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Against Me! - Biography
|last update : 07-07-2006 20:42|
|Against Me !
Tom – Vocals & Guitar
Warren – Drums
James – Guitar
Andrew – Bass
Heavily influenced by Billy Bragg and the sounds of the "Dirty South", Against Me! cleverly disguise their strong leftist opinions with sincere poetic lyrics. With a signature punk sound driven by distinct vocals, they defy all genres and incorporate aspects of alt-country, hardcore, folk, punk, and even blues. As the pride of Gainesville, their punk-as-fuck ethics have earned them a colossal fan following and the respect of the greater music community. They have a great story, and it goes something like this,
It was in 1997 that a 17 year-old high school dropout named Tom Gabel first began writing and performing acoustic songs by himself and dubbed his one-man band Against Me!. Up until that point, Tom was primarily known as a troublemaking hellion that had been smoking since age twelve and often fell prey to small-town Floridian bullies. The precise kind of background that lends itself to seasoned songwriting, contempt for the establishment, and the creation of venomous art.
It's conceivable that Tom's solo appearances were the result of his extreme bashfulness, as he is one of the most reserved individuals you'll ever meet, and he likely had a hard time befriending other musicians. But it wasn't long before Tom enlisted the skills of a drummer to keep the beat, and for a year Against Me! was a two-piece band,then a second guitar was added,then a bassist was added, and by 2000 Against Me! had evolved from a teenage kid singing revolutionary ballads, to a fully plugged-in four-piece rock outfit.
After releasing a few 7"s the band brought forth their debut full length, Reinventing Axl Rose, on Gainesville's No Idea Records. The much-respected indie label was down the street from Tom's house and it made perfect sense to work with their good friends at No Idea. At that time no one could have predicted the success that Reinventing Axl Rose would receive, and many consider it to be the best punk record of 2002; just ask around. It was this record that endeared them to punk traditionalists, inspired the most jaded non-believers, and earned them the label as punk rock's last hope. Many see this band as the "little engine that could" of underground music, and rightly so, as Against Me!'s following has grown exponentially as a result of their dedicated touring and grassroots fervor.
Against Me! has made quite a name for themselves as a touring band with their intense fist-pumping, hand-clapping, sing-along live shows. In only a couple years time, they transformed from a band notorious for it's sweaty guerrilla shows in basements and punk squats, to having the most talked-about live performance in the scene. It's an inclusive live show that's as furious as it is passionate; a show that 'll leave every person in attendance with a hoarse voice the following day. Hell, you should just go see 'em yourself.
It was apparent that something special was happening for Against Me!, and for their next album the band chose to work with Fat Wreck Chords from among several interested labels. Being huge fans of the Replacements, Against Me! decided to record their Fat debut at Ardent Studios in Memphis—the same place where the magic of Pleased to Meet Me was captured. The top-notch production displays Against Me! at their best, and on The Eternal Cowboy the band is more eclectic than ever as they fuse punk with a wide range of influences: think Bruce Springsteen meets Hot Water Music meets Woody Guthrie meets Crass. Truly rockin'.
With a new label behind them and a new record under their belt, you can expect nothing less than continued success from these young upstarts. Against Me! As The Eternal Cowboy will be released November 4th and it is sure to mark a pivotal breakthrough for the band. Only three days after the release date the band embarks upon the 2003 Fat Tour, a three-month trek of North America with labelmates Anti-Flag and Rise Against.