Posts Tagged ‘Laura Jane Grace’

Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers Bought to Rot Album Artwork

Debut album from new band led by Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace. 

To say musician, author and activist Laura Jane Grace has had a defiant career would be the understatement of the year. Whether being accused of leaving the DIY punk scene to pursue a major label career over a decade ago, or courageously challenging people’s conceptions of gender identity with a bombshell Rolling Stone article, Grace has remained a daring and influential cultural figure in her over 20+ years of creating dynamic art across various mediums. Sure, she’s bound to worry some fans with her decision to press pause on Against Me! to release a more intimate singer-songwriter leaning solo album under the name Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers, but her artistic motivation cast her determination in steel. “In the back of my head I was thinking, ‘f**k all of you, I’m going to do this anyway,’” she says with a smile.

With this conviction came liberation, because few expectations equals total freedom. Indeed on the record’s opening cut, “China Beach,” Grace delivers a bold, lip-curled statement of intent: “Learn to trust yourself, no one else matters / Respect the source and always welcome failure.” And it’s in this spirit—with the help of Against Me! drummer Atom Willard and long-term AM! producer Marc Jacob Hudson on bass—that Bought to Rotthe debut album from Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers, came into existence.

Bought to Rot was written largely in motion—on tour, in Spain, Australia, Amsterdam hotel rooms, and some at home in Chicago. It’s a record scorched with honesty, unapologetically confessional, capturing many moments snipped from Grace’s life and stitched together in song. Although it’s a step and a twist away from Against Me!’s sonic blueprint, there’s still a kinetic punk energy that vibrates throughout. These compositions are looser, stripped, but with a melodic pop immediacy pushing to the fore. “I have my main gig, but I’m still doing this thing,” she continues. “It’s undeniable and it’s really good and here’s the proof … so what are you going to do with that?” Well, it has to go out into the world: via Bloodshot Records, the storied Chicago indie boasting a past & present roster that includes Ryan AdamsNeko CaseMurder by DeathOld 97’s and Justin Townes Earle.

The seeds of this project were initially sown when Grace, Hudson and Willard introduced the band on a small run of dates in 2016 that included Grace delivering impassioned readings of journal entries between stripped-down Against Me! songs, most of which were featured in her critically acclaimed memoir Tranny: Confessions Of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout. Coming off the cycle for Shape Shift With Me, Against Me!’s latest full-length studio album, and a North American arena tour with Green Day, Grace was asked to perform a Mountain Goats cover on the podcast Welcome to Night Vale, and it was then that she received a massive sense of renewed momentum overall.

With additional songs penned that felt more stand-alone than a proper Against Me! offering, Bought to Rot resulted in 14 gripping tracks detailing Grace’s fractured relationship with her adopted hometown of Chicago (“I Hate Chicago”), the act of interpersonal acceptance (“The Friendship Song”), all-consuming affection until our ultimate demise [“Apocalypse Now (& Later)”], complicated romance (“The Airplane Song”), and reconciling everything in the end. As a complete body of work, the album stands as the most musically diverse collection of songs Grace has written to date, and is what she affectionately calls her “Scorpio” record – redolent in sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll.

http://

Additionally inspired in large part by Tom Petty’s Full Moon Fever, the first album Grace ever owned, Bought to Rot finds her at the same age Tom Petty was when he created his classic solo debut. In light of his recent passing, Grace was even able to pay direct homage to him on the recording. “I bought a ’64 Fender Jaguar off Stan Lynch, drummer of the Heartbreakers, and I always like to think that maybe Petty had picked it up and strummed a couple chords on it, she says. “I always liked the idea of having my fingers dance on the same fret board as my hero.”

There’s a refreshing sense of variety present on Bought to Rot, an album that features a vast array of musical textures and lyrics that read like separate short stories throughout. “My approach musically to the record was that I wanted it to feel like a mixtape,” Grace recently said “Like OK, you’ve got this Nirvana-like song, you’ve got a Cure song. It was musically freeing, in that way, to just be playing whatever was coming to me as I was writing and not having to think about it.” As such, “I Hate Chicago,” a tongue-in-cheek centerpiece to the album that has become a bit of a live favorite to Chicagoans and non-locals alike, finds Grace at her most wry and entertainingly venomous, lambasting the city’s sports teams and revered bands, its festivals and its unfriendly denizens over an Americana-angled jaunt.

