Whether rocking an arena, playing festival fields or entertaining a few hundred in the confines of a club, Against Me! has developed a following based on solid song writing, relentless touring and, most significant, earnestness.
The band will headline a show Friday at Sector 7G.
"That's the No. 1 thing for us -- never mail it in," said bass player Andrew Seward. "That seems simple, but the truth is we strive to be an honest band and Tom (Gabel, the band's lead singer and principal songwriter) writes very honest songs. We love playing music, this music, and never take it for granted."
The band developed a following in the punk community before signing with Sire Records in 2005. Though some fans have been dismissive of the more straightforward rock on the band's latest album, New Wave, and the recently leaked White Crosses ( scheduled for a June release), Seward said records are secondary to the band.
"You've got to take a page from the troubadours," he said. "There will never be a replacement for live music. The album just isn't as relevant to a lot of people. So this, playing live, is our bread and butter. It's what we do. We're a touring band."
It's currently on a small-club swing, but will soon play bigger shows in Europe and Bonnaroo and other festivals this summer.
"We're very lucky in that we are able to play a variety of shows," Seward said. "I mean, we played for three months with the Foo Fighters in arenas and that was a blast. But then we'll also play club dates. Both offer something, and it is comforting and nurturing that we're able to do this."
Both were produced by Butch Vig, the superstar producer known for his work with Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins.
Against Me! is a band that requires creative control. Seward acknowledged that having that kind of freedom granted by a producer, a record label and, to some extent, the fans, is a rare gift.
"It's great, because the music we make is the music we want to make," he said. "It's as simple as that. If you want to classify it, then yeah, we're a rock 'n' roll band."
"But we're a rock 'n' roll band without borders."