- by Hanne
In case you missed it, Anti-Flag released a new album a while ago. It's called "American Spring" and holy smokes, it's so good! Definitely one of the band's best albums so far. In case you haven't heard it yet, make sure you do! But first read a little more about it in this email interview we did with Chris #2.
PRT: Your new album has been out for little over a month now. What’s the overall reaction been in and outside of the U.S.?
Chris #2: We are shocked at how well it's been received. The songs have fit right into our sets and they're being sung back as loud as ones we've been playing for years.
PRT: You said it’s the most personal and politically focused record you’ve ever put out and that it’s therefore a tremendously important album to you. Why exactly do you feel the American Spring is now?
Chris #2: Because the time for empathy is immediate. The eradication of cynicism and apathy is more important than ever. If we want to change the world, we need to change ourselves. Care about more than just us. Work to put ourselves in the shoes of others. Stand up and speak up for those who cannot for themselves.
PRT: Is it correct to say the new law pro same-sex marriages in the U.S. is part of that American Spring?
Chris #2: That's part of empathy and challenging the status quo. For sure it is.
PRT: What is your opinion on the fact that it took so long to pass this law?
Chris #2: It's taken a long time for people that have held on to old beliefs to die. Let them move on. We are moving forward. Progress always wins.
PRT: One of the main themes of the album and also the artwork is the fact that people are, whichever way you try to change it, biased. How do you think we can overcome being biased to such an extent that we cannot even consider other people’s opinions, taking into account education and upbringing?
Chris #2: Acknowledgedment of our own prejudices and privileges is the first step in overcoming them. There is a whole world of self-identity and self-worth word that we each need to do. But knowing that work is a tremendously important beginning to it.
PRT: Song For Your Enemy is a song about not being afraid to be comfortable with who you are and no matter how others judge you. In what ways do you feel that that’s one of today’s society’s main problems?
Chris #2: Because there is a hugely insane amount of money spent on advertising that makes us feel small or insignificant or hate ourselves. We need to discuss self worth and make sure people know that they're not alone and the newest pair of jeans or iPhone isn't going to provide happiness or make us feel complete.
PRT: Do you encounter many people who judge you for having such strong opinions and getting those opinions out there through your music? And if so, how does that affect you?
Chris #2: People judge all things and that's fair. We can only control what we can control so we do not worry about things like that. We keep our heads down and do the things we believe to be true and important.
PRT: The video for Brandenburg Gate you put out isn’t just a lyric video. It’s rather an exclamation and explanation of your stance on socialism vs. capitalism and how the former’s been misused for many years now. Do you foresee any near future in which socialism will again be appreciated and be able to ‘overpower’ capitalism in the U.S.? Or do you think it’s more of a utopic wish?
Chris #2: They said the wall would never fall in Germany. We must continue to push for programs that put people over profit. Of course we believe that world is possible. It's what all the work is for.
PRT: After having released previous work one SideOneDummy, how’s it been working with the people over at Spinefarm Records?
Chris #2: So far it's been great. They've helped us create a vision and a package for American Spring that I don't think anyone else would have. They're a global label and these are global songs and agendas. We want to be represented around the globe and they've done great work helping that.
PRT: You’re planning on touring a great deal with this album and going back to all the places you’ve ever played. So… I guess we’ll see you again soon!
Chris #2: Of course! Thanks you so much! Much love and respect!