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In the studio with… Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

Frank Carter crashed back into our lives last year alongside his Rattlesnakes with their debut album ‘Blossom’. “It was an exorcism. It was very cathartic,” explains Frank with a grin. “I needed to get everything out as quickly as possible and wasn’t really too concerned about how rough around the edges it was. It was a haemorrhage, pretty much.” Now, they’re in the studio working on a follow up, and “this time around, it’s much more considered. We’ve got an opportunity now to show who I really am, and I change a lot. We all do.”

“The whole point of ‘Blossom’ was to show people that I hadn’t weathered,” he starts. “I wasn’t worn out. I was fucking sharp and angry and I could present a performance at the same speed and intensity as all your favourite new bands. I’m thirty-two, most of these kids are twenty, but age ain’t nothing but a number. I feel like I’m in a really good place and with album two, we want to really push the boundaries of what we were capable of.”

Frank Carter has never been static. With Gallows, Pure Love and now with The Rattlesnakes, he’s made a point to charge head first onwards. “We’re trying to change things up and show that there’s more to us than beat downs and blood. We write really good songs and that’s what we want to be remembered for. Not for the carnival around it. We want to be remembered for the songs and ultimately, if you’re in a band and people only go and see you because they think you’re going to be violent, that’s counter-productive. That’s not why I’m here.”

“There’s more to us than beat downs and blood.”

From the first bite of ‘Fangs’, Frank Carter’s latest outing has been celebrated. “People seem excited to have me back. What Pure Love did, it drew a line for a lot of people.” Moving away from the angst and aggression caused people to move on. “They said, ‘I don’t back it’. What Rattlesnakes does, it comes up at time when those people have grown a little bit. I don’t want to say people are narrow-minded, but people didn’t want me to do what I was doing with Pure Love. As I get older, I start realising the people I find inspiring are the ones who do whatever the fuck they want.

“As you get older, you gravitate towards those people and you think, I want to be more like that. I’m hoping with Rattlesnakes, they see this fairly hyper-aggressive record but there are tinges of rock, of punk and blues. ‘I Hate You’ is the most aggressive song on ‘Blossom’ but it’s a laid back twelve bar blues. ‘Devil Inside Me’ is probably the hit of the record, but it’s a rock song. We’re aiming to focus more on that rock stuff. I love it. I love crafting songs with a big chorus that I can sing and that will get stuck in people’s heads. All people’s heads.”

And more than ever before, that’s what Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes are doing. It’s broader than anything that’s come before it. “It’s encompassing all fans from my entire career. What we’re aiming to do with album two is introduce us to new fans. I’m in love with all my fans, I really am. I owe them everything but I want more. Like a greedy son of a bitch, I want as many fans as I can get.”

And the outlook for that is good. With arena-stopping performances littering festival season, and brand new track ‘Snake Eyes’ showing another new side to Frank, album two is living up every promise ever made. “It’s not quite there yet but we’re getting close. We’re closing the door on it and it’s exciting,” he shares. “I don’t know how much I can tell you, honestly. It sounds really sexy. ‘Blossom’ is a very aggressive record and in a lot of ways, this one is more aggressive but it’s a little more palatable for everyone.

“There’s only one hardcore song on the whole record, but it’s the defining hardcore song of a generation, I hope. We wrote that and then I was like, ‘we don’t need anymore, boys. Let’s change tact.’ It’s been a lot of fun and it’s been really relaxing. We recorded the whole thing with Mitch [Thomas Mitchner] who is the bass player and then we had Catherine J. Marks mix it and she’s done a phenomenal job. Between the two of them, they totally understood the vision that Dean [Richardson] and I had and they’ve managed to bring it to reality.”

It’s a vision that’s been there from the start. Writing forty five songs last year (“a personal best”) the band have been in the studio since January bringing them to life. “I always have quite a clear vision of what I want to make. Whether you can actually achieve that on the other end though is tough. It’s one thing to see something, it’s another to make it happen but I’m trying my hardest and I feel like I’m getting really close with this.

“The entire record is about human relationships and how they affect us, good and bad, and the communications surrounding them. There’s a lot in there about falling in love, there’s a lot in there about falling apart and there’s a lot in there about how we treat our fellow man and woman. Some of it’s good and some of it’s not so good. It’s inspired by everything I see around me. It’s nice, both these records have felt very immediate but this one feels quite classic as well. But we’ll have to wait and see. It’ll be ten years before we can decide that.”