Gaslight Anthem writes own story on 'Handwritten'
FILE - In this July 18, 2012 file photo, from right, Brian Fallon, Benny Horowitz, Alex Levine, Alex Rosamilia, and Ian Perkins, of the musical group, The Gaslight Anthem, pose for a portrait at the Cannery Ballroom, in Nashville, Tenn. The band relocated to Nashville in February 2012 and hooked up with Grammy-winning producer, Brendan O'Brien, at Blackbird Studios, to work on their new album, "Handwritten." (Photo by Ed Rode/Invision/AP, File)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The guys in The Gaslight Anthem aren't here to save rock 'n' roll.
"Handwritten," the much anticipated new release from the New Jersey quartet (a fifth member, guitarist Ian Perkins, tours with the band), has a lot of high hopes pinned to it. The band is seen by many as one of guitar-driven rock's potential latter-day heroes, and the guys in the group say they hear that kind of crazy chatter all the time.
"There are a lot of bets on the table right now," lead singer Brian Fallon joked.
"I think we all try not to think about that and take it one day at a time," guitarist Alex Rosamilia said. "We recorded a record that we all like. It happens to be a rock record, but we didn't do it to try to save rock 'n' roll. That's a pretty pompous thing to do."
They agree with Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl's recent statement that rock has hit a stagnant period, much like in the late 1980s before Grohl's Nirvana rewrote the rules. Everyone's into dance music and singles again, much of the guitar rock has become blase and radio airplay dwindles daily.
Fallon was just turning onto music when "Nevermind" came out and remembers the sea change in pop music.
"It kind of feels like when I was a kid in the very late '80s or 1990 — every band had the heavy '80s song and then they had the ballad, and then all (of) the sudden these garage bands came and it was like, 'Whoa, what is this?'" Fallon said. "My mom says, 'That sounds like Led Zeppelin. That's nothing new. This is just cyclical. It goes in cycles.'"
FILE - In this July 18, 2012 file photo, from right, Brian Fallon, Benny Horowitz, Alex Levine, Alex Rosamilia, and Ian Perkins, of the musical group, The Gaslight Anthem, pose for a portrait at the Cannery Ballroom, in Nashville, Tenn. The Gaslight Anthem was back in Nashville last week for a concert stop and to talk about "Handwritten," the much anticipated new release from a band with a lot of high hopes pinned to it. (Photo by Ed Rode/Invision/AP, File)
And like the rest of his bandmates, he doesn't buy the talk that they're the ones to lead the charge this time around.
"I don't think that we're the Nirvana," Fallon said. "I think somebody else is going to have to be them."
"Maybe," drummer Benny Horowitz said, "we can at least be the Mudhoney of this era."
They've been compared to everyone, from Bruce Springsteen to the Replacements, but on "Handwritten," the band feels like they've taken a step in their evolution. And they had to get away from all those opinions to do it.