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Anti-Flag

It’s always interesting to see a young talented punk band develop over time into a more mature entity that still knows where its place is in the punk scene. ANTI-FLAG have easily one of the most rabid fan bases among all in punk rock, and one doesn’t usually have to look too far to find someone with an ANTI-FLAG shirt or patch at a show. This summer will yield this band’s fourth full length, and their first on the hugely sucessful Fat Wreck Chords. This interview was conducted by Dave Castillo by telephone with drummer, Pat, sometime in January 2001.

pastepunk: First off, how is the new album coming along? Stylistically how does it compare to the others?

Pat: The new album is about seventy five percent done. Stylistically it is along the same lines as the old record “A New Kind of Army.” This record is more mature ideologically though. We address more specific issues in this record compared to the last one.

pastepunk: How has this recording experience been compared to others?

Pat: All our recording experiences have been different. This is the first time recording completely in a studio. The last two records we rented out gear and recorded in my kitchen and at various other places. There are advantages and disadvantages to working either way. So far our recording experience for the new record has been great on all levels.

pastepunk: As many of our readers know Anti-flag has signed with Fat Wreck Chords what spurred the decision to leave Go-Kart?

Pat: Go-Kart was a great label for us and Greg is a great guy. Basically the reason we left was that with Fat Wreck Chords we could get our message out to more people. We figured that with bands like Good Riddance and Propaghandi there are already politically conscience record buyers going to this label that could get into us as well as other people. Another determining factor was Fat Mike being great with us and agreeing with our goals and what we had to say.

pastepunk: Throughout Anti-Flag’s Career you guys have toured with everyone from Flogging Molly to Rage Against The Machine. Do you guys like diverse tours?

Pat: Yes and no, we got screwed over on the Dropkick Murphy’s tour. We tried to go on tour with them to get our music and message out to a different crowd but it just went sour. Basically all that ended up happening was that the people we liked got beat up and there were a lot of fights. We as a band didn’t want to take part in any of that and dropped off the tour. This was not the case however with Flogging Molly. That tour was awesome. It was great because everyone had an open mind and was there to have fun. It is good to go on diverse tours because if you keep preaching to the converted are you gaining any ground?

pastepunk: From the “Their system doesn’t work for you” record to the “A New Kind of Army” record there has been a noticeable change in Anti-Flag’s sound. How have the fans reacted to this?

Pat: To me honestly it all sounds the same. I really don’t think we have changed that much. I have been playing the same drum lick since we started (laughs) and still am. As for the kids some of them come up to me and say, “Man, I really hate the new record” and some of the say “Man, I really love the new record.” We just make music that we like and hopefully other people like it as well.

pastepunk: I often wonder this about most political bands, does the music or the message take precedent?

Pat: Neither really takes precedent. On some songs the music is great and we just add words and other times the words are great and we just write the music. For us it’s a natural thing to write about politics – it’s not planned or anything, it’s just what comes out. Just like the way it is natural for some bands to write about girls.

pastepunk: What is your take on this past election?

Pat: I though it was…….amazing (laughs) I was sickened by the amount of political arm twisting done in Florida but not surprised at all. I was also not surprised that the people found it hard to choose between Al Gore and George W. Bush. When you have two people saying almost the same thing, it is hard to choose one or the other.

pastepunk: Anti-Flag has always had rumors and gossip swirling around them. What is the most outlandish rumor?

Pat: Well for some reason I die all the time. Everyone wants to kill me off – I don’t know why. Justin is always sick, which is true, but you hear of all different types of things that aren’t true. Justin has been sick ever since we were young with severe allergies. It doesn’t mean that he is not healthy at home, it’s just the lifestyle that we lead with touring and it is rough on him.

pastepunk: What have the fans meant to you?

Pat: I love the fans. Yet I hate calling them fans it’s more like they are friends. When we used to be young and go to shows in Pittsburgh we would go up and meet the bands on tour and by the end of the night we would all be friends and that’s the type of atmosphere we like. This doesn’t mean that we never get mad or we are never in a bad mood. Although we try treat each and every fan in a nice way.

pastepunk: What is going on with A-F Records? Are there any new projects in the works?

