Pittsburgh punk rockers Anti-Flag have spent eight albums surveying the political landscape of their home town and beyond -- often in fierce fashion. So in the middle of an election year there was no need for a change of course on the quartet's new album, "The Bright Lights of America."
But frontman Justin Sane (ne Greever), notes that "because this is such an important year, we wanted to make a record that was a little outside of character for us and pushed outside the boundaries of what people would expect from us and outside of what we are normally comfortable with. So that was a mission, a goal that we set out to do."
So for "The Bright Lights of America," Anti-Flag went to a red state local (Lexington, Ky.) to recorded with producer Tony Visconti, famed for his collaborations with David Bowie, T. Rex and Thin Lizzy but who Sane knew from work with former Smith singer Morrissey. In Kentucky Anti-Flag stayed true to its guitar-dominated slash 'n' burn style but also added an array of new sounds, including string, brass, orchestra percussion, acoustic guitars, harmonica and banjo.
"Musically we were certainly trying to push ourselves into a new direction and hopefully surprise people," Sane, 35, explains. "I think it's important to try to do something new that keeps us from stagnating so that we sound fresh -- not only for people who listen to us, but for ourselves as musicians to create something that we're excited about."
Anti-Flag, Street Dogs, the Briggs and Fake Problems perform Friday (April 18) at the Majestic Theater, 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $18. Call (313) 833-9700 or visit www.majesticdetroit.com.
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