GALLOWS is: Wade MacNeil - vocals, Laurent Barnard - guitars/keys/vocals, Stu Gili-Ross - bass, Lee Barratt - drums.
No-one ever said it was going to be easy. But nothing worth having comes without a fight. So you roll with the punches. You stay focussed, stay on point. Biding your time, until the time is right. Knowing that soon your day will come.
For Gallows, that time is now.
Described, variously, as 'The best British punk band since The Clash' and 'The British music industry's biggest mistake', the Hertfordshire hardcore crew first emerged from the fecund UK underground punk scene in 2005. Inspired ...read moreby Refused, At The Drive-In, JR Ewing and Swing Kids, their ferocious, feral 2006 debut Orchestra Of Wolves offered a harsh, unflinching dissection of suffocating suburban mores, shot through with images of small-town violence, desperation and disgust. Its follow-up, 2009's apocalyptic Grey Britain, was darker, denser and even more brutally incisive, a lacerating, none-more-bleak state of the nation address, speaking of a once proud nation on its knees, riven by prejudice, greed, ignorance and fear.
Writing of Grey Britain in The Observer, punk rock historian Jon Savage noted approvingly that Gallows injected into British rock music "the feeling that there is something more at stake than money, fame and self, the belief that human beings are important." It was a message the band took to the streets nightly, from community centres and spit-and-sawdust punk rock dives through to the stages of the US Warped tour and a European stadium run supporting Rage Against The Machine, blowing speakers and blowing minds with heart-stoppingly intense, raw, chaotic performances that never once succumbed to showbiz ritual.
In the summer of 2011, as London was paralysed by waves of looting, arson and civil disobedience in a chilling echo of the dystopian decline mapped out on Grey Britain, Gallows parted company with vocalist Frank Carter. Hitting the 'Pause' button for the first time in five dizzying years afforded the band an opportunity to take stock of their lives and consider what was truly important to them. Which, ultimately, proved to be the very same things which had propelled the young musicians onto the stage in the first instance - friendship, community and breathless, deathless punk rock, played from the fucking heart.
December 2011's Death Is Birth EP heralded the arrival of a new Gallows: united, uncompromised, unfettered, unbroken. With old friend (and former Alexisonfire guitarist) Wade MacNeil installed as the band's new frontman, the seven inch EP was a defiant declaration of independence, 459 seconds of apoplectic punk rock fury landing like an adrenaline spike to the heart. Its release signalled a new year zero for Gallows: Death... is just the beginning...
Summer 2012 finds the quintet back home in Watford, recording their third album with long-time associates Thomas Mitchener and Steve Sears from Spycatcher. As-yet-untitled, the album will emerge in September on Bridge Nine Records in the USA. Commenting upon this fresh start, the band say: We are excited to become a part of Bridge Nine Records. Having been following the releases of label since Chris started it, it's cool to become a part of that legacy. We plan to be touring the USA a lot on this new record and we're happy to have found our new American home." Bridge Nine owner Chris Wrenn said, "Our partnership with Gallows has been in the works for a little while now. All of us here are fans of the band and this new record is on point." He continued, "I think the best way to sum up our collaboration with Gallows is: 'It's about time.'"
"It's a new day for this band," adds Wade MacNeil. "Death Is Birth was a snapshot in time, our big 'Fuck Off' to everyone throwing negative shit at us, but now we're ready to write a record that builds on the legacy of Gallows while propelling us into the future. I think we can create something unique, something new and frightening."
It's too early in the process to predict the shape of Gallows' punk to come. But rest assured, this revolution will be amplified...
"I used to think that I was born after my time," says Wade MacNeil. "I always felt that all the interesting moments in rock 'n' roll had passed, that I had missed out on all the fun. But once in a while a band comes along that reminds you that music isn't about perfection and precision, the right chords or the right look, that reminds you that it's the honesty and sweat and soul that's put into music that's important. That's what you hear when you listen to the best records, whether that's records by Black Flag and Dead Kennedys or by Otis Redding and Sam Cooke. And from the first time I heard Gallows, I knew this was one such band. I feel like I've been in this band all my life. And now we're ready to make a difference..."