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 Laura will be doing a AMA on reddit tomorrow (2/6).

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JustinAtWill
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PostSubject: Laura will be doing a AMA on reddit tomorrow (2/6).   Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:25 pm

Dont know if anyone here sets on reddit all day at work like I do, but Laura will be doing a AMA in /r/music tomorrow at 1pm EST. Should be an interesting read, and if you got any questions you wanna ask, now's the time!

http://www.reddit.com/r/music
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ashley
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PostSubject: Re: Laura will be doing a AMA on reddit tomorrow (2/6).   Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:35 pm

awesome!
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PostSubject: Re: Laura will be doing a AMA on reddit tomorrow (2/6).   Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:29 pm

I'm gonna ask her if she's ever heard the song "Dead Chicks"
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JustinAtWill
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PostSubject: Re: Laura will be doing a AMA on reddit tomorrow (2/6).   Wed Feb 05, 2014 5:48 pm

DavyGrolton wrote:
I'm gonna ask her if she's ever heard the song "Dead Chicks"

LOL. I would assume she hasnt...as we did not play it when we opened for them. Hahahah.
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PostSubject: Re: Laura will be doing a AMA on reddit tomorrow (2/6).   Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:59 pm

Holy crap! I just asked her on Twitter on the 28th if she'd ever think about doing an AMA, just thought it would be awesome if she did.

I like to think I had EVERYTHING to do with making this happen, lol.
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PostSubject: Re: Laura will be doing a AMA on reddit tomorrow (2/6).   Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:00 pm

Someone ask about dead generations and djs soul electric! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Laura will be doing a AMA on reddit tomorrow (2/6).   Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:03 pm

What the fuck is reddit?
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PostSubject: Re: Laura will be doing a AMA on reddit tomorrow (2/6).   Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:08 pm

saintjonah wrote:
I like to think I had EVERYTHING to do with making this happen, lol.

Thank you for all your hard work.
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PostSubject: Re: Laura will be doing a AMA on reddit tomorrow (2/6).   Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:55 pm

We need to ask about dead generations,

ALSO

We need to ask about a possible release of reinventing/crime/newwave demos / unreleased songs from that time period.


Please make this happen guys/gals
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PostSubject: Re: Laura will be doing a AMA on reddit tomorrow (2/6).   Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:22 pm

Yes! New Wave / Transgender demos/unreleased songs!

Someone ask!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Laura will be doing a AMA on reddit tomorrow (2/6).   Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:28 am

Fuck. I'm going out that day all day. I mean I'm unemployed. I am literally at home all day every day but it has to happen the one day I have plays. Fuck me right?
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PostSubject: Re: Laura will be doing a AMA on reddit tomorrow (2/6).   Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:41 pm

Linky
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PostSubject: Re: Laura will be doing a AMA on reddit tomorrow (2/6).   Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:09 pm

Some questions and answers:

EDIT: at first i was only going to a couple of these, then i couldn't stop. i want to, but cant.
EDIT 2: woah. i just realized how much i copied and pasted. i have strep and am on my 3rd day stuck in my room. i think i've started to lose it.

"First off, you changed my life. Second, have you ever considered writing a memoir? Also, are you going to do more talks like the one scheduled at Oneonta?"

    "I am currently working on a book. Actually, I should be working on it right now but I'm procrastinating by doing this AMA. As for the speaking gig at Oneonta, not sure. We'll see how this one goes. I've never done anything like it."


"At an Against Me! show in Toronto years ago, some kid wanted you to play Burn but was told "We don't play it anymore, if you really want to know why meet me by the bar and I'll grab you a drink and tell you."
I always wondered why, so... why? (If it's not something that really needs to be aired in front of the whole internet, that's cool too. I'm just curious.)"

    "The lyrics to the song "Burn" were never finished. I just kind of mumbled something different at the end of the second verse every time we used to play it. The time and place to finish the song has kind of long since past so I figure it's best not to play it. Don't want to fake the funk."


"1) Are there plans to release the b-sides to TDB like you did with New Wave and White Crosses? Or demo versions like with Total Clarity and Original Cowboy?
2) How is Total Treble Studios doing? Is it back to normal after that tree incident? How do you typically choose bands to work with in your studio?
3) After Andrew left, you said you would have hung up the Against Me! name if TDB wasn't such an important record. But, now with Inge and Atom in the band, it seems like one of the strongest line-ups AM! has ever had. Are you still considering retiring the Against Me! name after the TDB touring cycle ends?
4) Are there plans for AM! to play Fesy again?"

