Monday, July 27, 2015

Against The Grain Gears Up to Release "Road Warriors"

Detroit's own Against the Grain has been super hard at work over the past couple of years. They're on the road more than pretty much any other band that we know, they've toured with big names like Nashville Pussy and The Hookers, and they're getting ready to release their new album, Road Warriors on Self Destructo Records. A few tracks from the album have already been released online, giving fans a taste of what this latest full length has to offer. Metal Assault premiered "Gulliotine" and the band leaked a couple of other tracks, "Here To Stay" and "Run For Your Life". You can check them out below.

This Friday, July 31st ATG will be taking over Small's to celebrate the release of their new album. They have an amazing lineup of bands joining them for the night, including Child Bite, Skeemin' No Goods, Black Actress and Stone Ritual. Before the big release show we wanted to catch up with the band, see what they have been up to and find out what's next for Against the Grain. Check out what ATG's drummer Rob Nowak had to say.

HID- Even though we see you guys all of the time either at someone else's show or at your shows, it seems like it has been forever since we officially have talked to you for Hip In Detroit. We know you've been up to a lot, but give our readers the super short version of what ATG has been up to over the last year or so.
Rob- "Hey Christie, glad to finally get to sit down and chat with you guys. ATG over the past year has been going through a lot. We wrote this album, did tours with Nashville Pussy. Valient Thorr, Guttermouth, Lo Pan, The Hookers, The Meatmen, Beast in the Field. Bought a new van. Turned down a major label offer. Switched booking agencies. Even if we're not out on the road, it's constant! Been very exciting."

HID- So the reason we're talking to you now is obviously because you have your big Road Warriors release coming up. What can fans expect from this new album?
Rob- "Fans can expect our most rocking and mature album to date. A lot of jamming, but a lot of intensity. More direct. Angrier and more personal lyrics. Without a doubt, the best production and artwork yet on an album. It's very much an up and down kind of record."

HID- Is it faster than Surrounded By Snakes and Motor City Speed Rock?
Rob- "Yes and no. Motor City Speed Rock will forever be our fastest album. We don't want to repeat that record again, haha. It's awesome to have those fast as shit songs to sprinkle in the set list. Road Warriors has 3 tunes as fast as that, 3 of the heaviest songs we've ever recorded yet and 6 rock and roll tunes. We’re growing as a band and feeding off each other more now, so it's more fun to jam and rock out together. It's always going to be speed-rock, but with more flavors sprinkled in."

HID- What's your favorite track off of the new album?
Rob- "Shit, heh. That's very difficult to say. I have 2 songs I don't care for how they turned out as to how they are live. Probably "Pendulum" all around for recording."

HID- You have a hell of a lineup playing with you for the release show at Small's. Why did you pick the bands that you did?
Rob- "We always like to keep it eclectic. Stone Ritual is a great up-and coming doom band. Black Actress are our friends from Chicago that have hooked us up there a ton of times. Child Bite are on fire and we’ve never played together yet. And Skeemin' No Goods are old-time favorites for us, and a big inspiration on what we do. Never thought we’d get to rock with them. Honestly, am pretty honored to be playing with them."

HID- Speaking of other bands you're playing with, you have some tours coming up with some kick ass bands and you've played with a lot of awesome bands over the past couple of years. What bands are you going to be heading out with soon?
Rob- "As of now we have confirmed Atomic Bitchwax and Mos Generator. MG joins on the second half, and the tour is a full US/Canada tour starting Aug 13th. 34 shows in 38 days! Atomic Bitchwax is 2 guys from Monster Magnet playing stoner rock meets Thin Lizzy. Kick-ass fuzzy dirty rock and roll!"

HID- What's your favorite band you've toured with to date?
Rob- "To listen to I'd have to say Nashville Pussy. They're in my top 10 fav bands ever, and I watched every part of every one of their sets the whole tour. The Meatmen are some of our best buds, and probably my fav punk band out there now. Church of Misery was incredible, and awesome because only 1 of the 5 people spoke English (they're from Japan). In the Whale were awesome dudes. Koffin Kats guys are some of the coolest guys you could ever want to hangout with, and very kind. Valient Thorr guys are awesome! Pretty much every band we’ve went on tour with, we would call our friends. We’re pretty easy to get along with on tour, and like to party and have fun."

HID- Who would be the ultimate band for ATG to tour with?
Rob- "Ultimate tour would be Motorhead/Turbonegro/ATG!"

HID- You guys tour more than pretty much any other band from Detroit. Why do you like to hit the road so much? How do you guys handle being gone as often as you are?
Rob- "It's more of a wanting to do it as much as we can, while we can. Being in a well known band means years and years of sacrifice and hard work. Hopefully after 5-10 years of that, you build up enough of a name that it becomes more beneficial and comfortable. As we are doing it more, it is building in all those ways. Not so much sleeping in the van these days, as now we have friends in most cities to crash with and eat with.

Handling it can be hard, and easy. It's hard because you HAVE to have disposable jobs. You can't have a “career” at home, you gotta work as much as you can to make ends meet. 3 of us have 2 jobs in between tours. And you’ve gotta try to live pretty cheaply. It wasn't until last year that we started getting paid out at the end of tours. And it adds up to be about as much as you’d earn at a minimum wage job for now. But hey, you get paid vacation, and get paid to do what you love! Also you miss out on friend/girlfriend/family time, so that's a bummer. It's entirely worth it, once you figure it out though."

HID- Even though you're on tour a lot, this summer you seemed to be here in Detroit for longer stretches than in the past. What have you guys been up to this summer? How does ATG enjoy their time off, hanging out in the Detroit area?
Rob- "We decided to not hit it as hard this year until we had the new album, and new van. The old van hit 365,500 miles (thanks Scott Pope!), and was beginning to become unbearably uncomfortable. Only the front left door opened, so everyone had to climb in. No A/C. Filthy. Just everything you could imagine that could go wrong with a van, was wrong.

Also we switched booking agencies over to Tone Deaf Touring. We’re going to be gone a little bit less, because we’re mostly going to be on tour packages. We used to just go out on our own for months. And in the beginning that's what you gotta do. Lay down the grounds, build the connections and friendships and grassroots. Now that that’s happened, we can land some sweet packages and better clubs and such. First of three on packages is great. Better crowds, get to enjoy other great bands.

At home We’ve been soaking up shows, some summertime stuff. Camping, BBQs. Detroit has a great
scene too, so that's always fun to get to enjoy."

HID- Alright, back to the release show. Give everyone 3 reasons they should come out to Small's on July 31st?
Rob- 1. It's one of 4 of ATG’s Detroit area shows of all year.
         2. We’re playing songs off all 4 albums.
         3. We have all new merch including t shirts, baseball tee’s, test pressings, cds, poster, patches and pins.
         4. It's the best lineup of the summer!

HID- Anything else you'd like our readers to know?
Rob- "Pre-orders for the record (or in case you cant make the show) -"

It's no secret that we've been big fans of this band for a while now, but somehow they just keep getting better! Definitely one of the best bands in Detroit and some of the best dudes around. We can't wait to check out the new album and see what ATG does next!
Doors for Friday's show are set to open at 8 p.m. All ages are welcome and it's only $8 to get in. Small's is located at 10339 Conant in Hamtramck. For more info on this show, click here


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