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:
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
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