    "1). There are a couple unfinished songs from the TDB sessions that we plan on finishing but not alternate demo versions like with the last records.
2). The studio has been abandoned. The tree that fell through the roof destroyed the building. I've moved to Chicago and hope to get a set up going here but have been busy with touring and band stuff.
3). Andrew leaving was just a real shock. Those are some big shoes to fill. Andrew brought a lot to the band. I just don't ever want to feel like Against Me! has become less than it used to be as a live band. James and I are really lucky to be playing with Inge and Atom. They're an incredible rhythm section.
4). Haven't been asked."



"Hey! I just wanted to say that iv'e been a huge fan for a long time and that your music has had a huge impact on me. Are there any artists that have had a significant impact on you?"

    "So many artists have had a strong impact on me. So many bands define periods of time in my life. Madonna inspired me to want to be a performer. When I was 8 I was obsessed with Guns And Roses. When I was 12 I was obsessed with The Doors. The punk band Crass forever changed and shaped the my politics and the way I approach music. The Mountain Goats have been one of the biggest influences on my songwriting. For the past year the only album I've been able to listen to is Roland S. Howard's Teenage Snuff film. I'm leaving out a lot here. Just shooting from the hip."


"Hey Laura, I was wondering if you have any advice for young trans? And also, If you have any music suggestions?"

    "Advice for young trans? Don't take any shit from anyone. Keep your head up. Don't feel like you have to go from Box A to Box B. Surround yourself with people love you for who you are and accept you without judgement. Music suggestions? What are you into already? Hit me on twitter. I could go on forever about music."


"How are Warren and Andrew doing? I hope ya'll didn't lose touch!"

    "I haven't talked to Warren since he left the band. I haven't talked to Andrew since April. I hear they're both doing fine though. Andrew's playing in a new band called Human Parts and Warren (in addition to runnning his restaurant Boca Fiesta) is playing in a band called Sunshine State. Check them out."


"Hey Laura,
What has been your thoughts about each of Against Me!'s albums as you as you went through your life changes? Do you look at them differently now?"

    "Totally look at them differently now. It's hard to have perspective on something while you're making it. Usually takes me about a year to hear one of our albums the way every one else does. Each one of our album's feels like a chapter in my life though and looking at back at them continues to take on different meaning and significance."


"Hey Laura! What bands are you listening to at the moment?"

    "For the past couple weeks I've listened to two songs on repeat every day... Shovels And Rope - "Birmingham" and Robyn Hitchcock "New York Doll"."


"Hey Laura, first I wanted to share what an inspiration you are for me, though you probably get that a lot. My best friend has been bugging me for a few years to listen to Against Me and I kept saying I would. Than last Thursday I finally listened to her and listened to you guys. The first thing I listened to was the most recent album Transgender Dysphoria Blue, and the album spoke to me, it was enlightening. You see I am also transgender and just beginning my journey. I listened to that album on my first day of therapy, the beginning of my steps into womanhood. It was synchronistic, as if planed by some outside force that you can't explain. Since listening to that album I have become inspired to finish coming out and take on the world. So thank you for that. No since this is an AmA I have two questions 1- how much of the Transgender Dysphoria Blues album was inspired from your own life? 2- any advice for a fellow trans girl? Thanks again Laura"

    "1). The album is completely autobiographical. I've never been good at writing fiction.
2). Advice? It's good that you're talking to someone. Just hearing yourself verbalize what you're feeling is a tremendous step, regardless of what's said to you in return. Transition at your own pace. Don't feel like you have to measure up to someone else's standards of how quick you should be moving or where you should end up."



"Hi Laura! You’ve said that some of your songs prior to coming out still dealt with the feeling of gender dysphoria, just less explicitly stated. Aside from “Ocean”, which other songs address those feelings?"

   ""Searching For A Former Clarity" with the line "Confessing childhood secrets of dressing up in women's clothes. Compulsions I never knew the reasons to."
Both "The Disco Before The Breakdown" and "Tonight We're Going To Give It 35%" are about gender dysphoria.
"Pretty Girls", pretty much all of "Searching For A Former Clarity" is about it I guess, except for the obvious anti-war songs. At the time the band was facing intense scrutiny from the punk scene about the politics of what label we were or weren't on. That album was me saying "I don't even care about these things. Do really want to know how it feels on the inside right now and what I'm really thinking about?""



"What's it like being a punk rock parent?"

    "I don't know it any other way. Being a parent is being a parent."


"What was it like recording Reinventing Axl Rose? It seems like it was a lot of fun, especially the sing-along part of We Laugh at Danger where you all break out laughing."

    "It was fun but we were all nervous. It was our first time making an album. We had two days in the studio booked. The first day we recorded everything and then realized that we played it all way too fast (Warren always played too fast when he was nervous). So the second day we recorded everything again and then mixed it."


"If you could be in any band, other than yours, which would it be and why?"

    "I'm not sure which band but I just want to be the bass player and I don't want to sing. 4 strings of responsibility, that's all I want."