Created at a breakneck pace, Bought to Rot is finally here and ready to be consumed & dissected: to be loved, to be hated. It’s an album propelled by a sense of restless, forward motion and the inherent need for Grace to continue evolving as an artist and person the only way she knows how. “I don’t want to write about these same things anymore,” she says. “I need some new sources of inspiration. And I don’t want to be negative. I want to write some positive, happy songs, and I wanted that to be inspired by positive, happy living, too.”

Advertisements

 

No automatic alt text available.

Against Me!’s 2014 album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, damn near killed frontwoman Laura Jane Grace. Written and recorded as she was beginning her gender transition and dealing with the struggles that came with it—taxing hormone treatment, invasive therapist sessions, and crumbling personal relationships—the album took a physical toll as she fought to maintain her sanity. The result was a primal scream of a record that will undoubtedly go down as one of the most important punk records of all time. Two years later, Grace is still trying to find her place as a woman in the world but is not the wound-up ball of anxiety and raging hormones she once was. Shape Shift With Me sees Grace starting a new life and discovering all the experiences that come with it—dating, friendships, and body image. And while there is still plenty of classic Grace-ian existential darkness here, there are also the occasional flashes of—gasp—excitement and optimism. Shape Shift With Me is the album where Laura Jane Grace got back on track, or, more accurately, found a new one.

The transformation of Against Me! lead singer Tom Gabel into Laura Jane Grace was the single most fascinating story of 2012 in rock music, bar none. On this acoustic teaser for 2014’s Transgender Dysphoria Blues, we are given our first proper insight into Laura’s struggles with identity. With barely more than a guitar guiding her words, we hear of regrets and distress delivered with palpable honesty. It resonates brilliantly in such a stripped-back format – and, admittedly, it doesn’t hurt that the track itself is catchy as anything that blew up pop radio this year. This is going to be a hell of an album. .

After releasing her memoir, Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout and Against Me!’s 2016 LP, Shape Shift With Me, Laura Jane Grace decided to put out her first record under the name Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers. Bought To Rot is unlike anything she’s ever released with Against Me!

It embraces pop and alt-rock conventions as much as it does punk—a press release even namedrops the record’s Tom Petty influence. The result is an immensely liberating album that couldn’t care less what you think of it. There are still undertones of despondent angst and self-doubt, but it feels like a largely optimistic record, one that basks in the moment and bursts at the seams with momentous punk elation. “Born in Black” is a robust, throttling take on existentialism and mortality, while the uplifting punk of “Apocalypse Now (& Later)” is a rush of unwavering confidence, camaraderie and earth-shattering joy.

How best to describe Laura Jane Grace’s latest endeavor? “It’s a solo album, except that it’s not,” the Against Me! frontwoman wrote in an announcement on Twitter. Though her main band isn’t going anywhere, Grace has said she sought an artistic “blank slate” following the outfit’s 2016 album Shape Shift With Me. But she’s not in it alone — Grace made the record, under the name Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers, with Against Me! bassist Atom Willard and producer Marc Hudson, who also worked on Shape Shift. (Fellow AM! guitarist James Bowman even shows up one track.) Regardless of its name or packaging, the record is yet another outlet for Grace’s boundless creativity, which she often strikes at the most inconvenient times: “I sleep with a notebook next to me in bed,” she said recently . “And most nights I sleep with my guitar next to me.”

Image may contain: 1 person, close-up

Laura Jane Grace has shared “Apocalypse Now (& Later),” the debut single from her forthcoming album with her new band, Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers. The album, Bought to Rot, comes out November. 9th through Bloodshot Records.

“Apocalypse Now (& Later)” is a tender love song, in a sort of twisted way. “On top of the world, at the end of the world, with you,” Grace sings. It’s about “witnessing the end of the world with the person you care about the most,” as explained in a press release.

Bought to Rot will be Grace’s first non-Against Me! album since forming the band in 1997. “It felt really relieving to be like, ‘OK, this isn’t an Against Me! record, so I can say whatever the fuck I want!’” Grace told Rolling Stone. She says she was strongly influenced by Tom Petty’s landmark solo album Full Moon Fever when recording Bought to Rot. The 14-track album is about “Grace’s fractured relationship with her adopted hometown of Chicago, true friendship, complicated romance and reconciling everything in the end.”

The Devouring Mothers are made up of a pair of frequent Grace collaborators: Drummer Atom Willard and bassist Marc Jacob Hudson have both worked with Against Me!, Willard as drummer and Hudson as sound engineer.

Dear Guitar Hero: Submit Questions for Laura Jane Grace of Against Me!

