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DS Photo Gallery: Brian Fallon and the Howling Weather with Caitlin Rose at Royale in Boston (5/1/18)

When last we spoke with Brian Fallon (read that interview here), it was the morning after the first US tour date in support of his sophomore solo album, Sleepwalkers. With two full-length solo albums plus the Horrible Crowes catalog to draw from and backed by a retooled live band now known as The Howling Weather (longtime friend/collaborator Ian Perkins on guitar, Nick Salisbury on bass, Matt Olsson on drums), tour was off to a positive start. A month down the road, we caught the penultimate show of the Sleepwalkers US tour as it wound through Boston’s Royale nightclub last Tuesday night to finally take in the experience first-hand.

As she had for the last several weeks of the full-US tour, Nashville-based singer/songwriter Caitlin Rose kicked off the festivities on this particular evening. It’s probably not a stretch to assume that the bulk of the daily readers here at Dying Scene might not have Rose on their standard rotation, but we’re all also all about expanding musical horizons, so look her up. Backed by a three-piece band of her own, the silky-voiced Rose primarily plays a smooth blend of hypnotic alternative country and blues, like if Patsy Cline were fronting Mazzy Star. There’s a real soul to her voice when she opens up, giving tremendous depth to her forlorn stories.

Speaking of forlorn storytelling, Fallon kicked off his set with “Forget Me Not,” the lead single from Sleepwalkers. While the song – and the album in general – find Fallon in a more positive space than recent solo or even Gaslight work, there are still plenty of morbid undertones, the struggle against eternal pessimism. Ever the storyteller, Fallon spent a large chunk of time between the set’s second and third songs (“Red Lights” and “Come Wander With Me” polling the audience about a situation that was slated to come up the next night at the tour closer in New York City. Long story short; don’t bother sending Fallon direct messages through social media, and especially don’t propose to your significant other in a circle pit at a Fallon show.

Once the audience participation portion of the evening was over, Fallon and Co. got back to the rocking. The lion’s share of the set on the evening, as you’d imagine, was culled from Sleepwalkers and, to a lesser extent, its 2016 predecessor Painkillers, with a trifecta of songs (“Ladykiller,” “I Witnessed A Crime” and “Sugar”) from Fallon and Perkins’ 2011 The Horrible Crowes project thrown in for good measure. The set’s midway point featured a cover of the Derek And The Dominos classic “Bell Bottom Blues;” the song and its principal writer, Eric Clapton, have long been favorites of Fallon’s, so to hear him pull the song off live was a bit of a fanboy moment inside a fanboy moment. Going back to the Gaslight Anthem days, Fallon has typically opted to eschew encores, stating on numerous occasions that it seems like a waste of time and since you were going to play those songs anyway, just play those songs. As such, the remainder of the band left the stage after new, triumphant crowd favorite “Etta James,” leaving Fallon to man the piano for a solo version of “The ’59 Sound” that turned into an 1100-person singalong. Rose came back out and joined Fallon on a cover of the Dylan classic “Don’t Think Twice,” easily one of the saddest and yet razor-sharp post-relationship songs ever written, before Perkins, Salisbury and Olsson returned and brought the show to a rousing close with “If Your Prayers Don’t Get To Heaven.” This leg of tour has now officially wrapped up and Fallon’s got a little bit of a break before he and the Howling Weather head back across the pond for European festival season. Oh, and there’s the issue of the Gaslight Anthem’s ’59 Sound tenth anniversary shows this summer as well. But hopefully we’ll get Sleepwalkers – Round Two this fall, because a night out at a Brian Fallon show is about as fun and cathartic as a rock and roll show gets.

Head below to check out our full photo gallery from the evening.

 



Brian Fallon covers “Silence”

The Gastlight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon has recently released a cover of the pop song “Silence” by Marshmellow, featuring Khalid. This is not the first time, however, that Fallon has taken his unique, folk-rock sound to current pop music. He regularly performs Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” while touring. You can check out Fallon’s cover here.

“I recorded this song because I believe in the message.” Fallon said via Twitter. “I think it speaks to our times in this country. There can be peace even in a dark place. May we all find it soon.”

This is his first release following “Sleepwalkers” that came out earlier this year via Island Records.