Pat: Yeah we have about two or three new projects on the way. We are putting out the Mody lemons from PA and two other bands. The releases should be coming out around March or April.

pastepunk: What kind of stuff do you guys like to do on your downtime away from the band?

Pat: We are always on the go and usually there is no downtime. We are either touring, working on music or on the label. When I was younger and I wanted to get into this, I never realized the huge commitment it was. If you love it and it makes you happy though it is worth it.

pastepunk: Anything else you would like to say?

Pat: Just for update on what is going on with us go to Anti-Flag go to www.anti-flag.com or write us at A-F records P.O box, 71266 Pittsburgh, Pa, 15213

 



Interview by :
Pastepunk : http://www.pastepunk.com

Anti Flag News

Hi, Anti-Flag here. This is an interview we did on ourselves for the web site. Our idea was to cover topics relevant to what we have been up to recently and topics relevant to what is going on in the world.(We also just fuck around a lot which should be no surprise to anyone who knows anything about us.(i.e. #2’s Papa Roach answers, which sadly are half kidding, half serious.) We plan to make this a regular monthly feature on the site.

Key: 2=#2, P=Pat, C=Chris, J=Justin

Q: What’s your best memory of Warped Tour?
2: Papa Roach.
C: Leaving Justin behind in Toronto (actually Montreal) and playing the show semi-ok.
J: Well, there are far too many things for me to list. For starters, I loved watching Flogging Molly’s set, that made me happy every day. I loved to sing along with Delilah which is a song of theirs. I think they’re a great band. Usually their set was the high point of my day. There were a lot of bands that I loved, Suicide Machines, Hot Water Music, One Man Army, and Green Day. Green Day’s set was awesome when they would have a kid come up on stage and play guitar during All I Know is that I Don’t Know Nothing. I liked watching Good Riddance, again there’s too many good bands to list. Another thing was that we were on tour with all these bands that were supposedly “big” bands, and a lot of them were people that I hadn’t met or didn’t know well. And by the end I felt like I knew a lot of them well. I was pleasantly surprised that 98% of the people I met were incredibly open-minded and liberal. To me they had that classic mind-frame of “punk rock ideology” which is what makes me want to be involved in punk rock. And that was refreshing because these are the people’s ideas that are reaching a lot of kids. Of course, all the kids we met were really great and really fun, some of whom are regulars at our shows.
P: It wasn’t one specific memory, but every morning we got up at like 6:00 and the Sun was just coming up and the ground was still wet. It was nice to go out and talk to people who were setting up the gear and just be awake in the morning with people with common ideals and goals hopefully.

Q: Why were you up at 6:00 in the morning, can you explain that?
P: Because every night after the show you had to drive to the next city and luckily we had a friend of ours along who drove for us. So I got to sleep which doesn’t happen very often. But we had to wake up early to unload the gear and set up the tent and everything. It was a lot like being a carny.

Q: What’s your worst memory of Warped Tour?
2: Papa Roach.
C: Playing in Arizona, and by the time we took the stage it was 120 degrees and the Sun was shining directly on us and I almost died of heatstroke.
P: Worst memory of Warped Tour was…um, lemme uh, yeah, I don’t have any bad memories.
J: In a way I think it’s the funniest and the worst, being left by the band in Montreal by mistake. That was a bad memory in that I had no wallet, no ID, no money of any sort, and I had no shirt. We stopped for a short time to use the phone and the band all got back into the truck without realizing I wasn’t there. Another worst memory would have to be the skinheads in Orlando. They came to the show to fuck with people and beat people up. Luckily they got theirs, the crowd totally stuck together and stood against them. But they were Nazis and the fact that there are Nazis anywhere is a downer. They weren’t racist(or so they claimed) but they were violent and nationalist. You don’t have to be a racist to be a Nazi fuck, there are a lot of other characteristics, such as being an extreme nationalist. These guys definitely had many of those characteristics. But you know, we were on stage and told them to “Fuck off,” and all the other bands backed us up and came up to the stage and made sure that we didn’t get hurt. That was really great. One other worst memory was when I realized how out of touch I am with Pop Culture. I had no idea who Papa Roach was when I started Warped Tour. But then again, maybe that’s a good thing? Not that I necessarily thought Papa was bad- just not necessarily my thing.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
2: Papa Roach has got a new album coming out. Check out their new track, it’s called Broken Home. You could find that on Napster.
P: On Warped Tour I got to see a lot of people I haven’t seen for awhile. There are a lot of people, friends and family that would have not come to shows that came.