"Laura Hello! New album is perfect. You guys killed it!
After yesterday's tweets from "Riot Fest", How likely do you think it is that we will see a collab. album from you and Frank Turner in the future? I think that would be something truly remarkable!"

    "I would do it in a heartbeat. Stephen asked for my email address so who knows, maybe it actually could?"


"Recently Fat Mike was on here and was talking about recording your recent record with you and how he enjoyed it. Who would you say was your favorite artist to work alongside and write and/or record with?"

   "Making records with Butch Vig changed my life. I've never had more respect for another artist. He's one of the most honest and genuine people I've ever met and has had my back when I've needed it most.
Writing with Joan Jett was a fucking phenomenal experience. She exudes cool and has been nothing but supportive to me. I wish I could just hang out with her everyday.
Ian Graham from Cheap Girls is probably my most favourite song writer I've ever worked with though. Mother fucker makes me laugh harder than anyone I know. I love Ian to death."



"I'm an episcopal priest in Georgia and have been a huge fan since getting a copy of Reinventing Axl Rose. I just wanted to say, "thank you"; for your openness, your honesty, and your integrity. Listening to this album and the lyrics have broken my heart several times as I cannot even begin to imagine the struggle - but it has brought me closer to understanding my transgendered brothers and sisters in my community. You are an inspiration and I, for one, am lucky to have your music."

    "I appreciate that. Thank you so much for listening."


"Do you ever get tired of your trans fans reaching out to you?"

  "No. I need the support and want to know that I'm not alone as much as they do."
   



"You've evolved so much since I first heard Reinventing Axl Rose. (I saw a reddit comment on a video of that recent Letterman performance saying that "the only thing that hasn't changed about Against Me! is the color of their shirts.") I am definitely struggling through the fangirling to write anything remotely coherent right now, but what has helped you to grow as musicians and has it been a struggle to retain the same punk-rock heart (that's such a cheesy way of putting that, but eh) of your first releases?"

    "Well, what's help me to grow as a musician has been continuing to play. We've played 200+ shows a year for like the past 15 years and then we've practiced when we weren't on the road. You'd hope that you'd get better at playing your instrument after all that time. What has never changed for me though is my love of music. I play because it's what I've always wanted to do. There's never been a doubt in my mind. I want to spend my life playing music. If I'm lucky enough to do that in front of a couple 100 people each night then great. If not, I'll stand on a street corner and busk for change. I don't care. That's why it's never been an issue of selling out or not for me. Selling out to me always meant trading my guitar for some kind of soul-sucking job that I hated that didn't have anything to do with music."


"Hi Laura! How are you enjoying living in Chicago this nasty winter?"

    "I'm not so into the winter weather."


"When will you tell us your tour dates for the spring/summer?"

    "We're announcing tour dates for March and April today. Planning the rest of the year currently."


"Hey, Laura, longtime fan here. I've listened to you guys for years and have attended 11 shows now- most recently in Virginia Beach. First of all I want to tell you how much I appreciate Against Me!s dedication to widespread tour schedules- I rest assured that nearly every tour I can come out and see my favorite band. I've got a twofer on questions though: #1 I saw y'all at a benefit show with Ted Leo at the black cat in 2008 and Alec Mackaye sang a song with Ted. Any recollection of what it was? I would also like to ask what "35%" was written about. It's been a favorite for years, and I've always wondered. Thank you so much for years of fantastic tunes!"

    "1). Shit, no I don't remember what song he sang. But I do remember the show being fun. Sorry.
2). I wrote "Tonight We're Going To Give It 35%" in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. The line "We drank bottled water together and talked business..." was about Anti-Flag. They were trying to sign us to their label at the time and took us to their warehouse space. We drank bottled water together. A lot of the song is about touring and the person you miss back home. It's about trying to reconcile your politics with the choices you're making. It's also about shame and gender dysphoria "Can you live with what you know about yourself when you're all alone?" I wasn't ready to address the things I knew about myself back then when I was all alone."



"Hi I love you as an artist and are my favorite by far
1 where did you get the phrase walking is still honest and the meaning
2.do you have social anxiety, I do and the song pretty girls from clarity describes me to a t. I'm just wondering if you suffer from it and hoe you deal with it being constantly asked for pictures or your time.
Any plans on a heart burns two cd or another we"re never going home DVD
Thank you if you answer I gave to go to sleep because I work nights. I love all your Records including the new one and also own most on vinyl and cd"

    "1). I wrote "Walking Is Still Honest" when I was 17 or 18 years old. I had just moved out of my Mom's house and was living on my own for the first time. I hated so much of what I saw in the world and was pretty angry. I walked all of the time, everywhere I went. It felt like the one true thing I could still do. There was nothing corrupt about it.
2). I have terrible social anxiety, sometimes crippling. Being on tour helps. I'm comfortable in a show environment when it's my band's show. I don't mind taking pictures or talking to people, whatever. There's a sense of control still. It's when I'm not on tour, when I'm alone that it's really bad."



