As a former member of ferocious hardcore merchants Gallows, you’d expect guitarist Stephen Carter’s next project to be pretty darn mosh worthy.
Carter walked away from the globally-renowned British band last February and has now resurfaced with his new group, Ghost Riders In The Sky.
And while the band name sounds just as sinister, the music is nothing but.
In a candid interview ahead of his band’s performance in Huddersfield tomorrow, Carter revealed his real taste in music was a long way from the punk rock he had been purveying for the past six years.
He said: “I wrote the first couple of songs for this band in 2007 and what came naturally wasn't Gallows.
“It's very different – Gallows never came naturally to me.
“It never felt like my band.
“What I’ve come up with is a kind of a weird British, indie Americana mix.
“Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy playing hardcore music and listening to it but my musical tastes were never that .
“I'm a big fan of big soundscape music, I think my favourite record of all time is Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd.
“So when it came to Gallows, for me it was more about the performance and being able to let go of any inhibitions I had and just go for it.”
Having joined his brother Frank, then frontman of Gallows, while still at university, Carter said he’d had some great times touring the world.
But he confessed he was not a fan of the hardcore scene and felt uncomfortable playing the band’s first album, which had netted them a ï¿½1m record deal.
He said: “I missed the first year of Gallows. I came on board a few months before the first album was released.
“It was a little hard for me on Orchestra of Wolves as I hadn't written any of those songs.
“I felt like a session musician playing someone else's material.
“As soon as (the second album) Grey Britain happened and we were playing much bigger festivals and shows with Rage Against The Machine; those were my songs and that was when I really felt like I'd become part of the band.
“I felt justified in being there.
“And at the end of the day, whether I liked the songs I was playing or not, I was travelling the world with my brother and we got to share so many experiences together. We could have been playing acid jazz for all I cared.
“I was 21 when we signed our record deal, I was still at university trying to finish my degree when we signed that ridiculous deal with Warner Brothers.
“I didn't really care what else was going on in life, I just knew I could buy my album in HMV and that I was going to play some shows and have a really nice guitar collection!”
But six years on, Carter said he’d had enough of the “circus” of the hardcore scene.
And he admitted he was prepared for negativity from fans of his past work.
“I am expecting an awful lot of backlash from Gallows fans,” he said.
“But if they don't like it I'm not really bothered.
“Those that come back and say they hate the new thing, I'll be like: ‘Cool, don't listen to it then. Go and enjoy fighting with your mates to another hardcore band that sounds the same as every other hardcore band’.
“The one problem with hardcore fans is they hate change.
“It's partly why I was so interested in moving on from Gallows as that scene generates so much negativity.
“I just didn't want to be involved in it anymore.
“People would come to Gallows shows to see if people would run in to each other on stage or if a fight was going to break out, or to see how big a circle pit we were going to get.
“It very quickly went from being quite a ferocious punk rock ‘n' roll pop band into a circus.
“I felt like I was getting too old for it and it was time for me to make music where people would come to see a show that was solely about the music and not the circus that was going to come with it.”
While playing the nation’s smaller pubs and clubs is a new thing for him, Carter said he was equally excited to be free to express his own musical tastes and production skills.
Ghost Riders In The Sky have embarked on their first set of intimate gigs and Carter confessed to some anxiety about swapping the giant stage of Download Festival for tomorrow’s performance at The Parish.
“It's really nerve-wracking,” he said.
“I'm used to having a big separation between myself and the crowds so that you can't really see people's faces.
“The other day we played a show in a 60 capacity basement in Plymouth and not only could I see them, I could see exactly what time it was on someone's watch.
“It was that intimate, I felt like there was an awful lot more pressure on what we were doing than I've ever had before.
“But I relish the opportunity to prove myself as a musician.
“This is going to be it for me for a while.
“I'm working a whole host of other jobs and I'm involved in a bunch of youth projects in my area.
“It's time I set myself up with something that showcases my talents as a songwriter rather than a circus clown that can jump quite high”.