Melodic punks Against Me! have been busy on the road this year supporting their most recent full-length, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, but they've been finding time to keep busy with other projects, as frontwoman Laura Jane Grace explains to Exclaim! Fans of the band can expect a book, a documentary series, and a new live album to surface in the months ahead.
"It's crazy, because at this point, having six studio albums and a bunch of EPs, there are almost a good hundred Against Me! songs," says Grace about the upcoming live album and their storied career. "To have the lineup we have right now and to feel really strong about the way we're playing and to see how those songs that we've been playing for a long time have evolved over however many years... The idea of taking the best of the best and putting together a solid 25- to 30-song record that can reintroduce some songs in their present form and really try to capture what happens when we're onstage, which is vastly different from what happens in a studio, I just think it's a cool document and worthwhile to do."
Grace says that the as-yet-untitled concert document, which will be the band's second, may be out early next year or maybe even by the end of 2014. Also out early next year is Grace's first book, which is currently in progress.
"It's tour journals, really," she says. "Kind of like [Henry Rollins'] Get in the Van, but a little more transsexual. I've kept tour journals since we've started. So 10, 15 years of touring. Hopefully it'll be out early next year. I'm behind deadline, to be honest [laughs], so I'm working as fast as I can."
As for the previously announced documentary series, it's being called a "reality series," but Grace is trying to get away from that label. Instead, the show, So Much More with Laura Jane Grace on AOL Originals (it will air 11 or 12 episodes starting in September), is a chance for her to interview people she admires while her chronicling the ongoing journey of coming out as transgender.
"It focuses on gender and the band being on tour is the backdrop for it all," says Grace. "It really was just a chance for me to talk to people and interview people who I wanted to know their stories and hear their perspectives on gender and what's made them who they are. Some of those people are people I've met online, other people are people I've admired from afar, authors whose books I've read and wanted to talk to. For me, it meant a lot and I got a lot out of the experience."
Of course, the next step for Against Me! will be writing new music, which Grace says they're already thinking about. With a solid lineup intact, spirits are high in the band and they're ready to keep the momentum going.
"Yeah, we have a couple songs that are unreleased, that are completed, mixed, mastered and just in the bag," reveals Grace. "And I'm already trying to think long-term about how we're going to do the next record. It's starting to get to that point where it's like, the record's out, done, everything feels good, everyone's on the same page. Let's continue kicking ass."
Meanwhile, Against Me! have a pile of North American dates coming up, and you can see all those here.