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Brian Fallon's musical flame burns beyond Gaslight Anthem

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

Posted: Tuesday, June 28, 2016

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Brian Fallon could be spending his band Gaslight Anthem's hiatus binge-watching TV or tuning up his golf game.

Instead he made a solo album -- "Painkillers," which came out in March.

"The start of it was having nothing else going on," Fallon, 36, says by phone from his home in New Jersey. "There wasn't anythign else to do at the time, so I figured I better do something -- or I wanted to do something. I didn't want to sit around and just take, like, a leave of absence from working.

"So I just had the idea to maybe do some songs more in this direction and see what happens."

The direction on "Painkillers" is a bit more nuanced, gentle and personal than what Fallon usually does with Gaslight Anthem, although the band has certainly explored those kind of elements as well. Fallon says the songwriting -- including collaborations with pals such as Butch Walker, who produced the album, and Dan Wilson -- were "pretty natural," and also "a little more relaxed" than creating music for the band.

"With a band you're doing it kind of catering to the strengths and avoiding the weaknesses of the band," explains Fallon, who's also worked outside Gaslight Anthem with the Horrible Crowes, Molly and the Zombies, and others. "When you're by yourself, you don't have that kind of worry. So this one sort of just came song by song and I worked it out as it was going.

"I don't think I had any epiphanies or that big breakthrough moment. I kind of waited for that, but I didn't ever get it. It was more just writing songs and recording the ones I liked."

With Gaslight Anthem still on the back burner, Fallon expects to "do more solo stuff for the immediate future," with a desire to "go more and more refined on future work. He doesn't think the band is gone for good, however, but he's not making any predictions on when the flame will light up again.

"I think if we came back to the band right at this minute, it would be too soon -- and everybody feels this way," Fallon explains. "I don't think the world is looking for another rock record right now. It's a weird atmosphere out there, and I don't know if the eight months since we decided to take this break is long enough to get excited again.

"And now there's that pressure we've sort of brought on ourselves which is whatever we do next has to be great, y'know, 'cause it'll be the big 'comeback.' We didn't realize that would happen at the time; We were just trying to take a breather for a bit, so we'll have to see."

Brian Fallon & the Crowes and Chris Farren

Tuesday, June 28. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Saint Andrews Hall 431 E. Congress, Detroit.

Tickets are $25

Call 313-961-6358 or visit saintandrewsdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.saintandrewsdetroit.com

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