For the frontman of a hardcore punk band covered head-to-toe in tattoos, Frank Carter is rather soft and gentle.

He began his 10 years at the forefront of British rock with Watford band Gallows, who won the 2007 Kerrang! Award for best British Newcomer two years after forming and became known for their intense live shows.

He left the band in 2011 and despite an amicable announcement in the news, he later labelled the group ‘a benign dictatorship’.

He returned almost instantly with a band more on the indie, Brit pop side of the rock spectrum, Pure Love, releasing their first album Anthems in 2013.

This incarnation was somewhat short-lived and by 2015 Frank had released an EP with his newest band, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes. Their second album, Modern Ruin is out on January 20 and their tour, which begins this week and includes an acoustic set at Rough Trade East ahead of tour date at Camden's KOKO.

I was a little apprehensive about what level of rock ‘n’ roll diva to expect from somebody like Frank, who won the Kerrang Spirit of Punk Award last year, but the moment he said hello and thanked me for taking the time to speak to him I relaxed into our lovely little chat.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Going through the genres of rock with his three bands, I wondered how his sound had changed over the years? He tells me: “I would like to say it’s gotten less aggressive, but Modern Ruin – the song – is probably one of the most aggressive songs I’ve ever written. It’s got the pace and the fury of some of the earlier works I’ve had.”

When I asked - somewhat tentatively - about his departure from Gallows, he simply says: “I just had to, I couldn’t stay. We’d run our course as far as creative decision had gone, it felt like the right time to leave. I still speak to them and see them around, I see my brother all the time.” (Frank’s brother Steph played guitar and vocals for Gallows from 2006–2013).

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Punk rockers Gallows are to play a charity gig in Watford

(Frank Carter in Gallows)

Modern Ruin, which followed Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes debut album Blossoms, released in 2015, is all about human interaction and the development of self. Now living in Hemel Hempstead with his wife, two-year-old daughter and a dog, Frank certainly has new relationships worthy of musical exploration.

“You can lost in adulthood” he explains. “The first song is all about my dog and the last song is about my daughter, everything in between is about me and my wife.

“I wrote Lullaby when I’d just had my daughter, me and my wife hadn’t really slept for a long time. I wanted to make something that portrayed the madness and delirium of sleep deprivation.”

Frank not only featured in the video for Lullaby, but he shot, directed and produced the footage alongside the band’s guitarist, Dean Richardson.

“We have a really strong creative partnership, we’re definitely in the future going to make videos together. I enjoy being in our videos, but I also wanted to do something that no one had seen before. I ended up covering myself entirely in silver body paint and hanging upside down for an entire song. It really works.

“It was hard work, but it was the control. Once I have control I feel a lot better about things. That video in particular, I had a vision in mind and I felt like I was the only person who was going to be able to get that. Once you have that control it’s almost impossible to give it up.”

He did manage to for Wild Flowers, also from the new album. He handed control over to Jake Chapman, one of his favourite artists. The deluxe version of the album features a book, including a short story by Jake Chapman, and an artwork by Carter.

The Modern Ruin tour kicks off this week and Frank says there will be “passion and energy”, promising fans they will see the band like they’ve never seen them before.

The tour will take them to London’s Koko, Dublin and Manchester’s Academy 2 and Exeter’s Phoenix, countries and festivals in Europe and the USA and also to Watford’s LP Café, Rough Trade in east London and Empire Records in St Albans.

The latter few may come as a surprise, but these smaller locations are equally as important to Frank.

“Most of these shows will be a stripped back set, just me and the guitarist playing semi-acoustically. We may even try and play a full set at the LP, I don’t know, we might not even fit.

“I like supporting local record stores and local businesses, some are friends. It’s always important to come back.”

Frank, who went to John F Kennedy School in Hemel Hempstead, never intended to be a musician but thought he would be an artist or tattooist.

He may not be famed for it in the same way, but Frank did go on to do the latter in his spare time at Sang Bleu in London, with fans travelling from around the world to get inked by him.

He even tattooed himself when he was younger but couldn’t tell me how many tattoos he has, more than 100 he reckons. One his wife’s name, another his daughter’s, they’re the most meaningful to him.

He got his first at the age of 17, so not too rebellious an age. I had to ask what age he would be happy for his daughter to take the plunge and he wasn’t so keen.

“She draws tattoos on herself already, I’m hoping by the time she gets to 18 she doesn’t care about tattoos anymore.”

Rough Trade East, Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QL, Thursday, January 19. Details: 020 7392 7788

KOKO, 1A Camden High Street, NW1 7JE, Thursday, March 30. Details: 0870 4325527

Modern Ruin is released on January 20. Details: