Gallows’ music inspires physical response

One thing Frank Carter knows for sure about himself — he can take a good knuckle-dusting punch.

It’s a lesson he learned on the playground, growing up in the British burgs of Watford, and later Slough, the sad-sack city featured on Ricky Gervais’ original UK TV series “The Office.”

“The first time you get in a fight, the fear kicks in before you’re even hit,” the tattooed Carter, 22, recalls. “Because you never know what it feels like, or what’s gonna happen. But as soon as you get a slap to the face, you’re like ‘Oh, that didn’t hurt — that’s nothing!’ And your whole perspective changes.”

To the point where Carter — who now vents that frustration snarling lead vocals for Gallows, a frenetic, Fear-retro punk combo that’s taken England by storm — regularly makes a rather unusual offer to his fans in concert (now on the Warped Tour in the United States). If anyone in the crowd takes offense to the band’s tunes from the new “Orchestra of Wolves” (out this week on Epitaph), don’t grumble about it in the back row, he says. Come down front and sock him a good one, right in the chops.

“And if there are any haters at the show, there’s not really anywhere for them to go after they’ve hit you in the face, you know? It all started when we formed two years ago, with one song in particular where I used to say ‘If you know the words, then sing along, and if you don’t, get stuck in and try and punch me in the face.’ And I’d rather someone who’s that bothered were hitting me instead of any of our fans.”

Admittedly, Gallows anthems like “I Promise This Won’t Hurt,” “In the Belly of a Shark” and “Rolling With the Punches” inspire a kinetic physical reaction.

“So if someone does punch me, I couldn’t care less,” says Carter. “I’m onstage, I’ve got the adrenaline pumping, and I can truly take it. But normally if you call hecklers out on it? They shut the hell up. So very rarely have I actually been hit with a fist. It’s normally the girls who jump straight in there and give me a slap, and that hurts way more.”

He ends most tours with a pair of shiners, although his last jaunt left him with an injured index finger instead. “The nail came off and it got infected, so I’m on a course of antibiotics for that,” he brags of his latest war wound.

That means inking fresh flesh is out of the question; Carter left his tattoo equipment at home. Thanks to Gallows’ being dubbed ‘the world’s most exciting new band’ by Kerrang, and other overseas mags following suit, he’s had to quit his tattoo-parlor day job to fulfill tour demands.

artsentertainmentOther Arts

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Recology executives have acknowledged overcharging city ratepayers. (Mira Laing/2017 Special to S.F. Examiner)
Recology to repay customers $95M in overcharged garbage fees, city attorney says

San Francisco’s waste management company, Recology, has agreed to repay its customers… Continue reading

A construction worker watches a load for a crane operator at the site of the future Chinatown Muni station for the Central Subway on Tuesday, March 3, 2021. (Sebastian Miño-Bucheli / Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Major construction on Central Subway to end by March 31

SFMTA board approves renegotiated contract with new deadline, more contractor payments

(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Settlement clears path for all youth, high school sports to resume in California

John Maffei The San Diego Union-Tribune All youth and high school sports… Continue reading

State to reserve 40 percent of COVID-19 vaccines for hard-hit areas

By Eli Walsh Bay City News Foundation State officials said Thursday that… Continue reading

Neighbors and environmental advocates have found the Ferris wheel in Golden Gate Park noisy and inappropriate for its natural setting. <ins>(</ins>
Golden Gate Park wheel wins extension, but for how long?

Supervisors move to limit contract under City Charter provision requiring two-thirds approval

Most Read