The British rock band Gentlemans Pistols recently released their third album “Hustler's Row” through Nuclear Blast Records. We asked the original member, the singer and guitarist James Atkinson a few questions about the their newest release.
Hallo. First of I would like to congratulate you on your new album. Could you start out by introducing your self and tell us what part in the band you have?
Thanks! Much appreciated. My name is James. I'm the singer and I also play the guitar.
Why did you choose this title for the record, does it have any special meaning?
There is a street in Leeds of the same name and it just stuck with me and I always thought it would make a good song title. Some years after I first saw the street sign, I went through some rocky times with jobs and relationships which inspired the lyrics to the song and the title just came back to me.
When you started working on this album, how long did the process take from the first step to the final product? Was it hard to write new material for this record or did it come naturally for you?
It's difficult to say. A couple of the songs were written pretty much straight after we'd finished recording our second album and then apart from Devil's Advocate On Call and Lady Teaser which came later, the rest were written in 2012. We took a bit of time out at the end of 2012 and replaced our bass player then started rehearsing the songs again from mid 2013. We recorded the album between the spring and summer of 2014 and then took some time out to talk to labels and we started our discussions with Nuclear Blast towards the end of 2014. After we'd figured out the deal, the label set the release date and here we are. The music never felt difficult to write really in that I really had a clear idea after the second album of what I wanted to achieve with the next batch of songs.
Where did you record the album, and who produced it? How was it to work on?
I recorded it at my studio in Bradford as I did with our second album. As with most records, it was fun at times and frustrating at others. I initially wanted someone else to do it, but we demoed the album at my place before the proper recording and we were pretty happy with how elements of it were sounding so we decided to just go with it.
Are you trying to express something through your music?
I think musically we are just trying to express our love for Rock music. Lyrically, this album definitely touches on a lot more personal issues for me and acts a carthartic way of getting my frustration out and expressing my feelings at a certain point in my life.
How has the album been received by the press, the critics and the fans so far?
I try not to look at too much reaction really, especially on the Internet as you can see the full spectrum from praise down to people wishing you were dead. I've spoken to a few people about it and the general consensus among them is that they like it. I guess that now it is actually out, time will tell what people make of it.
Who did the artwork and what is the idea behind it?
A really talented artist called John Pearson from Leeds did the artwork. I had a couple of ideas about how I wanted the artwork to look and I took them to John along with pictures of the actual Hustler's Row and a couple of pictures by William Hogarth called Beer Street and Gin Lane that feature all manner of weird and wonderful characters. Then I sent him the album and a brief overview of what the songs were about. What John came back with was way beyond what I initially had in mind. We are really happy with what he did and I really think it suits the mood of the album.
How would you compare the material on this release to your previous material?
I think we refined a few ideas from the previous record. The main thing was to make the music more melodic, to work on more vocal and guitar harmonies and try a few things out song wise that we hadn't done on the previous records. A song such as Devil's advocate on call is something totally different to anything on the previous releases whereas Stress And Confusion and Hustler's Row touch on almost ballad territory which we have never tackled before.
What kind of stuff did you grow up listening to, and what kind new music do you listen to these days?
When I was a kid it was my parents records, so stuff like The Beatles, Slade, Motown, The Hollies and stuff like that, then when I was nine I got given a cassette copy of Appetite For Destruction by Guns N Roses and that was the record that made me want to play in a band. From there, I tried to seek out as much stuff as possible really, but I mainly got into punk and hardcore through skateboarding. These days I mainly listen to 70s hard rock, lots of soul and funk and 70s singer songwriter stuff.
Have any of these bands been source of inspiration for the album?
I guess all of the stuff you listen to filters through into the music you make. With this record I was wanting to incorporate vocal harmony stuff and bands like the Sweet and CSN were definitely at the front of my mind for certain songs.
In your time as musicians, what is your biggest musical achievement so far?
I can only speak for myself on this one, but I definitely think that getting to play in Japan was a big personal moment for me as up until that point I couldn't see a way of getting out there. Above everything else though, I think that just being able to make the records that we have, the way that we wanted and to have great labels releasing them for us is the best achievement for me.
Could we expect any European tour and maybe see the band in action here in Denmark any time soon?
We are definitely looking to make more of an effort to get out to Europe next year. Hopefully having a big European label like Nuclear Blast behind us will help us to achieve that goal.
What would be the ultimate tour, festival or show for you to play at?
I'm not sure, we are happy out there playing to people.
Do you have any breaking news with the bands?
We are on tour with Orange Goblin in the UK in December. We are also working on European dates for next year.
That’s all we’ve get this time, do you have anything that you'd like to add or say?
I think you have it covered. Thanks.
We would like to say thanks a lot for yourtime. And we wish all you guys all the luck in the future whatever it might bring.
- Band/Kunstner: Gentlemans Pistols
- Interview med: James Atkinson (Vocal / Guitar)
- Interview dato: Torsdag, 29 Oktober 2015
- Samarbejdspartner: Nuclear Blast Records