Search Results for "Solo Project"

Dan Cribb and Guy Sebastian “Put the Spring in Springfield” for The Worst Tribute Ever

Dan Cribb has recruited Australian singer-songwriter Guy Sebastian for the latest song in the ongoing tribute to The Simpsons. “We Put the Spring in Springfield” is the twenty-fifth song on The Worst Tribute Ever.

Guy Sebastian is a multi-time platinum soul singer, who’s rise to stardom began with winning the Australian Idol in 2003. This definitely adds some depth to both the quality of the song and the impressive guest list on the album. Other guests so far include Ball Park Music, The Beards, Luca Brasi, Tired Lion and more yet to be announced.

Stream the track below.



Album Review: Chris Fox – “Portly Formed” EP

The cover of Chris Fox’s 6-song EP shows a penciled sketch of a guy – presumably Fox – from the neck down without a shirt on. The guy is overweight, the EP is titled Portly Formed, and the songs are all covers of Fat Wreck Chords songs. Portly…Fat…get it?

I must confess that I listen to Fat bands more than bands on other labels (for no good reason other than that’s what I’m most familiar with) and so when this EP was “recommended” to me, it took all of two seconds to decide to download it.

Good Riddance’s “Stand”, known to punk fans from Physical Fatness Fat Music Volume 3, leads off the album. This was a compilation-only song during a time when many of us listened to these compilations like it was the radio, because the real radio sucked, and music wasn’t abundantly free on the Internet like it is today. Nostalgia abounds listening to this song. Fox’s voice doesn’t have the power of Russ Rankin’s, and it doesn’t take long to realize we’re not listening to a high-budget production, but that doesn’t change the fact that “Stand” is a great song.

The Swingin’ Utters are represented here with their upbeat feel-good tune “Glad”. This is the moment of the EP when one realizes that some of these stripped down “acoustic” versions of punk songs aren’t really all that different from their original versions (after all, The Utters do use acoustic guitar more than a lot of punk bands, though not in the original version of this song). There are no drums here, and Fox’s vocals have less of an edge than Peebucks, but the tempo and the feel are nearly identical.

Fox makes use of a trumpet and trombone in “10 West”, a song first released back in 2003 by the Mad Caddies who also sport a horn section of only trumpet and trombone. Here “10 West” is recorded sans drums, of course, (although, for the record, if we define “acoustic” as unplugged and unaltered, then the drums are generally the only actual acoustic instrument in a punk band) and the guitar part isn’t strictly a ska feel like the Caddies’ version. But again, like the Utters song, this arrangement isn’t terribly different from the original recording.

Somewhat later Fat releases are represented with tracks 4 and 5, first with Dead To Me’s great tune “California Sun”, followed by the Feel Good Moment of the EP with “Pacific Standard Time” from No Use For a Name’s 2008 and final studio album. Like most of the EP, Fox doesn’t alter the mood of any given song. He begins the latter mellow, the most mellow moment of the EP, before opening it up big; fans of NUFAN’s version will feel the entire band even without it there.

The original Fat band closes out Portly Formed. From Lagwagon’s 1997 friends-themed album Fox cheats and merges two songs into one – “Smile”, which most people think is really called “I Hate My Friends”, and “To All My Friends”, featuring the final guitar solo almost identical to Double Plaidinum’s (what a shame Fox couldn’t have snuck some of “Making Friends” into this medley, as well).

Portly Formed will not go down in history as one of the great treasures of acoustic punk rock, but it is a lot of fun, especially if you’re an unabashed Fat-o-phile like me.

3.5/5 Stars



Album Review: Regan Ashton – “…and the people you always have with you”

It is strange to look out my window after listening to this album. The songs make me think of a 1990s post-apocalyptic film where the lands are decimated and tumbleweeds shift from left to right across a cracked road. The sun pours down more heat than usable energy and out of the distance walks a punker…maybe a few. The only people left for miles and they look somehow less crusty than some of these people that exist in real life in 2018 that have showers and many outfits. If this movie ever exists, the opening song that plays while the punkers walk toward the camera should be Scumbag, the first track off “…and the people you always have with you” by Regan Ashton.

When I look out my window, it’s just a regular ol’ post-hood neighborhood. Lower middle class living at its bestest. Such a weird dynamic.

This is a cool album. 6 songs. It’s like drunken hillbilly Punk for the fuck of it. If it was produced lousier, it could be considered backwoods mountain music. But, it’s definitely a grouping of songs that has intention. Ideally, I wish I could get really drunk and dance to it. I had plans to do just that, but by the time I was drunk, it was late and I just feel asleep. Sorry Regan. Maybe next time.

