|Genre||Punk Revival |
|Years active||1988-1989, 1993-present|
|Label(s)||New Red Archives |
|Justin Sane |
|Andy Flag |
Anti-Flag is an American punk band from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
History[edit | edit source]
Early years, 1988–1997[edit | edit source]
During this time, various guitarists and bassists moved in and out of the band, including Justin's sister, Lucy Fester. The band failed to solidify, and it fell apart after playing just one show. In 1993, Justin and Pat formed a new band, now with Andy Flag on bass, which they again named Anti-Flag.
First three albums, 1997–1999[edit | edit source]
In 1996, the band released their first album, Die For the Government, on New Red Archives. Andy Flag left the band in the Summer of 1996 because of personal disputes between himself and Justin. For a brief time after Andy's departure in 1996, Sean Whelan of Pittsburgh band the Bad Genes filled in on bass. It was during this time that Sean was also playing in another band (57 Defective) with guitarist Chris Head, who he introduced to the band.
In early 1997, Pittsburgh guitarist Chris Head began filling in on bass. In late 1997, Jamie Cock took over as the new bassist, moving Chris Head over to second guitar, which he preferred. The current line-up finalized in 1999 when Chris Barker, also known as Chris #2, replaced Jamie Cock on bass.
In 1998, the band released their second full-length release, Their System Doesn't Work For You. The album contained all nine Anti-Flag songs from the 1996 Anti-Flag/d.b.s. split album North America Sucks, as well as 10 new unreleased songs. The band decided to release the album independently, and Their System Doesn't Work For You became the debut release for the band's own A-F Records.
In 1999, Anti-Flag released the album A New Kind of Army on Go-Kart Records/A-F Records. The album addressed a wide variety of topics such as political corruption, racism, fascism, troubled youth, police brutality, and unity within the American youth. The cover art page unfolded into a poster featuring the phrase "Too smart to fight. Too smart to Die. Join now. A new kind of army."
Fat Wreck Chords, 2000–2004[edit | edit source]
In 2000, Anti-Flag was invited to participate in Vans Warped Tour. During this time, the members of Anti-Flag met NOFX's Fat Mike, owner of the Fat Wreck Chords record label. This meeting spawned a friendship that would lead to Anti-Flag's release of two albums on the label.
In 2001, Anti-Flag teamed with legendary punk producer Mass Giorgini to record the album Underground Network, released on Fat Wreck Chords. The release of the album is arguably the band's breakout from the hardcore underground to a more mainstream spotlight. The album continued to address the issues of fascism (specifically neo-Nazis infiltrating the "hardcore scene") and the United States' foreign policy. The album was the first to contain the now-commonplace booklet filled with essays from historians and political commentators, most notably Professor Howard Zinn.
In February 2002, Anti-Flag released the album Mobilize on A-F Records. The album featured new songs as well as eight live tracks of songs from other albums. In the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States, Anti-Flag spoke out against the push for war by the United States government. During this time, many music stores pulled Anti-Flag's records from shelves, as their music was labelled as "anti-American." In 2003, Anti-Flag released the album The Terror State on Fat Wreck Chords. The album primarily focused on criticizing the Bush Administration's handling of the War on Terrorism. Again, the album contained a booklet full of essays from the band as well as other political commentators. The album contains a song whose lyrics were originally written by Woody Guthrie entitled "Post-War Breakout." The track's music was arranged by the members of Anti-Flag, as Guthrie had never committed the arrangements to paper.
RCA, 2005–2009[edit | edit source]
In 2005, Anti-Flag signed a two-album record contract with major label RCA. The first of these two albums, For Blood and Empire, was released on March 21, 2006. The album's main focus is the band's criticism of the mishandling of the War on Terrorism by the United States Government. The song 'This Is The End (For You My Friend)' from the album For Blood and Empire is featured in the video game Madden NFL 2007 and on NHL 07. They finished their huge "War Sucks, Let's Party" United States headlining tour in April and work on some side projects like African Well Fund and Start to Finish MS now.
Throughout Anti-Flag's career, many other bands have been added to the roster of the band's own label, A-F Records. These bands include The Code, Pipedown, Much the Same, The Vacancy, The Unseen, Modey Lemon and more.
On November 25, Anti-Flag revealed on their homepage that their newest album was titled The Bright Lights of America. Produced by Tony Visconti (of David Bowie and Morrissey fame), it was released on April 1, 2008. The single "The Bright Lights Of America" was released exclusively on iTunes on February 12, 2008. A video of the song was released a couple of weeks later.
In 2008, on tour with Canadian band Billy Talent in Europe, Justin Sane and Chris #2 joined Billy Talent singer Ben Kowalewicz and guitarist Ian D'Sa, singing their new song "Turn Your Back" from their upcoming unreleased album. The two also play on the album and single versions of the song.
