In light of their upcoming European tour, Change The Record’s Mark was lucky enough to have the opportunity to catch up with Alex Rosamilia, of punk’s fastest rising band, The Gaslight Anthem.
First of all, could you tell us your name and your role in the band?
I’m Alex Rosamilia, and I play guitar.
How are things in the Gaslight camp right now?
Things are good. Just finishing up a little time off before we had back out on the road again.
You are going on tour with Frank Turner and Polar Bear Club in February/March, how much are you looking forward to this? How do you feel about the tour? It’s a fantastic line-up! We will hopefully be at one of the dates because it’s one not to be missed.
Thanks. It should be a lot of fun. I’m really looking forward to it too. This is going to be our first proper European Tour, so we will be going to see a lot of places we’ve never been before. It should be a good time.
For the people in the UK who don’t know you as of yet even though you have quite a following here now, how would you describe your sound and what was the objective you set out to achieve when setting the band up?
It sounds like Bruce Springsteen singing for a Cure cover band, with a tinge more aggression. When we set up the band, we really didn’t have a “sound” in mind. We just really set up to play, whatever came to mind, whatever we felt like playing.
You kind of came from nowhere in the UK; Sink Or Swim didn’t really get the reception it deserved yet you really became known during the promotion of The 59 Sound, Are you overwhelmed with the reception you have received here in the UK?
Absolutely. This has been unreal for me from the get-go, and I really don’t think I’ll ever get to a point when it’s not overwhelming, but that may just be me.
So, where did Gaslight come from? I know Brian was in This Charming Man and Alex and Benny were in The Killing Gift before The Gaslight Anthem but how did you get together? What made you come together as one?
Brian started playing with Alex (Levine), and they met Ben. They needed another guitar player, and since Ben knew me, I got in, I guess. It was a real natural kind of thing. There was never any sense of, “we should start a band to…” we just kind of started playing together.
Your sound has been compared to Bruce Springsteen on more than one occasion in the press, how does this make you feel?
It is an honour to be compared to someone as iconic as he is, but I actually didn’t start listening to him until after I had joined the band.
You have also been compared to The Killers, does this make you feel any different to the Springsteen comments?
I couldn’t care less about being compared to the Killers. I’ve never really got into them, and I don’t see the comparison at all. Sorry…
Which songs are your favourites across the two full lengths and the Senor and the Queen EP and why?
We Came to Dance, just because, Blue Jeans, because I’ve never gotten my guitar to sound like that before or since, and off the new one, I’d say Old White Lincoln, because I think it kind of sounds like the Cure.
If you could pick any band ever to tour with, it doesn’t matter if they have split up, who would it be and why have you chosen this band?
I’d have to say Refused. I think that would be pretty awesome. They were such a force to be reckoned with and I think that they were way before their time. The Shape of Punk to Come is one of my favourite records, and I really think it was what it said it was, that is, the shape of punk to come.
What’s the best show you have ever played?
Austin Texas, with Hot Water Music, because it was with Hot Water Music.
What’s next for The Gaslight Anthem after this tour?
More touring. Our first proper US headlining tour actually. We’re touring for the better part of the rest of ’09.
Change the record, what should we be listening to in 2009?
Stateside, Royal Sons, other than that, I’ve really been digging on Box of Secrets by Blood Red Shoes.
Do you have anything else you want to say to the people reading this before we conclude
Defenestration is the act where someone throws a thing or person out of a window.
Thanks a lot for agreeing to the interview, we appreciate it so much, can’t wait to see you in March, continue to make fantastic music!
Check out The Gaslight Anthem and go and see them with Frank Turner and Polar Bear Club in Feb/March.