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| 20 October 2021 | Reply

Photo credit: Jenny Brough

According to a recent press release: “Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes first introduced this new chapter in the spring with the single “My Town” featuring IDLES’ front man Joe Talbot, which has already amassed over 2 million plays. Described by Carter as “a metaphor for our collective mental health falling apart,” the ferocious standout track is about the people who’ve had to confront problems that they were evading and coming to terms with the fact that we’re all the same and in this together. Sounding like a turbo Madness or The Specials, “Go Get A Tattoo” is an irreverent ode to tattooing, Carter’s other full-time gig, and his own east London tattoo shop that was unable to open its doors due to the pandemic]. The 10-track album, the follow-up to 2019’s acclaimed End of Suffering, also features the title track “Sticky,” a snarling call to arms, and additional guest spots from Primal Scream vocalist Bobby Gillespie and British singer Cassyette.” We get Dean to discuss new music, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your new album, Sticky.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

There’s actually a lot of layers on Sticky. We had time on our side and I was producing the record, which means late at night we’d sneak more layers, more samples, more detail into the record. The best example is the solo in “Rat Race.” Somewhere amongst that chaos is a recording of Frank playing video games with guns and explosions going off while I played a piano. I’m almost certain it’s in the wrong key, but if we liked how it sounded, it stayed on.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

My Dad got me into music. He’s a huge music fan and an amazing guitarist. So I grew up around music, our house was never ever silent. Everything we did was soundtracked to the right sort of music for the moment which I still do now. But sometime around 10/11, I started sneaking into his room and playing his guitars. I remember losing my mind realizing that I could make up songs of my own.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

I think Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds as writers/performers have probably had the biggest impact on me as a musician. Before that I was making music with the ideas of rules or restrictions, which I guess were just clichés within genres, but after diving into The Bad Seeds discography and back catalogue I feel I just came out of the other side realizing the artist I want to be is one that just makes whatever he wants or needs to make. Still working on it but their music has definitely changed the course of my musical journey.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

I’d love to get in a studio with Trent Reznor. I’ve just always loved where synths and heavy guitars meet and he’s definitely been at that intersection more than most. Half the time I try I immediately fall into glam rock. So essentially just want to learn how to not do that.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

I’m not great at unwinding to be honest… I tend to work all the time. But I’m at a point where I realize that’s partly because I love my work. When I’m not making music, I am making graphic work or designing. I have a creative studio called YUCK and spend most of my time there when not on tour.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I don’t spend much time reading reviews at this point. I remember a magazine trying to compare us to Ed Sheeran once because Frank also has red hair. That made me cringe.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Frank or Gareth would cook. I’ll be making the drinks as I can’t cook and without a doubt Tank is the one getting out the acoustic.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

My answer to this should be Dave Grohl as we spent the last couple of summers touring with the Foos but honestly, and quite frustratingly, he makes you feel so comfortable it wasn’t really possible to be starstruck. I’d say probably the first time I played Download Festival. I went backstage for the first time as an artist and immediately saw Slash just having a cup of tea. He didn’t look like a real person to me at the time. I’ve not been lucky enough to meet him since but have heard he’s lovely.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

Best part for me are the shows. I love the studio in a different way, but it can be tough too. Shows are 99/100 just the best thing in the world. If I couldn’t be a musician, I would be a psychotherapist.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

Hey, I’m here to answer questions not to write them. Honestly I try not to get too negative about press, I feel grateful people care about what we’re doing. That said, my least favorite question is “what can we expect from your live show.”

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

I’d have plugged in my pedalboard before Reading Festival in 2017.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells. I’ve probably returned to that record more times than anything else at this point. If you come on tour with Rattlesnakes, you’ll likely experience a lights out Tubular Bells moment. I’m pretty sure he recorded it all himself, so I would go back to that and ask him to let me play a few of the parts and stop being so greedy.






Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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