"Hi, Laura. I just wanted to say Thank You for giving so many people such confidence and inspiration as well as an immense amount of hope. Your music has been very relevant in my life and extremely influential in my own creative endeavors. One of my favorite Against Me! songs is "Borne On The FM Waves Of The Heart". What was the inspiration behind the lyrics and what was working with Tegan Quin? Originally did you plan it to be a duet? Also, you should consider a show at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, NJ. A year ago you were going to open for Bad Religion and then canceled, but please come back! There are a lot of people in the area who love the Band. Stay beautiful, and strong! Love from New Jersey <3 - Tui"

    "I wrote that song the summer I fell in love with Heather. I really didn't want to be in a relationship with anyone and I was fighting it. I wrote the song with Tegan's vocal in mind. I wanted her to sing on it from the start. She was incredible to work with. Really enthusiastic and really fun to be around. Would love to come to Montclair, NJ. Did you know my Mom bought her wedding dress in Montclair?"


"Holy crap. I might pee my pants with excitement. Thank you so much Laura for doing this.
I'm pretty sure you are in the middle of your transition, correct? Are you worried that beautifully angelic voice of yours will change? I told my boyfriend the other day I would marry your voice, he said he probably would too.
Thanks again! You're an inspiration to so many people!"

    "I love my singing voice and I have no problem with my speaking voice. People just need to accept that this too is what a woman sounds like."


"Hi Laura,
My wife and I are enormous fans, and since she isn't a redditor, she wanted me to ask: have you considered bangs?"

    "HA! Lately I've been having trouble at shows. I'll go to start singing and suck hair down my throat and start choking. So yes, I have thought about bangs."


"How do you feel the punk scene has reacted to your gender change? as well as your family?
By the way HUGE fan! I love your music so much! Big influence on my band"

    "I've been humbled by the amount of support that I've received."


"Love your work and the new Transgender Dysphoria Blues album Laura, what made you opt for a more lo-fi homemade recording sound this time round as opposed to the very slick, polished sounding, White Crosses?
Hope you have a great day! Smile"

    "What you hear is really just the extent of my abilities as a producer currently. The album is more stripped down but the goal wasn't to strive for lo-fi. The goal as always was to make the best sounding album we could given what we had to work with."


"Hi Laura! Currently, what's your favorite song to play live?
Love the new album!!!"

    "Love playing FUCKMYLIFE666 and Black Me Out. Those are probably my two current faves."


"On Transgender Dysphoria Blues, you've got a few songs that feature coffins/caskets. Is this just romanticized imagery or does this stem from thinking about your own death a lot? Or something altogether different entirely? Thanks so much.
ps- My boyfriend wears his watch all day every day! He loves the shit out of you guys, but doesn't really understand reddit. pss- Please ignore my username. Hello."

    "I've spent a lot of time thinking about death over the past couple years."


"What are your feelings on The Fest in Gainesville and do you have any interest in headlining it again?
Seeing Against Me! headline the Florida Theater/Venue at Fest 10 was literally the most fun I've ever had in my entire life. We pretty much had an entire balcony to ourselves, went up there just to sit because the lower levels were empty, turns out it was empty up there and we had our own dancefloor. The pictures are not flattering .
Do you feel like the press is treating Against Me! any differently than they were three years ago? Are there any negative experiences you've had with people in the music press industry?
Thank you for having a profound impact on my life."

    "Would love to play the Fest again, just haven't been asked. Fest 10 was a lot of fun for sure.
No, haven't really felt any different treatment from the press. Same as it ever was. Not all journalists are created equal. Not especially negative experiences to speak of though.
Thanks for listening!"



"Hey Laura, thanks so much for changing my life with your music.
I wanted to know why you chose to distance yourself from anarchism in your later work (specifically, "I was a teenage anarchist")."

    "I didn't see that song as a snub to Anarchism. But I felt like those who interpreted as such kind of proved the point. I'm 33, well past a teenager so that's why the song title is in the past tense."


"What's Warren up to these days? Do you keep in touch?"

    "Haven't talked to Warren in years. He plays in a band called Sunshine State now though, pretty good. Check em out."


"How was it working with a punk rock legend like fat mike? I know he said he was kinda nervous to do the bass lines. Also he said he tried giving you tips on putting on lipstick? Is there a funny story behind that?"

