Interview – Anti-Flag

We spoke to punk icons Anti-Flag! Anti-Flag are from Pittsburgh, PA! Their members consist of;

  • Justin Sane – Vocals / Lead Guitar
  • Chris Head – Guitar
  • Chris Barker (Chris #2) – Bass / Vocals
  • Pat Thetic – Drums

All questions answered by Chris #2

Your European tour comes to a close today (9th), what has been your favourite show so far? Continuing onto North America too, where are you most looking forward to playing?

Honestly Germany was so beyond kind and overwhelming to us, we were there when we released the album and did an instore shows at local record shops everyday. These shows were actually some of my favourites of all time. Munich was unreal. In NA. I can’t wait to play in Toronto. It was the first show of the tour to sell out. Looking forward to seeing what happens!

20/20 Vision came out on January 17th (Spinefarm Records) was the name anything to do with hindsight 20/20 vision?

A little. But mostly it was the idea of seeing clearly. In a world of constant barrages of lie after lie, the truth can seem fleeting. We want a future that is kind, to people and to the planet. That future begins with the work we put in now.

What inspired 20/20 Vision lyrically?

The unprecedented bigotry of Donald Trump, his corporate welfare state, children in cages, war with Iran, the false populism of Boris Johnson, the neoliberalism of Macroon in France. The globalization that brought us disaffected working classes that have had xenophobia forced upon them. The lyrical inspiration is unfortunately endless in 2020.

How do you feel about people that say politics and music shouldn’t mix?

That is a political choice. And often one of privilege. Folks living in fear of bombs being dropped on them, being murdered for the colour of their skin, having their livelihood be a question of legality do not get the option of staying apolitical. So have empathy and think about more than just yourself for a minute.

What’s your take on Brexit? Do you feel it will hinder your options as a touring band to play in the UK and Europe?

I’m quite curious to see. But again. If it makes it harder for a rock band like anti-flag to move in and out of the UK that sucks, but it pales in comparison to those who will be left outside, hoping that folks with so much can help take care of those with so little. The immigrant. The refugee. Your neighbour.

2020 has already been busy with your album release and more touring to come. But is there anything else we can expect from Anti-Flag for the rest of the year?

We’re just getting started. The American elections will be a primary focus. Looking for allies and accomplices across the states and Europe all this year.

You’ve been releasing music since 1996, what keeps you going as an artist and do you feel it is necessary to evolve with the times?

We get the luxury of meeting people from all walks of life daily while we travel and play these songs. We evolve. The people we interact with do as well. We learn so much about them and ourselves it 100% gets incorporated into our art. But it also gives us hope and optimism to continue pushing for social, environmental, racial and economic justice for everyone.

Given the current state of affairs, do you think bands have a duty to use their platform to inform and protest?

Bands have the responsibility to be honest with their art. That’s it. That’s what people that ingest art want… however. I believe it’s the job of the artist to make revolution irresistible, make activism fun, make being kind cool. Do the work to bring people together. The forces at work around us are actively trying to make us apathetic instead of empathetic. I think more bands should be working to tear that down. If that’s considered being political so be it. I think it’s just being kind.

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