Regan is also in a band called Problem Daughter who released their last album thru Dying Scene Records, so I feel this weird apprehension about assessing it vs. how I might if it wasn’t. The Punk culture is supposed to be familyish, or whatever. Ultimately, I’ve not got many criticisms for “…and the people you always have with you”. It’s funny. Not comically funny…funny like when someone looks at your mohawk, hand tattoos, and body piercings and assumes you’re a nitwit, gives you a dirty look, and then goes back to their modestly awesome life while you have to go back to living in poverty cuz society craps most on the minorities it’s not illegal to marginalize. Ha. My only criticism is that this recording sounds too controlled. I dunno, it’s like now that recording is less expensive and lots of folk have home studios, everyone and their idiot mothers are releasing projects of all sorts but everyone seems to rely on metronomes way too much. And, it’s not a bad thing, mind you. I just feel like the live feel is stripped from modern recordings. Everything is perfect…in the John Feldmann sense of producing…and it feels like harnessed energy instead of free-flowing energy. Surely, I wasn’t there for the recording sessions for this release. Maybe Regan didn’t use metronomes at all. This album seems like most recordings these days. Very planned. Think of the last couple releases from Less Than Jake.

Anyway, beyond fitting into the current paradigm, “…and the people..” is neato. Lyrically, it seems to hone in on the Punk philosophy as it is in constant flux. Kinda gives me a Rancid vibe. That whole “I guess I’m a fuckup…dude, I just keep waking up whether I want to or not” thing. This album is very relatable. It’s very musical. It’s not stripped down. Regan, as I mentioned, is in Problem Daughter, and oftentimes solo projects can suck. This doesn’t. You may not like it if you are a Problem Daughter fan, but that also might you like it more. There’s so much music out there now that no one can keep up. Musicians be like: “Look at what we’re doing! You don’t have the time to pay attention to it all, but isn’t the artistic upheaval amazing?!”

I can’t help but feel an odd sense of malaise cuz of the album, tho. To a theoretical hell we should send those unfailing optimists, sure…but after listening to these 6 songs and agreeing, sympathizing, relating, etc….the feeling of absolute fuckitude lingers. Misery may love company, but this isn’t misery. It’s…well…um…perhaps we humans build up walls and live partially-delusive lives to protect us from the inescapable and bizarre. I guess it’s like: There is something about this album to where if I listened to it enough, it would make me cry. It’s that real. I don’t know about you, but I can’t cry unless music is playing. People I know have died and it didn’t really shake me, but if you put on Flogging Molly’s If I Ever Leave This World Alive, I’ll leave the room…out of earshot…cuz I just can’t take it.

As fun as “…and the people you always have with you” is, it just hits me on that kind of a level. And that’s not me sucking up to Dying Scene or Regan. It’s the song Failed Author. It just hones in on something real fucking deep. And, it’s not something you’d get if you just listened to only that song. I feel like when the album starts, Scumbag sets a tone…it made me think that the rest of the songs were going to continue that vibe…like it’s all gonna be fuck-it hilarity…but art reflects life…by the end, I was left with another lesson in “Life fucking sucks bro”. Life isn’t a let-down, nope. It’s just problematic because our imaginations get away from us and they take our hopes with them. Our hopes raise and then when you realize that it was all delusion, the reality that takes its place is just calm. Not exuberant. Not banal. Just inexplicable.

Tho, after that calm passes, you laugh to yourself. Maybe you look out your window and wonder if the kids playing basketball across the street will ever know the true depth of reflection. Maybe they’ll luck-out and live a life of innocence and ignorance like the rich folk and/or the religious folk that don’t even allow themselves the chance at truly knowing.

One cool thing about this album is that it made my mind go crazy with words. When I listen to Aesop Rock, it’s like my brain gets going and I have to write out a poem or whatever. This recording made that happen too.

So yeah, I like this cd.
“What’s a cd?” asked the kid.
If you don’t know what a cd is, you’re a nitwit. Your generation is overloaded with data by schools but you don’t know what a cd is? You think you are a Punk fan but you don’t know what a cd is?? Piss off.

The song Russian Blue is another favorite.
They’re all good, tho. Especially Junkyard Parakeet.
This cd sounds like something Cooper from The Devil Makes Three would dig.

5/5 Stars



Brian Fallon and Craig Finn announce joint tour

The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon and Craig Finn from The Hold Steady have announced a string of tour dates through October. Both singers are touring without their respective backing bands, so the shows will be a more intimate reflection of their songs and stories.

