Story and Photos By: Chris Martinez
(Sacramento Live Performance Columnist)
Gallows recently released their second album, "Grey Britain," on Warner Bros. after switching from Epitaph Records earlier this year. They were confirmed to co-headline the 2009 Vans Warped Tour. I got the chance to sit down with Laurent Barnard, the guitar player and back up vocalist of the band, a little after their set at their stop in Sacramento for the Vans Warped Tour.
CM: You guys just played your set, right? How was that?
Laurent Barnard: Yeah, that’s right. We played at 3:15PM. It was one of the hottest shows of the tour, actually. We’re from England, so we struggle with heat. We’re used to the nice cold weather.
Even when we play shows, they’re usually air-conditioned venues. It’s hard work, small show with many people, but still fun.
CM: What’s the major difference in touring in the UK and touring here in the US?
Laurent Barnard: The major difference is the size and space, like we’ve never toured in anything bigger than a van and like right now we’re touring in a bus. We’re going to do a tour with AFI, and we’re going to be in a van for that, so. We’re going to be touring the East Coast, maybe West Coast, and Canada with Flogging Molly.
The drives out here are absolutely insane, like back home we tour the UK, and the longest drive will be like two to three hours, and some of the shows here take two days driving.
CM: How do you guys pick your set list before the show?
Laurent Barnard: Dude, we never have a set list, really. We just go on stage, start and we go from there.
CM: You guys just released "Grey Britain," so tell me about how the recording went.
Laurent Barnard: It was good, man. Like, we recorded it in London with Garth Richardson, he did the first Rage Against The Machine record, so he knows his stuff. It was a good time and without using a cliché, it was really intense. We got to live in London, Weinberg, a really rich area for like two months. It was awesome. It was really fun.
CM: You guys still play songs from "Orchestra of Wolves," right?
Laurent Barnard: Yeah, we do. We try to play the new stuff, to try and get the kids into the new stuff. But yeah, we still play “In the Belly of a Shark”
CM: Do the kids actually sing along in the crowd and get into the music?
Laurent Barnard: Its weird, like Warped Tour has been like a Jonas Brothers concert. Not really the kind of audience we’re used to. A few hardcore kids come out to the show, but a lot of them are here for bands they remember like A Day To Remember. Most of the hardcore kids stay home and don’t want to spend $40 to come out.
CM: What’s your favorite song to play live?
Laurent Barnard: My favorite song to play live is, “In the Belly of a Shark” simply because the crowd definitely goes nuts for it. That helps me get into the set and rock out and stuff.
CM: Before releasing "Grey Britain," you guys rereleased "Orchestra of Wolves," why?
Laurent Barnard: Yeah, like we re-released it here and there between record labels.
CM: You guys added on some songs to the re-release right?
Laurent Barnard: When we released it in the states, it came out in the UK first, and then on Epitaph in America and we added a few songs at the end, a few b-sides.
CM: Have you stage-dived into the crowd?
Laurent Barnard: Out here, the barrier is quite far away from the stage, but back in the UK there’s a bunch of videos of us, the whole band like jumping off stage.
CM: Have you hurt yourself before by diving off into the crowd?
Laurent Barnard: I broke my rib cage once with my guitar. I remember once, I played a show back home and I dived in, but no one caught me and the guitar hit my ribs. Quite painful.
CM: You guys are pretty hardcore when on stage, right? You really get into it.
Laurent Barnard: Yeah, definitely, man. I mean, if you believe in the music then you’re going to put that into your show.
CM: How do you feel about all the other bands on Warped Tour using Auto-Tune and back tracks?
Laurent Barnard: Yeah, its like the band just use backing tracks and I mean its not like a real live show.
CM: And you guys play everything live, right?
Laurent Barnard: Yeah, everything is live. Otherwise it’s just like watching a band do Karaoke show.
CM: Alright, thank you for your time. Great show today.
Laurent Barnard: Thanks, man.
Click here to see all of Chris' Warped Tour photos.
Gallows - The Warped Tour Interview
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