Since the 2008 release of their sophomore album, The ‘59 Sound, New Jersey rock outfit The Gaslight Anthem have topped critics’ charts, blogger’s playlists and live bills worldwide. And with their third collection of soul-inflected punk rock, 2010’s American Slang, keeping them busy into 2011, they seem to be in little danger of relinquishing any of their current success.
For guitarist Alex Rosamilia, life is not just about his band’s global appeal but also very much about his obsession with the global game. Not such a bad obsession to have if your occupation takes you around the world on a regular basis, is it? We caught up with Rosamilia on rare break from the road to talk soccer, touring and more soccer.
MLSsoccer.com: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, Alex. Where are you right now? On tour or at home?
Rosamilia: Right now I'm at home. We're taking a bit of time off, until the end of February or so. So for the next couple weeks I'm probably going to be pretty sedentary; going to a bar to watch Premier League or Champions League games would be about it.
MLSsoccer.com: So how has the tour for American Slang gone so far?
Rosamilia: I'd say it's about done, and that it went really well. I was amazed at how well it all went, actually. I couldn't believe the size of some of the venues we were filling.
MLSsoccer.com: We’ve seen lots of pictures of you onstage lately with the flag of a certain German soccer club draped over your amps and a skull & cross bones on top of your head. What’s your connection to St. Pauli?
Rosamilia: Yeah, they're my team. I've been following them for a couple years now. I've always followed the Premier League and followed Serie A forever ago, so having a Bundesliga, then 2.Bundesliga team made sense to me too. Over the years I've started following them more closely, mainly because I got more into the team for being about what they stood for. They were one of the first clubs to not allow racists in, and they've been pretty left, and "punk rock" which, of course, is something that would attract someone like me to a team.
MLSSoccer.com: So did you grow up a soccer fan?
Rosamilia: Pretty much. I followed Serie A, like I said, for a bit when I was younger. Then started following the Premier League I suppose around the same time as the Premier League started. It's been the only sport I've ever had an attraction to. I don't really know why though.
MLSsoccer.com: So you’re a Jersey guy ... what’s it going to take to get you out to Red Bull Arena in Harrison?
Rosamilia: It's actually really close to me. My problem is that the MLS season kind of sits right in the middle of when we need to be on the road. I would love to catch a game there though, and it would be awesome to watch Henry play. I do really enjoy the atmosphere of a live match; I just recently saw Fullham vs. Birmingham at Craven Cottage at the end of our last tour.
MLSsoccer.com: What’s next for Gaslight Anthem?
Rosamilia: Like I said before, a couple weeks off, and then we start the engines up again and head out for 2011. That's about it.