Brian Fallon says a No. 16 debut for "American Slang," the Gaslight Anthem's new album, on the Billboard 200 was unexpected. In fact, he says the New Jersey quartet expected more pans than praises.
"We this album we're like, 'Well, this is what we want to do,' but we didn't know if it's what other people wanted," Fallon tells Billboard.com. "We figured we'd probably get beaten up and kicked down the street by people going, 'This isn't like the last record [2008's 'The '59 Sound']. This isn't that good.' That's what they normally do, y'know? So we were just waiting for the repercussions."
As to why the reaction has been favorable, Fallon says, "I have absolutely no idea. I don't know what anyone wants out of us." Instead of worrying about that, he explains, Fallon simply followed the lead of his "secret box of influences" -- Pearl Jam, Tom Petty and Neil Young, among others, who Fallon says "just kind of went at the world full on and did things their own way. A lot of times people hated them for it, and they took a ton of backlash, but I think you can find a lot of good guidance there -- just kind of barrel through it, and you'll be OK."