Frank Carter: The 10 songs that changed my life

Frank Carter dives into his musical history – from Madness to Gallows to Nine Inch Nails…

Frank Carter: The 10 songs that changed my life
Dan Slessor

Frank Carter from The Rattlesnakes is quite a complex character. So let’s delve into his musical memories for some invaluable insights…

The first song that I remember hearing...Madness – Baggy Trousers (1980)

“I have the fondest memories of hearing this. My dad was a bit of a DJ in his youth, and I vividly remember me and my brothers dancing to this and having a great time. It’s pointless asking if I’m a big Madness fan, because who isn’t, really? They’re incredible. Any time I hear anything by them it’ll transport me back to that time of my life, dancing around the house.”

The song that got me into punk rock...Black Flag – Depression (1981)

“The first punk song that really resonated with me was this. It’s been through a few different incarnations, but hearing Keith [Morris] sing it connected with me in a massive way. From that moment on, punk was in my blood. It’s the lyrics, ‘Depression’s got a hold on me / Depression I gotta break free / Depression’s got a hold on me / Depression’s gonna kill me.’

The song that made me want to be in a band...System Of A Down – Sugar (1998)

“I saw them in 1998 at the Astoria in London, and there was crazy stage invasion. I remember being in front of Shavo [Odadjian, bass] the whole gig and vividly recall them playing this and thinking, ‘Okay, this is what I want to do.’ I actually wanted to be a bass player, but that didn’t really work out. I’m still trying to be a bass player. But I loved System, they really broke free and did something different, they were so wild, free-spirited and there was real complexity in the lyrics.”

The first of my songs I heard on the radio...Gallows – Abandon Ship (2006)

“I remember feeling pretty overwhelmed when this came on. We [Gallows] were on tour and all in the van together on our way from Hull to Birmingham, and it was a pretty surreal moment. It was definitely a bit of a trip. We were not expecting that band to do anything like what it did. I think a lot of bands want the validation of getting played on the radio, but it was never a goal for Gallows. In fact, the longer we were in the mainstream the more we shied away from it.”

The song I listen to when I’m angry...Pantera – Walk (1992)

“If you’re angry it’s rare that you need a pacifier, so I’ll usually put Pantera’s Walk on. You want to be fired up when you feel like that. I challenge anyone to put it on and not feel some catharsis. I’m a huge fan and they were so important to the world of rock and metal. But people get older and make less than admirable decisions [Pantera vocalist Phil Anselmo was filmed onstage making a Nazi salute in 2016], which you have to question. That makes things more difficult.”

The song that reminds me of high school...Slipknot – Spit It Out (1999)

“You could pick any track off Slipknot’s first record, but I’m pretty sure I had Spit It Out played as my prom song. I was a big fan and I still am. I queued for a record store signing they did, and if you went you got tickets to their first ever London gig. It’s crazy now that we get to play on the same stages as them, and that Jay [Weinberg, drums] is in the band, because he played for a short time in my old band Pure Love.”

The song that reduces me to tears...Frank Carter And The Rattlesnakes – End Of Suffering (2019)

“The last song I listened to that made me cry is one of my own. It’s got my daughter on it and it’s about how I wish I had more time to spend with her. At the time I was coming out of a divorce, so that was a difficult period for me and my daughter’s mum, but we’re in a good place now.”

The song that picks me up when I’m down...Gillian Welch – One Little Song (2003)

“This used to make me feel pretty heartbroken, but now when I listen to it I hear the optimism in it, as it’s quite a hopeful song. It’s about her trying to find the one song that hasn’t been written, the few chords that haven’t been played and the one little lyric that hasn’t been sung before. Those things have to exist!”

The song that I wish I had written...Nine Inch Nails – Closer (1994)

“It’s one of the best sex songs ever written. You hit four in the morning, throw this on and it’s exactly what you’d want it to be. Trent Reznor’s an absolute genius. I’m excited to be alive at the same time as someone like him with such incredible talent.”

The song I want played at my funeral...Tame Impala – It Might Be Time (2019)

“I’d go for something up rather than down, and this is just an absolute fucking banger. You hear that and all you want to do is dance and question all of your decisions. Fuck being down about it, you’ve got enough suffering in the world to waste time being sad.”

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