The Gaslight Anthem is an American rock band from New Brunswick, New Jersey, formed in 2006. The band consists of Brian Fallon (lead vocals, guitar), Alex Rosamilia (guitar, backing vocals), Alex Levine (bass guitar, backing vocals) and Benny Horowitz (drums, percussion).
The Gaslight Anthem released their debut album, Sink or Swim, on XOXO Records in May 2007, and their second album, The '59 Sound, on SideOneDummy Records in August 2008. The band's third album, American Slang, was released on June 15, 2010. Their fourth album, Handwritten, was released on July 24, 2012, on Mercury Records.
Before The Gaslight Anthem
Brian Fallon was in a number of bands prior to The Gaslight Anthem, most lately This Charming Man. The band went through a number of line-up changes, to the point where the band consisted of Fallon, Mike Volpe, Benny Horowitz and Alex Levine. At this stage, the band renamed themselves to The Gaslight Anthem, due to a change in direction. After this, Volpe left and Alex Rosamilia joined, and the current line-up of The Gaslight Anthem was formed.
Sink or Swim (2007–2008)
The Gaslight Anthem's full length debut Sink or Swim was well received by both independent music review sites such as punknews.org, AbsolutePunk.net, and more mainstream publications such as Spin.com.
A 4-song EP titled Señor and the Queen was released on February 5, 2008 through Sabot Productions. A double-7" vinyl version of the EP was also released on standard black vinyl, as well as limited edition pressings on clear vinyl, red vinyl (500 copies), and white vinyl (100 copies).
The '59 Sound (2008–2010)
The band's second full-length album, The '59 Sound, was released on August 19, 2008 through SideOneDummy Records. The record was produced by Ted Hutt and features Hot Water Music's Chris Wollard and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones's Dicky Barrett as guests. The album was voted the No. 1 album of 2008 by eMusic, and received a high rating from Pitchfork Media.
The title of the first song on the album named Great Expectations makes reference to the character Estella of the Charles Dickens' book.
In 2008, the band covered "God's Gonna Cut You Down" for the Johnny Cash tribute album All Aboard! A Tribute to Johnny Cash. In 2009, the band's song "I'da Called You Woody, Joe" was featured as part of the soundtrack of the video game Skate 2 and Skate It. The band sometimes covers Tom Petty's "American Girl" and "Refugee" live.
In 2009, The Gaslight Anthem supported Social Distortion on their European tour and was announced as a supporting act for Bruce Springsteen at Hyde Park Calling.
At Glastonbury Festival on June 27, 2009, Bruce Springsteen joined the band on stage during their performance of "The '59 Sound." Brian Fallon later contributed to Springsteen's headlining set, performing the song "No Surrender." At London's Hard Rock Calling festival on June 28, the band was again joined by Springsteen on stage and again performed "The '59 Sound." As with Glastonbury, Fallon contributed to Springsteen's headlining set and joined him in singing "No Surrender."
On August 6, 2008 the band made British music history becoming the first band to ever appear on the cover of Kerrang! magazine without the magazine having previously written about them. Kerrang! called them "The best new band you'll hear in 2008." In addition, the band has received airplay on BBC Radio 6 Music, and embarked on a UK & European tour in November. In August 2009, The Gaslight Anthem won the 2009 Kerrang! Award for "Best International Newcomer".
On August 7, 2009, The Gaslight Anthem performed at Lollapalooza in Chicago, and played at Pinkpop on June 1, 2009.
The band performed at the UK's Reading and Leeds Festivals in late August, and has finished an extensive North American headline tour set for September and October. Murder By Death, Frank Turner, The Loved Ones, Jesse Malin, The Measure (SA), and Ninja Gun performed in the support slots on this tour.
American Slang (2010-2012)
The Gaslight Anthem entered the studio once again with producer Ted Hutt to record their second album for SideOneDummy Records.
The band's third album, titled American Slang, was released on June 14, 2010 in the UK and June 15, 2010 in the USA . According to frontman Brian Fallon, the songwriting on the new album is different than on the band's previous efforts. He named the Stones, Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton and Derek and the Dominoes as influences.
In addition to 5 UK dates, the band played at festivals including Bonnaroo Festival, The Austin City Limits Music Festival, Southside Festival, Hurricane Festival, Hard Rock Calling, Rock Werchter, The Guernsey Festival of Performing Arts, A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise, Reading and Leeds Festivals and Øyafestivalen.
Details of North American tour dates were announced on April 27, 2010 on a new website for American Slang.
The Gaslight Anthem toured the UK and Europe at the end of 2010 with support from Chuck Ragan and Sharks. They performed two songs from American Slang on Episode 6, Series 37 of Later... with Jools Holland, originally broadcast in the UK on October 22, 2010.
