Interview with The Gaslight Anthem


Brian Fallon, frontman of The Gaslight Anthem, reflects on returning to punk rock nine years later.

Appearing in the mid-2000s was already a challenge in itself. In the midst of the explosion of the post punk revival and the arrival mainstream of punk rock, standing out even as a cult band seemed an impossible undertaking (not to mention the place of the chartsthen occupied by The Killers). However, with the wind against, The Gaslight Anthem He went down in the history of the emerging century as the head of the New Brunswick scene and a contemporary exponent of the “heartland” sound, which prior to the group’s arrival was at risk of falling into oblivion.

Thus, the band led by Brian Fallon stamped his name on 2000s punk rock with The 59′ Sound —a new approach to rock Bruce Springsteenhis greatest inspiration and influence—and maintained a solid career until the acclaimed Get Hurt (2014), “new classic” of broken hearts and the end of the romance that, coincidentally, also marked the end of a stage of the group. Nine years later, Gaslight returns with a new approach to his sound and a necessary rereading of the books of his own history.

“It felt pretty good to return to something that we felt was definitely not finished,” he says. Fallon.

“Coming back in a time where rock is starting to be appreciated again has made it a lot better, because I remember what it was like in 2014. It was difficult; we were all like ‘ah, I’m not sure about this, I’m not sure that (the style ) keep it going’ And then, you know, the kids brought the guitars back, when now you have all these new bands and the young people are interested in this again, thank God. I’m too old to learn to play anything else.” , adds the singer-songwriter.

Thus, The Gaslight Anthem come back with History Booksan album that encapsulates the sensitivity, concerns and learnings of three decades of the band’s history—plus the solo interlude ‘singer-songwriter’ of four albums Fallon—, and allowed her to rediscover the essence of working together in favor of the expressive possibilities of the guitar, just as at the beginning.

It’s funny because I think that in Get Hurt We wanted to try to do something different from what we always did. So, we did everything the same way: writing songs, practicing, going on tour… And now, nine years later, we said: ‘why don’t we go back to what always worked?’”

However, Fallon and company did not want History Books was an album of nostalgia: “We didn’t just want to return to the essence of what identified us as The Gaslight Anthem —a punk rock band influenced by Springsteen and else-. Getting back to it was good, but we didn’t want to just stop there. It was not our intention to make a ‘back to the essence’ album (back to basics record), because it probably would have sounded old, outdated,” he adds. Fallon about the reason why, furthermore, the band chose Peter Katis as a producer, responsible for works by bands such as Interpol either The National.

Through 10 cuts, History Books continues part of the path traced in Get Hurt. The allusions to mourning, oblivion and the persistence of memory are there again. However – as dictated by an interpretation circulating on the internet – the sixth album by The Gaslight Anthem It also stands as a remembrance of the band’s history, with its high and low moments represented in lines distributed throughout its history. tracklistand a collaboration with Springsteen in the titular topic to close the circle.

In this sense, the most special lesson for Fallonafter reading the history books of his band, it is not having headed his local scene or leaving a hit for posterity but simply to have left a mark in the always endless history of rock.

I think the lesson we learned was how special it is to be in a band. I remember when I was a kid and saying ‘I’d love to be in a rock band’, I wanted to be like Kurt Cobain either Eddie Vedder. But then reality hits you and people tell you: ‘nah, that’s not going to happen to you, that’s a one in a million chance…’. And then we looked back and said: ‘we formed a band, we collaborated with Springsteen, we released a new album, we made a career! There are people all over the world who listen to our music! That’s crazy!.

The lesson of the band is that… this is good. “For once in my life, it’s really good.”


Written by

Christopher Johnson

Christopher Johnson is a dedicated writer and key contributor to the WECB website, Emerson College's student-run radio station. Passionate about music, radio communication, and journalism, Christopher pursues his craft with a blend of meticulous research and creative flair. His writings on the site cover an array of subjects, from music reviews and artist interviews to event updates and industry news. As an active member of the Emerson College community, Christopher is not only a writer but also an advocate for student involvement, using his work to foster increased engagement and enthusiasm within the school's radio and broadcasting culture. Through his consistent and high-quality outputs, Christopher Johnson helps shape the voice and identity of WECB, truly embodying its motto of being an inclusive, diverse, and enthusiastic music community.