LeeFest 2016 Interview: Frank Carter (Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes)

By on Wednesday, 31st August 2016 at 11:00 am

“A lot of people have preconceived ideas of who I am as a person and who I am a a performer, because of my history. I’m really enjoying wiping that slate clean. It’s been a lot of fun.” Frank Carter’s career started back in 2005 with Gallows, who released their debut album ‘Orchestra of Wolves’ to critical acclaim. After parting ways with Gallows due to creative differences, he then proceeded to form a band called Pure Love. It was when Pure Love went on an indefinite hiatus that he found himself in the unknown.

However, a third incarnation of his career, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, is where Carter firmly believes he has finally found his home. When talking to Frank Carter, you can tell he is a man who is determined to be the best at what he does and who is also going to have a great time doing it. “For us, it’s just all about going out and just having fun with it because ultimately, if we’re having fun, it doesn’t really matter what people think, as long as we’ve had a great show, because we’re the ones that have to do this every day. You’ve just got to go and have fun and play every show like you might not get to play the next one”.

This is the key aspect to anything Carter touches. It’s him doing what he needs to, and he’s finally found the band to back him up. “I just set out to write songs and play them the best I could. I’ve definitely resonated with people over the years. Now I’m in a position where I’ve got the right band to capture new fans and pay respect to my old fans so they don’t feel like I’ve abandoned them. They’ve watched me grow up and they’ve grown up along with me. They’re different people than what they were, like I am now. Now it’s a lot to do with respect. I know where I’ve come from, and I’m not trying to run away from that.”

Touching more upon his personal journey, Carter discusses his performance evolution, an always integral part to any artist’s craft. “I’ve always been quite a scrappy performer, I’m a professional scrappy performer. I’ve found a way now to manipulate all the best parts of that and embrace the parts that I was missing. I never ran songs through into other songs, I used to talk for way too long, which slows the flow of the show down. Now we have a few where it’s just bang bang bang, which gives people a big burst of music that they’re not really ready for. That means I can then talk for ages about some bullshit. I feel that’s what I’m learning, how to control the madness a bit better, more so than I have before. I’ve always been good at that, but it can run away with you, like really easily, and so now I’m trying to tighten the leash a little bit.”

Of course, it’s not all been smooth sailing for Carter throughout this process. He talks about his journey to this point with a deep reflectiveness. “I’ve had a troubled relationship with music and my career, but now I feel like I finally understand what I’m supposed to be doing, where I should be. I feel good as a performer for the first time in my life, which is not something to be scoffed at. I’ve found who I am.” Going further into this self-learning, he continues, “I’ve had a heavy couple of weeks of deconstructing the idea of me that people have. A lot of people have sort of been like, ‘Who are you?’ or ‘We don’t know you!’, and I’m now saying to them, ‘I am myself’. It feels good finally to be this and I feel like I’ve been looking for a long time. I’ve finally gotten there, so I’m in really good place.” The future is certainly going to be strong for Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes. With a UK tour coming up at the tail end of the year and a second album in January, they’re continuously working hard, as Carter puts it, “to try and show the world that we’re an important band”.


He also opens up into the current state of the music industry and what it means for newer bands to reinforce his previous point. “Genres and cliques have fallen away. Anybody can listen to anything, which is a great thing, but it also means you open your competition up to the entire spectrum of music. You have to form an act on a level that can compete with all those genres and bands and styles. So that’s kind of what we’re doing at the minute, trying to just find our place in music.”

Since we’re talking to Carter at LeeFest 2016, it would be rude not to discuss festivals in some format, and festivals are where The Rattlesnakes are apparently most at home. “Everyone wants to have a good time when they’re at a festival, it’s normally your chance to escape reality for a little bit. We being a band that want to kind of abuse that in people, we relish it. Festivals are kind of our thing, we just like having a good time. We’ve had a really good summer, so I’m excited about what this band can be in the future at festivals. For us, I’ll always take a festival over a small show because you just get to play to more people and have a great time.” The strength with The Rattlesnakes is Carter’s approach to every gig. “We don’t really try, we just do. We just go out and play the same sort of show be it 7,000 people or 10 people, we just keep doing our thing.”

To check out where you might catch Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes live next, visit their official Web site. nearly half of their UK tour dates in November are already sold out, so be quick to snap up tickets to the remaining dates if you’re keen on seeing them.

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