Following the release of their latest live album, RUSHONROCK’s co-editor Adam Keys sat down to talk to Anti-Flag’s Chris2, about all things music and politics.
RUSHONROCK – Hi guys, thanks for joining us at RUSHONROCK. How as everything been in the Anti-Flag camp recently?
Chris2 – We’re working to stay positive. Keep our own mental health up and our energy up. This fight against Donald Trump’s normalisation of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and endless bigotry is going to be a long one.
RUSHONROCK – Can you tell us a bit about your latest release Live, Vol. 1?
C2 – We recorded it over 3 different shows in LA. It a pretty good representation of all of the anti-flag releases. Trying as best as we can with a live record to capture our connection to the agenda of each song.
RUSHONROCK – You’re working on a new album, what can you tell us about it?
C2 – Yeah, it’s in our heads mostly, not a ton of actual songs have been written with the full band. But Justin and I are pretty deep into our own songs. Trying to not be too knee jerk reactionary to the Trump / Pence regime but at the same time document this moment in history where the paradigm feels ripe for a shift.
RUSHONROCK – When can we expect this album to land?
C2 – Summer??? Honestly when you’re on your 11th record. You’ve learned to let it come when it’s ready. Not to force it for schedules sake.
RUSHONROCK – Let’s talk Trump… being an American citizen, you will have wholeheartedly experienced the presidential campaign from the ground. Was Trump’s election a surprise to you based on what you experienced at home?
C2 – Total surprise? No. But we did think Hilary was going to win. We had a lot of things in place to challenge her. To hold her accountable to her policies. But after the ’04 re-election of George W Bush… nothing in American politics surprises us!
RUSHONROCK – How much of an effect will he have on the new album?
C2 – Well the world at this point understands he’s a piece of shit. So there’s not much focus that needs to be done on that front. There is however a dire need to protest. To stand up and be counted as an opposition to the hatred and bigotry of his administration. That’s the only way we can truly fight the normalisation of his rhetoric. Strike. Boycott. Protest. Win.
See the band crash the streets of Washington to protest against Trump (last week) here:
RUSHONROCK – We thought the wall was a joke, but he’s pushing ahead with it… He’s sacked his attorney general and he’s signing endless executive orders. The rest of the world is starting to worry, what is the current mood in America, and how do you think this will be channelled into music?
C2 – The same. We’re all angered. Ready. In the streets. You’re seeing immediate mass protests. We will hold him, his corporate cronies, racist white supremacists like Bannon, accountable. And we will win.
RUSHONROCK – Throughout history, leaders and events have given rise to some of the best political music ever written. How do you see Brexit in the UK and Trump in American affecting the nature of modern music? Could this be a new era for punk rock?
C2 – I care first and foremost about the safety and physical and mental health of our brothers and sisters in marginalised communities. Muslims, LGBTQ, women, these people are being attacked by The so called “leader of the free world”. Fuck punk rock. I want to focus on them. That said. Dire times do make people more engaged, that engagement leads to focused and poignant art.
RUSHONROCK – You guys were pretty hard on Obama in American Spring. On reflection, how would you rate his presidency?
C2 – He was protective of the status quo. That was his job. We weren’t interested in things being what they were, that’s why we were confrontational towards Obama. He did a lot to send us down the current path we’re on. He had Muslim registries in place, mass surveillance, and he handed the keys to the madmen Trump /Pence / Bannon. I thought he was often eloquent, said things that moved me, the historical nature of an African American presidency should be applauded. I was however let down in the end.
RUSHONROCK – Finally, the question all our UK readers what to hear…. When will you guys be back in this part of the world again?