“I’ve been a big fan of hers for a long time,” says Carter on a rare day at home, soon to head out on the road once again. “I got this random email from my manager, where someone on the shoot knew that I was going to be in LA around the time they were making the video. I went down, and the production team said to me, ‘We really want you in this, because we have this idea that no-one else wants to do.’ I was intrigued, and that’s when they lay it on me: ‘We want to melt wax birthday candles into your fingertips.’ It sounded like some sort of torture method. Naturally, it really fucking hurt – but it looked amazing.”
Outside of being one of Charli’s angels, Carter has been exuding his inner demons on-stage throughout most of 2017. Modern Ruin, the second LP under the Rattlesnakes moniker, was released all the way back in January. Since then, the band has undergone highs and lows – the former in the form of high-profile appearances at festivals such as Glastonbury, the latter in having to cancel a European run with Papa Roach due to ongoing mental health issues. “It was about taking the time off to ensure that the swing of things wasn’t lost,” Carter explains.
“I had to take the initiative to take a step back and sort things out in my own private life. I feel like I’m really working through it all now – all I needed was for life to just slow down for a moment. I’m really glad I had the UK tour in December to look forward to, as something that I could work towards – it’s going to be a great way to end the year. After Christmas, we’re straight back into it – and then we’ll be in Australia.”
Carter will make his return down under as part of a co-headlining tour with Canadian punks Cancer Bats. “Some of Gallows’ first-ever tours were with them,” he recalls. “I’ve known those guys for well over a decade now, it’s pretty amazing. There’s nothing more fun than getting to travel around the world with old friends. It’s so great we’ll get to share a stage every night – I honestly can’t wait.”
In the meantime, there’s new music bubbling. Having released a stand-alone single, ‘Spray Paint Love’, Carter is thinking about the form that Rattlesnakes’ album number three will take. “We’re not quite there yet,” he says. “But I think that song is indicative of where our heads are at right now. We’re writing all the time – Dean [Richardson, guitar] writes the riffs and I write the lyrics, but we only show each other once we’re ready to write a song. Once we do that, we’re able to do things really quickly.”
Whatever comes next, Carter is certain to have one super-fan dedicated to everything he does – his infant daughter, Mercy Rose Carter. “She sings in the car every morning when I take her to nursery,” he says, audibly beaming with pride as he speaks. “She always wants to hear dadda singing – she knows all the words to our song ‘Lullaby’. She also loves our song ‘Bluebird’, but I think she only likes that one because she knows it’s about her dog. Music’s in her blood.”
Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes are touring Australia in February, 2018. Their new single ‘Spray Paint Love’ is out now through International Death Cult.
(Photo: Bella Howard)