By paul

Paul: Hey mate, how are things in the Gallows camp?
Lags: Hey, all good. Just returned from the studio.

Paul: You’re one of the hardest working bands around and have toured endlessly over the last couple of years. However, you’ve taken a bit of time off recently, I assume to write and record a new album. How far along are you in this process – are you still writing or have you started to record?
Lags: We had a pretty enduring touring schedule and to be honest the writing schedule is just as hard. The bonus is we get to sleep in our own beds and we usually aim to be finished by about 7 depending on how it goes in the day. This gives us the evenings free to relax/party. The writing is taking it’s time because on certain occasions the ideas are flowing while other times the creativity is pretty dry. We’re also our biggest critics and that often means for every 10 tracks we write only 4 are collectively deemed worthy to be included on the album. We’re set to start recording after August. We’re still busy playing the odd festival and show so we’re going to wait till the live side of things is over before we get our heads down in the recording studio.

Paul: If you can say, who do you intend to record the new record with?
Lags: We’ve had plenty of meetings with some amazing producers and if I had the choice we’d work with them all. We’ve agreed on recording the album with Garth Richardson. He’s probably most well known for producing the first Rage Against The Machine album but what really clinched it for us was how good the latest Biffy Clyro album sounded and the dynamics included on that record. When we met him in Vancouver he was already really enthusiastic and that’s exactly the attitude we need in the studio environment.

Paul: What can we expect from the new Gallows material? Which bands/albums have been influencing you (both personally and as a band)?
Lags: I can’t really say what you’ll expect from the new Gallows record as it still feels like early days even for us. I try and avoid listening to bands who sound similar to us in any way as it could spoil any original songwriting ideas. I’ve been listening to music ranging from Sigur Ros and American Football to Buried At Sea and Neurosis but I seriously doubt we’re going to sound like any of those bands. The album is going to be more influenced by mood than by other music. There’s going to be a tone to the record as well as a vision for the album as a whole. I feel we lacked some direction on Orchestra Of Wolves but this time round we’re hoping to create a more solid album.

PauL; Are you approaching the recording of this album differently? After all, when you recorded ‘…Wolves’ you were a group of lads from Watford(ish) releasing a record on a small UK indie label and now you’re one of the biggest punk bands in the world on a major label…
Lags: We are approaching the record very differently. Orchestra Of Wolves was a very personal album and was not written with the intention of 1000s of people listening to the songs. With the way the music industry is changing this album is extremely important to us. It might be the last time we get to work with a big producer and our last chance of having a big advertising campaign promoting a Gallows record. The money might not be there the next time we record an album so we’re going to make the most of this opportunity. It’s going to be a lot less about stolen merch and bad trips to the dentist. We have a much bigger audience now so our message and music has to hit harder than ever.

Paul: Are you feeling the pressure at all? I’m guessing there are expectations from the label, press and fans for this record to be at least as good as the first…as a band does this increase the pressure on you to deliver the goods?
Lags: The real pressure is on ourselves to produce a record that we’re even more proud of than Orchestra Of Wolves. That album was written back in 2005 yet I still dig the tunes 3 years down the line. Everyone is really supportive and they want us to write and play the music we love. Warner Brothers made it clear from day one that they would never interfere with the writing or our sound. They re-released Wolves, an album that cost us £1250 to record at the time, and to us that was a sign of their belief in Gallows. It’s amazing to have such a supportive team working with us. Some of us are in the mindset that a lot of journalists out there are going to automatically dislike our second album so in that way the pressure is instantly lifted. If we believe people are going to hate on us then the only people worth pleasing is ourselves, the people around us and our fans. But like I said before, we’re intent on delivering the best we can with this record while we still have the close support.

Paul: I last interviewed you for Punktastic about 18 months ago and a hell of a lot has happened since that point. If you look back over that period what would you say was the one stand out moment for you in the band where you can look back and go ‘wow, that was really great…’
Lags: 18 months!!! So much has happened in that time it’s insane. My highlights are definitely all the amazing people we’ve got to hang out with. It means a lot to meet musicians you respect and they turn out to be awesome people and fans of your band too. We played with Rage Against The Machine about 2 weeks ago and afterwards I met the band and they were all really cool dudes and told us how much they enjoyed the show and how good our record was. It’s a pretty weird situation to be in but not a bad one that’s for sure! If I had to pick a show that stands out it would be Reading 2007 and I can’t wait to play there again this year.

