SOUNDCHECK TO ENCORE WITH AGAINST ME!
Against Me! is an American punk rock band formed in Gainesville, Florida, United States, in 1997 by singer and guitarist Laura Jane Grace. Since 2001, the band’s lineup has also included guitarist James Bowman. After releasing three studio albums through independent record labels, Against Me! moved to Sire Records for 2007’s New Wave, which reached no. 57 on the Billboard 200. Their fifth album, 2010’s White Crosses, was their most successful, reaching no. 34. In 2011 the band launched their own record label, Total Treble Music, through which they plan to release future albums. In 2012 Grace publicly came out as transgender, beginning a transition to living as a woman and dropping her birth name. The band finished recording their sixth studio album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, during the summer of 2013, and released it on the twenty-first of January, 2014.
November 2010 saw Against Me!’s departure from Sire Records, their first (and only) major label. Following a two-month hiatus from touring, the band spoke for the first time since their tour cancellation, talking of their upcoming December 2010 shows, which saw Jay Weinberg cover for George Rebelo on drums, as he toured with Hot Water Music.
Throughout December 2010, Grace spoke of George Rebelo’s intentions to record an album with his primary band Hot Water Music. In January 2011, Weinberg was officially confirmed as Against Me!’s new drummer. Total Clarity, an album of demos and unreleased songs from the Searching for a Former Clarity sessions, was released on May 24, 2011, through Fat Wreck Chords.
Grace had expressed the desire to release at least one album per year for the next decade and that Grace hoped to record Against Me!’s sixth studio album in Winter 2011. As well as this, she spoke of releasing a 7″ on Sabot Productions before Summer 2011, featuring two original songs. This was announced as being Russian Spies / Occult Enemies, which was released on June 14, 2011. In the same studio session, the band recorded a cover of the theme song for a season 8 episode of One Tree Hill, which aired May 3.
On June 3, 2011, the band announced that they started their own record label, Total Treble Music. In September 2011, Grace built a recording studio in Elkton, Florida, for future Against Me! projects. The studio has since been named Total Treble Studio. The first band to record an album in the studio are Cheap Girls from Lansing, Michigan, with their album Giant Orange.
In May 2012 Grace publicly came out as transgender, having dealt with gender dysphoria since childhood, and began a transition to living as a woman by taking hormones, undergoing electrolysis treatments, and taking the name Laura Jane Grace. “I felt like I drop-kicked them in the face,” she said of informing the other members of Against Me! “We had the most awkward hug ever, and then they left. And the second I shut the door, I was like, ‘What the fuck did I just do?'” Gender dysphoria is the theme of the band’s sixth studio album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, a concept album about a transgender prostitute. They began recording in February 2012 at Total Treble Studio, working without Butch Vig, who produced New Wave and White Crosses. Instead, Grace is acting as both recording engineer and record producer for the album. Weinberg departed the group that December. Drummer Atom Willard filled in with the band for their 2013 Australian tour dates, and was confirmed as the band’s new drummer on July 31, 2013. In March 2013, the band canceled their US tour with Bad Religion. In May 2013, bassist Andrew Seward also announced his departure from the band. Grace has expressed that she felt the band could possibly in the future not continue under the name Against Me! but will, however, because she believes the new record has a message she wants to get out. On June 24, 2013, Grace announced that recording for Transgender Dysphoria Blues was finished. Grace went on a solo tour in August in a handful of east coast US cities in support of the record.
On July 15, 2013, Against Me! released the “True Trans” single for free, featuring the new acoustic song “FUCKMYLIFE666” and the namesake “True Trans Soul Rebel”. On August 29, 2013, Inge Johansson, formerly of The (International) Noise Conspiracy and Refused, was confirmed as the new bass player. On November 12, 2013, the studio version of “FUCKMYLIFE666” was released. On December 19, 2013, “Black Me Out” was released. The band began touring for their new album on New Year’s Eve, 2013 in Pittsburgh. Their new album has musical qualities reminiscent of their earlier work.
On January 21, 2014, Against Me! released Transgender Dysphoria Blues, their sixth full-length studio album. This album is the first by the band since their lead vocalist, Laura Jane Grace, came out as a transgender woman.
A new live album, 23 Live Sex Acts was recorded on tour by the band in 2014, and was released on September 4, 2015.
In October 2015, the band announced that they were working on their next studio album at Rancho Recordo studio in Fenton, Michigan. Grace has stated that she hopes to have the album out by summer 2016.