For those people who say political protesting and activism don’t have a place in the music industry, you must have lived a very sheltered life and not been exposed to some of the greatest punk rock musicians over the past few decades. While most bands can write songs about feelings, life experiences and/or direct/indirect stabbings at fellow bands & musicians, it’s the ones who write songs and perform about the big matters in life that really stand out the most, mainly because they’re usually targeted by the government or “haters” for not conforming with what modern society thinks is acceptable.
Anti-Flag (much like their brothers in Rage Against The Machine and Rise Against) are a band with a purpose and that purpose is to stick it to the man and stand up for what is right in the world. We all know their background of being activists, protesters and defenders of human rights all across the globe, but have you really taken a deeper listen to their lyrics and reason why they fight if you weren’t much of a fan before? The Anti-War group who have been ripping up the punk rock scene for the better part of 23 years have certainly imprinted themselves as a band who fights to get shit done. Their “Don’t Give a Fuck” attitude and somewhat “Preachy” approach to their live performance is nothing to be missed. While it may seem like they’re forcefully pushing their beliefs down your throat, the way in which they express this will make you stop and think about what they’re all actually trying to achieve, which is a heavy as fuck approach to world peace and a safe haven at their gigs which they state are a “Safe space where all can be free to be who they are. Free from racism, sexism, homo and transphobia, bigotry of any kind“.
Drummer Pat Thetic took time out to have a quick chat with us about how starting his career in an openly aggressive political activist band had increasingly difficult moments of lacking acceptance, discrimination, utter hypocrisy and violent behaviour from those with opposing opinions and how other bands (especially those starting out) have a voice and should use it to stand up for what they believe in and what they think is the correct way to live. And Pat jokingly revealed that no matter how great your friendship is with fellow activist and musician Tom Morello, when it comes to having the legend guest appear on your album, you should never tell him how to do his job.
Also while elaborating more on the fairly disastrous start early on in his career which saw Pat (and his now Anti-Flag brother and friend Justin Sane) go their separate ways, he was brutally honest enough to offer the following advice for those starting out who don’t think they have what it takes to make it in the industry:
“Give Up. If it’s not something that you can’t fathom your life without doing, then give up because it is a challenging existence. If you’re smart enough to anything else, you should do that. If you can’t do anything else, you should continue to play music”.
It’s a kick to the guts for those who don’t believe in themselves, but if you’re passionate enough and have more than half the drive these guys have had through their whole career, who knows, we might be writing about you once day as you set out to dominate the world. Anti-Flag‘s new album “American Spring” has been out for a few months now and if it’s taken you this long to give it a listen, then you’ve got a lot of catching up to do. Make sure to check them out alongside Pennywise and Newcastle’s Local Resident Failure on tour now!
Thursday 24 Sep
Coolangatta Hotel, Cnr Marine Parade & Warner St. , Coolangatta (18+)
Friday 25 Sep – 8:00
Panthers, Cnr King St & Union St , Newcastle (18+)
Saturday 26 Sep – 7:30
Roundhouse – UNSW, Anzac Parade , Kensington (18+)
Tuesday 29 Sep – 7:30
170 Russell, 170 Russell St. , Melbourne (18+)
Wednesday 30 Sep – 7:30
HQ, 1 North Terrace , Adelaide (18+)
Thursday 01 Oct – 7:30
Metropolis, 58 South Terrace , Fremantle (18+)
Get your tickets through Destroy All Lines
Until next time, rock the fuck out
“American Spring” Available Now