Frank Carter has long been one of the most outspoken figures in any genre of British music. He brought his new outfit Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes to last week’s Leeds Festival where Already Heard caught up with him, and found out that time and repeated reinventions of his musical vision has done nothing to dull his ire or his passion for the industry. We’d give you an idea of what he had to say, but frankly it’s probably best to let him do the talking….
AH: You’re here at Leeds Festival with your new project Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes for the first time, are these Reading and Leeds shows the biggest events you’ve brought the new band to so far?
Frank: Unfortunately it’s not the biggest stage we’ve played already. We played a few big festivals last weekend. This is one of the smaller stages I’ve played at Reading and Leeds in my lifetime, but I think it’s the perfect place for us to be playing right now. I love this festival but I like specifically playing the smaller parts of the festival. That’s where I excel.
AH: How crucial are festivals like this one in getting exposure for new projects like yours?
Frank: Festivals are important for all sorts of reasons, but for us as a band they’re integral. You’re going to get a lot of people here that wouldn’t necessarily go and see your band, so a festival stage is your chance to show those people why you’re important. That’s what we try and do all the time put ourselves out there, play as hard as we can and try and convince some people.
AH: Your new record ‘Blossom’ comes across as much more intense and angry then your last record with Pure Love. How different a place did it come from mentally and creatively?
Frank: Obviously you grow as you get older and learn new things along the way. This record was inspired by some fairly tragic circumstances that were quite difficult to compartmentalise as I was getting older. So it definitely came from a very different place then anywhere I was used to, but nevertheless a good place really. Basically I’m happy now that I have this as an outlet.
AH: Another thing that stands out from the record is how you use it to speak out on issues which matter to you. How important is it to you that musicians use their writing to do that?
Frank: I’ve got nothing wrong with bands that don’t… actually I do. I think if you’ve got a platform you need to be speaking about something important otherwise what the fuck are you doing? You’re just getting in the fucking way. I think it’s very important to always be trying to push yourself forward to do something positive. Our record is from a lot of negative experiences but we’ve tried to take positives from that. But yeah I think if you’ve got the platform you better fucking use it. Otherwise shit will get off the pot to put it in a nicer sentence. (laughs)
AH: How would you asses the state of Punk Rock in the UK at present?
Frank: I think it’s in dire need of a band like Rattlesnakes, which is why we’re here. There are a lot of bands that are playing it very safe. There are a lot of bands out there that are playing rock music that, as far as I’m concerned, I just wouldn’t class them as rock bands. They’re more like boy bands. They don’t really belong in what I’m trying to do anyway. Music should be dangerous, it should make you think and it should make you feel something. That’s what rock music should do. And that’s what we’re trying to do, we’re trying to be dangerous.
AH: How much of a natural progression is The Rattlesnakes from previous bands you’ve been involved in?
Frank: I think it’s a natural progression of me. I don’t think it’s trying to fit anywhere between those two projects. Naturally I’m just a different person and I’m taking everything that I’ve learned throughout my career and I’m applying it to something new. I’m a better singer now because of Pure Love and maybe because of the break, I’m eager to just get out there and smash people up. Just naturally it’s where I am at as an artist right now.
AH: Do you see moving between different musical projects as a way of freeing yourself up creatively?
Frank: I think the minute you start stagnating as an artist you begin to lose your relevance and you become redundant. I’m hoping that this band now, as it’s my thing, my solo project, I’m hoping that it has legs for me to do many, many years of this project and many records. That’s what we’re intending. We’ve started writing album two already. So I would hope that I won’t need to continually reinvent myself in this project, but I’m also hoping that it gives me room to grow as an artist.
‘Blossom’ by Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes is out now on International Death Cult.
View more of Already Heard’s coverage from Leeds Festival 2015 here.
Words by Dane Wright (@MrDaneWright)