As of July 2010, Fallon said he was already working on new material for a fourth album. Subsequently, Fallon stated on his blog that the band would start writing their record in January 2011. However, prior to playing on Pinkpop in June 2011, Fallon stated that they had just started working on the new album and that it wouldn't be released for at least a few months. In the same interview Fallon said only one song was finished so far, referring to "Biloxi Parish" which they performed on stage at Pinkpop 2011 as well as Rock Am Ring. Fallon stated that the band's next record will sound closer to their breakthrough record, The '59 Sound, rather than American Slang. During this time, Fallon was also working with good friend Ian Perkins, putting the finishing touches on their side project, The Horrible Crowes.
On October 6, 2011, The Gaslight Anthem announced via Facebook that they had officially signed with Mercury Records. They stated that they were sorry to leave their friends at SideOneDummy, but felt that the change was necessary for their musical career.
On October 14, 2011, The Gaslight Anthem announced that their last show before going into the studio to record their new album would be on December 9 at the Asbury Park Convention Hall.
On January 12, 2012, the band announced via their Twitter feed that they would be recording the following week in Nashville. On February 18, 2012, they announced that recording of original songs for the album had been completed, stating that they would soon be beginning on b-sides and covers. An anticipated date for release has not been set. It was announced on February 22, 2012, via the band's Twitter feed that the forthcoming album would be titled Handwritten. On February 25, 2012 the band announced the tour via Twitter. On April 25, 2012 the band announced that the first single from Handwritten is called "45" and had its worldwide première on Monday, April 30 as Zane Lowe's Hottest Record in the World on BBC Radio 1. The single can currently be streamed on their website.
The album was released on July 20, 2012 in Germany, July 23 in the UK, and on July 24 in the US.
On September 21, 2012 in Pensacola, Florida, The Gaslight Anthem performed Pearl Jam's State of Love and Trust live at DeLuna Fest with Eddie Vedder on vocals.
On November 30, 2012, the last of three nights in a row at New York City's Terminal 5 venue, Fallon announced that they would be releasing a live DVD of the night prior.
Untitled fifth album
The band announced on July 4, 2013, via their Tumblr site, that they were "Working on new songs for a new Gaslight Anthem album in 2014."
Description and influences
"The Gaslight Anthem is part of a rich tradition of New Jersey punk, spanning the Misfits to the Bouncing Souls.". The Gaslight Anthem's music also embraces many elements of the Jersey Shore sound. Brian Fallon's fondness for Springsteen, a significant influence on their music, is a fact celebrated by fans and critics alike. However the band claims they never set out to sound like the New Jersey icon. Representative of such views, one critic wrote, "The Gaslight Anthem are like something out of speculative fiction: this is what pop music would be if Springsteen hadn't listened to his producer, let The Ramones record Hungry Heart, and launched the C.B.G.B.'ers into megastardom.". Drummer Benny Horowitz and guitarist Alex Rosamilia stated that "We're more Bruce Springsteen appreciators. We didn't start listening to him until we joined the band. I always liked his songs when I heard them, but I wasn't a big fan until I met Brian [Fallon]."
Following the release of their third full-length album, American Slang, Fallon himself said, "There's so much else that we look at for our sound and influences that you don't want to be notched in with one guy," Fallon explains. "There's a lot of things [Springsteen] does that I admire. We come from a lot of the same places but a lot of different places, too. But at the same time, that's a good thing to be compared to. I think it's one of those things we're gonna have to wear until it wears out." Of the Springsteen comparisons, Rosamilia also added, "I think there's enough out there on the Internet about that already."
Joe Strummer has often been spoken about and referenced by lead singer Brian Fallon and the song "I'da Called You Woody, Joe," is a tribute to the legendary Clash frontman. Similarly, Tom Petty is referenced in several songs, either by name or through references to particular songs of his. As a bonus track for the deluxe version of Handwritten, The Gaslight Anthem covered the Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers song "You Got Lucky".
Brian Fallon has stated several times that without The Replacements there would be no Gaslight Anthem, as they are heavily influenced by them, especially their song 'Left of the Dial'.
The band holds a specific influence to Pearl Jam for their upcoming fifth album. Gaslight's Fallon claims he has found his inspiration from Pearl Jam's No Code album.
- Brian Fallon – lead vocals, rhythm guitar (2006–present)
- Alex Rosamilia – lead guitar, backing vocals (2006–present)
- Alex Levine – bass, backing vocals (2006–present)
- Benny Horowitz – drums, percussion, tambourine (2006–present)
- Touring member
- Ian Perkins – guitar, backing vocals (2010–present)
- Sink or Swim (2007)
- The '59 Sound (2008)
- American Slang (2010)
- Handwritten (2012)
- Music of New Jersey
- Jersey Shore sound
- Official website
- Official Facebook
- Official MySpace
- SideOneDummy (record label)
- Fan Forum: Dimestore Saints
- Fan Site: The Gaslight Anthem Record
- Gaslight Anthem at www.punknews.org
- Recent Review
- Gaslight Anthem Fan Forum
- July 2010 Cover Story
- Review of American Slang – the single
- The Official Gaslight Anthem Street Team
- Gaslight Anthem Interview on TheWaster.com
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Image from Discogs