Due for release in February, Sleepwalkers was recorded over the summer of 2017 with ’59 Sound producer Tedd Hutt. Despite the familiar faces, Fallon is still trying to push the way he writes songs in new directions. “I had these handclaps loops like drum loops. So I would start out with that kind of shuffle and look at it through the eyes of the punk rock that I grew up on and then add the Vox Continental [organ], writing riffs on that and almost using that riff as a loop, which I’ve never done before.”
“The record flipped a little bit from the more folk-oriented thing on Painkillers to a more R&B, punk-leaning thing. It’s such a drastic shift that you’ve got to get some different people and some new blood sometimes to do that because it requires a different finesse and a different perspective.”
Spoiler: I’m a fan, I think it’s a nice, confident step up from Painkillers.
Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem joins us to kick off our second series, Critical Acclaim. Here, we explore how musicians, critics, and the people who fall into both cambs deal with music journalists, harsh reviews, and constant online criticism.
I really enjoyed this episode. If you’re a fan of The Gaslight Anthem, it’s definitely worth a listen.
I say things about Get Hurt but I don’t mean that I feel this way. I feel that that’s the way other people felt in the press. I don’t agree with them. I still think that Get Hurt – I think some of the stuff is good on there. I think some of the stuff is awesome actually.
But some of the critics didn’t get it – like Pitchfork didn’t get it – and they didn’t like me and they went after me for it. But they went real personal with it. They kind of slammed me as a dude. I was like, “You’ve never met me so how are you going to make assumptions about what my intentions are? That’s a little bit ridiculous.”
So what it taught me is to absolutely not regard whatever anyone else says about your intentions and what you’re doing. And it taught me to be stronger. I don’t look at them with any sort of malice or hatred, I look at them almost in gratitude and say, “You know what? You spawned me to be a better writer. Thank you very much.”
“My goal used to be Bruce Springsteen’s career, being that famous and playing arenas. I don’t care about writing for that now. I’m just writing for me and having a good time. Now my goal is I just want to live a long time and I want to be like Wilco. I don’t know if Wilco’s ever had a top 40 hit, but they play to a lot of people and they do whatever they want. They change and they develop, I love that band’s career so God bless Jeff Tweedy.”