Q: After Warped Tour, name one thing you did that you really enjoyed.
2: Listened to Papa Roach.
C: I’ve been skateboarding a lot lately and that’s it I guess. I’ve been going to Baltimore, the Smithsonian Museums down there and the art museum in Philadelphia.
P: I have a girlfriend and I spent a lot of time with her because she was in town from Holland. She’s been in the Netherlands for the last year so she came down and we did some sight-seeing and went into a cave again. My girlfriend likes bats, so we got to caves a lot. J: I just so happen to have the most beautiful, intelligent, sweet, special, incredibly incredible girlfriend on the face of the Earth. So when I got home from Warped Tour, as I’ve wanted to do many summers after many tours, went to the beach with my girlfriend. It was fucking brilliant.

Q: What else did you do with your summer?
2: I want to go see Papa Roach with Eminem and Limp Bizkit.
J: Since going to the beach, all I’ve been doing is writing music and working on songs and practically being chained to my guitar.

Q: What have you been doing in the last month?
2: Listening to Papa Roach.
P: We’ve been playing every day consistently. I think that’s a thing that a lot of bands don’t get a chance to do. And I think we’re in a lucky position that we can and be around the people that we like and play music which I think is a good thing.
J: I worked with the ACLU to promote awareness about the danger of banning books.
C: Skateboarding and cleaning our office and answering mail. So if you’re missing orders they should be there soon.

Q: Chris, tell us about your sleeping habits of late and in general.
C: Actually I’ve been up pretty much every night till 5:30/6:00 AM. I go rent a lot of movies every night and then I usually stay up and watch the early edition of the news at around 5:00 in the morning. On the morning news they just keep repeating the same news every 15 minutes. And then I go to bed and get up about 11:00AM every day.

Q: Any particular morning show you watch?
C: The world news, from 4:00 to 5:00AM, that’s on ABC. Then I switch to CBS and I watch the morning news with Susan Barnett and I can’t remember the other guy’s name.

Q: Are you excited about the new record and if so, why?
2: I’m very excited about it because it really blends Anti-Flag with Papa Roach. So we were meeting in the middle and it sounds great.
C: Yes, I’m very excited about the new record, to finally be able to play new things. We’re going to put some new stuff out there so we don’t have to play the old crap anymore.
P: I’m always excited about writing new music and getting new ideas out. I think with the elections coming up and the riots/demonstrations about the Republican and Democratic conventions. I’m very excited about getting a lot of those ideas into songs and out. And also I like the idea of playing new stuff and being creative again after not having an opportunity to do that for a while.
J: Of course I’m excited, because I think there’s so much going on right now in our society. I’m overwhelmed with wanting to express so much, the rioting/protests against the WTO in Seattle and the fact that we really do not have equal representation in this country in the political system. My feeling is that the two-party system is really just a one-party system. There is very little difference between the main two candidates, and they can keep somebody who really has something valid to say out of the debates, such as Ralph Nader. It’s really not a true democracy, it really doesn’t represent what the entire nation feels as a whole. Not everyone’s voice is being heard.

