Having recently parted ways with Sire, it’s a wonder where Against Me! are headed to next. Scene Point Blank sat down with bassist, Andrew Seward, as they rip all over The U.S. in hopes that he would shed some light on the band's future and where the music industry is headed. It can’t be all business though. We had a chance to touch on more nerdy subjects before an explosive show in Anaheim, California.
SPB: So, the tour’s been on for awhile.
Andrew: Yeah. I think we’re just entering—today’s Saturday, so we’re just at two weeks. Two weeks ago today we played Gainesville. We’ve been going all over the southeast: Texas; we played Phoenix last night, and now here we are all the way out west.
SPB: Any crazy stories yet?
Andrew: No. No real crazy stories, just crazy good shows. Man, really, really good shows. Austin, Texas was just fucking insane. Last night was great too! They’ve all–like–honestly, there hasn’t been one dud the entire tour. Knock on wood!
SPB: There’s a pole right there.
Andrew: Ah (Andrew runs to a wooden power line and knocks on it)! Alright! Tonight’s show could have totally sucked if I didn’t knock on wood.
SPB: Now, you guys are free agents.
SPB: This is the dreaded label question.
Andrew: Yeah! No, no. Not dreaded. Go for it.
SPB: Uh, is there anybody on your mind or—
Andrew: I mean, you know there are a couple of people sniffing around. We’re keeping it a mystery for right now, but we’re really just enjoying just being free. It’s great. It’s very exciting!
SPB: Given your experience on Sire, are major labels out of the question now?
Andrew: Well, I think—you never want to close the door to anything. The whole rule’s never say, “never,” and I’m not saying this ‘cause there’s some—maybe, you know. I’m just saying, I learned from past experience never to say, “Never.” You know?
SPB: Yeah, that’s fair.
Andrew: I mean, one of the big things is that Warner Bros., you know is up for sale now. I heard that Universal cut like half their staff. So the line between major labels, and even independent labels, is uh—it’s growing thinner and thinner. You know what I mean? It’s basically kind of becoming the same thing. You know, ‘cause major labels are basically losing their ass because they’re paying a couple, you know, top guys like millions of dollars.
SPB: Yeah. Now you guys have toured with a lot of bands that your fans wouldn’t normally expect you to tour with. Like Mastodon, Blood Brothers, and more recently The Silversun Pickups.
Andrew: Yeah. well, I hope our fans would expect that by now, but you know.
SPB: Well yeah. Which touring line-up would you say was the strangest?
Andrew: Uh, the strangest? I dunno. I guess the strangest, but the best, was that Cursive, Mastodon, and Planes Mistaken for Stars tour. Just because, I mean that’s kind of like – kind of like if my iPod went on shuffle.
SPB: Yeah, it was a varied line-up!
Andrew: Yeah, but it was great! I mean, I love all those bands, and listen to them almost daily. So, that’s the best. I don’t know about the craziest, but it’s the best.
SPB: Who, bands that are more out of the whole “punk” genre, would you want to tour with?
Andrew: Oh man, “who would” would or—?
SPB: You would like to tour with.
Andrew: I can’t think of any off the top of my head. I mean, it’s always fun discovering newer bands. Like, I had heard Cheap Girls before this tour, but I hadn’t really heard the band, Fences, who’s opening up the show. Tom and the singer were like friends—pen pals. So you know that was—Tom’s like, you know, “Check this band out. You should check them out.” Then I checked them out, and I mean, there’s nothing better than discovering a new band. You’re like, “Oh shit! Ok,” ‘cause you know how like, starved you are for new music all the time. Where you catch yourself listening to the same record over and over again; you’re like, “Fuck man! I need to listen to something new or listen to talk radio or something,” but yeah.
SPB: Yeah, that happened to me recently, because I was getting so bored with everything I had.
Andrew: Yeah! You hit a wall.
SPB: Yeah, and then out of nowhere I found this band up in uh, I think it’s in Washington called Girlfriends.
SPB: It’s just one guy, but it’s like post-hardcore. Then he has the keys and everything. It was something new to me.
Andrew: Yeah? Girlfriends?
SPB: It was “Girlfriends” or “Girlfriend.” I can’t remember if it’s pluralized or not.
Andrew: I’ll check it out.
SPB: Yeah, and another one who just put out a demo, Reservoir. You might wanna check them out. They’ve got the whole emo-thing going.
Andrew: Ok. Reservoir.
SPB: Now Against Me! haven’t done any splits. There were rumors of one with Lucero awhile ago—
Andrew: “Awhile ago” being “Awhile ago!”
SPB: (haha) Yeah, “Awhile ago!” That never happened. Have you thought about doing a split since that?
Andrew: Not really, Every time we get songs on there we kind of just wanna put them out. Nothing intentional. We’re huge fans of Lucero, and they’re friends of ours. but that’s just something that kind of never came to fruition.
SPB: What about with Murder by Death? I know you guys toured with them, and they have a 7-inch split series. Did they ever approach you guys about that?
Andrew: Not to my knowledge. We’re friends with all those people. We just saw them awhile back. They were in Hamburg, Germany the same day we were, and we ended up all going to a bar and hanging out. There was no split in the works, just hanging out.
SPB: Well, if that was to happen, which song would you want them to cover of yours, and which would you want to cover of theirs?
Andrew: Oh, shoot! I dunno, man. You just put me on the spot! Um … I, (haha) I don’t know! I’m being horrible. I don’t know. Bad answer!
SPB: Skip (haha)! Gonna have to skip the next question ‘cause it was a lyrical question.
Andrew: I’ll just make something completely random up.
SPB: Alright, how about this? Would you like to write lyrics?
Andrew: Would I? Um … no. I mean like, in my old band I would write some lyrics, but I’m way more comfortable just with music than lyrics. Because I’m just—anyway, Tom is— it’s no secret he has a really good voice, and he’s really good with words. I mean, I by far have the weakest voice of the band, you know? I’m kind of just a yeller, and this doesn’t like—this isn’t offensive to me. I don’t take offense in that, you know? I even took fucking voice lessons like a year and a half ago. Just tryin’ to be better at it, but no. It’s like Against Me!—the lyrics are—that is Tom’s—his domain; his forte; his specialty. His—yeah, he’s got a way with the words, and I’m a fan of his writing the words.
SPB: Yeah, he’s got a good song and lyrical style. Ok, got to skip a couple more (haha).
Andrew: It’s fine. Sorry (haha).
SPB: No, it’s fine. Do you—
Andrew: “What were you thinking with this band?” It’s like, “I dunno, nobody cares. (haha) Fuck it!”