    "I've known Mike for over a decade now. Of all the labels that AM! has worked with Fat has been the most transparent and fair. I have nothing but respect for him. NOFX was maybe the 2nd or 3rd show I ever saw live. So even though I've known Mike for years there's still a 14 year old fan-kid inside of me going "OH MY GOD YOU'RE FAT MIKE! OH MY GOD YOU'RE FAT MIKE! OH MY GOD YOU'RE FAT MIKE!""


"First I want to say thank you for making some amazing music that I will forever enjoy.
I wanted to know if you had any plans to do more solo stuff anytime soon?"

    "No current plans but I wouldn't rule out the possibility"


"Any plans of a UK tour in the future?"

    "Definitely at some point this year. Trying to make plans to come over currently."


"Aside from the announcement that you're transgender/transitioning, what is something you are most proud of?"

    "All the places that I've traveled to in life."


"Hi Laura! Let me start off first by saying that although I’ve met you several times already, it’s always a joy to come in contact with you again—although this is my first time addressing you as Laura. (My most memorable meeting with you was on the streets of Corpus Christi right before a show back in ‘06/’07).
Anywho, I’ve been following AM! since ’02 and have seen over 13 shows (including the one back in Sam’s Burger Joint when Brigg almost duked it out with the bouncer), so I’ve seen you grow, just like myself over the years. Like you, when I was young, I believed in a power of younger people—the kind of power that could start a revolution. In my height of beliefs and everything I stood for, the band that I always closely identified with was AM! I have a huge AM! tattoo on my right forearm dedicated to “the cause.” Fast forward ten years later, and I’m an Executive for one of the largest companies in the world, and you’re a living, breathing rock goddess.
My question to you is this: Did you ever throughout the course of AM! realize that you were headed in a direction that you never thought would happen? How did that make you feel?
I’m just an old punk having to “conform” and sometimes, just sometimes, I think about when we were young and wanted to set the world on fire.
Congrats on having the courage to be yourself Laura. You are truly an amazing, old soul. Thank you for everything.
Love, An Iron-Fisted Champion, an Iron-Willed Fuck up
EDIT: word"

    "I guess the best way I can answer that is to say that the twists and turns that life takes never cease to amaze me. Just when you think you've got it all figured out and know which way things are going to go the ground falls out beneath your feet and everything changes. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. No, when I started this band I never thought that in 2014 I would be living out as a trans woman. It's fucking mind blowing.
Thanks for listening for all these years. I remember the Sam's Burger Joint show well. Brig rules. Heading to Austin soon. Hope to see him."



"Hey Laura!
What has been your most surreal moment on stage?
How was it working with Fat Mike on Transgender Dysphoria Blues?
I host a podcast that has musicians (Andrew WK, Brendon Small, etc) come on a nerd out with us. Would you be interested in being a guest to talk audio?
Thanks for this AMA and look forward to your responses"

    "1). Most surreal moment on stage? 2005 opening for GreenDay in Giant's stadium. GreenDay was the first show I ever saw. Standing there on stage in Giant's Stadium and turning around and seeing the guys in Greenday watching from the side of the stage, seeing the Bouncing Souls guys standing there (Bouncing Souls were probably the 3rd show I ever saw), it was almost more than I could handle. Really proved to me that you do anything with your life if you work hard enough.
2). Mike's a hero and he really added to the songs he played on. The bass line he came up with for Unconditional Love made that song. We've still got one more song finished, mixed and mastered that he played on. We'll do something with it eventually.
Would love to be on your podcast. Hit me up on twitter."



"Hi Laura (or Ms. Grace. Goddamn I'm nervous).
My name is Alec, and I'm a long-time fan of Against Me! and heavily involved in the folk-punk scene. I'm really excited to have the opportunity to ask you just a few questions that I've always wondered.
Against Me! Seems to have pioneered the folk-punk genre, insofar as many folk-punk artists today cite the earlier albums as inspiration. Can you speak a little about that style of music, the culture surrounding it, and who you took influence of in its pursuit?
It is no secret that the punk community's response to your gender transition has been overwhelmingly positive. Going back a couple years, before your news was made public, how did you think people in the punk community would react?
How much do you think the personality of an artist should affect the fans' appreciation of their art? If the two are separate, how do you compartmentalize them? If not, what factors do you consider in forming a balanced opinion?
What's on your personal playlist right now? Which artists do you feel have yet to garner the appreciation they deserve?
This one's a stretch (breathe, Alec). I, and my friend John, do a folk-punk radio show on a college station in Los Angeles. We're volunteers (everything is DIY), and we try to be a public voice for the folk-punk scene and their culture. Would you be at all interested in letting us feature you on our show? I know you've gotten a lot of attention, and we're much too small to warrant a that kind of buzz, but I'd kick myself forever if I didn't ask. Anything from a performance to a simple program/station ID would make me giggle uncontrollably. We're called A Fistful of Vinyl on KXLU 88.9 FM Los Angeles.
Thank you so much for doing this, and for providing us all with your art.
edit: Please feel free to skip any of these questions that you've already answered :-)"

