With a long stretch opening for Foo Fighters and a summer-long stint on the Vans Warped Tour, it’s been an interesting year for the politically charged Florida punk rockers Against Me!, said drummer Warren Oakes.
“I think the opportunity to play in front of people who have never heard your band before, maybe never heard of your band before, and the opportunity to make a first impression live and win them over to what you’re doing is definitely good,” says Oakes, 27. But this fall, he says, Against Me! has been happy to be playing its own shows again, even if they’re on a smaller scale.
“It’s more spine-tingling to play to 500 people who love your band and know every word than to 5,000 that are not really quite sure who you are,” he explains.
Nevertheless, Against Me! has certainly seen its following grow since “New Wave,” its first major label album, came out 15 months ago. So when the quartet returns to the studio with producer Butch Vig in early 2009 — after frontman Tom Gabel does a bit of touring to promote a solo EP, “Heart Burns,” that comes out Oct. 28 — the group can feel confident there will be more ears waiting to hear what it’s up to.
“I’d like to think so, yeah,” Oakes says. “There’s not a science to it, but every time we tour with somebody, you do see a little bit of that. The people that are keen on it do come back around, and a lot of times are then with you for life. So that’s a cool thing.”
Against Me!, Ted Leo & the Pharmicists and Future of the Left perform Saturday (Oct. 18) at the Majestic Theater, 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, $23 at the door. Call (313) 833-9700 or visit www.majesticdetroit.com.
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