DS Exclusive: Brian Fallon on “Sleepwalkers,” Growing As A Solo Artist, and, of course, Gaslight Anthem

I’m not entirely sure if “journalistic integrity” is one of the hallmarks that Dying Scene is known for when we conduct artist interviews, but it’s worth mentioning that I’m going to jettison whatever notions of it there may have been and insert myself right into the middle of this story. The Gaslight Anthem are one of the very few bands that I can not only vividly remember my first exposure to them, but can equally vividly remember being stopped in my tracks about what I was hearing and seeing. It was 2008 and I was a 28-year-old new dad, and the video for “The ’59 Sound” and it was on MTV (remember that?!?) as I was getting ready for work in the morning. I knew nothing about the band, and yet I instantly felt like I knew exactly who they were. Led by their Telecaster-and-patchwork-scally-clad frontman, Brian Fallon, the band presented a look and a sound that combined the best parts of my parents’ favorite artist (Springsteen) and my favorite band growing up (Pearl Jam), and ran it all through a ‘child of the 90s’ punk rock filter.

In the decade since, Fallon’s voice and words have been a constant steadying factor in my life. His lyrics have shifted away from telling other people’s stories and have instead become intensely personal, though each album somehow contains a song that either presently or in hindsight make you wonder if he’d somehow been following you around, telling your own story better than you could. There were rumblings probably five years ago that Fallon would work on a solo album after the release of the band’s 2012 album Handwritten, but those plans were shelved in favor of what became 2014’s Get Hurt. The dark, visceral album (a personal favorite) rather notoriously chronicles Fallon’s then-recent divorce, but it’s in many ways also a chronicle of the drifting away of the band’s members themselves; an indefinite hiatus would begin the following year.

Fallon himself would not be out of the game for long, as 2016 would see the release of his debut solo album, Painkillers. Recorded in Nashville with Butch Walker at the helm, the album was a stylistic departure, largely rooted in folk and Americana music. Still, there were more than enough threads to connect the listener – and the artist – to his past; Gaslight Anthem guitarist Alex Rosamilia joined Fallon’s touring band, The Crowes, on guitar and keyboards, alongside Fallon’s longtime friend and frequent collaborator Ian Perkins, and Jared Hart of fellow Jersey punk band The Scandals.

Which brings us to 2018 and Fallon’s sophomore solo album, Sleepwalkers. We caught up with Fallon by phone earlier this week, hours after the US leg of the album’s tour kicked off in Nashville, to chat about all things Sleepwalkers and, of course, Gaslight Anthem. Released February 9th (Island Records), the new album finds Fallon in a happier, more uplifting mood, having slogged for a few years through some pretty dark places. It can be viewed as a bit of a bookend to an unintentional trilogy that marks the most personal music of Fallon’s career, with 2014’s Get Hurt lamenting the demise of relationships and 2016’s Painkillers playing as a guy trying to figure out what comes next, in myriad levels. That trilogy was not, as you might imagine, by design. “I think that if I planned it out like that to be a trilogy, I’d be pretty smart,” jokes Fallon, pointing out that it was more realistically a natural progression. “It makes the point that records are true to life. I was following exactly where I was at the time on all three records, and it’s funny how it worked out like that, where it seems like it follows a trajectory. It did, although the trajectory wasn’t a planned record, it was my life.” 

Stylistically, Sleepwalkers is more straight-forward, R&B-infused, punk-tinged rock-and-roll than Painkillers or than his 2011 side project The Horrible Crowes. Fallon has long been a student of rock music and has not shied away from referencing his influences directly, especially in the earlier part of the Gaslight catalog. Soaked in references to The Beatles and The Clash and Etta James, Sleepwalkers is the most early-Gaslight thing that Fallon has done since, well, since the early Gaslight period. That’s at least partially by design. Gaslight Anthem, you see, was obviously one-fourth Fallon. “You can’t take away who you are and what your style inherently is and remove it just because you’re doing a new project, you know? I decided that instead of running from that, I’m just going to be myself, and if some people say “well, that sounds like Gaslight,” of course it does, because I’m the one doing it. The parts that don’t sound like the band are the parts that came from the other three people in the band, and now there are new people, so those parts will sound different and I’m the part that sounds the same. I finally was just like “yup, I’m okay with that! That’s fine!” Songwriting choices came quicker and freer after that realization was made. “I got to put my own shoes on again,” he explains, adding only half-jokingly that “I like Bruce Springsteen, I like old movies, I like New Jersey, I don’t care what you say about it!” 

