Pat Thetic of Anti Flag Talks Politics, Punk Rock, And Activism
On Saturday, July 7th, 2017, Rock NYC sat down with Pat Thetic of Anti Flag at the Vans Warped Tour to talk about Politics, Punk Rock and Activism. Here’s what Pat had to say:
Rock NYC: For the record, can you state your name and position in the band?
Pat Thetic: My name is Pat Thetic, I play drums in Anti Flag
RNYC: How does it feel to be back on the Vans Warped Tour?
PT: It’s good, except it’s been very rainy the last couple of shows, we got rained out the two or three shows, not rained out, our set got moved around the last two or three shows. We still got to play, but we got wet and it’s not nice to be humid and wet in a park lot.
RNYC: Were they still good sets?
PT: Yeah, good sets. We rocked it, as always [laughs].
RNYC: Anti Flag is known for its vocal activism, how does it feel seeing activist groups have a voice on the Warped Tour?
PT: I love it, I think it’s awesome. I think that Warped Tour at its best is brining different viewpoints to different cities all over the country. When I was young, I didn’t know about veganism or social justice issues or LGBTQ people. I found all those communities through music and I think Warped Tour at its best, gives young people who come to the show a glimpse into those worlds. It shows them that if they don’t fit in with their high school sports team or debate team that there’s a whole other community out there of fuck ups and weirdos that they can be a part of if they don’t feel comfortable where they grew up. At its best it’s that. At its worst it’s a platform for misogynists to be really shitty. So, hopefully we can minimize the worst bits and maximize the good bits. But, yeah, PETA and Sea Shepherd and MC International, all those organizations are out here doing different things and exposing people to different ideas that they may not be exposed to in their regular lives.
RNYC: Being Warped Tour veterans, what’s it been like watching the tour evolve over the years?
PT: Um, I am a Warped Tour Veteran and the tour has evolved. Yeah, music just changes. I’m not a punk rock purists who believes that everything was better back in the day. I think that things change and that’s just the nature of it. I don’t understand all of it all of the times [laughs], but yeah things change and that’s the way it works.
RYNC: It’s been two years since the release of American Spring, when can we expect new Anti Flag music?
PT: Actually, I’m listening to mixes and things right now. We recorded right before we left for this tour and the new record will be out in the fall. I don’t have any details other than that yet, but that’s what we’ve got going on.
RNYC: Who did you record with?
P: We recorded it in LA with Benji Madden from Good Charlotte and his engineer Courtney Ballard, who’s a great engineer out in LA.
RNYC: Considering the current political climate, how important do you think it is to keep the ethos of Punk alive?
PT: Well, in my mind Punk Rock speaks to power and it doesn’t matter how shitty the current holder of the power is, Punk Rock is always powerful. We need to always be keeping the powerful in check and it’s a cliché, but speaking truth to that power. Specifically, with Trump in office right now, who has legitimized and tried to normalized: hatred, bigotry and sexism, we need more than ever to have people, but it can’t just be the punk rock kids, we’re always there fighting for social justice and fighting against this racism and sexism. The more mainstream culture needs to be more involved, and to some extent they have been. The Women’s March [on DC] was amazing, we need more of those types of things to check the power of people like Trump because right now and he sort of has free reign to make really shitty, bad decisions. The only thing that really, ultimately keeps powerful people in check is boots in the streets. When you have those boots in the streets, you have a million people in the streets, it makes powerful afraid. Until we have that consistently, he’s going to be able to do really stupid, shitty things like take us out of the Paris [Climate] Agreement and you know, try and start a war with North Korea which we’re hoping he doesn’t do.
RNYC: Thank you for taking the time Pat!
Anti Flag’s latest effort, American Spring, is available now on Spinefarm Records and you can catch them all summer long on the Vans Warped Tour.