Q: Best movie you saw in the last six months? 2: Almost Famous. That’s a really good movie. I really like Jason Lee. Papa Roach isn’t in it so I was kinda disappointed. But it’s a rock n roll movie.
C: I liked Almost Famous. My favorite part in Almost Famous was when they left the lead singer behind at a gas station. And it made me think about leaving Justin behind on Warped Tour. And we also left the Bear behind too. I’m hoping that I like Remember the Titans when I go see that tonight.
J: I can never remember movies, unless they’re really incredible. So, I can only think of 2 movies. One of them was the best movie, Some Like It Hot. That movie is fucking hilarious, it’s a classic. I also saw Gladiator, while cheesy at times (especially the ending) was an awesome movie. I thought it interesting that as the Roman Empire declined, that they had more and more of these fights to keep the public happy. And I think it’s just an interesting reflection on our own society and how as our own society declines how football and wrestling become more and more popular etc. almost like as a sedative.

Q: Besides Papa Roach, do you have any idea who you’re going to vote for, or are you going to vote or not? Why?
2: Vote for what? I’m just kidding. Well, I saw this thing on MTV and Al Gore was there, so I think he’s hip. So I’m voting for him. And he talked about Papa Roach. (This is a joke.)
P: I was very frustrated in the beginning about voting for Ralph Nader (Green Party candidate) because that would as many people say be a wasted vote. The vote that would have more than likely been for Gore, because it definitely wouldn’t have been for Bush, will go towards Bush. However after listening to the rhetoric of the past month or two, I have become disenchanted with both candidates and Nader seems to be the only choice. And as a friend of mind told me, sometimes you have to suck it up and vote with what you think and accept the outcome for 4 years. So people will realize that there really needs to be a change.
J: I will be voting for Ralph Nader because I watched the first debate. And I just can’t vote for the lesser of the two evils, I’ve got to stand up for something I believe in. There’s so much rhetoric and so much propaganda about throwing your vote away on a third-party. Of course all of that is put out there by the two main parties. There are all these scare-tactics, like the threat of very conservative Supreme Court appointments, the threat of the reversal of Roe v. Wade, and it goes on and on. This makes it difficult for third-parties to get a chance to break in. If me voting for Nader gets Bush elected, so be it. Maybe this country really needs to see that before enough people are prompted to act in a necessary way.

Q: What music have you been listening to most recently?
2: Aside from Papa Roach, uh, the new At the Drive-In, the new Elastica, new Saves the Day, and that’s about it.
C: I’ve also been listening to the new At the Drive-In CD, the CD Reggie and the Full Effect, it’s a Get-Up Kids side-project. I just recently bought the Government Issue: The Complete History and I’ve been listening to that too.
J: Well, I know Elastica has a new record out and I don’t have it yet. But when I do get it, that is something I will be listening to a lot. I’ve been listening to Saves the Day a ton, because they’re awesome. Also Ann Berretta, Hot Water Music, Anti-Flag the new songs and working them out. And I enjoy that because it’s an exciting kind of creative time for me.
P: I’ve been listening to the rough tapes of the songs for the new records; to get a feel for them, to think of better ways of playing them, and more creative ideas. And because I’ve been spending time with my partner, I’ve been listening to Destiny’s Child, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Pink and all the other crap.

Q: Well, tell us a little about your girlfriend. And then what she enjoys and why.
P: My girlfriend is a doctor. She has a Ph.D. in Decision Sciences from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Even though she is a highly intelligent and motivated person, she still listens to crappy music and that’s the music she likes. She’s also a goth girl and writes for different zines and used to have her own zine.

Q: Have you read any good books or news articles recently?
2: I read The Catcher in the Rye the other day.
C: The new book I read was the new contract we got in the mail. It was 28 pages long.
P: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I actually enjoyed it immensely.
J: I just started to read A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn. That’s really intense, I highly recommend it to everyone, if you want to learn about how through history people have been played off and against one another. One magazine I always read is Z. It’s pretty underground, but you can order it. If you check on our website we’ll have a place for you to look for it.

