"We didn't invent this -- this rock 'n' roll thing," Gaslight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon joked, explaining why the band chose to sing the Animals' "The House of the Rising Sun" for their Billboard Candid Covers Session. "It just felt like a song that we wanted to play," he added. Watch the group's cover below.
"We picked the Animals' song because not a lot of bands these days are remembering how they got to where they got to," he added, reminiscing about the impact the song had on the rock genre. "The first time that people heard Eric sing that song, it was a pretty pivotal moment for rock 'n' roll. You had these dark bands in the '60s that were singing about pretty morose things and if you can kind of bring that kind of thing back, it's showing a little bit of where you're coming from."
But they wanted to make the song their own, so they made some tweaks and took out the organs. "Yeah well, because we don't have an organ player," guitarist Alex Rosamilia laughed.
Although Gaslight Anthem has been around for a while, it's only now -- after three independent albums and countless tours -- that the group is releasing its major-label debut, "Handwritten." The album dropped today (July 24) on Mercury Records.
"This is kind of like the first record for us -- like our second first record, if you will," Rosamilia explained during the group's Candid Covers Q&A (above). "Us just trying to going out there and write songs for the sake of songwriting, and not to sound cliche, but art for art's sake. To write songs that we like and we think are fun and not worry about singles and stuff like that."
The group worked with veteran producer Brendan O'Brien to record the album in Nashville, pulling from 30-40 songs written in the spring of 2011. The set's first single, "45," has been climbing up Billboard's Alternative chart since its release in April.
"This was kind of about the right vibe for each song. With '45,' we just did it everybody there together singing it, and I think that's why it sounds lively and natural." Watch the band perform their single below.
Additional reporting by Emily Zemler.