By Justin Alan Hood
Florida natives Against Me! crash at the Sunshine Theater this Thursday, Sept. 13. Touring for their fourth full-length album, New Wave, these guys are rocking the boat with punk that's rich, raw and honest. The Alibi caught up with the band’s lead singer/songwriter/guitarist, Tom Gabel, to discuss the new album, being on the road and everything in between.
It was great. Butch is a very experienced producer, he’s worked with a lot of killer bands. Beyond all our talents, he’s a really great guy.
Did Vig push you in any particular direction?
I think he pushed us to bring our best game to the recording studio and make the best record we could possibly make.
Critics have said Against Me! is reviving punk rock. Do you see yourself doing that?
I don’t know anything about being a revivalist. I love what I do, I love playing music and I put my entire heart and soul into it. That’s all I do.
You started off as a solo act in coffee shops and laundromats. How did Against Me! get together?
I recorded an acoustic demo titled Against Me! and I was playing by myself. I went to high school with James (guitar/vocals) and I originally was like, "Hey, let’s get a drummer." So I had a friend, Kevin, who played drums for a while. Then we were like, "Hey, why don’t we just add a bass player, too?," so our friend Dustin started playing with us. Kevin quit to pursue other things and Dustin went off to college, so then we had our friends Warren Oakes (drums) and Andrew Seward (bass/vocals) join in. It’s more fun playing with other people, so eventually it just grew into a natural progression of what we are now.
What's your agenda been since releasing New Wave?
Well, the album just dropped a couple months ago, and of course we're always writing new stuff. Right now we're really just focused on touring. We'll probably be on the road to at least this time next year (laughs).
Do you miss home?
Of course. But my whole entire life is playing in this band, and I’m very lucky to be able to do that. We get to see places all over the world.
It looks like wherever you go, you guys attract a cult-like following.
We seem to make deep connections with people, and its great if someone can identify with what you have to say.
When it's all said and done, how do you want to be remembered when take your last bows?
We want to simply be remembered as a good band.
Against Me! plays an all-ages show at the Sunshine Theater Thursday, Sept. 13. Matt and Kim and David Dondero open. $15 cover at the door or TicketMaster (plus service fee).
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