Frank Carter is an Englishman who tends to be known for a couple of things. One, he is the frontman of Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes. Two, he is a tattoo artist. While his sound and musical style has changed over the years, he tends to stick to his punk rock ways. Here’s everything you need to know.
1. Born in Hemel Hempstead
Carter was born in the town of Hemel Hempstead. It is far from being the biggest settlement that can be found in its surroundings, seeing as how it is considered to be a part of Greater London. However, Hemel Hempstead can’t be overlooked either because the 2019 census says that it was home to 97,500 people. Historically speaking, the town was an agricultural region. Nowadays, it tends to be better-known for IT and telecommunications.
2. Comes from Hertfordshire
Moving on, this means that Carter came from Hertfordshire, which is one of the English counties that surround London. The place has been inhabited since prehistoric times. However, the name Hertford can trace its roots to Anglo-Saxon England because it is derived from the Old English heort ford, meaning “deer crossing” in its modern descendant. As for Hertfordshire, that was first recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 1011. For context, that would have been during the reign of Æthelred the Unready, whose name doesn’t actually mean “unready” but instead comes from the Old English unræd meaning “ill-advised.” This would have been much more entertaining to his contemporaries because this was a play on his name meaning “well-advised.”
3. Exposed to the Arts through His Family
Like a lot of artists, Carter was exposed to the arts through his family. After all, his father was a DJ while his mother was an instructor of Irish dancing. It is interesting to note that the latter saw a huge surge of popularity in the mid 1990s because of Riverdance as well as similar shows, so much so that it won the interest of not just the Irish diaspora but also a wide range of other individuals from a wide range of other backgrounds.
4. Became Interested in Punk Rock in His Teens
Carter’s parents divorced when he was in his teens. Thanks to this, he became interested in punk rock, which has had a huge influence on his music. In any case, punk rock was influenced by a number of things. However, it came into existence centered on the CBGB club in Lower Manhattan in the mid 1970s. It wasn’t too long before Malcolm McLaren returned to London having been inspired by said scene. There, he winded up managing the Sex Pistols, who initiated the punk rock movement in the United Kingdom.
5. Formed His First Band at the Age of 16
Eventually, Carter formed his first band called All Night Drive at the age of 16. Amusingly, he was apparently given the choice of either becoming the frontman or learning to play a musical instrument, which resulted in him choosing the former over the latter. In any case, Carter has been associated with a number of acts over the course of his career. However, All Night Drive tends not to make the list, so it seems safe to say that nothing came out of it in a professional sense anyways.
6. Spent Some Time Listening to The Clash
One of the bands that Carter listened to was The Clash. In short, said band was one of the most notable names in the first wave of the punk rock movement in the United Kingdom. However, The Clash proved to have staying power, so much so that it went on to contribute to both post-punk and new wave music. As such, the band is often considered to be one of the all-time greats of its genre. Regardless, while Carter enjoyed some of The Clash’s work, he apparently found most of it to be too bright and cheerful for him. Something that convinced him to look for darker examples of punk rock that were more suitable for his particular preferences.
7. Went to Art College
After Carter graduated from high school, he spent some time going to art college. However, he didn’t stay there for too long. Instead, Carter apparently felt that he wasn’t learning anything, with the result that he dropped out.
8. Became a Tattoo Artist
Of course, people don’t need a formal education to go into a career as a rock and roll musician. This can be seen in Carter’s career as a musician. Furthermore, this can be seen in his other career as a tattoo artist, which is the kind of thing that can require a fair amount of artistic skill in its own right even if it doesn’t get a lot of respect from traditional circles. On top of this, it is interesting to note that while Carter’s career as a musician has taken off, he apparently continues to work as a tattoo artist in London.
9. Has Been in a Number of Bands
So far, Carter has been associated with three bands. First, there was Gallows. Second, there was Pure Love. Third, there is Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes. The first was hardcore punk; the second had a more mainstream sound; the third is hardcore punk once more.
10. Associated with Hardcore Punk
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Carter is very much associated with hardcore punk, which can be considered a subgenre of punk. Music-wise, it stands out from other kinds of punk by being faster and more aggressive. Of course, punk can be pretty political, so it might be unsurprising to learn that hardcore punk is opposed to commercialism as well as the established music industry as a whole. Influence-wise, hardcore punk is known for having spawned the straight edge movement as a reaction to excesses in its parent movement. Indeed, Carter used to be straight edge, winded up struggling with alcohol after breaking his adherence to that lifestyle, but has since managed to find a healthier balance in that regard.