In the midst of an extended tour with Green Day and behind last year’s “Shape Shift With Me” , Against Me! have shared a new video for the single “Haunting, Haunted, Haunts.” Directed by Margherita Ballarin, the video twists Laura Jane Grace’s lyrics on loneliness into a fractal collage of kaleidoscopic animation.

Last year, Laura Jane Grace released the memoir “Tranny Confessions Of Punk Rocks Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout” , which chronicled the challenges of coming out as transgender in the punk and hardcore community at age 32.

Haunting, Haunted, Haunts ,  Directed by Margherita Ballarin

Longtime fans have been left somewhat disconcerted by Laura Jane Grace’s shift from hard-edged punk to a more melodic classic-sounding rock ‘n’ roll, but come on, the clue’s right there in the album title! Every artist evolves over the course of their career (well, the best ones do, anyway) and Grace’s muse is clearly taking her in different directions to where it’s gone in the past — hardly surprising, perhaps, given the degree to which her life has changed in recent years. And shit, maybe she’s just happier these days? Good! (Also, the video above was directed by Ione Skye!)

Taken from the brand new full-length record titled Shape Shift With Me that’ll be released on our own label, Total Treble, on Friday, September 16th! Written over the past couple of years while on tour, the new album is a collaborative effort that the four of us are extremely excited to share with you. In advance, we offer you the track “333”

Members: Laura Jane Grace – Guitar/Vocals James Bowman – Guitar/Vocals Atom Willard – Drums Inge Johansson – Bass

Against Me! have announced a UK tour this December, visiting Birmingham, Manchester, London, Glasgow, Bristol and Nottingham.

The tour will follow the release of the band’s new album, ‘Shape Shift With Me’, a loose concept album about traveling the world and falling in and out of love, due for release on 16th September 2016.

Against Me! will release their seventh studio album, “Shape Shift With Me”, on September 16th via Total Treble. The 12-track LP, which follows 2011’s acclaimed Transgender Dysphoria Blues, features new single “333,” which the band debuted last year onstage. “All the devils that you don’t know can all come along for the ride,” frontwoman Laura Jane Grace screams over anthemic distortion. “I want to be as close as I can get to you.”

“I don’t know what’s wrong with the world,” Against Me! singer says in wake of Orlando shooting
A press release describes the Marc Jacob Hudson-produced Shape Shift With Me as a “loose concept album about traveling the world and falling in and out of love, with Grace serving as the narrator.”
“Tons of people have written about love. But while love is cliché, it’s infinitely relevant,” Grace says. “For me, having always been in a punk band that was expected to be political, I never felt like I had that option to write about feelings in that way. That’s what I ended up being drawn to this time. It’s writing in a way I thought I could never write before, and not giving a shit about expectations.
“Is there a record that is about relationships from a trans perspective?” she continues. “There needs to be more records about trans rights and everything like that, but feeling like I already did that, I wanted to move on to write commentary on living from a trans perspective. I wanted to write the transgender response to the Rolling Stones’ Exile On Main St., Liz Phair’s Exile In Guyville and the Streets’ A Grand Don’t Come For Free. All those records are relationship records. There’s been an infinite amount of records talking about what love means from a cisgender perspective. I wanted to present the trans perspective on sex, love and heartbreak.”
The band has also announced a round of North American tour dates, including headlining shows and appearances with Bad Religion and Dave Hause.
Drummer Atom Willard will make nightly guest musician appearances on Late Night With Seth Meyers.
Grace also recently announced her memoir, TRANNY: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout, out November 15th via Hachette Books.

Are The sounds of the Late 70s/Early 80s Back: I sure hope so. Laura Jane Grace and crew have crafted a power-pop hit that wouldn’t sound out of place next to The Cars.

“Shape Shift With Me” is out September 16th on Total Treble Music

Adult Swim Singles - Against Me!

A couple of years ago, Against Me! made an absolutely stunning, rousing album about Laura Jane Grace’s gender dysphoria, about how it feels to come out as transgender in a hostile world. That whole narrative has dominated every story about Against Me! for years now, and you can understand why. But we shouldn’t let that obscure something else about Against Me!: They are an absolutely ripshit punk rock band, one capable of cranking out anthems about just about anything. Case in point: this rocketing-forward sea shanty about heartbreak and loss. It’s a breakup song, and breakup songs exist outside questions of identity and binary. They just are, and this one, with its furious lostness and its “oh shit, what do I do now?” conclusion, stands as a powerful reminder that Against Me! are still a band.

http://