Fallon’s latest solo release is Sleepwalkers from earlier this year.  While Finn’s latest solo work is 2017’s We All Want the Same Things.  Check out the dates below.



DS Photo Gallery: Dave Hause and Northcote get classy at City Winery, Boston (6/5/18)

After what was, by all accounts, a pretty successful year on the road with a new band (The Mermaid) following the release of his latest solo album, the redemptive, triumphant Bury Me In Philly, Dave Hause had been planning on scaling things down a little bit for 2018, both to celebrate newly married life and to work on new material. As fate would have it, things don’t always go as plan. Hause and his band played a bunch of European shows with his longtime comrade Brian Fallon earlier this year, and he and his musical – and real-life – brother have played a handful of Canadian and, now, US shows alongside the likes of the Drew Thomson Foundation and, more recently, Northcote. The latter tour rolled through Boston’s somewhat newly-opened City Winery last Tuesday, where they plied their mostly-acoustic wares in front of a house that mostly packed the upscale venue in spite of relatively little advance fanfare.

If you’re not familiar with the City Winery concept, it can be a little bit of a shock to the system if you’re used to sweaty basement clubs or even mid-sized theater shows. To start, you take your seat at one of four rows of family-style tables run perpendicular to the spacious stage, and an ample, attentive waitstaff checks in with you regularly, ready to bring you everything to a $64 bottle of 2014 Pinot Noir from New Zealand to a variety of cheeses and charcuterie board served on an individual cutting board to, chicken coq au vin, the latter of which I thought existed only in places Anthony Bourdain traveled (rest in peace). In spite of the fact that you’re largely looking over your left or right shoulder depending on which side of the table you’re seated at, sight lines are pretty solid and the sound is crystal clear. This is not the rebirth of The Rat, my friends, but that’s okay, because sometimes you’re in your late-30s and have a day job and a kid and don’t want to get your ass kicked in a pit on a Tuesday night. (Plus, there’s perhaps some level of comedic value in seeing a room full of denin-jacketed punks eating roasted Brussles Sprouts singing along to “Dirty Fucker.”)

Anyway, the show’s promoters kept things lean. Northcote (Canadian singer/songwriter Matt Good – not to be confused Canadian singer/songwriter Matthew Good) kicked things off, appearing as a duo with the acoustic-wielding Good supported by longtime collaborator Steven McGillivray on the electric. Like many in the crowd (based on my informal poll), yours truly’s introduction to Northcote in a live setting was his opening slot on Hause’s 2014 tour in support of Devour, or the subsequent dates he played with Gaslight Anthem as they wound down the Get Hurt touring cycle. Good cuts an imposing figure, with the Viking-esque long red hair and beard to match somewhat offset by his denim-and-flannel attire. Good is a criminally underrated songwriter, having earned a good many stripes from a past life playing in punk and hardcore bands before branching out on his own. He’s also owner and operator of one of the premiere voices in all the scene, able to convey both tender sentiments and heart-breaking despair in a single bound. Case in point: Northcote closed his set with an ode to recently-departed Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison by covering the latter’s “My Backwards Walk.” The song is gut-wrenching in its original incarnation, but the gravity of the situation and the honesty in Good’s voice left barely a dry eye in the house.

The Brothers Hause followed, and dove right into a stripped-down rendition of Bury My In Philly‘s “Shaky Jesus.” We’ve obviously been pretty open about our love for Dave Hause’s post-Loved Ones career on these pages, but perhaps one of the most exciting, and unexpected, developments of the components there-in has been the emergence of his kid brother, Tim, as not only a perfect right-hand man, but a musical force in his own right. The same Tim that Dave reflected on wanting to spend more time with back on the 2011 track “Resolutions” has turned into a supremely talented guitar player (primarily adding electric textures to his brother’s acoustic rhythms), but split his time on the baby grand piano (told you it was a classy venue) and the mandolin as well, all while providing pitch perfect harmonies. Still riding the wave from their hometown Eagles’ Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots – on the eve of the now infamously canceled White House visit no less, the Hause brothers were in good, playful spirits for the duration of the set that drew not only from the elder Hause’s three solo albums, but his work with surf punk goofballs The All Brights and, of course, The Loved Ones. That good-nature was put to the test when a spontaneous, mid-set appearance by a background vacuum cleaner, ill-timed in the middle of perhaps Hause’s quietest stomach-punch of a song, “Bricks,” forced the consummate frontman to struggle to keep his composure. Once the vacuum cleaning portion of the evening’s festivities wound down, Hause also included an ode-to-a-departed-hero toward the end of his set, covering the late, great Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down,” though this one turned into a celebratory singalong as you might imagine.