In March 2009, Anti-Flag were forced to cancel a series of tour dates after Justin Sane broke his collar bone landing awkwardly whilst jumping off the stage to stop a fight which broke out in the crowd at the UEA LCR in Norwich.
SideOneDummy, 2009-present[edit | edit source]
Beginning on September 30, 2008, Justin Sane began to post on his blog, at nowarwithoutwarriors.blogspot.com, that the band had begun to work on their ninth studio album. On December 2, Anti-Flag began to record their record, starting with "The Economy is Suffering... Let It Die".
On March 31, 2009, Anti-Flag announced that their next CD, The People or the Gun, will be released on SideOneDummy on June 9, 2009. On Anti-Flag.com, the first track of the album "Sodom, Gomorrah, and Washington DC (Sheep in Shepherd's Clothing)" can be listened to.
Symbol[edit | edit source]
The Gun Star is the symbol for the band Anti-Flag. It was first used on the cover of the album Mobilize. It was later used on merchandise. It is made up of a number of broken M-16 guns in the form of a star shape. It is not infrequent for fans of Anti-Flag to get a Gun Star tattoo. Also, they used the O & X superposed symbols on Die for the Government LP frequently.
Criticism[edit | edit source]
Anti-Flag's decision to sign to RCA is a major source of criticism among critics and fans alike, since RCA is owned by Sony BMG. Some fans find this decision hypocritical due to Anti-Flag's previously overt anti-capitalist lyrics.
In an interview with English newspaper The Guardian, Justin Sane explained the band's move to a major label:
- We've been approached by the major labels over the past seven or eight years but we thought we were having an impact where we were. They were never willing to give us complete control. This time they were willing to give us complete control over what we record, the artwork, who we tour with. We won't be censored. If there was ever a time to take a chance to be heard on a mass scale then this is the time. I feel like we've been a voice in the wilderness for too long.
Band members[edit | edit source]
Current Members[edit | edit source]
- Justin Sane – lead vocals, lead guitars (1988 – present)
- Chris #2 – lead vocals, bass (1999 – present)
- Chris Head – rhythm guitars, backing vocals (1997 – present)
- Pat Thetic – drums, percussion (1988 – present)
Former members[edit | edit source]
- Andy Flag - bass guitar, backing vocals, occasional lead vocals (1993–1996)
- Jamie Cock - bass guitar (1997–1999)
- Sean Whelan - bass guitar (1996)
- Lucy Fester - bass guitar (1988)
Discography[edit | edit source]
Studio Albums[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Anti-Flag discography
- Die for the Government (1996) New Red Archives
- Their System Doesn't Work for You (1998) A-F Records
- A New Kind of Army (1999) Go-Kart Records/A-F Records
- Underground Network (2001) Fat Wreck Chords
- Mobilize (2002) A-F Records
- The Terror State (2003) Fat Wreck Chords #91 US
- For Blood and Empire (2006) RCA Records #100 US
- The Bright Lights of America (2008) RCA Records #118 US
- The People or the Gun (2009)
- Compilations on which Anti-Flag appears
- Fat Music, Volume 5: Live Fat, Die Young
- Dropping Food on Their Heads Is Not Enough: Benefit for RAWA (2002) Geykido Comet Records
- Uncontrollable Fatulence (2002) Fat Wreck Chords
- Against Police Injustice (2003) Non Commercial.
- PROTECT: A Benefit for the National Association to Protect Children (2005) Fat Wreck Chords
- Rock Against Bush Vol. 1 (2004) Fat Wreck Chords
- World Warped III Live (2000) SideOneDummy
- Warped Tour 2001 Tour Compilation (2001) SideOneDummy Records
- Warped Tour 2004 Tour Compilation (2004) SideOneDummy Records
- Warped Tour 2006 Tour Compilation (2006) SideOneDummy Records
- Punk Goes Acoustic 2 (2007) Fearless Records
Notes[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
- Official site
- Anti-Flag on MySpace
- The People United, an Anti-Flag community/fan site
- A New Kind Of Army -- Anti-Flag Street Team/Fanpage
- Anti Flag Live Photos
- Interview with Justin Sane about new album
- Older interview with Anti-Flag Chris #2
- Older interview with Justin Sane of Anti-Flag
- Newest interview with Chris #2 of Anti-Flag 2006
- 2007 Interview with Anti-Flag on Deviant Nation
- 2007 Interview with Anti-Flag's Pat Thetic
- Anti-Flag Interview at REDEFINE Magazine, March 2006
|This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Anti-Flag. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Less Than Jake Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.|