Reading & Leeds 2015: Frank Carter: “This is a whole new version of me”

Music is his religion, and now Carter is ready to show his new side at this year’s Reading & Leeds.

The life and career of Frank Carter has been one hell of a journey so far. Having emerged as the iconic, larger-than-life frontman of Gallows over a decade ago now, the vocalist-slash-tattooist soon traded it all in to explore a different direction entirely in the form of Pure Love. Yet, after roadblocks were thrown up all along the way, Carter soon found himself falling out of love with music altogether, and decided it was time to concentrate on treading a different path in his life.

Now, in 2015, Carter has found that flame reignited. Embarking upon his first true solo foray, debut full-length ‘Blossom’ arrived ahead of a return to his old stomping grounds of Reading and Leeds. Right now, he’s feeling ready to take on just about anything.

“I can’t wait,” he admits. “I really can’t wait. I grew up going to that festival and so, I still remember how exciting it was to see the line-up and know I had tickets already. I remember seeing Slipknot, Rage Against The Machine, At The Drive-In, Deftones, fucking every band that I loved, I saw there. I’ve played it six times - this is my seventh year - which is so fucking cool. You get lost in it when you’re in a band and this is the first time in my life that I really feel like I’ve been able to take the time to appreciate what I have. As a kid, you just expect and you get a bit big for your boots and suddenly you think the world owes you everything. It’s easy to get lost in the ego of it all, and then one day you don’t have it. I feel really lucky that I was able to realise that before I lost it all.”

“I’ve been doing this for ten years so I’ve got a decade of experience; now I’m doing it for myself.”

— Frank Carter

Carter knows the game and he’s ready to play, but is under no illusions this is going to be an easy ride. “Now, I’m in this position where I still feel like I have to earn it,” he says, “which makes me really, really dangerous because I’m so fucking hungry for it and I want it more than the young bands that have just got it because they’re young. They should all be considering me as their worst fucking nightmare right now,” he laughs. “I’ve been doing this for ten years so I’ve got a decade of experience; now I’m doing it for myself. I’ve got my own team and our own record label and I don’t answer to anyone but myself, and myself is my harshest critic.

“This is a whole new version of me who genuinely cares about every step of the way. Like I said before, I don’t feel like I deserve this. I feel like I’ve got something to say, and I’m gonna go out and say it the best I can, but I want to earn it. I want to convince people. There is 0% fucking entitlement here and you’re only as good as your last performance. I don’t want to be known for something I’ve done ten years ago, or five years ago. I want to be known for what I’m doing today. I feel really lucky that I’ve got the opportunity, so now I’ve just got to go and fucking do it. I’m constantly pushing myself to do more and that show specifically is gonna be a big thing.”

That’s not the only reason his set is going to be somewhat of a milestone. It’s also going to be the first time his daughter – who isn’t even a year old yet – will get to see him play. That’s something Carter wasn’t sure would ever happen. “My daughter’s coming,” he enthuses, “which is really exciting and a bit emotional. When I quit Pure Love, I knew we were pregnant but I never thought… I thought she’d just get to see this younger version of her dad in videos, prancing on stage like a clown. She won’t remember it probably, but it’s just exciting to know that she’ll be there.”

Photo: Phil Sharp.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes’ ‘Blossom’ is out now on International Death Cult.

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