YOU'VE GONE FROM PLAYING SMALL CLUBS TO SOME HUGE FESTIVALS AND FAMOUS ROOMS IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME. WAS THERE A MOMENT WHERE YOU THOUGHT, "WE'VE MADE IT"? Honestly, in my head, I hit that point a long time ago. There was a time when me and Brian had a conversation saying we were going to get neck tattoos if we sold 10,000 records, because our life was going to be a coast from there. We really thought you could sell 10,000 records and draw 100 kids in each city and you could sustain a proper life from it. I think the day we had a record deal and a booking agent and we were able to make Gaslight Anthem a full-time job was when we felt the most achievement. That was the goal. It was just to be able to make music our job.
YOU'VE COME UP AT A TIME WHEN THE ECONOMICS OF THE MUSIC BUSINESS HAVE BEEN TURNED INSIDE OUT. IT'S TOUGH FOR EVEN A RELATIVELY SUCCESSFUL BAND TO MAKE A DECENT LIVING. WHAT'S THE LONG-TERM GOAL FOR A BAND LIKE YOURS? Luckily, we think that we've progressed and been able to keep our voice interesting with each of our three records. You can sell X amount of records every record, and you can go to these cities and play to this many people, and you can make a pretty decent life for yourself. You don't live high on the hog, and you don't get into some stupid rock star bullshit, then you really can do fine. You can make a career. All I ask is that I stay friends with the guys in my band and we write good music together and we can keep doing what we're doing. We're all really fortunate to be able to do this right now . . . and I don't forget that any day that I do this.
YOU'RE PLAYING LUPO'S IN PROVIDENCE A DAY AFTER SOCIAL DISTORTION PLAYS THERE. THAT SEEMS FITTING BECAUSE THEY WOULD APPEAR TO BE AN OBVIOUS ANTECEDENT. DO YOU THINK OF YOURSELVES AS A PUNK BAND? This band has never tried to pigeonhole itself. We've always been willing to go anywhere as we long as we thought it was good. That didn't necessarily mean that we were playing punk music the whole time. But I think something we have held onto is that we came up in punk, and most of the people in the band grew up with punk and went to shows and played in bands. And I think the most important thing you don't lose from that is the ethos and the mentality of what punk was, especially when we came up with it in the early '90s, when there a little more of a consciousness and almost a morality that went behind punk rock. I think whether you continue to play music [or whether you're] a doctor, lawyer, or a teacher, there are parts of that mentality that stay with you through your whole life. And there's a progressive idea, and an idea to question things, and you can do things on your own, and you don't need a whole structure to do it. That's punk mentality, and that's something that I hope the band never loses.
THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM + CHAMBERLAIN + TIM BARRY | Saturday, July 31 @ 7 pm | Lupo's, 79 Washington Street, Providence | $20 | 401.331.5876 | lupos.com
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