Earlier this month it was announced Frank Carter would no longer sing (shouting more so) for the punk band Gallows.
So much for brotherly love (okay, it’s better than the Gallaghers). In an official statement made by the band, Frank’s guitarist brother Stephan Carter cited the reasons by saying, “Creatively, we could not agree on a direction for the new record and came to the conclusion that parting ways was for the best.”
The other axeman, Laurent Barnard said, “We realize Frank is a hard figure to replace so be assured that the decision to continue as a band has been one we’ve been deliberating over long and hard.” They will announce a replacement singer before their scheduled appearance on the AP Tour Fall 2011. In the meantime, who the hell could replace Frank? This brings me to Gallows’ similarities and differences to Black Flag.
Black Flag (noun): one of the greatest hardcore punk bands who did exactly what they preached throughout police fights, fans, and d.i.y. hardship. They made you want to break everything in sight. However, they could never keep a singer.
Frank Carter is one of the following men:
- A) Keith Morris. The founder and the screamer. Was this just the beginning?
- B) Ron Reyes. Not really an option (no offense, but never remembered).
- C) Dez Cadena. The badass unique one, who then crept off to “The Misfits.”
- D) Henry Rollins. The one who stayed the longest and made Black Flag, Black Flag. After he left, nobody cared anymore and the band actually disbanded.
Carter was incredibly unique. As a cover darling for British tabloid magazines, it only furthered his personality. His singing style was aggressive, confrontational, and completely abrasive. He would bitch right back at people in the crowd but seemed to do it so eloquently. When Orchestra Of Wolves was released in 2006, it was a holy shit moment. Absolutely nobody could think that it was a debut album.
Maybe here is when the problems started. When Grey Britain was released in 2009, it was so bitter-sounding. Remember, Warner Music had signed these guys for $1,000,000. So guess who had the nervous break-down (“My head really hurts”) when it didn’t sell? It seems obvious to us; it’s not a stellar idea to sign a bunch of rowdy punks.
Typically punks say signing to major labels is Green Day shit. Others say many old-school punks like Black Flag would never have the chance. The latter is a half-baked answer: would they have signed to a major? Absolutely not (of course that answer is fueled by Black Flag’s refusal of commercialism). Let’s take the Johnny Rotten answer: take the cash. In the end, Gallows had the last laugh. Grey Britain was so brutal, negative criticism on the album was untouchable. That’s not what we call “selling out.”
In the end, this is either Gallows’ new beginning or their bittersweet end. To survive, they need someone just as unique and powerful as Carter, just as Barnard has promised. Otherwise, they best prepare to fall into obscurity or at best they could be “the band Frank Carter was formerly in.”
Even though Carter seems completely obsessed with his tattooing career (check his Twitter page and you’ll know what I mean), he was also quoted in the statement saying, “This does not mean I am giving up on music. I have a new band called Pure Love which I have been working on with my brother Jim Carroll (Suicide File, Clouds, Hope Conspiracy) for a few months now.” He says they will record in the fall but for now Pure Love released a song via their website as a tease. It’s totally atmospheric and the video is an epileptic nightmare. Hopefully this is some sort of opening track, because as good as it is, it’s not worth leaving Gallows for.
Morris, Reyes, and Cadena are still around and Rollins continues to talk a lot. I’m not sure who Carter is as only time will tell. It may leave a lot of questions, but best of luck to both parties.