Review/Interview: Anti-Flag – American Spring (2015)/ Anti-Flag Talk About Social Ills, Musical Influences, and the Importance of Live Shows.

I am one of those old school people that still utilize pen and paper as much as possible. Needless to say that makes me subject to such losses as what has occurred to me this week. I have lost about four pages worth of material from an Anti-Flag interview I did recently but had not been able to get to until now. I’m not sure how, but those pages got ripped out of my legal pad. Nevertheless, I do have some material so I will try to work it into this review as much as possible.

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Although I normally do not like Anti-Flag’s sound, I thought this album had a powerful intro, and some very catchy hooks. The band did a really good job with this album;. Recently I was lucky enough to conduct an interview with Anti-Flag’s drummer, Pat Thetic. I am really glad I got to speak with Pat because he shed some light on the most stunning feature of this album, which is the vastness of the social ills that plague our world today.

American Spring covers a multitude of social problems, such as the fact that people can’t escape themselves to do something about these issues, the fact that we are living in a world that utilizes terror, and the fact that climate change is real. Those are at least some of the issues that Pat Thetic wanted to bring to light during our interview, and I can see those concerns addressed in the album. Pat pointed out that, “Drones are weapons of terror, much like suicide bombers,” only unmaned and run by our government.

Similarly, Pat passionately brought to my attention that the Climate Change, “Debate is over. Between forty to fifty years of climate change has already been happening. We need to do something about it, and it is a subject that is underrepresented.” When asked what someone could do, Pat Thetic reminded me that the purpose of Anti-Flag shows is to remind people that we aren’t alone.

These guys are passionate about these topics, and it shows in the quality of music they produce bringing attention to these social ills. My only problem is exactly what songs like “Set Yourself on Fire,” and, “Low Expectations,” bring up, what exactly is one person unrelated to anyone at an Anti-Flag show supposed to do? What personal tragedies are people going through? And how can I help? Those are the questions that rule my life. And I have come the conclusion that one can only bless those who were placed in our lives to bless. If we are called to the Peace Corp, or to law and legislation, then great.

But for those of us who aren’t called or who can’t fulfill our callings at the moment, but who feel and hurt and bleed for these same injustices, what dowe do? Is some album supposed to comfort us? Is it supposed to make us feel like we are doing anything more for our world? Because the truth is, we’ve heard it before. We’ve fought, we’ve protested, we’ve joined forces, written our senators. Nothing has changed. So tell me, how am I supposed to keep on going knowing that my work is all for naught. That is why I don’tlike this kind of punk, because there isn’t anything we can do anymore; except maybe Anarchy, ha ha ha.

Of Course, I must ask every band, and Anti-Flag is certainly no exception, who their musical influences are. According to Pat Thetic, Generation X, Billy Idol, The Clash, Social Distortion, Minor Threat, Fugazzi, and The Replacements are all musical influences.

Like Pat said, Anti-Flag shows are about knowing that at least you aren’t alone. And thankfully, they are touring currently on the East Coast. They will also make an appearance at the Punk Rock Bowl in Las Vegas, and then later they will tour Europe. You can find more tour info by clicking Anti-Flag, American Spring.

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8/10

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