Head below for our full photo gallery from the evening, and stay tuned for more from City Winery in the coming months, because we’re so fancy (you already know). But seriously; Cory Branan and Face To Face and Austin Lucas are playing in the near future, so we’ll be back for the Coq Au Vin soon!

 



Jeff Rosenstock released video for “9/10”

A video for the Jeff Rosenstock song “9/10” has been released. It was directed by Joren Cull and you can catch it below.

“9/10” comes from Rosenstock’s latest album POST, released last year via Polyvinyl Records.



DS Exclusive: Joey Cape talks Lagwagon’s plans for Punk Rock Bowling, FEST 17 and beyond

This should come as not exactly breaking news, but this coming weekend in Las Vegas marks the twentieth installment of Punk Rock Bowling. Created by Stern Brothers of Youth Brigade fame two decades ago, the annual bacchanalian celebration of all things punk rock has grown into a much larger festival than it originally started out as. Yet somehow it has remained true to the the spirit of the scene that spawned it. It remains a must-see destination for punk rockers from not just around the country but around the world. Like, for example, Joey Cape.

The solo artist-slash-Scorpio-slash-Gimme-Gimme-slash-Lagwagon-frontman is not only pulling double duty at the event this year (he’s headlining a solo gig on Friday alongside Tim Barry – limited tickets still available here – and Lagwagon headlines the sold-out Fat Wreck Chords showcase on Saturday), but he’s been in attendance for all but a small handful of Punk Rock Bowling weekends over the last two decades. And while it’s long been a compelling event for Cape even if he’s not playing, he remembers having misgivings in the earliest years about if the concept would take off. “I’ll be honest, I remember the first year or the second year, thinking that “this isn’t going to last!” I didn’t know that it would work. I was definitely skeptical,” he explains. While Vegas has long attracted people from across all walks of life and garnered a well-earned reputation for glitz, glamour, and debauchery, there was something about the derelicts taking over and throwing a bowling party that might be too much for even Sin City to handle. “I just imagined with all those people, that I was going to enjoy (the first installment of PRB) because it was definitely going to be the first and last one of those, you know!” Cape credits not only the Stern brothers for running a great ship, but the location itself for creating a unique environment that keeps the festival working. “It’s all in one area, and it’s in Vegas, which is just the built-in best possible platform. You throw a stone in any direction and there’s a bar or something else to do that’s wild and fun. That place has always been an escape for adults; like a Disneyland for adults. So you couple that with this kind of music, and there’s the simple absurdity of it that works for people.

There are a handful of milestone events coming rapidly down the ‘pike for Lagwagon this year, although when your band has been in existence for such a long time, there are seemingly no shortage of such milestones to celebrate. The band’s highly-regarded fourth album, Double Plaidinum, somehow turned twenty last year, while its stellar – albeit shorter – follow-up Let’s Talk About Feelings reaches the same milestone this year. Once Cape and his Lagwagon cohorts return from a fairly lengthy European tour in August, there are plans in the works to hopefully celebrate both albums in a meaningful way, and to tie them into an even larger and more meaningful milestone: 2019, you see, marks Lagwagon’s thirtieth year as a band. Kinda.

Within the band, we kinda go “is it ‘88 or ‘89?” explains Cape. “There was a band in ‘88 that I wasn’t in that was the band I joined. When I joined the band (Section Eight), I started writing songs for the band, and it was enough of a revamp. I like to think (it was) ‘88, but it’s funny, the one other member that was in the band before me, Chris Flippin, The Big Bitch, prefers ‘89.” Because of the somewhat nebulous origin of the band’s initial formation, the band have blown by several milestone anniversaries in the past – their 25th anniversary roughly coincided with the Fat Wreck Chords 25th anniversary tour a few years back, though even that tour came around the label’s actual 26th anniversary – but whatever timeline you go by Cape and his bandmates seem to realize that this milestone is an important one. “You have anniversaries that you’re married every year, and the tenth anniversary of a marriage is a big deal, so the thirtieth anniversary of a band should be celebrated! That’s five assholes trying to get along! And they’re not even having sex!”