    "1). When I started Against Me! I was heavy under the influence of english peace punk bands like Crass, The Mob, Omega Tribe, Poison Girls, Chumbawamba, Honey Bane, etc. Chumbawamba in particular had a real acoustic slant to some of their early material (and later) which I loved. There was a band called The Apostles too that had a real hippy/punk vibe that had a lot of influence on me. But if there's anyone who deserves credit for starting acoustic punk it "SETH!" I still have the tape. He was the originator of the sound in my opinion.
2). It's not that I expected a negative reaction but I just didn't know what to expect. But yes, it's been overwhelmingly positive.
3). I think it's okay if an artist is an asshole to some extent (I have a hard time excusing racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, etc, of course, but am okay with someone being crotchety) They don't owe you anything other than their art. Hell, I'd rather an artist was an asshole than a Scientologist. But that's why I never really want to meet most of my hero's. I'd rather not know them personally and just enjoy whatever it is about their art that speaks to me.
What's on my personal playlist? Shovels and Rope -"Birmingham", Robyn Hitchcock "New York Doll", only two songs I've been able to listen to for the past month.
Sure, why not. Hit me on twitter and we'll figure it out."



"Hello and good morning Laura! I would like to start off saying I highly respect your recent decisions in your personal life and that you continue to do what you love despite all that you have been through, it's good to see people being able to pull through such things. I would like to ask two things. First off, what would you say is the hardest part of your gender transition? Secondly, do you believe that this transition has affected your stage presence as a "front man" for your band, and how has the crowd, for those fans returning to see you perform, reacted to this change?"

    "Deciding to transition has been really liberating as an artists, especially on stage. I feel like it's just okay to be me and I don't have to measure up to some popular perception of what a "front man" does. Which before had been extremely dysphoria inducing. The hardest part of transition? The changes have taken place in my personal life and in my personal relationships and knowing that it will be a long time before the full extent of those changes have been realized or worked through."


"Hi Laura! HUGE fan, some of the best moments of my life were singing through Reinventing Axl Rose at the top of my lungs with a car packed full of friends.
As an artist, or more specifically a musician, how do you feel about meeting the expectations of so many different types of fans you have attracted over the years and throughout the band's history? Does that ever come into your head when recording new music?"

    "I try to avoid meeting people's expectations of me, often times to a fault. If I feel like someone is expecting something from me I'll usually be inclined to try and do the exact opposite."


"Any plans to come to the Pacific Northwest anytime soon? Please say yes!"

    "Very soon in fact. Look for a tour announcement later today."


"Can you tell me a little about St. Augustine and what it was like to live there as a punk? I was there once (originally from Orlando) for harvest of hope and it seemed like the nicest place to live. I still consider saving up and moving there.
Also, thanks for being you. Your music has helped me through a lot!"

    "Saint Augustine is quiet. Really quiet. There's not a lot going on there but there is a small group of people who put on shows. I liked living there. It's beautiful. I miss it."


"Laura Greetings from Dublin, Ireland First of all I just wanted to say thank you for everything. Your music over the years, your positivity, everything. You just rock so hard. Your hair is AMAZING What is your regular hair regimen? Who is your biggest fashion icon?"

    "Hair regimen? I'm a big fan of Fekkai shampoo and conditioner. Although when I'm on tour and there's not a shower around I've been using the Lush dry shampoo. Other than that maybe just a little Argan Oil and Biotin."


"What is your favorite album of all time?!"

    "Rowland S. Howard - Teenage Snuff Film"


"First off I saw the show in St. Pete and you rocked, Atom sold my friend a shirt and I caught a drumstick. You had stated you desired doing an album a year for the next decade, does this still hold true? Also when are there going to be anymore limited edition blue Transgender Dysphoria Blues lp's for sale?"

    "I have held true to that so far, it just hasn't always been an AM! record. 2011 was White Crosses/Black Crosses, 2012 was Cheap Girls - Giant Orange, 2013 was The Wild - Dreams Are Maps and now 2014 is Transgender Dysphoria Blues. I've got to get to work now on something for next year!"


"Hey Laura, What was your first guitar and what is your favourite guitar as of today?"

    "My first guitar was a Harmony acoustic guitar bought out of a Sears catalogue with money I saved mowing lawns. My favourite guitar is my Rickenbacker 370. That guitar is my soulmate."


"What's you favorite Madonna Song?
Thanks so much for doing this!"

    "Damn, that's a tough question. Can I name 3?
1). Material Girl 2). Express Yourself 3). Justify My Love 4). Hung Up
Oooops that's four! Oh well."



