Allschools: Let's talk about your new record "Long Forgotten Songs: B-sides & Covers", which is coming out September 6th. What are your feelings about it? Are you still nervous after all these years? Is there any difference to the regular albums?
I'm really excited about it. Its a great history lesson for new and old fans since it features songs spanning our entire career. For me, its exciting to release a unique record like this for our fans….I think its important to know the roots of the band for any fan.
Allschools: Rise Against was founded back in 1999. 14 years are a long time span for a band these days. Are there any decisions, any faults back in time, which you'd like to change with the experience you have today?
No regrets to date. We love what we have accomplished and we look forward to the future of Rise Against.
Allschools: Is it important for you to become known by a larger audience, e.g. to get a video aired on TV? Would you do any compromises in this regarding your state of mind as a band?
We have always maintained complete creative control and will continue to do so. It’s extremely important to us and we wouldn't give that up. That said, it’s rewarding to be able to do this on a larger scale so our message gets out to as many people as possible. We've said before, we frown on bands who force feed beliefs…what we do is simply present facts and have the audience make up their own minds.
Allschools: In my opinion Rise Against were always known as an engaged band making political statements. Do you consider this a must in the hardcore/punk scene for new bands?
I think a band is entitled to be a band for any reason they choose. We wanted to make a difference with our music so we took that approach from day 1.
Allschools: After all this years touring has changed into something different I guess. I can imagine you guys have families now, haven't you?
Yes, most of us have families now. It does make touring harder and harder but luckily we love what we do so it becomes a labor of love. Modern technology plays a huge role in our relationships back at home. Being able to Skype with my wife and children make it a little easier to be gone. And luckily our families are incredibly supportive of the band.
Allschools: 26 songs will be on your new record "Long Forgotten Songs: B-Sides & Covers". In my opinion it's the typical Rise Against sound and that isn't meant in any negative way. I love bands with their own trademarks in sound and style. But I could imagine, there will be a lot of people who will set up critics like "Nothing new, same shit different day" or "It's all about the money". So, is it still important for you what people say or write after all these years playing in a punk rock band?
Nobody can control what critics say so we choose to do what we do and not worry about it. As long as we're happy then that’s all that matters.
Allschools: There will be some covers on the new record. How did you pick up the songs? Are there any personal feelings and memories influencing your decisions?
All of our covers are chosen from bands that we love and have influenced us in some way throughout growing up. We love introducing these bands and songs to our fans so they get a sense of where we come from.
Allschools: My last words are going to be a little philosophical: Regarding the latest news from Syria, human rights in Russia especially for the homosexuals, the case of Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers and the evergrowing nazi scum on this planet: Do you really think we can handle this one day? Do you think there will be a chance of true freedom and world peace one day?
All we can do is tackle one problem at a time and hopefully make wise decisions/choices. Its incredibly overwhelming to think about all the wrong in the world as a whole and I think that becomes too much for people to comprehend. In my personal life I like to focus on one issue at a time. So it gets the attention it deserves. I get the best results that way.
Allschools: Thank you for your time. And thanks for beeing so nice to set up an interview with allschools.de!
Thanks for the support!