Some plans to celebrate the band’s coinciding milestones are still taking shape, but we do know that Lagwagon will perform Let’s Talk About Feelings in its entirety at Fest 17 in Gainesville this coming October. Album-specific shows and tours have become more of the norm for bands of all genres over the last handful of years, and while that might give one initial pause to jump into that fray, there is a special lure to events like that if they’re done the right way. “I love doing it because I think there is a historic time-stamp that coincides with the release of an album,” Cape explains. “We obviously come from a generation where sequence and the entire album matter and have their own feel. That still matters to us, being old men in a day and age where singular songs and Spotify are the norm. I think there’s something really cool about doing it with a band. It takes playing a whole record to really revisit that vibe and that feeling and that climate that the band was in.”

Stay tuned for more on Let’s Talk About Feelings and Double Plaidinum plans in the ramp-up to Lagwagon’s 30ish anniversary in 2019. And who knows..maybe we’ll even get new music before 2019 is up: it has, somehow, been four years since the release of their latest full-length, Hang, after all. “We’ll probably get back in the studio by the end of the year or the beginning of next year, so we are going to actually follow through,” says Cape. “After we made Hang, everybody agreed and said “let’s stop doing this bullshit, let’s get right back on the horse after tour.” Between touring for Hang and touring for Fat Wreck’s 25th, anniversary, that “tour” lasted for a couple years, however. Cape jokes: “we toured for like two years, and at the end of two years it’s like “alright, I’ll see you guys NEVER! I love you guys, but fuck you!!

Head below to read our full chat with the Joey Cape. We caught up over the phone on the eve of “Lagwagon Day,” and a long, winding, fun conversation ensued, ranging from details on the band’s history to tidbits about new solo material. And let us know if you’re in Vegas for PRB or Gainesville for Fest!



Jeff Rosenstock announces 2018 tour dates, including some featuring AJJ’s Sean Bonnette

Jeff Rosenstock has announced some 2018 tour dates, including a run with Remo Drive, and another with AJJ’s Sean Bonnette.

You can check out the full list of dates and locations below.

Jeff Rosenstock last released Post- in January 2018.



New Music: Frankie Stubbs (Leatherface) – “Don’t You Ever Say Goodbye (acoustic)”

Frankie Stubbs, longtime vocalist and guitarist for the legendary – and now defunct – UK punk band Leatherface, has played a handful of acoustic gigs in the years since his main band called it quits in 2012. During a recent such show in Germany, Stubbs dedicated the Leatherface classic “Never Say Goodbye” (from their final full-length, 2010’s The Stormy Petrel) to his former band’s bass player, Dickie Hammond, who passed away in November 2015. As you might expect, the crowd joined Stubbs on vocals, for what seems to have been a pretty emotional moment (great quality video is available here).

If you weren’t aware, Stubbs is slated to make another one of his rare solo, acoustic appearances at Pouzza Fest 8 in Montreal this weekend. He’s been rehearsing in the Little Rocket Records studio in the UK, where he was recorded by fellow Leatherface bandmate (and Pouzza co-curator) Graeme Philliskirk. Little Rocket and Stubbs have teamed up to release an acoustic studio version of the above-named classic, and you can check it out here for the very first time. Stream it below!

Leatherface’s last release was their 2011 live album, Viva La Arthouse.

EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this story referred to the late Dickie Hammond as Leatherface’s bass player. He, of course, played guitar; Philliskirk played bass.



The Drew Thomson Foundation (members of Single Mothers) release music video for “Stay”

Single Mothers frontman Drew Thomson has started a new solo project called The Drew Thomson Foundation, and has released a music video for his new song “Stay.”

Check it out below.

“Stay” comes from the upcoming EP of the same name, which is set to be released on May 11th.



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.

 



Jesse LeBourdais release video for “Make It Boring”

Folk punk act Jesse LeBourdais have now released a video for “Make It Boring” which is off of their new album “Grief Intensity Friendship.”

You can also catch the act on tour in Canada for the month of May with an appearance at Pouzza Fest.

Watch the video below.



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.



New Music: Louise Distras debuts “Land Of Dope And Glory”

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from UK-based folk punk badass Louise Distras; too long, if you ask me. But the wait is finally just about over!

Distras holed up at a studio in Oakland, California, with producer Ross Petersen (Bruce Springsteen, The Vamps) and with The Business’s Steve Whale for work on a full-length follow-up to her 2015 debut, Dreams From The Factory Floor. The first of the fruits of those labors are now upon us, as today marks the unveiling of the new track, “Land Of Dope And Glory.” Check it out below!

Dreams From The Factory Floor was released in the States on Pirates Press Records. The new album is due out this fall!



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!