"Hi, Laura!
Three questions: What is your favorite song to play live? What was the hardest song to record? And who is your biggest musical inspiration?
Your music means a lot to me, thank you so much for what you do!"

   "Favourite song to play live? FUCKMYLIFE666 Hardest song to record? Osama Bin Laden As The Crucified Christ Biggest Musical Inspiration? Too many to choose from"


"First off, You are a big inspiration to me and a lot of other Trans Girls/women. Having someone That is responsible for music we listen to that is out like you are gives out a big dose of confidence for the rest of us.
Okay, question time.
1.) How has being Trans affected your music writing over the years? Do you think there are certain songs that come from that place that aren't more obvious?
2.) What changes in the LGBT community, or even just the Trans community do you think would be the most beneficial?
3.) I am a board member of my university's Queers and Allies student organization, and I was wondering, how does one get in contact with you or your label; to find out if you and/or your band would be interested in coming out to our school and do a speaking event or play a show or something?"

   "1). Well, songwriting has always been something to turn to for me to turn negative feelings into something positive. So in the past, dealing dysphoria privately, I used songwriting as an outlet. Some songs are more overt and some songs you'd never guess. Sometimes writing a song that had nothing to do with what I was feeling was the best way to deal with things. Really though it was about taking my anger and frustration out on stage. That always been the true release and where I get most satisfaction.
2). I'm not sure. What do you think?
3). We have contact info listed on our website againstme.net Get in touch."



"One more question, what is one musical influence or love that you have that NOBODY would ever suspect or know? No judgment!"

    "I love INXS. Does that count? I love all Australian 80's pop music."


"Super impressed with the new album. However, being that the band has gone through some pretty significant changes in personell, I'm curious if it has been difficult finding new members that share your vision for what the band is becoming?"

    "I've always written the songs in AM!, that's never changed. As far as a "vision for what the band is becoming" goes, the only vision there's ever been is to be the best live band out there. It's not hard to find people who say they are willing to go for that but it is hard sometimes to find people who can actually bring that live. At the moment I can't believe how lucky me and James are to be playing with Inge and Atom."


"Do you own Boca Fiesta in Gainesville? I'm a student at UF and my girlfriend, who is a HUGE fan of Against Me!, were there with some friends and they said you owned it.
I have two other questions:
How receptive was the punk rock community after you came out?
How did Gainesville become so crucial to the punk rock community?"

   "I don't own Boca Fiesta, no. Warren does, along with some friends.
The punk community has been nothing but supportive.
Gainesville is a college town. There's always new life breathing into it and old life breathing out. It's cheap to live there and there are some great labels and venues that have helped support the scene over the years."



"Hi Laura, long time fan. I was wondering which of your older songs still resonate with you and if there are any you feel particularly detached from? pre-New Wave, but especially pre-Cowboy. I'm especially curious about hearing about your politics. Thanks!"

    "If a song doesn't resonate anymore then we don't play it. But a lot of the time that has more to do with the music and less with the lyrics. My personal interpretation of my lyrics constantly changes. I'm always surprising myself thinking "oh, that's what I really meant by saying this", just cause often I write really stream of consciousness style. The only way my politics have changed over the years is that I used think that I knew everything and now I know I don't know anything at all."


"Did you find yourself more relieved or anxious after writing such open, revealing lyrics on the latest album?"
 
    "Absolutely relieved."


"I love anytime you collaborate or play with Chuck Ragan or Brian Fallon, any plans to do so again in the future?"

    "Would love to!"


"Hi Laura! Long time AM! fan here, just saw you guys play at Toad's Place in early Jan and couldn't get over how much energy and joy you (and your bandmates!) put into your performance. Thanks for a fantastic show! Smile
My question for you: How can cisgendered folks be better allies to members of the trans community? Are there any things in particular we do/say that WE might think are helpful but are actually damaging/detrimental/way too nosy?"

    "Glad you enjoyed the show.
I would say it's less about being a "better ally to the trans community" and more just about being a cool person. Never assume things about people, whether that's their name, their gender, their religion, whatever. Also, in my opinion if you're unsure about something it's best to just politely ask. "How would you like to be gendered?" and then just respect whatever answer is given and don't make a big deal about it (that's the point, it's not a big deal). "Do you mind the word 'dude'"? Some people do and some people don't. To me "dude" in the right context is pretty gender neutral but not to everyone. Just realize there's a whole wide world of gender variance out there. Personally, I prefer female pronouns, "she", "her". If someone slips up, I'm not going to jump down their throat, but I can tell if someone is disregarding me and I will stick up for myself. I have a friend who prefers to be referred to as "Supreme Goddess". She told me that once, I accepted it, moved on, that's the way it is. Life's a trip, right?"


