Brendan Kelly, accomplished blogger and moderately popular musician, today poignantly addressed the question of a commenter on his blog, Bad Sandwich Chronicles, who questioned the attitude and motives of Against Me! regarding what the band hopes to accomplish with their upcoming album, White Crosses. The commenter cited the article attached to Against Me's new video for "Rapid Decompression," in which frontman Tom Gabel is quoted as saying he "hopes that this album, produced by Butch Vig, and its anthemic, Tom Petty-inspired punk songs is the one that finally catapults them to selling out stadiums worldwide."
Kelly addressed the commenter by speaking from personal experience and citing a few examples:
"See, the reason you all like Against Me! in the first place, the reason that they're even a band you've HEARD OF is because Tom et al have ambition that can't be contained by playing dumb basement shows and working as waiters. They aspire to be career musicians. And before you get all snippy about that being a bad thing, let me remind you that selling tee shirts, sweaters, patches and beer cozies are the trappings of a lifestyle boutique, not a musical troupe, so ANY BAND that makes shirts is doing so for the purposes of commerce, even though realistically, it has NOTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH MUSIC. AND THAT'S FINE! That's fucking great. That's the thing. Propaghandi, Tragedy, whoever, they all fucking deal in commerce. … Finally, there are people out there (I was one of them) who say shit like "all I want is to play music to two or three hundred kids a night. I don't want to be big. I think this is much cooler." They say that because that's an ambition point that they have not yet reached. Ask Avail. Ask the Suicide Machines. Ask the Lawrence Arms or Strike Anywhere or Matchbook Romance or anyone who's gotten to that point and gotten stuck if that was where they hoped their career topped out. Go ahead. Ask them. They're all working at bars and landscaping jobs and shit like that. Meanwhile, Tom [Gabel] is asleep on a bus and he's gonna wake up and write songs and then play some songs for a bunch of happy people tonight and it's because he's realizing his ambition. What's cooler? You tell me. Go ahead. Come into my bar today and see how many of your favorite songs I sing you. Yeah. I'm real glad I "decided" not to play stadiums for thousands of people. "
Check out the entire post here, and let us know what you think in the comments.