‘Handwritten’ Album Release Tour
In February of this year, The Gaslight Anthem set off for Blackbird Studio in Nashville in their old touring van to record their fourth album. The New Brunswick, NJ quartet booked five weeks of recording time with producer Brendan O’Brien (Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, AC/DC). Their mission: to reconnect with rock ‘n’ roll in its most feral, pure, stripped-raw form.
They are now rolling across the US in support of the album ‘Handwritten’ and Audix is on-board to capture every moment of every live performance.
We caught up with FOH mixer and production manager Joe Amato on the tour bus somewhere in Nebraska to learn more about getting Gaslight Anthem miked and out to the audience; from regional clubs to amphitheaters.
“On this particular tour, we’re playing smaller clubs and regional venues up to 1,500 seats,” explains Amato. “Last summer we were out with Foo Fighters across Europe, playing arenas and amphitheaters of about 15,000 seats, and with Soundgarden this spring.” For this tour, Amato will be working mostly with house sound systems and FOH boards. Regardless of the venue though, he relies on Audix mics to get the job done. “Everywhere I go, they’re with me. From Europe to Australia to Japan, they’re always there.”
The Gaslight Anthem’s live stage is nearly all-Audix – from vocals to drums to back-line – except for the occasional swap-out on guitar amps. “I’ve got a couple of i5’s there too!” adds Amato. The input list includes a D6 for the kick drum, i5, and D2 for snare top and bottom respectively, SCX1 on the hi-hat, another D2 for the rack tom, D4 for the floor tom, and M1280B for the ride, and a pair of SCX1’s for overheads. The bass amp gets a D4 and OM5’s and 6’s cover background vocals.
For lead vocalist Brian Fallon, the Audix OM7 has become the mic of choice. “When I first starting mixing the band about two years ago, Brian owned a couple of Audix OM7’s and had a few other mics that he would try back and forth,” says Amato.” I’ve always been a fan of Audix and Brian pretty much trusts me, so when I recommended that he stay with the OM7 he locked onto it and definitely likes it – and likes how it sounds with some of his own favorite singers. And if he didn’t agree with me, he would definitely let me know!”
Audix mics work well with Amato’s skills and philosophy on microphone eq as well. “I’m a minimalist when it comes to eq. I prefer to get the source sounding correct and make minor adjustments if needed,” he explains. “Audix mics, especially on drums, capture the true sound of the instruments. They don’t color the tone with some awkward frequency response like other manufacturers do. With Audix, everything I’m looking for is already built into the microphone.”
With their first album release in 2007 – “Sink or Swim” – The Gaslight Anthem re-claimed the position of cutting-edge New Jersey rock and roll. Comparisons to Bruce Springsteen were inevitable, especially when he joined the band in performance at Glastonbury in 2009, as did Brian Fallon for Springsteen’s sets.
The band’s influences are much broader, however, tapping into punk and post-punk bands such as The Bouncing Souls and many elements of the Jersey Shore sound. Brian Fallon adds that without The Replacements, there would be no Gaslight Anthem, as they are heavily influenced by them; especially their song ‘Left of the Dial’.
The Gaslight Anthems latest album “Handwritten” is scheduled for European release on July 23rd, 2012 and in the US on July 24th. The album will be available on iTunes and features the single “45” which can be streamed now from the band’s website – www.thegaslightanthem.com. All tour information and tickets are available there as well. Up to the minute info for the new album and tour is available at www.facebook.com/thegaslightanthem.
Hear The Gaslight Anthem and Audix mics for yourself; on tour this summer!