About a year ago, the cutthroat British hardcore/punk band known as Gallows parted ways with their iconic frontman Frank Carter due to creative differences. Around that same time, Canadian post-hardcore band Alexisonfire decided to call it quits after over a decade of international success. However, these two losses birthed something new. Guitarist and vocalist of Alexisonfire, Wade MacNeil, joined Gallows in place of their former singer, and since then the band has been barreling through the international punk scene with a reaffirmed disdain for all the terrible things in the world. Despite the obvious geographical differences, the band has not let this lineup change slow them down one bit. With a new self-titled full-length being released, followed by months of touring in both continents and a farewell tour with Alexisonfire, Wade talks about the past year and what lies ahead for Gallows.
OS: Through the titles and lyrics of your new records, you seem to be making a clear statement about your status as a band, particularly with the EP title Death Is Birth followed by your upcoming self-titled album. Do you see this as a new beginning? If so, what would you say it is the start of?
WM: It’s the rebirth of old ideas, old politics, old attitudes. I’ve stopped waiting for a new band to come along and challenge the way people think and live their lives. I want us to be that band. I want us to be the soundtrack.
OS: Your new songs, such as “Mondo Chaos” and “Hate! Hate! Hate!” seem to proclaim that you are taking Gallows to a whole new level of unrelenting anger and meanness. What has inspired, or rather, reinforced your no-bullshit attitude?
WM: It’s a worldview really. I’ll let someone else sing fake love songs.
OS: The cover of your new album is quite dark and haunting, in true Gallows fashion, but what exactly is going on there? What does it represent to you in relation to this release?
WM: It’s two women in bed wearing balaclavas. Our guitar player Lags stumbled across the photo (it’s by a London photographer). It is really stark looking, hyper sexual, confusing, dark, beautiful, frightening. It’s a visual representation of my lyrics for the record.
OS: On a similar note, I can’t help but notice your use of women in your recent album covers and your new music video for “Outsider Art.” They all seem to be in positions of some sort of defiance or battle if you will. Is there a deliberate theme here that you would like to elaborate on?
WM: I haven’t really given that much thought. But, over the last decade punk and hardcore have really began to objectify women. It’s certainly not the way I would like to see them being portrayed.
OS: What kind of responses have you been getting from fans throughout this past year? How have your music and performances been received?
WM: I think finally Gallows isn’t a band divided. Come see us play and you will see what I mean.
OS: How does it feel to be moving forward with a new band and new releases while still preparing for your farewell tour with Alexisonfire? Do you have mixed emotions?
WM: I’m excited to end AOF on a positive note. I’m exited to go on the road with Gallows. It’s gonna be a great year.
OS: Lastly, is there one definitive message you would like to relay to your fans or the world? Something that you all stand for or would just like to express as a band?
WM: Thank you for listening. We put everything we had into this record. Hopefully, it resonates with you. Cheers.
The new self-titled Gallows album comes out today, September 10, in the U.K. and tomorrow, September 11, in the U.S. Click here for upcoming tour dates, and check out the video for their newest single “Outsider Art” below.
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