In a little over a month, Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes are heading out on their first headline tour since their debut album ‘Blossom’ crashed into the charts at 18. Joining them for the run will be pals Creeper and a specially reunited Blackhole. We caught up with Frank hours before his set at Reading Festival to talk about his “fucking gnarly” October tour.
“We played in June and half the shows sold out. A month to go and we’re already selling shows out on this tour. Something’s happening,” ventures Frank. “It’s connecting with people in the right way and that’s all you want. All you want is your art to speak to people and it’s doing that in a massive way.”
“There’s a time and a place for everything,” he offers of the snatch and grab reaction to ‘Blossom. “A lot of people are feeling the same way I am, quite despondent with music that’s out there at the minute. What we’ve tried to do is make something real and honest. You cant deny it has something that doesn’t sound like anything else and that’s a really nice thing to be a part of. It’s very exciting,” he says, beaming.
“It’s quite easy to get caught up in the production and delivery of it all. I appreciate that has its place but that’s not for me, man. I like punk music. I like music to sound like you’re in it and it might kill you. That’s what I’ve always wanted to make, music that you can get scared by.”
While there’s a ferocity and fear at the core of Frank Carter’s music, that’s not something he wants amplified in the live arena.
“I don’t want people to get hurt, ever,” he states before explaining the incident at his launch show where he had to put an audience member in their place. “I gave that kid a little love tap but he was in a way where he was going to hurt other people if I didn’t do that. He chilled out after that, we had a chat and we’re friends. There’s this strange hypocrisy to it all. I don’t want people to get hurt but I do want people to have fun,” he offers. “I don’t want anyone to feel like they’re in an unsafe place. I want them to feel like they’re listening to unsafe music but I don’t want them to feel scared they might get hurt. I want them to feel scared of the music, that’s it. It’s about unity. We are all the outsiders, we don’t want to make anyone else feel that way, and we want everyone to feel like they’re together.”
That sense of togetherness has shaped the touring lineup for the bill with both Blackhole and Creeper embodying that welcoming idea of unity. “I feel lucky where I’m in a position where I can bring whoever I want on tour,” explains Frank of his handcrafted supports. “We get sent through loads of requests and I listen to all of them, just because I might find someone for the future but I normally have a good idea of who I want to bring out on which tour. I like real bands,” he states. “Even Baby Metal. What they do is them. Even if they’ve been put together, they seem really fucking true to it. I just want to see people giving a shit about what they’re doing.”
“There are a lot of bands out there, deliberately trying to tick certain boxes because they see it as, ‘this is my route to the top’. They care more about getting to the top, or being at the top, than they do about doing it in the right way and that’s what bums me out. Just fucking be yourself and land where you land. That’s what we’re doing,” he continues. “I feel really lucky that my music is connecting in the way that it is but I’m not under the illusion that it won’t end at any minute. I wont ever take this for granted. I’ve been at the top, and I’ve lost it. I’ve had to work hard for years and now I’m in a place where I’ve got a fresh start. I haven’t fallen to far and I’m clawing my way back up the only way I know how, which is to be true to myself. If people want to come along, that’s amazing and I hope that happens but if they don’t, I’m not going to make moves to impress those people because that’s not who I am. That’s not me.”
“I want give people what bands like the Deftones and At The Drive In gave me at these festivals,” starts Frank. “I struggled to get into those tents and what I saw was life changing. I know that sounds a bit much, I’m not saying I’m going to be life changing for anyone but I want to be. I don’t want to just play songs. I want to go out, perform and I want people to feel something. Even if they fucking hate me and want to bash my fucking face in, that to me is better than them feeling nothing,” he offers with another grin. “I just want to make people feel something. Anything.”
Frank Carter tours the UK in October. Tickets are available here.