It solidifies the pair as one of the most exciting partnerships in punk-rock and Carter – since his early days in hardcore punk band Gallows and then as Pure Love – as a vital voice in UK music, rallying against injustice, the patriarchy, right-wing politics, and toxic masculinity.
Over the course of three albums since 2015, the duo have built a reputation for blistering anthemia that owes as much to brooding desert rock as it does blistering hardcore and power-pop – sex, rage, and letting rip.
They’re the very definition of a modern rock band, both artists as well as musicians – Richardson with his design studio Yuck and Carter, a well-known tattoo artist. But on Sticky, their sound practically punches out of the speakers with a new directness and immediacy.
There was a time, both Rattlesnakes say, where they felt they had to be tough to be successful in rock music. “This is armour, all this stuff,” says Carter, pointing to his tattoos (there are more of them than bare skin at this point). “I’m a 5ft7 seven redhead. I’m the epitome of trying to present a tough guy image just to be left alone. I guess because that’s what society told me I needed to be. I’m equal parts feminine as I am masculine, and I find a lot of strength in vulnerability. I try to show it everywhere I can, and talk about it, to break down those barriers so that more men feel like it’s the right thing to do.”
Catch the opening night of the forthcoming tour in Dublin on Wednesday, November 10th. tickets are on sale now via Ticketmaster.
Richardson agrees. “I grew up thinking men had to be a certain way, and I was confused,” he says. “I didn’t feel super masculine in a stereotypical way. But I don’t really think many men really do.”.
What, indeed. The Rattlesnakes are redefining punk-rock, challenging its tired cliches, and setting the world to rights. It’s easy to forget, perhaps, that Carter was taking aim at the country’s social, political, and economical issues on Gallow’s 2009 album Grey Britain almost a decade before any of his current contemporaries. “I’ve never really got into music for recognition,” says Carter. “If you’re the tip of the spear, you’re already out the other side and onto the next target. I’m always the tip of the spear. I was making songs with Lethal Bizzle in 2007, we were doing the grime and punk crossover then.”
But now with Richardson, on Sticky, he’s struck upon a sound that straddles eras and genres while putting The Rattlesnakes in a category all of their own. “Someone described it to me as ‘they felt their youth’ when they were listening to the record,” says Carter. “When you make albums, those are the ones you want to make. Nostalgic, but classic. Timeless, and also modern.”
‘Sticky‘ is out NOW, so get stuck in!!