In large part, the remarried, father-of-two Fallon drew motivation to move forward through some of the earlier darkness from his young children. “I didn’t have the luxury of just being a lunatic!” he laughs, adding “I was like ‘you have children, and you have clearly messed yourself up to the point where you don’t know what’s going on, and you’ve got to put your head back together. Your kids deserve better than that’.” While it took a lot of work — therapy, reading, doctors, etc — to come out the other side, Fallon is refreshingly not afraid to talk about that work, and has been inspired by the recent trend, particularly in the punk community, toward shedding light and awareness on mental health issues. It’s a trend that didn’t exist in earlier parts of his career, but that he certainly would have taken advantage of. “I know there’s this site I’ve been following (on social media) called Punk Talks, and they’ve got a number where you can call them and talk to them. I was amazed when I first saw it.” The organization would have come in handy, Fallon says, when dealing with the rapid ascent that Gaslight Anthem found themselves on a decade ago, where they went from playing their first shows in their home state of New Jersey to having The Boss himself join them on festival stages within the span of barely two years. “The speed at which that went and the inability to be prepared for it, whether it was my age or inexperience or expectations or just something that was inside of me,” Fallon explains, “created a lot of anxiety in me, to the point of not being even really able to enjoy a lot of it, because I was so nervous about everything all the time. It really was a hard, hard thing. I wasn’t prepared for the level of anxiety it would cause.”

That’s not to say, however, that Fallon is complaining. Far from it in fact. “It was awesome! We totally went for it. I feel like I was (just) ill prepared for it. I didn’t do the homework on myself to catch up. I was 27 then, now I’m 38, and I have much more — it’s funny to say “wisdom” — but I have much more of a perspective on how to handle something like that now.” Fallon is also not afraid to pass his teachable moments on to younger bands that might find themselves on the type of rapid ascent that Gaslight found themselves on a decade ago. “You have to break this thing down. If your band is getting successful and you’re starting to come up and get more recognition and to get it quicker than you thought and that’s getting to you mentally or emotionally, break it down into small, in-the-day things.” If taking the stage in front of any number of people can be enough to rattle some people’s nerves, taking the stage in front of five- or ten- or twenty-thousand can be downright overwhelming. “You have to remember that those people are not there to crucify you and they’re not there to criticize you,” says Fallon. “There might be one or two, but they’re always going to be there, whether you’re playing to twenty people or twenty thousand people. Most of the people there just love what you’re doing, and they’re trying to have a good time, and they’re just like you. They’re no different than you.”

Head below to read our full chat with Fallon. I had roughly nine years worth of questions to ask, but this was a good start. And yes, there’s plenty of insight on what happened – and is happening – with Gaslight, including the ’59 Sound anniversary shows, but you’ll have to read it to find out. Also, head here to find out where you can catch Brian Fallon and his new band, The Howling Weather, on tour over the next month!



Album Review: Brian Fallon – ‘Sleepwalkers’

It was obvious to anyone listening to The Gaslight Anthem in 2007 that Brian Fallon was destined to not only make a name for himself in the punk scene but larger rock-centric circles. Sure enough, it was the release of The ‘59 Sound just a year later that cemented him, and the rest of The Gaslight Anthem, as the poster boy(s) for the scene-wide trend of blending a little bit of Americana rock and soul into basement drenched punk rock. (Is it still a trend if bands are still doing it ten years later?). Three Gaslight albums, a couple of side projects, and one solo album later, Brian Fallon isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. Armed with his signature gravelly voice and broken heart, he’s heading into 2018 with his sophomore solo LP, Sleepwalkers.

Brian Fallon is nothing if not consistent and Sleepwalkers shouldn’t be full of surprises for anyone who has followed his career. For all of the experimentation found on Sleepwalkers, the album is still very decidedly a Brian Fallon album. Whether it’s the motown flavor of “If Your Prayers Don’t Get to Heaven,” the Strummer-esque reggae rock of “Come Wander With Me,” or even the rock and roll saxophone featured on the title track- these aren’t things that Fallon has put to tape before- it’s done with the same style and confidence that he does with straightforward rock tributes and acoustic ballads, both of which he’s done plenty in the past, and both of which make appearances on Sleepwalkers.

Lyrics have always been a blessing and a curse for Fallon. No stranger to heartbreak, he knows how to put fears and worries into a three minute song, which is greatly appreciated by the hopeless romantics (or, just the hopeless). “Oh my Lily, if you only knew, I only want to be haunted by you” he sings on “Her Majesty’s Service” while on lead single “Forget Me Not” he laments not “[taking] the time to miss you.” Of course, many are just as quick to roll their eyes at having so little sleeve covering his heart (“And most of my sad life I figured I was gonna die alone” from “Etta James”), and they’re even quicker to scoff at the sheer number of borrowed lyrics (some examples: “I never knew [my father] so I bandaged the hurt, I pretended my daddy was a bankrobber” and “an English song by a band that you love, here comes the sun little darling”). Whether these Fallon-isms sink or swim depends on the listener, but it’s clear that Fallon knows his strengths.

