Check out this article about Gallows' first North American tour and don't forget to get "Orchestra of Wolves," on July 10.
COMING to AMERICA
England's Gallows looking forward to Vans Warped Tour
By Michelle J. Mills, Staff Writer
"I'm really looking forward to the Warped Tour and hoping there's not much competition there because otherwise we're going to struggle because no one's going to know who this band from England is," Laurent Barnard, guitarist, keyboardist and vocalist for Gallows, said.
The punk band noted for lyrics rapt with social commentary was formed in Watford, England, in 2005 and landed a deal with Epitaph shortly after performing at SXSW in Austin, Texas, in March. They are releasing their 2006 effort, "Orchestra of Wolves," in the States July 10. The album was originally recorded in a bedroom with no budget and released in the UK on In At The Deep End Records, but now contains three new tracks exclusively for North America and new artwork.
Gallows members, Barnard, brothers lead vocalist Frank Carter and guitarist/vocalist Steph Carter, bassist Stu Gili Ross and drummer Lee Barratt, began without any aspirations of making it, rather they wrote and performed music they liked.
"In our opinion, if you start a band, you really should be writing music for yourself as opposed to writing for an audience that's already out there," Barnard said.
Barnard has written the majority of the music in the past, but now all of the players are bringing in ideas to share and hone into songs. Frank Carter still pens all of the lyrics.
"He's trying to base the stuff on issues that affect him and also other people can relate to. There's not many other bands who will tackle stuff like divorce or even subjects like going to the dentist. Our album is basically a story of what was happening when we recorded the album in a weird way," Barnard said.
For example, Carter was going through a lot of dental surgery when they were in the studio and the anaesthesia affected his vocal chords so he couldn't sing. Carter wrote about his frustrations in "I Promise This Won't Hurt." Still another song relays the band's anger after their merchandise was stolen on the road.
Barnard's father played guitar and listened to a range of music, which rubbed off.
"I'm always into the classics, legendary artists and stuff like that even though my band probably sounds a million miles away from all that kind of music, but it's definitively helped. You do hear a bit of subtle melody in our record and I do think that's important," Barnard said.
He got his start in music at age 13 when he formed a band with schoolmates and stepped into the keyboardist slot. Seeking a more "rock 'n' roll" instrument, he moved to bass and then guitar.
Barnard completed his education and earned a degree in English, but still had his eyes on music.
"I didn't want to follow a career because I was so intent on doing well with my music that I used to work in Virgin Megastore and shops like Borders, just shopwork, little things here and there so I could afford to practice and pay for petrol to travel to the shows. You know (in a band) you don't get paid any money," Barnard said.
Today, almost every waking moment of Barnard's life is entwined with music. He works on merchandise ideas, such as designing Gallows' T-shirts, goes to shows, helps other bands on tours and remixes songs for both rockers and rappers. But finding time for things other than Gallows is tough because they spend a lot of time on tour. And the road is hard as well, as there is rarely time to sightsee and the band saves money by using hotels sparingly.
"We don't get to sleep that much. We've got bunks in our van and it's so tiny I keep turning around and smacking my knees on the low ceiling. It's like sleeping in a coffin," Barnard said.
Gallows has made a name for themselves with their honesty and passion. They are also noted for their wild performances.
"When we play a show it's 30 minutes of the day where we can get all our anger and energy out. I think for kids who come to our show, it's the same way. If they're had a bad day at school or a bad day at work, they come to one of our shows and they'll leave it feeling 100 times better than when they went in," Barnard said.
Later this year, Gallows will perform at the Redding and Leeds Festival in England and then head out worldwide on the Taste of Chaos tour. But right now, they are looking forward to Vans Warped Tour and its pre-party.
"Come down, hang out, chat to us, we're not rock stars or anything so feel free to say hello. We'd like some friends in the States, so definitely come say, `Hi,"' Barnard said.
What: Warped Tour Pre-Party also featuring Big D and the Kids Table and Kennedy
Where: Glass House, 200 W. Second St., Pomona
When: 7 p.m. Thursday
Cost: $13 all ages
Also: Vans Warped Tour
Where: Fairplex, 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona
When: June 29
Information: (213) 480-3232;