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Saving rock isn’t our job, says Gaslight Anthem, about to play Lollapalooza

FILE - In this July 18 2012 file phofrom right Brian FallBenny Horowitz Alex Levine Alex RosamiliIan Perkins musical group

FILE - In this July 18, 2012 file photo, from right, Brian Fallon, Benny Horowitz, Alex Levine, Alex Rosamilia, and Ian Perkins, of the musical group, The Gaslight Anthem, pose for a portrait at the Cannery Ballroom, in Nashville, Tenn. The band relocated to Nashville in February 2012 and hooked up with Grammy-winning producer, Brendan O'Brien, at Blackbird Studios, to work on their new album, "Handwritten." (Photo by Ed Rode/Invision/AP, File)

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When: 4:45 p.m. Sunday

Where: Grant Park, Michigan and Congress

Tickets: Sold out

Updated: September 6, 2012 6:09AM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The guys in the Gaslight Anthem aren’t here to save rock ’n’ roll.

“Handwritten,” the new release from the New Jersey quartet (a fifth member, guitarist Ian Perkins, tours with the band), has a lot of high hopes pinned to it. The band, playing Sunday at Lollapalooza, is seen by many as one of guitar-driven rock’s potential latter-day heroes, and the guys in the group say they hear that kind of chatter all the time.

“We recorded a record that we all like,” guitarist Alex Rosamilia said. “It happens to be a rock record, but we didn’t do it to try to save rock ’n’ roll. That’s a pretty pompous thing to do.”

They agree with Dave Grohl’s recent statement that rock has hit a stagnant period, much like in the late 1980s before Grohl’s Nirvana rewrote the rules. Lead singer Brian Fallon remembers the sea change in pop music when Nirvana’s “Nevermind” came out.

“It kind of feels like when I was a kid in the very late ’80s or 1990 — every band had the heavy ’80s song and then they had the ballad, and then all of the sudden these garage bands came and it was like, ‘Whoa, what is this?’ ” Fallon said. “My mom says, ‘That sounds like Led Zeppelin. That’s nothing new. This is just cyclical.’ ”

And like the rest of his bandmates, he doesn’t buy the talk that they’re the ones to lead the charge this time around.

“I don’t think that we’re the Nirvana,” Fallon said.

“Maybe,” drummer Benny Horowitz said, “we can at least be the Mudhoney of this era.”


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