totally different to what we did when we wrote them. Naturally, after two years of playing them live, they have fallen into different grooves. They’re a bit easier to play. Some of the melodies have gotten a bit better. So, with this, it was something that although we haven’t played this song live very much, we have got this whole experience of playing live that we never had before because when we wrote both those albums, we’d been a band for like fucking six months. You know what I mean, we had done one fucking tour. We didn’t even really know who we were or how we would play live. So what’s just naturally occurred, is that we’ve got a much better grip on who we are as musicians and what we want to play, how we want to sound. That’s what you’re hearing now, us being ourselves. It’s a beautiful thing I think. I’m really happy with it.”
“We’ve always been quite forward thinking when it comes to technology.” Says Frank as he explained how the Video for Spray Paint Love came about. “We love and understand very much that we live in a technology age, so we really wanted to make sure we are part of that, more than anything. With the actual Hypercube, our friend Ross is an amazing director. He is an incredible video director, and he just called me one day and was like ‘listen, I’ve got this opportunity. You should come down and check it out.’ and we went. He had it up at a festival we were playing and I just went to see it and was like ‘how do we fucking… please actually’ you know what I mean. He looked after me, I mean, he worked with me on Gallows, he worked with me on Pure Love, he shot the Juggernaut video, the Snake Eyes video, he is a really good friend you know, and this is like his chance to do something fucking really out there. But he needed someone that could just come in and nail it in a short space of time. That was me.”
Frank Carter has always been one of those vocalists that pour every last ounce of their heart into the lyrics, filled with passion and rage and venom and sorrow and touching on political and social issues that become both relatable and empowering through his words.
“I write about everything that’s going on in my life you know. I always try to write from my perspective. As an example, when I wrote the song Thunder, that entire song is about the refugee crisis and the entire war in Syria really, but it was written from my perspective as a spectator. It was all about what I had seen on TV and the internet. It was written about my experience as a spectator and how I felt kind of helpless. I write all the time, write constantly, I write on my phone, I write in my sketchbooks. Eventually, Dean and I will sit down, Dean will have a few songs and he will just come over and he’ll just play riffs and he’ll just play riffs over and over again until I say stop and ill pick one and ill just start working on it. So, it’s just constant, it’s making sure that you get everything down, I’ve written a lot of good stuff and I’ve not had the opportunity to record it or to write it on anything and I’m like ‘I swear that I’ll remember this later’ and I never fucking do. You’ve gotta catch it, you’ve gotta catch it while it’s there.”
“Well. For me, it’s all I’ve ever really known.” Says Frank, as we touch on playing some of the most epic festivals like Glastonbury, not to mention headlining shows the world over “Although I started out in hardcore and punk, my first band Gallows, we were playing headlining tents at Reading and Leeds within the first year of us being a band. We exploded so quickly that bigger stages are kinda the norm. That’s kinda what I’m more used to but its different in every single way. Like people always ask me what I prefer, they’re like ‘do you prefer bigger stages or smaller fucking gigs?’ For me, there is pros and cons to both. I mean I fucking love a small gig. I fucking love a club show. But, by the same nature, like, you put me in front of five thousand people on a big stage, I get excited in a very different way. There is a lot of power in that, there is an awful huge amount of power in being able to play to that many people. It works differently you know, it’s exciting. There are not many feelings like that in the world.”
As we wrapped things up, Frank spoke a little about some of his favourite bands,
“You know what. The weird thing for me is, there are loads of legendary bands that I would love to play with. Like Rolling Stones and Foo Figthers and you know, like Queens of the Stone Age. All of those bands I would love to share stages with, but also I would just be like fucking nervous to do that. Because they’re amazing musicians, they’re amazing performers and really if I was going to be on a bill with them I would just want to watch them play. You know what I mean, I would just fucking want to have a couple of drinks and just chill out with them. But I’ve been really lucky man, I’ve shared stages with most of my favourite bands and so nowadays, I really just want to go watch them play, chill out and not play myself.”