Edinburgh, Scotland foursome The Spook School and Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace recently met up in New York City to discuss gender identity and acceptance. The conversation begins with Nye Todd, who identifies as transgender, asking Grace about the hints of gender dysphoria that appeared in Against Me!’s music even before their most recent album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues. “It seemed very strange that you hadn’t come out before, that there was trans stuff in the songs,” Todd asks. “Were you aware of that when you were writing them?”
“At first it was more like your subconscious pushing you towards it,” Grace answered. “And then feeling, ‘Oh, I’m saying too much.’ I’ve got to mask this. And then it gets to the point where you’re like, ‘What do I have to do to get your attention and make you realize what I’m actually saying here?'”
The video cuts to The Spook School walking around the city and playing frisbee as Todd explains that while touring he has learned to be even more explicit about his gender as a means of starting a dialogue. As drummer Niall McCamley adds, “The most important thing is to listen. The whole reason you’re not aware of these things is because they’re marginal to you and your life and it’s peripheral to you. So the only way you can actually learn about these things and get involved is to let these people have a voice.” The video aptly concludes with the band performing their song “Burn Masculinity.”
Watch the video below:
The Spook School’s upcoming album, Try to Be Hopeful, will be out in September.
Against Me! live album from their 2014 tour, 23 Live Sex Acts, is out September 4.