Against Me!: Close, but still not Indy



hard to talk about contemporary American punk without mentioning Against Me!.

The iconic Floridian quartet injected a shot of vitality into the scene with

their 2001 debut record Reinventing Axl Rose. Five albums and

numerous EPs and seven-inches later, the band is without a label but still

plugging along on the road.


is obviously really important," chief songwriter and guitarist Tom Gabel

recently told NUVO. "Any band that's been touring for any extended period of

time sees the same thing; we went on tour with (metal band) Mastodon and the

next time we came through those towns, we pulled a few Mastodon fans back to

see us. If you tour with different bands, you pick up different fans."


the release of their sleeper hit EP, Crime, the band progressed to larger and

larger labels with each release. With each leap, however, the band drew

criticism from a portion of their fan base who accused AM! of the unthinkable:

Selling out.


cynical (ex-) fans sought to define the band by its current record label, the

band didn't seem to care. "The reaction from our fans was fairly predictable,"

Gabel said. Following the success of the band's third album, Searching For a

Former Clarity,

on independent label Fat Wreck Chords, a faction of fans gossiped on message

boards about Against Me!'s major label prospects.


band was fully aware of the situation but refused to be bullied by their fickle

fan base. "I wasn't going to base my decisions on what anyone else thought,"

Gabel explained. "A record label is a record label and bands deal with record

labels. There's nothing new about that."


touring non-stop following 2007's New Wave, the band settled down and recorded White


a straight-forward rock 'n' roll record released in 2010 to the same deluge of

internet buzz and trash talk. Later in 2010, the band parted with the label

that released White Crosses, "edgy" Warner Brothers subsidiary Sire.


Me! will be joined for their upcoming Bloomington show by "emo" folksters

Fences as well as Michigan bar-rockers Cheap Girls. While Against Me! has never

stopped in Indianapolis for a show, Cheap Girls are no strangers to our various

bars and basements. When asked why Against Me! never found its way to those

same basements, Gabel defensively replied: "I didn't think you guys even had

any venues."