Anti-Flag were in Glasgow, Scotland on a surprisingly sunny May evening when I met drummer Pat Thetic.
At first it didn’t look like I was going to get the chance to speak with Pat because one of the house security guys seemed to be trying his hardest to stop me from doing it by confiscating my camera and calling me a liar when I told him I had an interview pre-arranged. Thankfully I got a hold of Jesse Jones, part of Anti-Flag’s crew, who managed to sort everything out. Jesse got my camera returned to me as well as getting me a photo pass for the rest of the night – cheers Jesse! So after getting my camera back I headed outside the venue with Pat to do an interview. We sat down on some steps in the car-park and chewed the fat as Big Brother watched over us…
So Pat, how are you tonight? Sorry about the hassle there with the security guys on the door, they aren’t usually as over-the-top as that.
Pat – “Hi Brian. Yeah well security are dickheads, there is no need for it to be like this.”
Yeah… security at gigs now is getting a bit ridiculous, people go to rock shows to have a good time and meet the same type of security that you get at international airports. It’s sad to see but hey everything is getting like that these days, it’s the whole “1984” / “Big Brother” thing come true…
Pat – “Tell me about it, there’s probably a security camera watching us right now – they’re everywhere…”
Well we walked outside and right past some fans in Anti-Flag T-shirts and they didn’t even recognise you, so it seems stupid to have such a high level of security.
Pat – “Hahaha…. yeah I can walk around the streets and nobody knows who I am!”
Who are you anyway? Pat Thetic… is that your real name? And Justin Sane and the others, surely those ain’t your real names?
Pat – “Haha, no. Well when we started Anti-Flag all those years ago we all made a decision to drop our real names and choose band names. So ever since then we’ve just gone by the names we made ourselves.
What are your real names then?
Pat – “I can’t tell you that, it’s a band secret.”
Worth a try… So, about an hour or so until you’ll be on stage, how do you find the British crowds?
Pat – “Well we’ve been to the UK a few times and yeah the crowds are always good. Its usually the same wherever we go, people just want to have a good time.”
Yeah man, and of course you’re here playing songs from your new album just out last month. And For Blood And Thunder is Anti-Flag’s first album on a major label, how’s that been so far?
Pat – “Yeah, well we signed with RCA and so far they’ve been really good and there’s been no problems. I guess RCA is Columbia records for you guys in the UK. Being with a big label just helps get our music heard, especially outside of the U.S.”
The whole message of your new album; speaking out against all the continued bullshit of the Bush era with war, lack of democracy, propaganda and so on… To me you guys are one of the few bands who have the balls to make a stand against this, along with Green Day and NOFX who are up there more in the mainstream…
Pat – “Well I don’t think we’re big, not compared to Green Day and NOFX. It’s good that Green Day and NOFX get more exposure to these issues, it helps get the message across to more people. Green Day’s America Idiot album was huge and that made a lot of people listen.”
Ah yeah, Green Day. It’s good to hear you giving them respect because here in the UK they get slagged off a lot by a lot of people who are ignorant enough just to criticise a band for getting popular. I’ve been a Green Day fan since Dookie, all Green Day albums are awesome and a bit different, but American Idiot is the one that makes such a huge statement to the mainstream.
Pat – “American Idiot was a good album and Green Day have brought huge exposure to things like Iraq and Bush. They are good guys, we’ve supported them on tour. I’ve been in the same room as Billie Joe Armstrong. He seems like a good guy from what I’ve seen from the time I’ve spent around him.”
In the summer Anti-Flag will be playing Warped Tour, looking forward to it?
Pat – “Yeah man, well we finish our European tour this month then in from June to August we’ll be with Warped. So we’ll be busy touring non-stop pretty much, which is what its all about.”
Good stuff, how about we wrap this interview up with a bit of word association?
Pat – “Sure..”
Pat – “RAIN!”
Haha, it’s dry today man, this is like summer for us. Next word – milkshakes.
Pat – “Soy. I don’t like milk!”
Pat – “hmm…[pauses for thought]… LOVER!”
Pat – “Lover!”
Ha, I think I see a bit of a theme here. Let’s see if there any other lovers you can think of. Security?
Pat – “Lover.”
Well lover can be the new codeword for scumbags…
Pat – “Yeah well we need to cure those fuckers anyway, that’s for sure!”
With that I wished Pat good luck for their set, and I headed inside to see a wicked set from The Unseen while Pat went off to get something to eat and get ready to play.