"1. My girlfriend wrote you a letter in an envelope I made with dinosaur paper. Any chance you got that?
Any shows coming up in Chicago?
Not really a question but I'm in a Chicago-area trans meetup group and you should totally come and hang out with us some time. /r/transchicago."

   "I did get the letter. Thank you.
No shows currently planned for Chicago, but soon.
I'd love to come to the group. Can you hit me on twitter to tell me when and where?"



"Hey Laura! I know you recently moved your family up to Chicago. What was the reasoning behind the move? How are you liking our currently frozen city? And what sort of effect will this have on AM?"

    "It was just time for a move. I like the city, could do without all of the snow. What effect will it have on the band? We're all pretty spread out at this point. I'm here, James is in Jersey, Atom's in LA, Inge's in Norway. We're making Chicago our base though for now. This is where we practice before a tour."


"I'm a huge fan! I want to know when you knew for sure that you were transgender? It must be such a hard thing to find out about yourself."

    "I knew I was trans before I knew the word transgender."


"Anyways, my question is: Will we ever get another tour documentary like We're Never Going Home? It's one of my favorite documentaries ever and I would love to see something like that again. Thanks for the AMA and cheers for the great new record!"

    "Would love to do a road documentary again. Hopefully it will happen someday. Would love to have Jake Burghart who did We're Never Going Home do it too!"


"Did you ever play World of Warcraft?"

    "Never got into it. Nope."


"hey laura, big fan. i am of the hugely unpopular opinion that, up until TDB, new wave was your best record. [but i mean, i'm down with all of it.] as a fan and a member of the dark order of the trans sisterhood, thanks for doing this ama!
my question is, early on, when speaking about transgender dysphoria blue, you called it a 'concept album about a trans prostitute'. i was just curious, do you still feel that way about the progression of the tracking on the record? is/was that story metaphorical for your experience or was it more of a ruse in service of an outlet? do you feel like it still exists in the final product?
also, what are your views on sex work? i had some friends feel a little weird about some of the language on 'black me out'. were you more interested in the 'control/oppression' aspect of how bad it can be?
anyway, thanks again for doing this. i'll try and say hey next time you're in brooklyn! hope you're well!"

    "Saying it was a concept record early on was really more of a ruse because I felt nervous about the songs I was writing. It's an autobiographical record. I have nothing but respect for sex workers, especially trans sex workers. I think they are true fucking heros and true revolutionaries."


"Canadian tour this year, yes or yes?"

    "Yes!"





And links for the lazy:
Human Parts
Sunshine State
Shovels & Rope - Birmingham
Shovels & Rope - Gasoline (she didn't post this one but i like it.)
NY Doll - Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3


Last edited by ashley on Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:07 pm; edited 32 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Laura will be doing a AMA on reddit tomorrow (2/6).   Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:15 pm

I feel like this is something only forum people can appreciate. Can we get this voted higher so she's more likely so answer?

http://www.reddit.com/r/Music/comments/1x6vt7/hi_im_laura_jane_grace_ask_me_anything/cf8mv1q
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PostSubject: Re: Laura will be doing a AMA on reddit tomorrow (2/6).   Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:06 pm

I'm surprised she answered a question about "Burn"! Turns out the distaste for it is because it was never finished more than anything. Cool beans of info to know.
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PostSubject: Re: Laura will be doing a AMA on reddit tomorrow (2/6).   Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:29 pm

Awesome!
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PostSubject: Re: Laura will be doing a AMA on reddit tomorrow (2/6).   Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:53 pm

It kinda made me sad to read that she hasn't kept in touch with Warren or Andrew. Such is life, though. It was also interesting to read that in 35% the "We drank bottled water together and talked business..." was in reference to Anti-Flag. I just never pictured that in my head.
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PostSubject: Re: Laura will be doing a AMA on reddit tomorrow (2/6).   Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:22 pm

I love stuff like this. So many quirky little things that other people might not find interesting, but we get so excited about!
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PostSubject: Re: Laura will be doing a AMA on reddit tomorrow (2/6).   Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:48 pm

It didn't surprise me that she hasn't kept in touch with Warren. However, it was incredibly rad that she still went on to plug his band. That's some stand-up shit.

I was bummed about not talking to Andrew as much.
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PostSubject: Re: Laura will be doing a AMA on reddit tomorrow (2/6).   Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:25 pm

I'm excited about the book!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Laura will be doing a AMA on reddit tomorrow (2/6).   Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:32 pm

laurendelore wrote:
It kinda made me sad to read that she hasn't kept in touch with Warren or Andrew. Such is life, though. It was also interesting to read that in 35% the "We drank bottled water together and talked business..." was in reference to Anti-Flag. I just never pictured that in my head.

So sad about Warren cause I've seen him a couple of times at Against Me! shows in Gainesville.
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