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“Wait, you’re not Warren…”

Oh, Tom Gabel, what a fine snark you have! We sat down with the Against Me! Front man (well, we sat down at our computer, he sat as his, TOTALLY still counts) and had a Q&A session. For their third chat with Racket, Tommy boy really takes off his gloves. His driving gloves. Of his Mercedes Benz. Or maybe it’s an Audi.

How’s, you know, selling out treating you? I’m sure that the fact that you’ve done TWO albums on a major has required you to eat puppy meat and punt babies into traffic, yea?
This album was actually the 5th time we’ve sold out in the last 10 years, maybe you weren’t paying attention, but we sold out long before we signed to a major label. To be honest it’s gonna be tough to figure out a way we can sell-out all over again with the next album. Maybe BP would be interested in starting a record label? I should get my people on top of this.

Isn’t it more punk to record into a retrofitted Fisher Price robot tape deck than to have producers and shit? I mean, this “hearing things clearly” thing isn’t down with the cause, is it?
Unfortunately at this point in our career it would take a lot more effort to sound bad than it would for us to sound good. Making a lo-fi recording would mean not using Pro-tools, which would mean that we would have to play the actual songs we’re recording from start to finish as opposed to just letting the computer do the work. We just aren’t interested in devoting that much time making an album. We’re much more interested in money and counting it.

With White Crosses, there seems to be a more varied set of influences shining through, would you say that “Bamboo Bones” was influenced by Westside Connection’s “Gotta get the Cheddar?”  I mean, “What God doesn’t give to you, you’ve got to go and get for yourself” is exceptionally close to “Got to get the scrilla got to get the scrilla got to get the cash hey come on got to get it. …Put your family first & the rest will endeavor. Stay focused & forever we can get this Cheddar” See the similarities?
I’m gonna have to call our A&R guy and ask him what his influences were when he wrote the song for us. I’ll get back to you when I get a chance to talk to him. Man, you should really see his new Land Rover, it’s fucking SWEEEEEEEET!

Do you think that punk has followed religion’s lead and split off into several factions, each more unreasonable than the next?
I think it’s more comparable to Star Trek, which like religion has also split off into many, many, different factions, there’s enthusiasts of the original, Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise (that was one right?), and then there’s all the movies. Everyone’s got their favorite crew, everyone’s got their favorite alien race, everyone’s got their opinion on which uniform is the best, and there’s tons of bit-part characters that appeared in one episode for 15 seconds but whom people still obsess over (which is like the equivalent of those bands that made one 7″ record 20 years ago but who people still wear t-shirts and patches for). The shows are just conventions for the collectors and I’m William Shatner telling everyone to “get a life.”

Do you blame me for being on a tirade against the Catholic Church in particular?
You seem level headed enough.

You recently called [Alternative Press Music Editor] Scott Heisel a “fuckface” via Twitter (@TommyGabel, yo. Hell @RacketMagazine, while you’re at it). I thought it was funny as hell, but I couldn’t tell you why. What brought that on?
Scott Heisel IS a fuck face. Trust me.

Your video for “I was a Teenage Anarchist,” features you getting yo ass beat by cops in Venice Beach, did you get tested afterwards? Do you know how filthy that place is? Though, they do have an AMAZING book store there.
Venice Beach always makes me think of the movie The Doors and that scene where Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison meets Kyle MacLachlan as Ray Manzarek and they talk about starting a band. Kyle Maclachlan was a horrible Ray Manzarek, and Frank Whaley was a horrible Robby Krieger. I thought Kevin Dillon was an okay John Densmore though. Did you know that Ray Manzarek wrote a book about a rock star poet who faked his own death and moved to a remote island in the Pacific? He also produced the seminal punk band “X” ‘s first couple of albums, including “Los Angeles”.

Do you think that most people now assume “anarchy” means that they don’t have to wash their clothes and pay taxes? I think anarchists assume that mankind can regulate their behavior on their own, which I’m not so sure about.
I think Crass said it best when they said, “Anarchy’s become another word for ‘got 10p to spare?’ Another token tantrum, another cross to bear.” Chumbawamba also hit the nail on the head when they said “Give the Anarchist a cigarette, cause that’s as close as he’s ever gonna get”.

I keep hearing about “The Man,” and how he’s always keeping us down. What does he look like? I want to be able to keep an eye out for him. Does he look like God, with a giant beard and omnipotent eyebrows, or is her more of a tailored suit kinda fella. I hope he looks like The Rev. Al Sharpton.
You’re the man now, dawg.

I hear “You’re the MAN!” a lot, isn’t that a bad thing to be?
Never trust anyone who says that phrase.

And lastly, I’m gonna go play Mortal Kombat, who’s yer fav character to play as?
I always liked Scorpion.

-Jonathan “The Emperor” Yost