Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace Wants New Album to ‘Feel Like We’re All in It Equally’
After being on the road for almost all of 2015, Against Me! are ramping things up again, having recently hit the studio to record their followup to 2014's Transgender Dysphoria Blues. As most know, singer Tom Gabel's transition to becoming singer / guitarist Laura Jane Grace was a deeply personal period for the musician and one that fueled the last album, but Grace vows that the new disc will not be as singular in focus for her bandmates.
Grace told Rolling Stone, "We thought maybe it would be good to have a break to address personal issues, or just unpack your apartment – normal s--t," acknowledging that it was nice to anticipate returning to normalcy for a bit after having toured so heavily. Continuing, she added, "But then we realized that we've been writing songs all this time, and we're really tight right now. It didn't make sense to lose that momentum. We just wanted to go for it."
The band has already spent the last month in a Michigan studio run by their tour manager and front-of-house engineer. Grace said, "We're at a good place. We're going to spend the rest of the year working on the record, and we're hoping next year will be a busy one."
Reflecting on Transgender Dysphoria Blues, the frontwoman stated, "The last record was an isolating experience and a solo endeavor in a lot of ways – not to diminish anyone else's roles, but it was a really personal record." She feels differently about the upcoming new record, expressing, "I want this one to feel like we're all in it equally. We've been having a really good time playing with each other. We'll see what that means sonically, but that's the vibe."
In addition to a heavy schedule with Against Me!, Grace has also penned a book as well as making a documentary web series, titled True Trans. Rather than feeling burnt out and creatively spent, these other endeavors have helped to reignite the musical spark. She said, "In a weird way, because I have so many other things going on, it turned writing songs again into an escape. 'Oh, I should be doing this, but f--k it, I'll pick up my guitar again.'"
The punk group released the concert album 23 Live Sex Acts by Against Me! on Sept. 4 through their own Total Treble Music label. The disc is serving as a bridge between their studio albums.
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