Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes are fast becoming the modern day godfathers of the English rock scene. Having been around for well over a decade they have been consistently building up their fan base gig by gig, cementing themselves as a must see. The duo tell us about Sydney on the back of a 5-week European tour, their travel essentials and "what it means to be a man in a rock band”.
Who are Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes?
Dean and I met 10 years. We always wanted to make music together even though at one point we felt like we were done. I tricked Dean and said let's start a little rock band from my garage... do a tour and then get out. We're now five years in, with 3 albums and I don't know how many tours.
Yashica T4, notebook and my phone - this ones the most important since my daughter is four years old now and just beginning to understand what I do. Without facetiming her I'd be absolutely lost in the world.
Three songs you're listening to right now?
How would you describe the band and its sound?
We've taken all influences in. We love everything from David Grey, Elton John to Black Flag. We like good music and people that make good music. We've never wanted to just be a hard rock or a punk rock band, but rock band simply just sums us up. Peopling like Rolling Stones and Black Sabbath are rock bands.
You’re open about the need for safe environments to advance a discussion on mental health - why is that important to you guys specifically?
Unless there are people leading a charge or being pro-active nothing is ever gonna change. We want lead by example and hope that people pick it up and follow. We wouldn’t want to carry the weight on our own, and people should realise they don't have to be scared of the situation.
Do you think you articulated that message through your latest album - “End of Suffering”?
Absolutely. Yeah we literally spelled it out for some! It's important because I've spent a lot of time in my life speaking in metaphors to make it less clear for others... and maybe even for myself.
The only way to sort out your mental health is to talk about it. We just gave ourselves a skeleton key, opened these doors with rooms full of tigers and tried to articulate these feelings through our music. We wanna help change everyone's perception about what it means to be a man in a rock band and in life generally.
We're each other's emotional support. We've been through 10 years together, a few albums and loads of tours... and we're still a growing friendship. We celebrate each other and everyone needs something like this. We did become enemies at one point but only for 35 seconds.
What's it like to perform massive stages?
People often say we must like the intensity of smaller shows. They don’t know what it's like to walk out in front of 10,000 people singing to your songs you made in your garage. At one point we weren't able to sell out our garage.
Its funny because — we walk out on stage and we have the first couple minutes to ourselves... it's real gentle and the crowd aren't going crazy yet so we just relish it. Then the minute the chorus kicks in we both just dive in like hot atoms. The energy is great.
Favourite place music has taken you?
Australia. We’ve been there 3 times. The last time was off the back of a 5-week European tour so we arrived completely wrecked, but it’s so hard to not have a good time. We hired this boat in Sydney and it was so great. Frank does all these crazy backflips over balconies in venues and onto people, but because he can't swim seeing Frank dive onto shark bay was a hilarious moment.