MTV news sat down with Against Me! singer Laura Jane Grace prior to a show on their current tour opening up for The Cult. This was Laura's first interview since the incredible Rolling Stone feature which Tom Gabel used as his platform to come out as transgender. You can watch that video here.
MTV reporter James Montgomery also sat down with the entire band, asking their perspective on Laura's announcement. The Rolling Stone piece pretty much glossed over the effects of Laura's annoucement on the band, so this video provides a little more insight from the other members plus some performance footage of new songs from Against Me!'s forthcoming sixth album Transgender Dysphoria Blues. Here are some highlights from the article.
"We went to the studio just to hang out, we weren't even practicing, we were just having a meeting, and talking, and she just told us," longtime bassist Andrew Seward said. "It was kind of simple in a way ... [and then] on the drive back, because it's 80 miles from the studio back to Gainesville, I was just going through past lyrics and stuff going 'God, how did I not think of that?' "
"I didn't want to be melodramatic about it when approaching friends ... for me, it is a non-issue. It's something that's always been there for me, I've just never verbalized it before," Laura added. "I didn't really plan on it, I forget what exactly we were talking about, but I got to this point where I felt really frustrated that I wasn't making the point I wanted to make, and I realized I wasn't making it because I wasn't fully explaining myself, and the part I was leaving out was this big integral piece of myself. So it just came out of my mouth, you know, and we were just sitting there and it was like, 'So this is the way it is.' "
Still, Laura admitted she had no idea how her bandmates would take the news, or even if they'd still be her bandmates after she told them. All she knew was that, both personally and professionally, she was tired of keeping secrets ... she wanted everyone to know she was transgender, repercussions be damned.
"I reached a point for myself where writing, I couldn't focus on anything else but writing from a trans perspective or writing about trans issues, and as the album we're working on came together, it became more and more apparent to me that, at some point, I was going to have to say something to the rest of the band," she said. "Otherwise, if you're taking the lyrics to these songs out of context [they're] going to be misinterpreted ... so we kind of reached that point where once we started getting in to doing vocals and you're hearing the lyrics I was like, 'OK, this is the deal. ... There are going to be things that are going to be happening for me that, if I don't tell you this right now will probably look more like I'm insane as opposed to this is what I'm doing.' "
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