Brian Fallon has released four albums during the past five years with his band the Gaslight Anthem -- including this year's "Handwritten" -- plus one with his side project the Horrible Crowes.
But if that makes him seem prolific, Fallon says songwriting is not exactly easy for him.
"I don't get hit with these lightning bolts of inspiration where you have to run and find paper. With me it's more difficult," says Fallon, 32, who launched the Gaslight Anthem during 2006 in New Jersey and has won the favor of, among others, Bruce Springsteen, who's guested with the group and also featured Fallon on his 2010 DVD "London Calling Live in Hyde Park."
"I've got to work things out a lot of the time. I try to keep a notebook with me all the time and just write down things that have kind of astounded me that happen on any kind of daily basis. If I read a book I'll jot down the things that hit me the most or the main point. Then I let it sit there for a long time; sometimes it turns into a song, sometimes it doesn't."
It certainly seems to be working for Fallon and company. After cracking the Top 20 with "American Slang" in 2010, the group debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 with "Handwritten," success that Fallon says was unexpected.
"We had a sense of nothing, really," he notes. "It's different than the last one. We were like, 'Well, it's what we want to do. We don't know if it's what other people want us to do; we're probably gonna get beaten and kicked down the street with people being, 'This isn't like the last record! This isn't that good~!' That's what they normally do.
"But I can't even think about that anymore. I think we're at a stage where we have to look completely inward and write our own record, 'cause I don't know what anyone wants out of us. I don't understand what position we're in right now. So we'll just make the music we want to."
Gaslight Anthem performs Friday, Sept. 14, at St. Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. A free afterparty for ticket holders takes place in the Shelter downstairs with DJ 534N spinning. Call 313-961-6358 or visit www.livenation.com.
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