Former Hold Steady keyboardist Franz Nicolay has signed on as a touring member of Against Me! The mustachioed multi-instrumentalist will join Tom Gabel and company when they support their upcoming album ‘White Crosses,’ which is due out June 8, with a run of European dates that get underway on Monday in Munich.
“We’re very happy to welcome Franz Nicolay out on the road with us,” the band wrote on its official website. “Starting with this next run of Europe dates, Franz will be joining us onstage every night and lending his immense talents and presence to the band.” Nicolay — who is working on the follow up to his 2009 solo releases ‘St. Sebastian of the Short Stage’ and ‘Major General’ — will stay on for the band’s Bonnaroo appearance on June 13 and its US tour with Silversun Pickups, which gets underway on June 15 in Orlando, Fla.
In related news, the Florida-reared Gabel recently blogged about the inspiration for Against Me!’s new single, ‘I Was a Teenage Anarchist.’ “I got into radical politics when I was 15 years old, shortly after discovering punk music,” Gabel explains. “At first I thought punk was just nihilism, misanthropy, self destruction, Sid Vicious. Then when I was 15, I got beat up by the cops; the experience changed my life. The experience politicized me.”
“I dropped out of high school,” Gabel continued. “I started doing a ‘zine. I started a distro of political pamphlets and Anarcho-punk records. I started a Food Not Bombs chapter with a group of friends … The real revolution was the political awakening. That initial spark that made me want to change the world. And that’s what I’m interested in, maintaining that fire. That’s what the song is about.”