Looking at the dark title of The Gaslight Anthem’s fifth record, it’s easy to think that perhaps Get Hurt is a reaction to something – a concept album about the inevitability of pain in life. Getting hurt by lovers, getting hurt by friends, and even getting hurt professionally. But according to the band, that was not the case – at least not intentionally. While the title is one that sticks in your head, and perhaps sums up the overall feel of the record, it was an afterthought.
“I mean we named it [the album] after everything was done,” says frontman Brian Fallon. When you’re doing it you’re not thinking about ‘how does this go together?’ you’re just sort of – you’re just doing it. So when we were done we just sort of looked at all the songs and the sound of it together. And we were listening back and we just thought ‘this song’ – the song ‘Get Hurt’ – felt like it kind of summed up everything about the record, so we just – that was the title that stuck out to us… We were just trying to make it different.”
“That was the only thing on our plate,” adds guitarist Alex Rosamilia. “We felt that it had to be different.”
It’s easy to understand why the band wanted – or needed – to make a change. It’s almost impossible to read anything about The Gaslight Anthem without encountering a reference to Bruce Springsteen and their home state of New Jersey – hell, Fallon has even openly admitted to stealing The Boss’ seventies stage moves. While some fans don’t shy away from holding onto their desire for the band to sound exactly as they did on their 2008 breakout album The ‘59 Sound, others accept that it’s necessary for a band to evolve sonically – and that was exactly what Brian Fallon set to work trying to do while the band was still on the road touring in support of 2012’s Handwritten – which hit number three on the Billboard 200. Holed up in the back of the bus, Fallon sank his teeth into poetry books, Bob Dylan, and Neil Young. Get Hurt is the result.
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