Paul: On a similar topic, what do you want to do with album number 2 that you haven’t yet achieved? Is there anywhere you’d like to tour/play etc you haven’t done already or perhaps a top 20 single?
Lags: We haven’t even thought about what we want to achieve with album 2. I guess the obvious answer is to equal the success of album 1. With regards to places we’d like to tour, well, I’d love to go back to Japan and do some more shows there. It’s probably the greatest place I’ve ever visited and I literally can’t wait to go back. As far as singles go we’re not really a singles type of band. We’ve not thought once about singles so far when it comes to this record. In fact we’ve never thought about singles in our whole career. Our target is to have every song as good as the other. We’re bound to have to choose singles so we’ll probably discuss it once the album is finished. For us singles serve their purpose to make a video and with websites like youtube, myspace etc it’s important to keep up appearances and a high level of interest in the band.

Paul: You’ve recently played a number of smaller shows and/or secret gigs – was this simply as a bit of fun or was it intended to try and take things back to basics, back to how it all began, for inspiration for the new record?
Lags: It was more fun to be honest. We’ve played so many big stages and I think it’s difficult for our music to translate in 5000 capacity venues. We’ve been advised not to play too many small shows as it gives the impression we’re going down in popularity but we just enjoy the release of playing intimate gigs. Plus there are always going to be promoters we’ve enjoyed playing for in the past and it’s great to return to venues when they’re sold out.

Paul: Can any of you complete your track on Guitar hero 3 on expert?!
Lags: I think our drummer’s sister is pretty killer at it but as a band we’re more experts on the medium levels.

Paul: In January you were barred from playing at Disney’s House of Blues venue – has that ban been rescinded? have you forgiven Mickey Mouse yet?
Lags: Haha, I have no idea where we’re at with that. I reckon if we got to the stage where we were selling out House Of Blues venues Mickey Mouse would be on his knees begging us back just so he could stuff his red pants with extra green.

Paul: The band previously went on record saying new song titles include Museli, Thrash, Farside, I Dread The Night, Graves and Intro – are these still correct?
Lags: We were laughing about this the other day. Someone sent us a message saying they saw these song titles on our wikipedia page. I checked out the titles and out of all of them only I Dread The Night and Graves are actual songs. The rest are just random names as a way of labelling parts of songs, riffs etc. To give you an idea, today in the studio Lee, our drummer, said he’d buy us all Nandos if we finished working on a song idea. By the end of practise we named that idea Nandos Bribe. Its all pretty stupid to be honest but it’s easier than calling them “song 1, song 2, song 3”. Seriously, as if anyone could have a hit with something called “Song 2”!?!

Paul: Does it annoy you that people are buying/selling your first demo and the 7″ on Holy Roar at vastly inflated prices on auction sites?
Lags: It’s amusing, complimenting and slightly annoying all at the same time. Complimenting in the sense that people out there would actually part with, at times, £100 for a Gallows demo and annoying that the person selling it no longer sees the musical value in something we’ve done. I have a few rare bits of vinyl but I would never sell it. Ok, maybe if I was desperate I’d sell it. It’s more annoying when you see people buy fake Gallows stuff. We make sure our merch is top quality and designed by our favourite artists but then most of the kids would rather buy a badly printed shirt outside just because it’s a fraction of the price. I should really just find out where the bootleggers get their shirts printed allowing them to undercut every touring band.

Paul: If you could change anything about being in Gallows what would it be and why?
Lags: I don’t know. We all moan about a lot of things but I doubt any of us would change anything. There’s a lot of things I would change with hindsight but it’s all part of the learning experience.

Paul: Finally, when can we expect the new album and when we can expect the Gallows touring machine to re-start?
Lags: Early 2009 for the release of the new album and I guess around the same time our touring schedule will begin. In which case it will be another 18 months before we have another chat.

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]