Brian Fallon Speaks in Anthems
How a tattooed Christian from New Jersey took the world by storm.
BY: Stephen Russ
Ian Perkins and Brian Fallon, The Horrible Crowes
Photo credit Danny Clinch
31 year-old Brian Fallon isn’t the first person who comes to mind when you think “Christian musician.” The fast talking New Jerseyan has been catapulted into the spotlight with the success of his classic-rock inspired indie band The Gaslight Anthem. He started out in the music business in 1997, but didn’t find success until the Gaslight Anthem formed in 2007. The band has been most compared to Bruce Springsteen, but remnants of ‘80s punk and even grunge fill their sound. What you will notice about his music though, is that the lyrics shine with a kind of positivity and depth that isn’t found in much modern rock music. You definitely won’t hear any profanity, a rarity in the genre he is a part of.
For Brian, the reason for that is simple, he is an absolutely devout Christian. His faith permeates all parts of his life, and though he made the decision to play secular music he is committed to his beliefs. He recently released a compelling side-project with his touring guitarist Ian Perkins, called The Horrible Crowes. Together they have produced an album that pulls jointly from the darkness of soul music and the depth of his spiritual insight. The whole project is an engaging listen, taking you through the turns of a broken relationship while bringing to light Fallon’s abilities as a lyricist and a vocalist. The contrast of dark and light is evident throughout, and it is that rare album that tells a story and tells it well.
I was fortunate to catch up with Brian following his appearance on Chuck Ragan’s Revival tour in Europe. We discussed Christianity, the Horrible Crowes, the tour, and more. Interviewing Brian was much like listening to his music – at first take it is a brash and overwhelming experience. But after delving in, there is so much more to hear, from deep spiritual movements to joyous reminders. He is truly a fascinating person to talk to, and I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did!
So tell me a little about the tour, it sounded interesting.
Sure, it was a tour that was called the Revival tour, a tour that Chuck Ragan started. He brings a bunch of guys from different bands and they all play acoustic. So, the guys all come out and you learn each other’s songs and you play each other’s songs, and some of the guys have sets by themselves and together. So it’s kind of this big family band kind of thing, and it’s pretty interesting, there’s nothing I’ve ever seen that’s like it before. So it’s kind of cool, it’s a real throwback to the folk festivals of the ‘60s and the traveling families when America was being settled and how people would share songs with each other and things like that. It was a folk revival of things that were past and not done anymore.