Photo by Josh Massie
Wywiad po polsku na Antyportal.net
Kosa: Lies that they tell our children is your 13th album – are you superstitious?
Chris #2: Not really. Honestly there are some things that deserve trepidation, but when you’ve made this many records your learn that the universe does whatever it wants with your art.
After 30 years as a band and 13 albums under your belt do you even still get excited when the album
Chris #2, Anti-Flag: Absolutely. We have worked very hard to ensure that the 4 of us believe in these songs and believe in this band. And frankly we don’t give a fuck if anyone else does.
What would you wish for when blowing candles on your 30 year band birthday cake?
Chris #2: The same thing we always wish for. The alleviation of suffering from our collective lives.
Is this anniversary in any way important to you, and did it make you reminiscence about the past
with all the turning points in your career, all the ups and downs and if yes, could you share some of
them with us?
Chris #2: Yes and no. We are always looking back at what we’ve done. The intention is to stay in the moment and focus on the work ahead, but there are valuable lessons in all of our pasts we can learn from to make us better stewards of the immediacy.
Your last record is full of quest appearances. Where there any instructions that they were given
before the recording to fit your style, or they were free to express themselves in any way?
Chris #2: We gave them demos of how we would’ve sung it, but let them do their own thing. We wanted them because of who they are and what their art means to us.
In your interviews there’s a lot talk about the ideas behind your songs, but I’d say that there’s
relatively little time dedicated to music. Doesn’t that in any way hurt you as music creators?
Chris #2: Not really. These issues are what we are passionate about. We never see fault in letting passion lead the way.
Because of social media and the way media works today, more and more people are living in their own information bubbles, sometimes going out of their way, not to get exposed to ideas that would influence their already set in stone worldview. Having that in mind, don’t you feel like you’re preaching to the quire more and more and where do you find the will to go on, as you’re already 30 years doing this
and there were not that many significant changes in the world for the better?
Chris #2: There is immense value in both finding new people to be a part of social movements that strive for economic, racial, and environmental justice… but there is so much to gain from “preaching to the choir”, we learn from each other, we pump each other up, we give each other the strength and energy to keep the fight going and hope alive.
On that note, were there any times during all those years when you seriously doubted the sense of
what you’re doing?
Chris #2: Doubt is real and always prevalent. Which is why you can’t view activism in wins and losses. And also why in your last question it’s so important to find your people and champion one another. Always.
From your interviews I get the vibe that you’re all positive, generally happy people, but as I
mentioned not that long ago, when I spoke to BigBrave, one of the few quotes I like is: “If you’re not
outraged, you’re not paying attention”, that can easily sum up the world we live in today. Going
through your lyrics I can see that you’re clearly paying attention, so please tell me your secret – how
do you keep your anger at bay? I’m asking for a friend.
Chris #2: For the most part when we talk to people about this work, you have to be an optimistic, empathetic person. That’s where the care comes from. But anger can be a great motivator to make things different than they currently are. I believe if we channel that anger and frustration into our creativity and collectivity we will always be better than we were.
One of you, said that you’re playing quick, short songs to catch the listeners attention as soon as
possible, so that you could get your message across. But, no offence, you’re playing a pretty spot on
definition of punk rock, so wouldn’t you have a better chance of catching listeners attention if you hit
them with something more out of the box?
Chris #2: We love punk rock. That’s what inspires us. We don’t want to write anything that isn’t true to ourselves at this point. There are moments where we’ve tried different things, to some degrees of success more than others, but we are always making and creating things that we want to hear or see.
What I’m going to try to do now is hit you with a curve ball. Can you please give me three things that
you like about “the right” and the capitalism and three things that you don’t like about “The Left”?
Chris #2: I don’t really see the distinction. If you’re talking conservative folks versus more socialist approaches, it’s easy to find things to like between the groups. They’re just people. We love people. As far as world travel, we love so many places because of the people. Montreal. Berlin. Helsinki. Pacentro. Pittsburgh. Kuala Lumpur. A lot of these places suffer from hyper-nationalist and OF COURSE the hyper-capitalism we all suffer from. But that’s where I’d start!
Do you check what’s the political situation in the countries that you visit?
Chris #2: We try to. Often the best information we receive is from the people at the show, how they share their work and their communities. We usually get more from those interactions than translated websites or newspapers.
During, your 30 years on the scene, you probably did countless interviews, and talked to countless people – is there any question that you never got, that you’re surprised that no one thought to ask?
Chris #2: We’ve been asked a lot, and over all of our influences. We are grateful for every opportunity we get to chat with new people and share these ideas and our art. So thank you for taking the time. We can’t wait to be back in Poland, we’re playing our songs and carrying ourselves on stage better than ever. So come and see for yourselves! Oi!