“One thing that’s insane about LA is that there’s so much money there. In London, quite honestly, it’s very similar. But in LA, it’s almost different in a way that when you’re in recording studios, when you’re in that environment, people are coming through and coming and going all the time. We were just four working-class kids from Pittsburgh, we’d never really experienced being around a culture where money is in-your-face all the time. It’s the cars that people are driving, it’s the clothes they’re wearing, it’s the fashion that they’re into and the branding that they’re into. Somebody’s wearing a watch and you’re like, ‘Holy fuck, that watch is a $400,000 watch. Why does somebody have a $400,000 watch on?’
“I think we had just been inundated with that for a good couple of weeks, in our face. We were realising that being around that for an extended period of time was overwhelming. It made me feel suffocated, and I wanted to get away from it. And I remember having a conversation about that, like, ‘Wow, there’s a lot of cool stuff here and this is exciting and interesting, but it’s also all-encompassing in the shallowness of it.’ The artificiality of it is a little overwhelming.
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“To be honest, we thought it was one of the coolest songs on the record [2006’s For Blood And Empire]. And we were a little afraid of it, to be perfectly honest. Because the thing about us is we’ve always been interested in all genres of music. I mean, we definitely are punk kids of Pittsburgh, that’s never going to change. There’s always going to be the punk rock stamp on our songs. Even when we push outside the genre, it’s always going to filter through the four of us, so it’s always going to have punk rock fingerprints on it. But we’ve always been interested in trying to push boundaries of what punk rock can be. So we felt like this was a really unorthodox song, especially from what our audience expected us to sound like. I remember we thought it was maybe the best song on the record, and we thought about releasing it first because we were really excited about it. But we were also like: if we release this first, it could alienate the audience from the rest of the record if they think that this is exactly what the whole thing is going to sound like. So we ended up releasing The Press Corpse first, which we were also really excited about. This Is The End came second as a result of that.”
Anti-Flag's new album 20/20 Vision is out January 17 via Spinefarm Records.