Musicscan: First of all: Who am I talking to? How are you and what have you lately been up to? Did you enjoy the German shows you already played in support of The Bright Lights Of America?
Anti-flag: My name is Chris #2, I play bass and sing in Anti-Flag. I'm in Phoenix Az, one The Bright Lights of America U.S Tour.
The German shows we awesome. The best headline shows we've had there.
Great fun and great friends.
Musicscan: You are a very busy band concerning touring and stuff. How does it feel to you to be back home and spend some time there? Can you still enjoy it and are you able to relax or do you miss the touring life with all its trouble and intensity?
Anti-flag: No I very much love being at home! There is a bit of settling that has to happen a bit of transition between tour life and home life. But my life at home is fantastic and I often wish I had more time there.
Musicscan: At this point what do you enjoy more: Recording in the studio or playing live? Has this maybe changed over time?
Anti-flag: Playing live for sure. However making this album was the best studio experiences we've ever had, so the margin is thinning.
Musicscan: What sort of show do you feel more at home with, your "average" punk- show or one that places you in front of a more diverse crowd? And what is more challenging for you guys?
Anti-flag: We just love playing our songs, whether in a small club or huge festival. They're different experiences. The small show we know the people there know what our band is about, know that we are all standing against racism, sexism, homophobia.
At the larger shows and more diverse shows we take time to explain our stance on those ideas.
Musicscan: Where do you see the explanation for the fact that listeners from different musical tastes are getting Anti-Flag? Visiting one of your earlier shows here in Germany i’ve seen a very diverse crowd. As for the political approach: You gain a lot of attention within for your statements and hopefully can influence kids to start thinking.
Anti-flag: Our songs are for everybody? As simple as that.
Musicscan: The word on Anti-Flag has been spread all over the whole world and you build up a loyal fan base everywhere. How does all of this attention make you feel, and what lessons have you learned from being involved with the
punk- music scene for a couple of years now?
Anti-flag: The main lesson is that if you create honest music, believe in it and are passionate about that music, other people will be as well.
Musicscan: What do you think of modern day pop music and culture? When you see MTV, what do you think?
Anti-flag: I don't think much of it. I try to stay away from it honestly. I'm more worried about our scene and our community.
Musicscan: Do you feel hardcore/punk is losing it's edge by having more and more bands with no real political or social stance? Is "more rock, less talk" a real viable idea in the punk movement? It seems like there is no room for critical ideas anymore. Or am I wrong?
Anti-flag: No you're not wrong, but you're not totally correct.
I think there are plenty of bands writing progressive music and progressive ideas, its just not prevalent in the main stream.
Musicscan: What are your thoughts on how professional and commercial large parts of the hardcore or punk scene have become?
Anti-flag: Honestly I think it sucks! It always blows my mind when people roll in the road cases to basement shows. I think people are often too worried with image rather than touring and playing music to create real and genuine relationships.
Musicscan: What are the principles Anti-Flag would never give up to as a band?
Anti-flag: The main goal of the band is unity. We will never make music that divides people.
Musicscan: What were the most prominent influences for the band when the writing process for The Bright Lights Of America took place in terms of other sounds, news or even philosophies?
Anti-flag: The biggest and most impactful part of writing this record was dealing with the death of my sister, its a position I wouldn't wish on anyone. Its a big part of this record. The personal side of politics, the belief that politics is bigger than you is wrong.
Musicscan: Was it different writing this new album, as it’s the follow-up to last years benefit for victims of violent crime? Have your expectations for this benefit been fullfilled?
Anti-flag: The benefit has done well, it was for us. I mean, it was our own way of dealing with my loss and us trying to find something positive inside of it all.
Musicscan: Where do you see the line drawn between progressing on what you do well, and completely offering a new direction or sound? Over the years Anti-Flags sound has become more and more rock…
Anti-flag: Honestly defining genres is something I often try to stay away from.
Punk rock to me is far more an ideology not a sound. We write songs that we think capture the idea and message of the lyrics, they go hand in hand.
Musicscan: A last question: What do you think is the impact your music and lyrics have?
Anti-flag: It is shocking and greater than we have ever believed. We meet people everyday that tell us our songs had impact on them. What they don't often know is how much their words have impact on us.