Q-and-A with punk rock group The Gaslight Anthem

Jackie Wang

The American punk rock band The Gaslight Anthem has been recording and performing since 2007. The band debuted its fifth album, Get Hurt, in late August. It shot up to the No. 2 spot of Billboard’s rock albums. The Gaslight Anthem will perform both weekends at Austin City Limits. Lead guitarist Alex Rosamilia answers questions about the new album, the band’s relationship and some of his personal habits.


The Daily Texan: How did you change your sound for the new album, Get Hurt?

Alex Rosamilia: Anything we do is going to sound like us. We’re going to have our own kind of vibe to it. We changed the way we write and recorded the song from what we used to do. We usually just use guitars, bass, drums and vocals, but we decided to branch out to piano, for textures, that kind of thing. That process was a lot different. It’s hard to talk about music. Words and music don’t really work.


DT: So how do you guys write music?

AR: The songs kind of create themselves. Brian will write the skeleton, and we’ll play it together and flesh it out until it becomes a complete song, or I’ll have a guitar part, and we’ll play it and flesh it out. Someone will come in with a piece of something until it’s finished. We jam on it. It’s a deliberate process, and it’s also natural. 


DT: Do you have a favorite song on the album?

AR: It changes. Today, it is “Underneath the Ground” — we’ve been playing it a lot live. It’s a different one for us. We don’t really do low key songs.


DT: How about a favorite album?

AR: I wouldn’t say I have a favorite. I don’t think you should. I wouldn’t like one more than the other. They’re like my children.


DT: What do you do outside of performing and writing for the band? Any hobbies or talents?

AR: I play a lot of video games, nothing too crazy. Currently would be “Destiny,” it’s this first-person shooter game. This one did have a lot of hype prior to being released. I’m sucker for advertisement. I have the same classic favorites that people my age have — Final Fantasy, Zelda, Super Mario Brothers, Sonic the Hedgehog. I still play those games sometimes.


DT: What was the first song you fell in love with?

AR: I can be totally honest and say “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham! I was about two and a half years old, and my cousin bought it for me, and I would throw a tantrum if my mother didn’t play it. The first song I can actually remember loving is “Dazed and Confused” — that’s going back far. That or something by David Bowie. He was the first artist that I remember going “Whoa, that’s not a human being.”


DT: Is David Bowie one of your inspirations?

AR: His music, yes, but not his sense of fashion. 


DT: Do you have any crazy fan stories?

AR: We’re pretty boring. We sit on the bus and watch TV. The craziest thing that happened last night is that one of our roadies got tickled. We’re not your typical rock band.