The Gaslight Anthem: ‘Handwritten’

“Would you miss me if I was gone and the simple things we lost?
Would you ever wait on me to say
Oh that I’d just die if you ever took your love away…”

Mullholland Drive, Gaslight Anthem

New Jersey punk rockers Gaslight Anthem have released one hell of an album in Handwritten. Read a great review of the album by Rolling Stone’s Jody Rosen here.

Lead singer Brian Fallon performed an acoustic set and answered fan questions via Livestream on album release day.

When asked if there will ever be an album like the Bruce Springsteen-like The 59 Sound, he said:

“We kind of just wrote the next record that sounded good to us. When you achieve success on one record, you just have to ignore the previous record. You have to make each record its own thing. There will not be another 59 Sound-ish album. Repeating albums, I think, is cheating your audience.”

Someone asked about New Jersey pride, which as a child of the Garden State, probably has to do with the fact that we’d like to be more affiliated with Gaslight Anthem and less with Jersey Shore. Fallon had a great response for that, too:

“I’m not proud of being from New Jersey just because I’m from New Jersey; that’s just my home and I love it because it’s my home and my friends live there. It’s got great things, like the beaches and great community vibe, but it’s not what defines you. Most people who have become successful or famous have left where they’re from in order to find themselves. You need to leave the things that influenced you the most or else they’ll become fake, which is the worth thing that could happen.”

True story. I’ll let you know if I find myself in New York City in a future post.

This great SPIN article by David Marchese addresses why Handwritten is considered to be “big” for a band that sells out concerts in the Big Apple within 60 seconds. The best quote from Fallon, in my opinion (he mentions Goyte!):

“We talked to so many producers. And they were all like, ‘You guys have released great records and big bands like you — now you need a big hit single.’ And we were like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ I love that Gotye song, but I can’t sit down and write that. I don’t even think he can. A hit single for a rock band is a fluke. It’s an accident. But Brendan called me up and he goes, ‘Listen, I really like your records. I wanna do your next record. This is what I need you to do: Don’t talk to me about singles or radio-play. You need to write songs that mean more to you than anything.’ I was like, ‘Okay, man! Not only do I want to do a record with you, can you adopt me for a little while?’

By the way, the band ended album release day on a perfect note: They played 26 songs for fans at Webster Hall. (I know super fan, my friend Kasey, was happy!) Read a review on their D.C. show (July 23) here.

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2 thoughts on “The Gaslight Anthem: ‘Handwritten’

  1. toxic_sleuth.

    ME? Super fan? What makes you say that? The show at Webster Hall was great. It’s been fun to watch them evolve and I will go where they lead me!

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