Alter The Press!


Interview: Against Me!

A week into their triumphant return to the UK, things seemed bleak for Against Me! after frontman, Tom Gabel, was reported to have suffered a throat infection. Thankfully, amidst all that panic, Alter The Press had the opportunity to sit down with the deep-rooted, down to earth bassist for the band, Andrew Seward, despite the limited time. We discussed the DIY direction that the band is going in as well as new addition Jay Weinberg.

Alter The Press: You've set up your own record label recently, Total Treble Music. Do you plan to sign artists or is this label strictly for Against Me! only?
Andrew Seward (bass): I think other bands will be released on the label but, it's definitely the home of Against Me! now, there are no rules of restrictions on it though so we'll see.

ATP: After a small break last year, you released the 'Russian Spies/Occult Enemies' single. The music was a lot rawer, is this the direction you plan to go with the new material?
Andrew: I don't think it embodies a direction for future material, it's kind of what it is. We had a week in between tours and Tom had wrote these really rocking songs and we were in Madison, Wisconsin and Butch, who produced the last two LPs, owns a studio up there called Smart studios, where The Smashing Pumpkins recorded "Gish", and we basically just ran in there and recorded those two songs in between tours. I don't know if that has anything to do with the rawness of it, maybe because there was 6 feet of snow everywhere or there were protests going on in the state capital. I'm not sure, I like the sound of it though.

ATP: What are the plans for Tom's recently built studio?
Andrew: He just recorded the band Cheap Girls from Michigan, they're sort of a power-pop band. He finished recording them 3 days before we got to the UK, so the studio is up and fully functional. It feels like Against Me! has pretty much has everything now like a label and a studio. It's so nice how we have all this ammo now and if we don't do anything with it then it's completely our fault.

ATP: How did Jay become a part of the band?
Andrew: He's been a real jolt of energy, literally, we have to tell him to slow down sometimes. The way we play live now, we're not good stage men, we don't do banter onstage, we're not going to look up the history of Birmingham before a show and give you some facts or anything like that. We just play like Ramones used to, one song after the other, no stopping. I think, last night, in our 40 minute set, we push out 15 songs. We don't even stop.

ATP: How did you meet Jay?
Andrew: Jay's been coming to our shows since he was 15, first time I met him was at a benefit show for CBGB's he was just this young, sprite guy full of energy. Whenever we played shows in New Jersey, he'd always run up and play the last song when our old drummer was busy jumping into the audience, we knew he could play drums. It just worked out that we needed him to fill in as our other drummer at the time was in Hot Water Music and he had commitments to tour Australia so Jay just came down and just fucking nailed it, he was in the band pretty quickly.

ATP: What are your plans for the next year?
Andrew: We don't really have anything on the books after this, just to record and be productive. Of course we'll go on tour again, we always tour. 'White Crosses' has been such a roller coaster for two years, I think when we're done with this tour, we'll just start focusing on something else.

George Gadd

Alter The Press!