Sleepwalkers never takes any great leaps forward, but much like Painkillers, it is a worthy addition to Fallon’s discography by adding some sonic variety. Mostly, though, it provides 12 new songs to sing while putting a positive lens on past loves and regrets. And that’s what people listen to a Brian Fallon record for in the first place.

4 / 5

RIYL: Dave Hause, Ship Thieves, Counting Crows



Brian Fallon streams new song “My Name Is The Night (Color Me Black)”

The Gastlight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon is streaming another song off his upcoming solo album Sleepwalkers. The track’s called “My Name Is The Night (Color Me Black)”, and you can check it out below.

Sleepwalkers is set to release on February 9th, 2018 through Island Records. Fallon will be supporting the album with European and US tours.



The Gaslight Anthem to play Governors Ball Festival

59 Sound Gaslight

The Gaslight Anthem have been on a slight hiatus for a few years, but have just announced they will be returning to the stage for the Governors Ball in New York City from June 1-3.

For a special celebration of their hit album The ’59 Sound‘s tenth birthday, the boys will be returning to the spotlight.

Scope out the festival’s full lineup here.



Brian Fallon streams new song “If Your Prayers Don’t Get to Heaven”

The Gastlight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon premiered another song off his upcoming album Sleepwalkers. You can listen to “If Your Prayers Don’t Get to Heaven” below.

Sleepwalkers is set to release on February 9th, 2018 through Island Records. Fallon will be supporting the album with European and US tours next year.



Brian Fallon releases “Forget Me Not” video

The Gastlight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon has released a music video for the first single off his upcoming album Sleepwalkers. Check out the video for “Forget Me Not” below.

Sleepwalkers is set to release on February 9th, 2018 through Island Records. Fallon will be supporting the album with European and US tours next year.



Brian Fallon (folk) releases single “Forget Me Not” and announces tour

Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon has decided to follow up his 2016 solo album “Painkillers” with a new one “Sleepwalkers”. The first single off the new album is “Forget Me Not”. The album is due to be released February 9th on Island Records.

To celebrate the new album, Brian will head out on tour with his backing band The Howling Weather and will be supported on the tour by Dave Hause, Ruston Kelly and Caitlyn Rose.

You can check out the new single and tour dates below.



Brian Fallon recording with producer Ted Hutt

Former Gaslight Anthem front-man Brian Fallon has begun recording with producer, Ted Hutt, down in New Orleans! Anyone else excited for this!? You can check out his progress through his Instagram here

Fallon’s last project, Painkillers, was released on March 11, 2016 through Island Records. 



Fall Out Boy announce new album “Mania,” reveal new video for “Young and Menace”

Fall Out Boy have just announced their new album Mania, set for release on September 15th. This is their seventh studio album and the follow-up to 2015’s American Beauty/American Psycho.

A slew of tour dates have also been released, and you can find those below with the video for the single “Young and Menace.” Pre-order the album here.



Brian Fallon and the Crowes announce UK/Euro Tour W/ Chris Farren and Dead Swords

The story heading really says it all…

Brian Fallon and The Crowes will be heading to the UK and The European Union with Chris Farren and Dead Swords.

Check out the full list list of tour dates and the tour flyer below.

16/11 London UK-O2 Forum
17/11 Norwich UK-UEA
18/11 Cardiff UK-Uni Great Hall
19/11 Leeds UK-O2 Academy
20/11 Liverpool UK-O2 Academy
22/11 Glasgow UK-O2 Academy
23/11 Dublin, Ireland-Olympia Theatre
24/11 Oxford UK-O2 Academy
25/11 Newcastle UK-O2 Academy
26/11 Wolverhampton UK-Wulfrun Hall
27/11 Portsmouth UK-Pyramids Centre
29/11 Saarbrüken, DE-Garage
30/11 Stuttgart, DE-Longhorn
01/12 Frankfurt, DE-Batschkapp
02/12 Dortmund, DE-Visions Party
03/12 Bremen, DE-Schlachthof
04/12 Kiel, DE-Max
06/12 Oslo, Nor-Rockefeller
07/12 Gamla Stan, SE-Debaser
08/12 Goteborg, SE-Pusterviik
09/12 Malmö, SE-KB
10/12 Copenhagen, DK-Pumpehuset



DS Photo Gallery/Show Review: Brian Fallon and the Crowes, Boston, MA (3/11/16)

(All words by Gina Skidz; all photos by Jay Stone.)