 



Interview by :
Anti-Flag

Anti-Flag Interview

Back in March, my friend and I interviewed Anti-Flag after they played at the Tune Inn in New Haven, CT. The current members are Pat Thetic – drums, Justin Sane – guitar, vocals, Cock – bass, and Chris – guitar.

How did you get started?

Pat: Justin and I were hanging out when we were kids. We were like, I play drums and Justin played drums too, and then Justin moved to bass and then to guitar and we got a bunch of other people to hang out with us because we were losers and had nothing else to do on a Saturday night, and formed a crappy band.

Justin: Basically, it was like this: I sucked @ drums so they made me play bass, and I sucked @ bass, so they made me play guitar. I sucked least @ guitar so now I play guitar. Then we had another bass player [Andy Flag] but he quit and we met Cock in Canada when we toured Canada last year, and we really liked her. We met Chris, he was just living up the street and we said ‘hey you have nothing to do?’ and he was like ‘yeah’ and we were like ‘join our band.’ And that’s kind of how it happened.

Why did Andy Flag leave?

Pat: He didn’t like us anymore.

Justin: Yeah… The truth is we weren’t getting along. He was interested in other things and plays drums in another band. We weren’t getting along really well and he just bailed.

How’d you get signed to New Archieves?

Pat: We didnt’ sign. We agreed to do 1 CD with them.

Justin: We leased them a record. They said they’ll do as many records as we want to but we’re not binded to them or anyone else.

If you had the opportunity to “sell out” would you take it?

Everyone: No…

Pat: If there was a lot of $ involved.

Justin: Yeah, tons of $.

Pat: Big money! No…we decided that we are happy doing what we’re doing, and that’s where we are now.

How’s the Pittsburgh scene?

Pat: It’s really cool. There’s a lot of bands doing a lot of good things, and they’re doing well. Pittsburgh is doing well. We won’t be back there for a while but when we left it was good.

Are there a lot of punks not getting into the music?

Pat: Who go to Orange 9mm shows?(laughter)Yeah, actually there probably are but we’re the cool kids that don’t get into the music.

Cock It happens in Toronto. I’m from Toronto, and it’s pretty bad there. There’s like the cool time to show up for shows – 11 o’clock when the last bands go on and you see tons of punky punk kids on the street who NEVER go to shows. It’s really weird.

Who’s sxe and why?

Justin: Go for it, Pat.

Pat: Yeah. I’m sxe because when I was in high school the cool kids were doing things and I wasn’t a cool kid, so I was hanging out playing my drums. I’ve grown to think that a lot of people that use drugs and alcohol to a great extent are the most depressed people in the world, and if you look at the most depressed people you find the most drug and alcohol usuage. So that’s one of my major reasons. I think there’s a lot of positve people that do drugs and drink too but my choice is not to.

What do you think of girls in the punk scene?

Cock: I think it’s a good thing but there’s not enough. I never thought about it much. I think it’s good but I don’t know how to answer the question. It’s a positive thing. There weren’t many girls at the show tonight, and I was glad to see that there were girls up front. There never are, or they are holding their boyfriends coats like ‘I’m going to go mosh now, here hold my coat’. I think that’s stupid. More girls should get involved.

Justin:Y eah. I see it that punk is like something to stand for change and a lot of women are oppressed. Punks a good way to stand for change.

Any last words?

Pat: Bands to look out for – Stiff Little Fingers, The Jam, The Buzzcocks, some old bands that are really great. Bouncing Souls.

Cock: The Clash.

Justin: Those are the bands that some kids might want to check out.

Cock: Upcoming humans.

Justin: From Cincinatti, Ohio, Less than Human – Our favorite band right now. The Useless Fucks, The Unseen, Showcase Showdown.

Pat: DBS from Vancouver, Canada. Kitty Badass, we have to put in.

Justin: From Pittsburgh, Regan Squad, Submachine.

Advice for Kids?

Pat: Sxe is a choice. If you choose it, it’s for you, not to show off how cool you are, and not to beat people up. So my choice is to be sxe, Cocks is to drink so it’s all good.


Interview by :
Dissidents E-Zine