I can’t start a review of anything related to Brian Fallon without the caveat that I am a huge fan of everything he’s done, from Gaslight Anthem to the Horrible Crowes, to his new music, which he plays under the name Brian Fallon and the Crowes.  I came into the show with great expectations (yeah, that pun was intended), and left feeling like Fallon has hit his mark, blending soulful Springteen-esque melodies with the Americana imagery that grabbed me in the early Gaslight days.

The show kicked off with opener Jared Hart, who made his name as frontman of New Jersey punk band The Scandals.  I’ve seen him play locally a bunch of times, so it was at once gratifying and terrifying to see someone I like so much up on the big stage at Boston’s Royale.  Jared did not disappoint, focusing on his new solo album, Past Lives & Pass Lines, and belting out a series of amazing songs.  Although he is based in Jersey, he’s a staple of the Boston punk scene, and part of the way through his set, he called out his friends in Boston’s Burning Streets, and some off-the-cuff banter broke up his otherwise focused set.  This was the first of two times we’d see Jared that night, as he now backs up Brian Fallon in the Crowes, playing guitar and creating some sweet vocal harmonies.  He stood out on his own on stage, but did a hell of a job supporting Fallon as well.

The second opener was Minneapolis indie/folk singer Austin Plaine.  Backed by a full band, he brought a country twang to the punk party as he performed songs off of his self-titled debut album.  If you want to get a feel for his sound, I think the best song I heard was “Houston,” a narrative-driven, upbeat song in the vein of  Kasey Anderson.

The crowd was pretty huge throughout the show, and both openers enjoyed a big crowd up front during their sets, but it seemed like the capacity quadrupled by the time Brian Fallon took the stage.  The floor was jammed front to back, and the upper balconies of this former theatre were packed, too.

Fallon kicked off his set on a sad and slow note, with “Last Rites,” an older song that was the intro to his debut album with the Horrible Crowes from back in 2011.  I developed a hard music crush on Fallon years ago, thanks in part to his engaging, humble attitude on stage, and this night was no different, as he launched into a story of the real origination of “Elsie,” which actually came from a British comedian’s routine, and joked that this wasn’t the sort of thing he’d ever bother telling Rolling Stone.  From there, the set heated up, with the new track “Nobody Wins,” followed by “Go Tell Everybody,” and “Painkillers.”  Three songs was about as far as Fallon could go without another story, as he joked about stopping at Newbury Comics and Boston-based t-shirt label Johnny Cupcakes earlier in the day, and being surprised to find neither records nor cupcakes.  “Who makes cds these days?  Apparently I do,” he bantered, as The Crowes’ Painkillers had just been released that day.

Before playing the creepy/sexy “Sugar,” he confirmed that the song is about being a pervert.  Ah, well, still a great song.  The set finished up with the new tracks “Honey Magnolia”  and “Steve McQueen,” and then Fallon let slip the cryptic and tantalizing fact that they always leave one good song off of each record (so, that means there should be 5 or 6 never-released gems out there at this point, right?!).  They then played “Hearts and Daggers,” which he plans to release on Record Store Day.

My only complaint was that Fallon’s set seemed to be rushed, and there was no encore.  This was no fault of theirs, however.  The venue unfortunately makes most of its money catering to the world of college girls and Eurotrash better known as electronica/EDM nights.  So the set ended and the crowd was rushed out, with bouncers even yelling at people who were still in line to buy merch. It’s lame, but that’s how it goes.

Brian Fallon, Jared Hart, and Austin Plaine are still on tour, and you can find the remaining schedule here, and check out the photo gallery below!



Video: Brian Fallon (Gaslight Anthem) does a cover of NOFX’s “Linoleum”

Well this is fun. At a show in Minneapolis yesterday Brian Fallon performed an acoustic cover of the classic NOFX tune “Linoleum”. Check out a video of it below.

Fallon is currently touring in support of his recent solo album “Painkillers,” out now through Island Records. Read our review of the album here.



Brian Fallon releases music video for “Painkillers”

Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem has released a new music video for his song “Painkillers,” and you can check it out below.

The track is the title track from Fallon’s debut solo effort, Painkillers, which was released on March 11, 2016 through Island Records. You can read our review of the album here.